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Canon Patents Hybrid Viewfinder that Can Switch from Optical to Electronic



Canon just published an interesting patent that combines the benefits of both an optical and electronic viewfinder to help your camera auto focus like a champ.

The patent was actually filed over a year and a half ago, in March of 2015, but it was finally published in September of 2016. According to a Canon Rumors user translation, it describes a hybrid viewfinder that would switch automatically from optical to electronic as soon as a moving subject you’re trying to track moves out of the standard AF sensor’s range.

This system would give you a “best of both worlds” scenario: the speed of a dedicated AF sensor in the middle of the frame, combined with the ability track a subject right out to the edge of the frame by engaging on-sensor AF points.

This patent illustration actually does a decent job showing this in action:


This switch would have to be seamless—locking the mirror up mid-burst, among other things—and we’re not entirely sure how Canon will achieve this, but it’s a fascinating technical idea all the same. Given the age of the patent, it’s possible we’ll see this tech sooner rather than later; then again, as with all patents, it’s also possible we never see it at all.

Fingers crossed.

(via Canon Watch)