[Patent] Another Canon Patent For Improved Phase-Detection Autofocus (next mirrorless sensor?)

Conventional approach (left) and patented approach (right)

Egami (machine translated) spotted another patent filed by Canon and related to methods that aim to improve the performance and accuracy of the phase-detection AF. This is the second patent in a few days – the first one can be seen here. Such an AF method is featured on the Rebel T4i/650D and on Canon’s recently announced mirrorless camera, the EOS M. Note that such an AF method is particularly useful on a mirrorless camera, given that such cameras, since they are missing the mirror, can not focus in the “traditional way”.

As far as I can tell, the patent details methods to increase AF performance by eliminating problems caused by the angle of incidence of the light: “[…] reduce the diffraction limit by a high refractive index layer“. Another discussed issue is the reduction of the pixel size (higher resolution??). I am more and more confident that both patents are related to an upcoming sensor which, I guess, will be at the heart of the more pro-oriented mirrorless camera most of us are expecting to be announced in September at Photokina.

  • Patent Publication No. 2012-151367
    • 2012.8.9 Release Date
    • 2011.1.20 filing date
  • The diameter of the spot light focusing of the micro lens
    • Determined by the numerical aperture and λ the wavelength of the incident light
    • By the wave nature of light, not smaller than the diffraction limit
    • When the pixel size below the diffraction limit, pupil division is impossible
    • ⊿ = 1.22 * (λ / n * sinθ) diffraction limit
    • ※ This angle θ is half the chance of lens optical system was synthesized in the micro-lenses and layers
  • Related art
    • There is a light flux can not reach into the openings of the light-shielding layer of the phase difference AF pixel for the image plane, the light-receiving efficiency is reduced
    • Although the distance can be shortened and the photoelectric conversion unit if microlens back-illuminated (BSI), if the pixel consists of a low refractive index layer in the layer lens +, for total internal reflection occurs, can not be expected to increase the angle
  • Canon’s patented
    • To reduce the diffraction limit by a high refractive index layer
    • Structure of the pixel
      • Within a layer lens, and light shielding layer formed between the microlens
      • The high refractive index layer, filled between the lens and the light-shielding layer in the layer
      • The low refractive index layer, a light shielding layer filled between the microlens and
      • Optical system consisting of micro-lens and lens in the layer, connecting the focal point in the PD
      • A case
        • Λ = 540nm wavelength of the incident light
        • 1.6 refractive index of the microlens
        • 1.45 refractive index of the low refractive index layer
        • Layer of high refractive index lens and in the layer refractive index n = 2.3 (silica Sio 2 of the prior art is n = 1.46)
[via egami]

[Rumor] More Canon Entry Level Full-Frame DSLR Tidbits (Expected For October, Not Photokina)

A quick update about Canon’s entry level full-frame DSLR. The rumor comes from NL. They report about a 22MP camera that could be named EOS 6D. I reported similar rumors time ago, but my sources named this cam EOS 7D Mark II. Nevertheless, I think “EOS 6D” has more possibilities to be the real name. It makes more sense, imo, especially if you consider the fact that the EOS 7D is Canon’s APS-C flagship, and that the EOS 5D Mark III is Canon’s full-frame flagship. An entry level FF DSLR would be positioned between the 5D Mk3 and the 7D. Hence, “EOS 6D” makes perfectly sense. However, it could also be that an EOS 70D will succeed to the actual 7D (bringing the glorious xxD line back to semi-pro levels) and that an EOS 7D Mark II could indeed be the entry level FF camera. Speculations, I know.

There is another thing: NL’s source(s) say that this entry level full-frame DSLR will not be announced during Photokina in September, but later in October.

[via NL]

 

EOS 5D Mark III Reviewed By User, And Two Cool 5D3 Bundles

Time to come back to the glorious EOS 5D Mark III. As I wrote before, I prefer user generated gear reviews. Although such a review is not comparable with tests made in a lab setting (obviously), user reviews are often closer to real world problems and settings. In other word: as much as I am interested to learn about the details and to know all the technical measures, there is nothing as a review made by a photographer who wants to know how his or her gear performs in every day usage. photographyreview has such a review, written by an admittedly expert user.

Next, Adorama notified ma about two kits bundled around the EOS 5D Mark III.

  • EOS-5D Mark III & TS-E 17MM f/4 Lens – $5,363.00 (click here) instead of $5,763.00 (Mail In Rebate -$400)
  • EOS-5D Mark III & EF 24-105L IS with Lexar 64GB Professional 600x SDXC UHS-I Memory Card and b/w 77mm UV (Ultra Violet) Haze Multi Coated (2C) Glass Filter and Canon 200-DG Digital Gadget Bag for $4,299.01 (click here) instead of $4,451.85

Pimp Your Lens: Funny Skins For Canon Lenses (and more about the crazy Canon August Lens Discounts)

Ever wanted to change the look of your precious L lens? Or maybe you just feel that pitch black camera bodies and lenses aren’t your thing? There is a solution for that. You can get skins for most Canon lenses. Various, different skins, with looks that range from the classic military camouflage to colors named “underwater”, “winter woodland”, “zen”, “carnival flair” etc.

Click here to see all skins offered by B&H

B&H is also offering concrete discounts on a huge range of Canon lenses. It’s the Canon August Discounts program, lasting until September 1st. Instant saving up to $300 per lens, if you buy multiple lenses you may save $1000’s. See below all the discounted lenses grouped by lens type:

Firmware Upgrades For Wireless Transmitter WFT-E5A And 4 Lenses

Canon has recently released two new product advisories. The first one concerns the WFT-E5A Wireless Transmitter. The firmware upgrade (ver. 1.0.7) doesn’t tackle problems or malfunctions, it was released to support the just released, massive firmware update for the EOS 7D.

Next, Canon also released a product advisory for the following lenses: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, and EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM. The firmware update (ver. 1.1.1) will be performed by Canon Service Centers and brings the following enhancement:

Changes the control algorithm of the focus drive, and enhances the drive’s responsiveness for more precise focus and adjustments. In particular, the new firmware enhances the AI servo AF capability of the lenses to track objects that move irregularly in sports events, such as soccer or rugby.

Canon Recalls 68,200 T4i/650D Due To Possible Allergic Reactions

Image Credits: engadget.com

These are news I do not like, Holy Whatever! The Rebel T4i/650D is a cute little DSLR, I played around with it and didn’t get any skin rash. Engadget reported it first, let me quote the core of the message:

Hazard: A chemical used in the camera’s rubber grips can result in a reaction that changes the grips from black to white and poses a risk of skin irritation to the consumer.

Ok, no reason to panic. Check if you are involved (click here for the whole story):

Description: This recall involves EOS Rebel T4i digital SLR cameras with a 12-digit serial number that contain a second digit that is a “3” or “4” and a sixth digit that is a “1.” Serial numbers are printed on the bottom of the camera. The Canon logo and the model name are printed on the front of the camera.

Sold at: B&H Photo, Best Buy and camera and mass merchandise stores nationwide and Amazon.com and other online retailers between June 2012 and July 2012 for between $850 and $1,200.

Canon will replace the rubber grips free of charge. In the USA you can ring 855-902-3277.

For the time being, according to reports, there is only one customer affected by a «minor rash» after having touched a Rebel T4i.

[cpsc.gov, via engadget]