Canon Patent: Automatic Adjustment Of Touchpad AF Sensitivity

Canon Patent Application

Interesting Canon patent application spotted by asobinet.com. The sensitivity of the touchpad used for autofocus tracking is automatically adjusted with regard to shutter speed and the subject.

Canon patent application 2021-128242 discusses technology and methods to automatically set the touchpad sensitivity when tracking a subject with autofocus.

If we got this patent right, the sensitivity of the touchpad is based on subject recognition technology and values computed from the shutter speed and the movement speed of the subject. In other words: if the algorithm detects a fast moving subject and a fast shutter is set, then the sensitivity of the touchpad is increased in the sense that the AF frame will move faster when the touchpad is used to track a subject. Here is the machine translated patent abstract:

Problem: To improve the operability of an AF frame.

Means for solving: A touch detection means capable of detecting touch operation on a touch panel, and a display control means for displaying an item showing an in-focus position on a display part ; A shutter speed acquiring means for acquiring a shutter speed being set and a control means for moving the item on the display part in accordance with the amount of movement of the touch position detected by the touch detecting means, and the control means is used when the touch position detected by the touch detecting means is a 1 movement amount. It has a control means controlled so that a direction when the aforementioned shutter speed is larger than the above-mentioned first value moves the aforementioned item largely rather than the case where the aforementioned shutter speed is smaller than a first value.

And, in particular:

[…] In the method [described in the patent, editor’s note] when the user is chasing a fast-moving subject, if the AF frame is set small, the touch move must be performed many times in order to move the AF frame [and hence the subject tracking might fail, editor’s note] Therefore, the AF frame cannot be moved according to the speed of movement of the user, which may reduce the operability of the user.

Do you think I got the patent right? Feel free to speak out in the comments section.

More Canon patents are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Might Be Working On A Better Battery Charge Indicator, Patent

Canon Patent

Will this Canon patent come to your next Canon camera? Maybe not, but it might on the one after your next.

Canon patent application 2021-114887 discusses methods and technology to show charges of both the internal and external battery. From the patent literature:

[Problem]

To notify a user of a relation between a full charge capacity of a battery of an electronic device and a remaining amount of a battery of a battery device connected to an electronic device easily.

[Means for solving]

The battery device (100) has a display means for displaying information indicating a result of calculating a residual amount of a battery of the battery device based on a full charge capacity of a battery of an electronic device connected to the battery device.

More Canon patents are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Patent: Improved Image Plane Phase Difference AF Using IBIS Data

Canon Patent

Another Canon patent application spotted by asobinet.com: how to improve the detection of image plane phase difference autofocus by using data derived from IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation).

Canon patent application 2021-128303 discusses technology and methods to improve phase difference AF on a subject represented by a horizontal line.

[Problem]

To provide an imaging device capable of detecting focus even if a subject is a horizontal line pattern.


[Means for solving]

An imaging element for picking up an image for detecting a phase difference in a predetermined direction on an image plane to detect a focus state of an image formed by an imaging lens, and an imaging element driving means for driving the imaging element in a translational direction and a rotational direction in a plane perpendicular to an optical axis of the imaging lens ; What it has for a focus detection means which is made to rotate the aforementioned image sensor by the aforementioned image sensor driving means according to the imaging result by the aforementioned image sensor, and carries out focus detection was considered as the composition by which it is characterized.

More from the patent literature:

Conventionally, as AF of the phase difference detection method, secondary imaging phase difference AF using a secondary imaging optical system and an AF sensor, or image plane phase difference AF using an image sensor is known. .. In the secondary imaging phase difference AF, the AF sensor is composed of a vertical eye sensor that forms a vertically separated subject image and a horizontal eye sensor that forms a horizontally separated subject image. Focus detection of vertical line patterns is possible.


However, in the image plane phase difference AF, when each pixel of the image sensor is composed of a pixel group divided in only one direction, the focus of the horizontal line pattern or vertical line pattern is detected depending on the division direction of the pixels. May not be possible . In a general image pickup device capable of image plane phase difference AF, since the pixels are divided into two in the left-right direction, it is difficult to detect the focus on the horizontal line at the normal position of the image pickup device.


The conventional technique disclosed in Patent Document 1 described above solves the problem that the image plane phase difference AF of the image pickup device in which each pixel is divided in only one direction cannot detect the focus of a subject having a horizontal line pattern.

Basically, the discussed technology makes it easier to detect lines that are difficult to detect with image plane phase detection AF.

More Canon patents are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Patent: Automatic Shutter Mode Switch (mechanical/electronic)

Canon Patent

And yet another very interesting Canon patent application spotted by asobinet.com. What about your camera switching automatically the shutter mode?

