Canon and Fujifilm Patents Look to Up the Ante on Viewfinder Technology

Fuji's patent renderings

Fuji’s patent renderings

As photography tech continues to improve, camera manufacturers are constantly looking for the next headline-worthy advance they can implement. And for Fuji and Canon, that means improving your viewfinder to integrate features like optical zoom and better coverage.

Both companies recently filed patents that involve putting more intricate optics in their viewfinders. FujiFilm’s patent shows off the potential for an optical-zoom viewfinder, while Canon’s shows off a 1.03x magnified APS-C viewfinder. Here’s a quick rundown of the two.

Canon’s patent seems to be a bit more straightforward, showing off an APS-C viewfinder design which some sites believe will find its way into the 7D successor. By including a number of optical elements within the viewfinder system, future cameras will more accurately frame the image as reflected through the mirror, giving a more accurate representation of what it is you’re composing.


Canon’s patent renderings.

Fuji’s patent is a bit more ambitious, showing off a unique zoom-capable viewfinder. According to the patent, the viewfinder would be able to optically zoom in synchronization with the varying focal length of a zoom lens. Fuji has given the technology a much more marketable name, calling it a “real-image zoom viewfinder.”

Each patent shows off an interesting approach to upcoming viewfinder designs. And while patents are frequently relegated to the “never gonna happen” pile, both of these seem like something we could see very soon indeed.

If you’d like to read more information of each patent, you can do so by clicking here or here for Canon or Fuji, respectively.

(via Photography Bay and Canon Rumors)

  • jon

    Didn’t they have something similar to this in the X10?

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    The only thing that seems of note is an optical viewfinder on what looks to be a point and shoot. The weird thing is, that optical viewfinder also looks like it is sending an image from one side of the camera to the other. Which looks like a great way to cause a disconnect between the image being taken and the image you are seeing.

    Canon’s patent would be a nice addition if it allowed all of their line of cameras to have full coverage viewfinders.

  • Polisonico

    Of course, Fuji releases it in december and Canon waits until 2022…

  • sdancer

    I am not sure if that’s really a Big Thing anymore. With EVF being what Fuji puts into their X-T1, optical viewfinders may very well be on their way out since they cannot possibly offer the wide variety of functionality that their electronic usurpers have acquired.

    Just about the only thing that optical viewfinders, especially on formats smaller than full-frame, have going for them is very low latency, maybe resolution (but EVFs are getting there fast) and in the case of DSLRs reduced shutter lag. Beyond that, they’re falling severely behind when it comes to things like very low-light capability or even just putting up decent brightness over a useful area, focusing tools (when was the last time you could put a split-screen matte into your DSLR without severely harming your warranty, and there’s no such thing like focus peaking in OVFs either), and build size.

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