Canon patents: Involving active cooling equipment, Built-in ND filter and SPAD sensor technology

According to sources from NOTEBOOKCHECK, Canon has recently filed several intriguing patent applications, among which are designs for an active cooling handle, an integrated neutral-density (ND) filter, and a sensor system combining SPAD and CMOS technologies. The disclosed patent details are tantalizingly specific, suggesting a degree of feasibility. While a company’s patent submissions do not guarantee the eventual incorporation of these technologies into future products, they at least shed light on Canon’s current technological explorations in the imaging domain.

Two of these patents pertain to an active cooling handle, most likely designed to extend the duration of continuous video recording on cameras. One such patent delineates a handle equipped with its own fan, utilizing forced-air cooling for the camera’s body, while the other describes an internal design adept at channeling air, hinting at a handle tailored for compatibility with specific camera bodies. Yet, Canon isn’t the first to embark on this journey of active cooling for cameras. The Fuji X-H2S, for instance, boasts a camera backplate with active cooling, and the Panasonic LUMIX S5M2 has ingeniously integrated a fan within the camera chassis.

Another suite of patents offers a meticulous account of the mechanical intricacies of embedding ND filters into various camera body sizes, encompassing strategies to fend off dust from the CMOS and the mechanical design of multi-layered ND filters. Positioned at the forefront of a lens, ND filters play a pivotal role in attenuating light, granting photographers the flexibility to employ larger apertures and slower shutter speeds. An inbuilt ND filter streamlines user interaction, enhancing the overall photographic experience.

Yet another series of patents outlines a fusion of CMOS and SPAD (Single-Photon Avalanche Diode) sensors. The latter, renowned for its exemplary low-light prowess, was previously featured in Canon’s MS-500 security camera. However, SPAD sensors falter under intense light conditions. Hence, the patent details a novel technology where the camera, depending on specific parameters, toggles between sensors. It also delves into an approach wherein both sensors capture the same scene and subsequently meld their outputs into a singular image. Intriguingly, Canon likens this conceptualization to the dual-camera setup often seen in contemporary smartphones.