Sony Compact Design Hides Lens Behind Foldable Grip

Sony has been gaining ground on Canon and Nikon lately by focusing on innovation, creating new technologies and entering the mirrorless market early while the two mega-corps have mostly been content with playing it safe with their popular products. Sony recently filed an interesting patent in Japan that shows some of this creative thinking at work. It’s a design for a compact camera in which the panel that hides the lens on the front of the camera turns into a camera grip when the lens is exposed!

In fact, there are quite a few variations of the design shown in the patent:

Variations with different lens placements:

This novel design helps the camera to stay in a flat, compact form when not in use, but gains ergonomics when “expanded”. What do you think of this foldable grip design?