Based on a recently published patent filing, Canon appears to be working on putting aperture rings on EF-mount lenses to allow the aperture to be smoothly controlled during video recording. The patent, filed by the company back in March and published late last week, talks of a “diaphragm driving unit” and shows a third ring on the lens in addition to the zoom and focus rings.
As many of you know, Canon is planning a “historic” announcement in Hollywood on November 3rd. Many people are guessing that an EF-mount camcorder will be announced, while others are hoping for a Canon 5D Mark III that’s even more geared towards filmmakers. This new patent is further proof that Canon is indeed planning big things for the filmmaking market.
(via Photography Bay)
Last week it came to light to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had filed a patent for having airbags built into cell phones to protect them if they’re ever accidentally dropped. Rather than having a NASA-style airbag that completely envelops the phone, micro air jets orient the device so that it lands on a tiny airbag that pops out of the bottom. Wouldn’t it be interesting if this kind of thing became common on digital cameras in the future? The idea is pretty farfetched, but some people I know would definitely benefit from camera airbags.
The Appcam is a new concept design for camera controls — and supposedly a patent — that aims to make handling DSLR and compact cameras more user friendly. Instead of having your camera settings hiding in different menus and changed using different controls (e.g. buttons, scroll wheels, dials), the Appcam turns them all into “apps” that sit conveniently on the LCD touchscreen. The apps/settings can be swapped in and out and reordered, and are adjusted using the physical scroll wheel next to it.
While this may definitely be a more user friendly interface for people who just got their first digital camera, it doesn’t seem like a good idea at all for seasoned DSLR users who already have all their controls where they need them.
Appcam (via Photo Rumors)
A compact camera probably isn’t the first thing someone would grab when looking to make a photo with an extremely shallow depth-of-field, since the small aperture and small sensor limit it in this regard. That might soon be different: a recently published patent application by Samsung shows that the company is looking into producing achieving shallow depth of fields with compact cameras by using a second lens to create a depth map for each photo.
You might soon be able to control Nikon DSLRs using only your emotions. A patent published recently shows that the company is looking into building biological detectors into its cameras, allowing the camera to automatically change settings and trigger the shutter based on things like heart rate and blood pressure. For example, at a sporting event, the sensors could be used to trigger the shutter when something significant happens and the photographer’s reflexes are too slow. The camera could also choose a faster shutter speed to reduce blurring if the user is nervous.
We’ve seen all kinds of ideas for keeping track of your camera’s lens cap when it’s not being used, including velcro, special mounts, fashionable pouches, and even a retractable cap, but Nikon has come up with the best idea yet: a lens cap that attaches to camera straps! A patent filed by the company in 2009 and published yesterday shows a lens cap that can easily clip onto a strap when not in use — a simple solution to a small problem that apparently many entrepreneurs have been interested in solving. Sorry, but Nikon wins this one.
Apple recently filed a patent having to do with baking infrared communication capabilities into the iPhone. Although there are certainly useful applications for the technology (e.g. a museum beaming information to the phone at different exhibitions), what’s troubling is that the feature may also allow the camera to be remotely disabled by those who wish to prevent photography.
[...] the transmitter could be located in an area where photography is prohibited and the infrared signal could include encoded data that represents a command to disable recording functions.
This example could easily apply to movie theatres trying to stop customers from filming a movie for illegal distribution or any kind of music concert to protect an artist’s image from being photographed or videoed illegally, as shown below. [#]
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a camera that could be disabled remotely by a third party…
(via Patently Apple via Engadget)
Things aren’t going very well for Sigma these days — just days after the world balked at the $9,700 price tag it’s attaching to the upcoming SD1 DSLR, Nikon is announcing that it’s suing Sigma for $150 million over the vibration reduction technology found in Sigma DSLR lenses. Furthermore, it’s demanding that Sigma put a halt to the manufacturing and sale of lenses that infringe on the VR patents, which might be a large number of OS (Optical Stabilization) lenses.
(via Nikon Rumors)
Image credit: Fighting Topis by Stuart Barr
On Nikon’s question and answer Facebook app, a guy named Andrew Yu offered the idea of replacing the shutter button with two touch sensors and received the above response from Nikon. It’s an interesting look at how Nikon, camera manufacturers, and big corporations in general usually respond to ideas and suggestions from the general public.
Did you know that Leica was actually the company that first invented autofocus? Between 1960 and 1973 the company patented a number of autofocus technologies, and then showed off the technology at photokina in 1976 and 1978. However, the head honchos of the company believed that their customers knew how to focus and preferred focusing themselves, so they decided to sell the patent rights to Minolta.
Late to Digital, Leica Slow to Refocus (via Foto Actualidad)
Image credit: Minolta Maxxum 7000-Mirror Detail by Capt Kodak