Recently published patent applications filed by Nikon offer a glimpse into what the company may be working on for future DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. The three technologies spotted are: illuminated lens mounts, dual lens contacts, and a hybrid viewfinder.
The first one, patent 2013-57757, is for making it easier for photographers to swap lenses in the dark. The camera body contains an LED light source that apparently lights up a section on the front of the camera and on the top of the lens. This lights up the front of the camera, allowing the camera user to see what’s going on during the lens changing process.
Another patent, number 2013-58840, is designed to improve the connection between lenses and the cameras they’re mounted on. You may have had experiences of having to clean your lens’ or camera’s contacts (perhaps using a pencil eraser) in order to fix certain errors.
Nikon’s new idea is to double up on contact points. By having a second identical set of contact points between the lens and the camera, there is less opportunity for things like dust and grime to cause communication issues.
Finally, patent 2013-54232 reveals that Nikon is working on a hybrid viewfinder that can effortlessly switch between optical (OVF) and electronic (EVF) modes. They may be developing something similar to what’s found inside the Fujifilm X100.