Canon Autofocus Patent

Canon came up with a new patent for a faster live autofocus.

New Shooting Modes

If the camera design in this new patent application ever comes to fruition, we will get 3 shooting modes out of it:

1. Standard Viewfinder Mode: In this mode the main mirror will be in its normal position, but light will pass through it to a sub-mirror, which will in turn reflect down to the phase-difference AF sensor.

2. Fast AF Live View Mode (shown in the top image): The smaller sub-mirror will move out of the way and the main mirror will rotate to a different angle to take advantage of its translucent properties, which will allow light to pass through to the image sensor, while at the same time reflecting a portion of the light to the phase-difference AF sensor.  This is what we all want – fast, accurate autofocus during Live View.

3. Full Live View Mode:  Both mirrors are rotated/retracted out of the sensor path to allow full exposure of the sensor while observing Live View.  This will likely come into play when shooting video or when zooming in during macro or still life shooting for critical manual focus.

Release date: unknown

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1 Response to “Canon Autofocus Patent”


  1. 1 Photographer / Videographer February 12, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    It’s clear that Canon is developing a faster AF system for LiveView (they already stated that months ago at Photokina) as well as improving Movie mode, because they know that those features will have Huge future and demand

    LiveView has enormous potential.
    Sometimes is impossible to use the viewfinder, or just much easier to use LiveView.
    Also the information displayed in LiveView can be a lot more than in the Viewfinder.

    Each way to frame and shoot has its own advantages, so they both MUST be available considering the customers have a very wide range of different needs / tasks / jobs

    Thinking that a feature “should not” be included in a DSLR just because “it does not belong to the DSLR world” or one doesn’t use it, it’s a mistake due to having somewhat narrow perspective of other people’s needs, the trends of technology, the demand and the companies’ business.

    This improvement indeed will help a lot the Movie/Video mode in DSLRs, wich is also going to be improved and implemented in future DSLRs, despite some people like it or not.
    (if you don’t like, just don’t use the feature. It’s that simple. And if you don’t want to pay “more”, don’t worry, it won’t make much difference to today’s DSLRs, so the “extra” price won’t show up)

    LOT OF CUSTOMERS, both Amateurs and Professionals (Photographers and Videographers) can get lot of advantages of such implementations, wich will offer a level of quality and features that are not still available under several thousands dollars (and some are even inexistant yet)

    So, GREAT NEWS that Canon is really working on it.
    Hope that Nikon and other companies do the same.
    The more competition, the more chances to get faster and better improvements.

    P.S.: For Full Frame camera bodies, they should make them bit bigger to allow this system get inside.

    Otherwise it would be Terrible (and Ridiculous) to have Faster LiveView AF in xxD (crop sensor) than in xD (FF sensor) DSLRs !!


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