Sony Patent Shows a Camera Sensor and LCD Screen That Rotate Together


Want to shoot portrait-orientation photographs while holding your camera in landscape mode? Sony appears to be tinkering with a way to do just that.

A patent published by the company at the beginning of this month describes a camera that has a sensor that can rotate independently of the camera. The patent also describes a system in which the LCD screen on the back of the camera can rotate in an identical manner, and can control the orientation of the sensor within.

Three camera illustrations showing the sensor in different orientations (0, 45, and 90 degrees)

Three camera illustrations showing the sensor in different orientations (0, 45, and 90 degrees)

If this technology ever gets implemented in a real world camera, changing the orientation of shots won’t require any rotating of your camera itself. Simply rotate the LCD screen to the angle you’d like, and the resulting photograph will take on that orientation. Need to snap someone’s portrait with a vertical orientation? Just grab your LCD with your left hand and turn it 90-degrees (see in the illustration at top).

Another illustration showing the mechanical guts of this feature

Another illustration showing the mechanical guts of this feature

The usefulness of a rotating sensor goes beyond interchangeable lens cameras — it’d be useful for smartphones as well. Being able to shoot or film in landscape mode while holding the phone upright would definitely be one step toward addressing Vertical Video Syndrome.

(via Egami via Photo Rumors)

  • Alex Minkin

    more moving parts is more parts to break. not so much effort to turn the camera 90 degrees to the side.

  • Fuzztographer

    And not to mention, not patent-worthy. Combining two existing technologies in a way that any qualified engineer could come up with to solve a proposed problem is not revolutionary.

  • radiancedeluxe

    I typically don’t spend much time thinking about camera patents, but that’s a MIGHTY big sensor for emount. but who knows the scale this is drawn to.

  • uaio

    Too complicated. I see no future for this thing. Sensor and LCD technology is cheap nowadays. The future is square sensors as well as LCD’s and EVF’s. No moving parts. Crop now or later in post. Or re-decide.

  • kassim

    Rotating sensor is good for auto leveling. In fact electronic stabilization can certainly replace physical stabilization without losing much picture quality, except for the rotational movement.

  • Carsten Schlipf

    Will be interesting how they are going to rotate the lens hood as well. In the illustrations the lens mount does not rotate.

  • Rabi Abonour

    I’m going to say what I say every time a post like this goes up on a blog:
    Tech companies patent every crazy idea their R&D teams can image just enough to complete the patent form. Just because something is patented doesn’t mean the company has even the slightest intention of developing it further, much less bringing it to market. As such, patent filings are not news.

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