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 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: