Nikon Patent Solves Camera Overheating by Integrating Removable Heat Storage


As DSLRs become more and more capable video capture machines, the problem of overheating becomes a more pressing one. With RAW video in particular, where the amount of data being captured is staggering, the sensor needs to be protected if you expect to keep using the camera for any extended amount of time.

Cinema cameras, like Canon’s 1D C, have attacked this issue in the past by arranging the internals in such a way as to provide better cooling. But a couple of new Nikon patents take a different approach.

According to Nikon Rumors, who translated the patent info found on Egami, Nikon has patented removable heat storage. Like a battery or memory card, this would be a cartridge that you could insert into a designated slot in your Nikon where it would absorb the heat from, say, the sensor via the Peltier Effect.


One of the illustrations shows a coolant pocket located inside the veri-angle LCD screen. The obvious downside here is that the LCD isn’t always clicked in, but when it is, that heat storage material would absorb what the sensor was giving off. And unlike materials currently used in most cameras, you could replace this one when it reached its limit.

You can check out the full Japanese patent here (translated by Google). Unfortunately, there’s no information that hints at which specific cameras would receive this treatment, nor how soon (if ever) we’ll see the technique implemented.

(via Nikon Rumors)

  • Stewart Doyle

    And during the 30 seconds to a minute while you replace this thing, the sensor burns out because it has no cooling at all?
    Or do you stop filming to swap the thing, in which case what’s the point, if you have to stop filming anyway to change the cooling block, why not just have a normal camera and wait five minutes for it to cool down on it’s own?

  • Pew Pew

    Sensors don’t burn out immediately… nor do they generate sensor-burning amounts of heat whilst changing the cool pack.

    It’s more of a safety, say when you’re filming a press conference and you don’t want uninterrupted footage because of an overheat. A cool pack would keep the camera well below the heat threshold.

  • Xavierdjx

    And what about dust ?? We already have problem changing lens, this part is just near the sensor … :-/

  • Alessandro Aimonetto

    yes, but the pack isn’t INSIDE the camera…it’s more like putting ice on your head when you have fever…you don’t put ice in your brain

  • Mike

    Sweet, just like in Mass Effect 2!

  • Mike

    Do you have any dust on your computer’s processor?
    Nope. It has a heat sink. Just like this patent.

  • Mike

    Make it a proper Peltier element and allow it to cool the sensor nicely for astrophotography!

  • Stewart Doyle

    I imagined a camera CCD to be more like a computer CPU than it obviously is, semiconductors = hot in my brain. (Try swapping the heatsink on your computer CPU sometime – while it’s powered on!)

    If there is plenty time between the heatsink being removed and the silicon going critical then it should be fine, although, I still wouldn’t want to be responsible for it!

    Also if there is plenty time to swap the thing, what kind of temps are we talking about anyway? I can’t imagine anything past say, 70 celcius being much fun to faff around with without gloves on, and and that’s not hot enough to damage a CPU – are CCD’s more vulnerable to heat?

  • Pew Pew

    The housing would probably be insulated so you don’t have to touch the heat transfer point.

    If you’ve ever shot in the sun, the camera will occasionally shutdown due to heat. I understand the CPU references but it’s a slightly different environment that they’re exposed to as well

  • Freddy

    Just something else to sell us!

  • Alexander Petricca

    Out of curiosity, how are high end cinema cameras of the type typically used in the film industry cooled?

  • Theranthrope

    This would be useful for my long-exposure night-photography, infrared photography, or astrophotography (and… I guess… video), so I’d buy it!

    Gear isn’t the goal; it’s the medium. Don’t knock a feature that you, personally wouldn’t have a use for, due to your own lack of photographic range or creativity.

  • Theranthrope

    The takes aren’t that long and resetting in-between takes gives enough time for the camera to cool down, but if there is a problem the camera is just swapped out for another (anything bigger than an “Indy” production would have the budget for several spares).

    Actually, watch the “making of” short for the “The Hobbit” as Cannon Cinematic DSLRs were used exclusively for filming to get 4K and 3D on a lower budget than with traditional cinematic cameras.

  • Eziz

    I’ve seen people putting packs of Ice on a RED camera. Not sure if it’s a good idea though.

  • Eugene Chok

    nikon uses will have a lot of burnt fingers?

  • crusaderky

    “With RAW video in particular, where the amount of data being captured is staggering”

    Am I the only one who sees the utter cluelessness behind this phrase?

    The sensor always captures RAW. When saving RAW, you’re not _capturing_ more data, you’re just _saving_ more as it’s not compressed on the fly into JPG or H264. If anything, capturing RAW might save you quite a bit of CPU heat.

  • Amy Jo

    What if my Nikon has already burned out. It won’t turn on anymore, I just get the warning message that the camera’s too hot and is turning itself off. I have had this camera for less than a year. My camera repair man said Nikons are notorious for burning out due to capturing video. Is there anything I can do, besides buying a new camera (since the repair is probably the same price as a new camera).