With its photography-related businesses struggling and no end in sight to its stock’s free fall, Kodak is turning to patent infringement lawsuits as a way to generate revenue. The company is currently in a patent dispute with Apple (iPhone) and RIM (Blackberry) over a patent it holds for previewing image on camera phones, and hopes to generate over $1 billion in royalty revenues if it comes out victorious. Previously Kodak had used this same patent to win nearly $1 billion from Samsung and LG.
Of the $7.2 billion in revenues Kodak generated in 2010, $838 million was from patent royalties. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a sustainable strategy for the company to stop being “Apple in reverse”.
Image credit: Fight Night Punch Test by djclear904
Canon might be rolling out a new Image Stabilized lens with a built-in teleconverter, but Tamron and Nikon seem to have image-stabilization/vibration-reduction tricks up their sleeve as well. Apparently in the early 2000s both Nikon and Tamron filed patents for teleconverters with image stabilization baked right in. Tamron’s was for a standard unit that sits between the lens and the camera body, while Nikon’s was for a unit that sits in front of the lens.
If computers can have fans, why can’t cameras? With recent Sony cameras running into unexpected limits due to the sensor overheating, Nikon may be looking to solve the problem with a good, old-fashioned fan. A recent patent filing by Nikon shows a mirrorless camera with a computer-style fan embedded into the circuit board.
Having figured out how to embed a projector into the body of a compact camera with the S1000pj, Nikon is now apparently looking to do the same with DSLR cameras. A recent patent filing by Nikon in Japan describes a DSLR camera that has a projector function. The text reads,
[...] when the photographing instrument is set as projector mode, the light which supported reproduced image information is projected on the screen of the photographing instrument exterior via the eyepiece of an electronic view finder, and two or more persons can see the reproduced image simultaneously projected on a screen.
Tech blogs are reacting to the fact that the projection may be through the viewfinder, concerned that photographers would have their eyeballs accidentally burned out if the projector were to be accidentally turned on. An easy fix for that problem would be to use a proximity sensor to disable the projector mode if a face is pressed against the camera… if this technology ever graduates from being a patent and enters the real world.
(via Nikon Rumors)
In the present day world of photography, “mainstream” digital cameras aren’t nearly as modular as desktop computers since components can’t easily be swapped in and out of the camera body. The future might look quite different, and Nikon is taking a step in that direction with a recent patent filing for interchangeable sensors on EVIL cameras. In addition to choosing a particular lens depending on the desired photo, photographers would be able to choose different sensors as well.
Olympus recently filed for a patent for this strange monocle-esque viewfinder system where the camera user dons a pair(?) of half-glasses. When the shutter is closed, the user is shown what’s on the LCD.
Seems like the kind of thing technology is moving towards, with augmented reality starting to become a big deal.
Now here’s a clever idea: Olympus has filed a patent in Japan that allows you to use your camera strap as a makeshift LCD glare shield, shielding your screen from direct sunlight.
(via Photo Rumors)
Olympus recently filed a patent in Japan for a novel lens feature that shakes the front element in order to remove droplets of water.
Filters would obviously render the shaking feature useless on a DSLR system, but for a smaller compact camera designed to be waterproof and rugged, this feature would probably come in handy.
The patent also seems to indicate that the shaking would occur during autofocusing, so the lens would be cleared of water immediately before the camera exposes a shot.
What are your thoughts on this potential future feature?
(via Photo Rumors)
Another Nikon patent discovered recently provides yet another sneak peek at their yet-to-be-announced mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera.
This one seems to be for some sort of system that protects the inside of the camera body from dust and foreign objects when the lens is removed. It does make sense though, and I wonder why DSLR bodies don’t already do this?
It would be great if the camera automatically closed some sort of protective barrier whenever it detected that the lens was being removed. If you needed to actually see the innards of the camera, you could expose it via some option inside the menus, similar to how the sensor is exposed on DSLRs. Thoughts?
Canon may have revealed its plans for the Wonder Camera yesterday, but Olympus also quietly released something of its own to marvel at.
According to a newly published Olympus patent, originally filed in 2004, a new camera may be in development that is designed to make consumer point-and-shoots even more intuitive for casual photographers.