Canon patent application 2021-129230 discusses technology and methods to automatically switch from mechanical shutter to electronic shutter based on parameters. From the patent literature:

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a lens device, an image pickup device, a camera system, and a program capable of taking an image with an optimum shutter method without a user manually changing a setting.
Conventionally, an imaging device that realizes imaging by using a mechanical shutter and an electronic shutter in combination has been proposed. In Patent Document 1, flicker detection is performed based on a signal output from an image sensor, and based on the result, imaging is selected to select whether to use a mechanical shutter or an electronic shutter in the second and subsequent imaging of continuous imaging. The device is disclosed. When flicker occurs, the image pickup apparatus of Patent Document 1 uses an electronic shutter to improve the efficiency of the image pickup operation, thereby improving the frame speed during continuous shooting.
However, the shooting conditions in which it is preferable to use a mechanical shutter or an electronic shutter depend on requirements other than the frame speed. For example, when imaging is performed at a shutter speed at which the effect of rolling shutter distortion is large, it is desirable to use a mechanical shutter. Further, when imaging is performed at a shutter speed in which the shutter impact is sustained during the imaging period, it is desirable to use an electronic shutter in order to suppress image blurring. On the other hand, there are some users who like the sound and shooting sensation when using the mechanical shutter.
An object of the present invention is to provide a lens device, an image pickup device, a camera system, and a program capable of taking an image with an optimum shutter method without manually changing a setting by a user.

If I got it right the shutter switch is triggered by shutter speed and also by the tracked shooting distance:

The lens device is a lens device which can be mounted on an imaging device which picks up an image of a subject and an imaging device which has a mechanical shutter. A determination unit is provided with a determination unit which determines which of the mechanical shutter and the electronic shutter is to be used for starting imaging of an imaging device using information on an imaging device and information on a current imaging condition, and notifies the imaging device of a determination result.

Interesting fact: there is another Canon patent that discusses how to automatically silence the shutter based on subject and distance.

More Canon patents are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Patent: Automatic Shutter Silencing Depending By Distance And Subject

Canon Patent

Now this is a very interesting Canon patent application that shows well how much attention Canon pays to details that could enhance your photo shooting experience.

Canon patent application 2021-121063 (spotted by asobinet.com) discusses a shutter mechanism that dynamically suppresses shutter sound depending on the subject and the shooting distance. According to the patent, a distance detector (item 58 in the image above) is equipped on the camera, in order to automatically activate the silent shutter functionality.

Think about taking pictures of shy wildlife. The patent literature mentions that a subject is identified by image processing and the distance to the subject is measured. In case of animals and given a certain distance, the silent shooting might be automagically activated.

From the patent literature (machine translated):

If the silent function is automatically activated even when the sound emitted by the imaging control device is at a distance that does not reach the subject, a shooting operation is performed with a setting which is not suitable for the shooting situation and which unnecessarily suppresses the generation of sound. To provide a highly convenient imaging control device by detecting an object as an animal and automatically switching to a setting for suppressing a sound emitted from an imaging control device when a distance from an imaging control device to an object is short.

The imaging control device includes an imaging means for acquiring an image of an object, an animal detection means for detecting a specific animal from an image acquired by the imaging means, and an animal detection means for detecting a specific animal from the image acquired by the imaging means. This device has a measuring means for measuring a distance from an object, and a control means for changing a setting for suppressing a sound emitted from an imaging means according to a detection result of a specific animal by an animal detecting means and a measuring distance by a measuring means.

The patent argues that If the need to switch to silent shooting occurs frequently, having to activate it by hand might mean missing the right moment to snap. This technology might soon come to your next Canon camera. Btw, the camera depicted in the patent looks very much like a xxD model. I do not think this means anything, it’s just an image used to discuss the technology. I see this coming to a future EOS R model, maybe already on the upcoming Canon EOS R3?

More Canon patents are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Patent: Improved IBIS For Shooting HDR Photos

Canon Patent

Here we are with another rather interesting Canon patent application: better IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) for shooting HDR photos.

Canon patent application 2021-089387 discusses how to improve IBIS during automatic exposure bracketing, for instance to take HDR pictures. This is to compensate differences between the single images because of movement. From the patent literature:

The present invention relates to a technique for performing a plurality of times of photographing for acquiring images used for image synthesis while suppressing image blurring of an image.

Background of invention:

In the dynamic range expansion processing of an image signal, for example, a plurality of signals having different output conditions are combined to generate a high dynamic range (hereinafter, also referred to as HDR) image signal. In an imaging apparatus, a photographing for synthesizing a plurality of images having different still image exposure periods is known, and is referred to as HDR photographing hereinafter. Since a plurality of photographing operations are performed in HDR photographing, a time required for completing all photographing operations becomes longer than a time required for photographing 1 images.

When HDR photographing is performed by an imaging device having an image blur correction function for correcting image blur of a captured image due to camera shake or the like, HDR photographing is possible while performing image blur correction. In this case, since it is necessary to perform image blur correction for a long time, a limit of a correction range related to an image blur correction lens (hereinafter, also referred to as a correction lens) becomes a problem. In other words, when the drive control of the correction lens in the imaging optical system is performed on the basis of a detection signal such as camera shake, it is impossible to perform the image blur correction beyond the movable range of the correction lens. Thus, when the image blur correction amount reaches the limit of the movable range (correction stroke limit), no further image blur correction effect is obtained.
[0004]

More Canon patents are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these: