It's not uncommon for a company to patent technologies that might be incorporated into products at some point, though the company might not have any plans to use it in the immediate future. Such a business move appears to be the case with a recent Canon patent, which details the use of variable lens elements in combination with traditional glass elements. Read more
Stories tagged with patent
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It seems that Olympus might be planning to jump on the wearable camera bandwagon with a device that looks similar to Google's 'Glass'. A newly published Oly patent (JP2013/075623) describes a wearable device that comes with either one or two transparent screens in front of the wearer's eye. Click through for more information on connect.dpreview.com.
Sony has patented the design of a series of bright zoom lenses, including a roughly F1.8-2.8 lens that would give 26-100mm equivalent coverage on a 1"-type sensor. The designs suggest the company intends to further develop its RX range of compacts. Such a lens would allow for a camera that made better use of its comparatively large sensor, even at the long end of the zoom. Learn more
Earlier this week, Japanese patent blog Egami reported that Olympus has patented a technology that would allow the photographer to selectively adjust exposure of different scene areas during an exposure. This might allow for a more balanced exposure of scenes where cameras might normally struggle. Click through for an explanation of what we think the patent might mean for photographers.
The Tokyo District Court has ruled in favor of Nikon in a patent infringement case brought against Sigma. The lawsuit, filed in 2011 and settled last month alleged that six of Sigma's interchangeable lenses infringed on certain Nikon patents relating to VR (vibration reduction) technology. Click through for more details.
Fujifilm has filed a patent for an image sensor that uses a novel layout, with green and clear rectangular pixels which are larger in area than their neighboring blue and red pixels. The idea behind it is apparently to reduce luminance noise at the expense of color noise, on the grounds that the human eye is less sensitive to the latter. Learn more
It's an open secret that many compact cameras are produced by OEMs - companies that produce large numbers of products that are then sold under other brand names. There are also consumer-grade zooms from big name manufacturers that look much alike (we know for a fact that third-party makers commonly create lenses for the bigger brands). But we were still surprised to read about Sigma's latest patent for a 75mm F1.8 prime lens...
Another interesting patent has been discovered by Japanese blogger Egami, which shows a new method devised by Canon to adjust the shape of meniscus lens that seems different from the more straightforward method used by competitors. Canon's method uses the same 'electrowetting' principle as existing designs but does so to create a series of pumps, allowing faster and more precise control over the resultant lens.
Canon has patented a color-sensitive multi-layered sensor design, showing the company is still pursuing the technology. Like Sigma's Foveon chips, the multi-layered design allows each of the sensor's pixels to capture color information without the need for colored filters. The patent, discovered by the Japanese Engineering Accomplishment blog, suggests a system to promote resonance within the sensor, in an attempt to make the lower layers of the sensor more sensitive. (from Egami blog)
A patent filed by Apple in 2011 and discovered this week by appleinsider.com seems to hint at a 'social camera flash' system, allowing multiple iOS devices to be connected and used as secondary strobes for impromptu flash setups. The patent is filed as an 'illumination system' and describes 'initiating a master-slave relationship between the image capture device and at least one secondary device'. Click through for more details.
Nikon has filed a patent covering the idea of a password-based security system for lenses. The patent lists the high value of lenses as a reason for the innovation - the camera would refuse to shoot with a lens unless the correct password was entered. This is an attempt by the the company to prevent resale of stolen gear. (via Nikon Rumors)
Sensor maker Aptina has announced it has signed a patent cross-license agreement with Sony, that provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio. This agreement gives two prominent sensor makers access to some of each other's technologies for future development of cameras and other imaging products.
A patent filed by Nikon in Japan appears to revive the long-held dream of adding a digital sensor to an existing film SLR. The Japanese Engineering Accomplishment blog found the recently published patent that shows a mechanism for mounting and adjusting the position of a digital sensor on a rear door that could be used to replace the conventional film door. However, the patent only covers the mounting of the sensor relative to the film guides - it doesn't address any of the hurdles that have stood in the way of anyone realizing this long-discussed idea. (via PetaPixel)
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