Is Quad Pixel Autofocus The Upcoming Evolution Of Dual Pixel AF?

Canon Patent

A recently spotted Canon patent application suggests Canon might be at works to design the technological evolution of its patented Dual Pixel Auto Focus (DPAF).

Canon patent application 2019-041178 (Japan) describes a technology where pixels are split in four parts. This should allow for a more precise AF in all possible directions.

From the patent literature:

Therefore, there is the object of this invention in providing the image sensor which can always perform focus detection by an image surface phase difference system with high precision, and the imaging device using this image sensor. 

In order to achieve the above-mentioned object, the image sensor by the present invention, A plurality of optical waveguides which a unit pixel part provided with a plurality of pixels is the image sensor arranged by two-dimensional matrix form, and draw light to said plurality of pixels, respectively, It has the segregant formed among said plurality of waveguides, the height and position of the aforementioned segregant are changed according to image height, and the pupil distance of said plurality of pixels is changed in each of the aforementioned unit pixel part. 

The patent literature seems to describe an APS-C sensor with a resolution around 20MP:

A unit pixel has the 1st focus detection pixel 201, the 2nd focus detection pixel 202, the 3rd focus detection pixel 203, and the 4th focus detection pixel 204, and these pixels are arranged by two lines x two rows. In the illustrated example, although the pixel structure of four lines x four rows is shown, the many pixel is actually arranged by two-dimensional matrix form. For example, the image sensor is 4 micrometers in the cycle P of a pixel, and is side [ of 5575 lines ] x [ 3725 rows ] long = about 20,750,000 pixels in the pixel number N. The image sensor is 2 micrometers in the line writing direction cycle PAF of a focus detection pixel, and is side [ of 11150 lines ] x [ 7450 rows ] long = about 83,060,000 pixels in the focus detection pixel number NAF. 

No idea if this patent describes a technology that might get into production soon. 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:

Source: Canon News

Canon Patent For 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.2 and 70-200mm f/2.8 Lenses for Full Frame Cameras

Canon Patent

Hi Lows Note spotted a Canon patent application (2019-45631A) describing optical formulas for a 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2 for full frame DSLRs, and for a 70-200mm f/2.8 for full frame mirrorless cameras (the EOS R system).

Focal length: 34.31 mm
F number: 1.45
Angle of view: 32.24
Image height: 21.64 mm
Lens length: 139.98 mm
Back focus: 39.01 mm

Focal length: 85.00 mm
F number: 1.24
Angle of view: 14.28
Image height: 21.64 mm
Lens length: 123.50 mm
Back focus: 39.70 mm

Zoom ratio: 2.71
Focal length: 72.00 ~ 134.99 ~ 194.94 mm
F number: 2.91 ~ 2.91 ~ 2.98
Angle of view: 16.73 ~ 9.11 ~ 6.33
Image height: 21.64 mm
Lens length: 172.73 ~ 219.96 ~ 231.71 mm
Back focus: 14.37 ~ 18.40 ~ 28.12 mm

Canon Patent For RF 24-70mm f/2.8 and RF 28-85mm f/2.0-2.8 Lenses (EOS R System)

Canon Patent

Here is another Canon patent application (2019-0079269) for two lenses for the Canon RF mount.

From the patent abstract:

Provided is a zoom lens including a plurality of lens units, in which an interval between each pair of adjacent lens units is changed during zooming. The plurality of lens units consist of, in order from an object side to an image side: a first lens unit having a positive refractive power; a second lens unit having a negative refractive power; a third lens unit having a negative refractive power; and a rear lens group including at least one lens unit. An interval between the second lens unit and the third lens unit becomes larger at a telephoto end than at a wide angle end. The third lens unit is moved during focusing. Focal lengths of the second lens unit and the third lens unit, a focal length of the zoom lens at the wide angle end, and a back focus at the wide angle end are appropriately set.

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:

Canon Patent For 10mm f/2.8 Lens For Full Frame Sensor (EOS R?)

