Another week, another Canon patent. This time, the Japanese camera company has filed patents describing a camera grip that incorporates a fan to deliver active cooling to EOS R-series cameras.
The patent 2023-127160 shows a camera design that includes a duct at the bottom that allows air moved by a fan to get inside the camera and cool down the sensor and related electronics.
The other patent, 2023-127217, shows the actual cooling device design that could utilize this inlet and actively cool the camera. This patent is very interesting because it shows an external battery grip with an integrated fan. This fan can then cool the attached camera by pushing air up through the duct outlined in the other patent.
This is a very clever approach to cooling that solves multiple issues simultaneously. This approach does not require the camera to be excessively large or find space to incorporate active cooling. Instead, the only substantive difference in the camera design is that it has a slot to allow air in. If this slot could be covered when the grip is not in use, the camera may not even sacrifice any weather resistance.
An increased camera body size is one issue that is generally avoided by these related patents. The second issue that it addresses is actively cooling down a camera. This is something that all camera manufacturers must contend with, especially as image sensors become increasingly powerful.
The Canon EOS R5C, Canon’s “true hybrid” full-frame mirrorless camera deals with this through active cooling. However, the active cooling system design requires that the R5C be a really thick, beefy camera.
It could be argued that many users would prefer the camera to be taller with an optional active cooling grip rather than thicker with a permanently fixed cooling solution.
Canon has developed many interesting concepts for cooling its cameras over the years. Although, like so many patents, many of them have yet to make their way into a real-world product.
In 2019, Canon filed a patent for a detachable fan that users could put on a camera’s viewfinder. Last year, Canon filed a patent for a sophisticated liquid cooling solution that utilized a ferrous liquid and magnets. Canon has even patented an EF to RF lens adapter that includes a fan, which is a rather clever way to efficiently get cooler air directly onto an image sensor.
For unknown reasons, these products have yet to make it to market. However, a DIY enthusiast built a liquid-cooled Canon EOS R5 of his own. The “hack” worked exceptionally well and enabled its creator, Matthew Perks of DIY Perks, to record significantly longer 8K video clips.
When Perks built his water-cooled R5 in 2020, he proposed that Canon could have designed the camera to include an external active cooling attachment that users could put on the bottom of their camera. Well, Matthew, if Canon’s latest patents are any indication, that design may very well be in development.
Image credits: Featured image includes a graphic overlay licensed via Depositphotos. Patent images via J-PlatPat.