Nikon Patents a Ring Flash for Compact Cameras that Uses the Built-In Flash

We’ve seen ring flash units that redirect light from a DSLR’s pop-up camera and a hot shoe-mounted flash, but never from a compact camera’s built-in flash. Based on a patent filing published earlier this month and uncovered by Egami, that’s what Nikon appears to be in the process of building.

The patent shows a simple and creative ring flash attachment for compact cameras. It’s a camera accessory that’s designed specifically for a single camera model, and is mounted around the fixed lens and over the built-in flash.

The user first attaches the main body of the ring flash using the special mount on the camera body. Once this is fastened securely, the little section that covers the built-in flash is swiveled into place, with rubber helping to tightly cover the window so that the light emitted through doesn’t leak. When the camera’s flash fires, the light is redirected through the attachment using fiber optics and out the front of the ring.

Similar accessories for DSLRs: The DIY Ring Flash Kit by DIY Lighting Kits (left) and the O-Flash F189 (right)

Photographers probably aren’t using Nikon’s high end point and shoots for things like macro and portrait photography, so we’re not sure how in-demand this kind of accessory will be. If it’s priced in a friendly manner, however, it could be a fun tool for branching out in one’s lighting knowledge.