Canon Patent

Hi Lows Note spotted a Canon patent application (2019-040219) for a 10mm f/2.8 lens for full frame cameras. I’m not the expert but given the back focus distance I think it is for a mirrorless system, hence for the Canon EOS R.

  • Focal length: 10.30 mm
  • F number: 2.88
  • Half angle of view: 64.54
  • Image height: 21.64 mm
  • Lens length: 124.58 mm
  • Back focus: 38.00 mm

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:

Latest Canon Patent Round-Up (Telephoto Primes, Defocus Smoothing, EOS R Lenses)

Canon Patent

Canon patent application in Japan 2019-032390 and 2019-032391 discuss optical formulas for various telephoto prime lenses:

Focal distance 294.00 
F number 2.91 
a half field angle (degree) — 4.21
image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 276.40 
BF 65.35 

Focal distance 392.00 
F number 2.90 
a half field angle (degree) — 3.16 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 371.25 
BF 69.92

Focal distance 490.00 
F number 4.12 
a half field angle (degree) — 2.53 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 410.77 
BF 66.03

Focal distance 588.00 
F number 4.12 
a half field angle (degree) — 2.11 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 474.78 
BF 80.59

Focal distance 784.00 
F number 5.80 
a half field angle (degree) — 1.58 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 484.53 
BF 75.94

Canon patent application in Japan (2019-028212) discusses another optical formula for an RF 70-300mm lens for the EOS R system:

focal length 71.53 132.28 293.70 
F-number 4.16 5.18 5.83 
half-field angle (degree) 16.83 9.29 4.21 
Image height 21.64 21.64 21.64 
Lens total length 179.52 216.99 250.81 
BF 48.94 22.62 18.05 

Canon patent application in Japan (2019-028258) discusses the optical formula for what might be kit lenses for an APS-C DSLR:

focal length 17.00 45.29 130.97
F number 3.71 5.63 6.30
half angle of view (degree) 38.78 16.78 5.95
image height 13.66 13.66 13.66
total lens length 88.79 109.43 136.79
BF Air) 9.50 32.69 41.15

focal length 17.00 48.75 130.97
F number 3.59 6.05 6.30
Half angle of view 38.78 15.65 5.95
Image height 13.66 13.66 13.66
Lens total length 93.09 114.59 143.09
BF 11.62 39.19 46.30

focal length 18.45 46.95 80.00
F number 3.25 4.48 5.60
Half angle of view 36.52 16.22 9.69
Image height 13.66 13.66 13.66
Lens total length 98.76 113.68 139.63
BF 9.45 9.45 9.45

focal length 17.00 44.95 130.97
F number 3.88 5.96 6.30
half angle of view (degree) 38.78 16.90 5.95
image height 13.66 13.66 13.66
total lens length 88.59 109.18 136.47
BF 11.16 34.60 41.37

focal length 18.14 30.19 45.00
F-number 2.06 3.00 5.00
half-field angle (degree) 33.66 23.99 16.62
Image height 12.08 13.43 13.43
total lens length 92.24 97.67 90.17
BF 13.96 9.90 3.00

Canon patent applications via Canon News.

Canon Patent For 400mm, 600mm and 800mm Telephoto Lenses With Diffractive Optical Elements

Canon Patent

Hi Lows Note spotted a Canon patent application (2019-028317) for 400mm f/4, 600 mm f/4, and 800 mm f/5.6 telephoto lenses with DOE (Diffractive Optical Elements).

Focal distance 582.00 
F number 4.12 
Half field angle (degree) 2.13 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 394.25 
BF 62.79 

Focal distance 405.00 
F number 4.12 
Half field angle (degree) 3.06 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 330.16 
BF 50.46 

Focal distance 795.00 
F number 5.60 
Half field angle (degree) 1.56 
Image height 21.64 
Whole length of the lens 490.24 
BF 105.13 

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: