Canon working on XC series Camcorder with interchangeable lens mount, patent suggests

Camcorder

In this patent application (JP2018-112698), spotted by Hi Lows Note, you can see an XC series camcorder with an interchangeable lens mount. This could be a patent application that might go into production.

You can see from the pictures that the patent literature is clearly referencing a “Canon XC camcorder“-like camera.

Machine translated excerpt from the patent literature:

A lens mount part in which wearing of an interchangeable lens and removal are possible,
An image sensor which carries out photoelectric conversion of the light flux which passed the aforementioned interchangeable lens,
It has an optical system provided between the aforementioned lens mount part and the aforementioned image sensor,
The aforementioned optical system is interlocked with operation which removes the aforementioned interchangeable lens from the aforementioned lens mount part, and moves to a first position that light flux from the aforementioned optical system does not image to the aforementioned image sensor.

More Canon patent applications are listed here. There are few patent applications we think will go into production anytime soon. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production in the next few years are these:

Canon working on Electronic Viewfinder with Eye Sensor, patent suggests

Eye Sensor

Thanks Angela for the tip.

Interesting patent application (US20180164881) describing an external EVF with eye sensor. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem Canon is working on eye tracking AF but just on a sensor that turns the power of the EVF on and off. Good to safe battery juice.

An electronic apparatus equipped with an eye sensor holding structure that is capable of preventing erroneous detection of an eye sensor without increasing the number of members and of improving an appearance without increasing stray light. An eye sensor that detects an eye-contact state is implemented on a circuit board. A protection window is provided so as to cover a front of the eye sensor and is held in a state where the circuit board is positioned thereto. The protection window is fitted and positioned to an exterior member that has an opening through which the protection window is exposed to external appearance. An elastic member generates energization force for pushing the eye sensor so as to be contact with the protection window and for pushing the protection window so as to be contact with the exterior member.

As usual, I’m glad for any help understanding the patent literature.

US20180164881A1

Canon working on 16-60mm f/2-5 for mirrorless cameras (APS-C sensor), patent suggests

Mirrorless Cameras

Canon patent application in Japan (2018-106021) for a 16-60mm f/2-5 lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras. The f-range is a bit weird and unusual for the industry.

  • Focal length: 15.42 – 58.00 mm (zoom ratio: 3.76)
  • F No.: 2.06 – 5.00
  • Half angle of view: 38.07 – 13.04
  • Back focus: 8.81 – 2.81 mm
  • Lens length: 82.23 – 103.33 mm

Could this be a future kit lens? A bit slow on the tele end, though.

More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production in the next few years are these:

[via Hi Lows Note]

Canon patent for 58mm f/1.4 full frame lens with adjustable soft focus

Canon Patent

Canon patent application 2018-97240 (in Japan) describes a 58mm f/1.4 lens for full frame cameras with adjustable soft focus.

  • Focal length: 57.58mm
  • F number: 1.43
  • Half angle of view: 20.60
  • Image height: 21.64mm
  • Lens length: 160.04mm
  • Back focus: 40.43mm

The patent describes:

[…] an optical system containing the 1st focus group and the 2nd focus group which move by each other different locus on the occasion of focusing,
An arrangement state of the aforementioned optical system,
An optical system comprising:
A first arrangement state by which said 1st focus group and said 2nd focus group are arranged so that it will be in a focusing state in the predetermined object distance and a first aberration amount may be generated.
A second arrangement state by which said 1st focus group and said 2nd focus group are arranged so that a second aberration amount which will be in a focusing state in the aforementioned predetermined object distance, and is different from said first aberration amount may be generated.

More Canon patent applications are listed here.

Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production in the next few years are these:

[via HiLowsNote]

Canon working on AI powered predictive camera control system, patent suggests

Another pretty interesting patent that shows how much Canon is investing in research. Canon patent application US20180077345 discusses a predictive camera control system that takes viewers interests into account, for instance during a sport event.

Such a system is capable to recognise where people in a stadium is looking, what captures their interest most at a given time, and then can adjust its cameras to point in the same direction. A system that learns from user behaviour what gets the most attention by the viewers. This AI powered system (using neural networks) tracks the eyes of the viewers to learn where they are looking at, and is able to recognise which player attracts most looks from viewers. The system’s cameras are then set to capture what captures the interest of the crowd. I guess this may change the rules for future coverage of big sport events (but the system can virtually be used also for other purposes).

From the patent literature:

A computer-implemented method and system of selecting a camera angle is described. The method comprises determining a visual fixation point of a viewer of a scene using eye gaze data from an eye gaze tracking device; detecting, from the eye gaze data, one or more saccades from the visual fixation point of the viewer, the one or more saccades indicating a one or more regions of future interest to the viewer; selecting, based on the detected one or more saccades, a region of the scene; and selecting a camera angle of a camera, the camera capturing video data of the selected region using the selected angle.

[…] A system, comprising: an eye gaze tracking device for detecting eye gaze data of a viewer of a scene; a multi-camera system configured to capture video data of the scene; a memory for storing data and a computer readable medium; and a processor coupled to the memory for executing a computer program, the program having instructions for: detecting, using the eye gaze tracking data, a visual fixation point of the viewer and one or more saccades of the viewer relative to the visual fixation point; determining an object of interest in the scene based on at least the detected one or more saccades of the viewer, the object of interest being determined to have increasing relevance to the viewer of the scene; and selecting a camera of the multi-camera system, the selected camera having a field of view including the determined object of interest in the scene, the second camera capturing video data of the determined object of interest.
US20180077345A1

More Canon patents.

Canon’s next 18-55mm kit lens might have an LCD display, patent suggests

Kit Lens

Canon patent application JP2018005130A, while discussing what appears to be the next iteration of the popular 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens (Mark III, I guess), reveals an interesting detail: Canon’s next kit lens might have a small LCD display. Something we saw first on the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II.

The LCD display is visible on one of the patent images, and it’s referenced in the patent literature (it’s 305 in the picture above.

Consider the fact that the inexpensive 18-55mm kit lens virtually comes with every Canon entry level DSLR. Nice bonus for future customers.