Canon is developing a lens-style camera to compete against Sony’s QX-series cameras that can be mounted on smartphones and tablets, as the company has been caught patenting this type of product in Japan.
The rumor mill unleashed a crazy idea in the first half of 2013, consisting of some kind of a Sony camera that can be attached on mobile devices. Few things were leaked on the web back then, but Sony actually introduced two of these products in September 2013.
Photographers were impressed by the company’s attempt to revolutionize the mobile market and commended the PlayStation maker for its concept. The QX-series cameras still play a role in its segment and there is even a model with support for the E-mount interchangeable lens system.
Kodak has also entered this niche market, but Sony’s main rivals, Canon and Nikon, have not. However, things might change in the future because Canon has patented its own version of a lens-style camera.
Canon lens-style camera with 3D support shows up in leaked patent
Sony has a strong line-up in this segment, which includes the QX1 mirrorless camera and the QX10, QX30, and QX100 compact shooters. As the market for such products is rather limited, people will be wondering about Canon’s plans to steal the spotlight from its rival.
The secret consists of turning a smartphone into a 3D camera. The EOS maker has come up with a way to make the lens-style camera to work in combination with the smartphone’s image sensor. The two units will capture photos at the same time and they will output a 3D image.
The Canon lens-style camera will function as a regular shooter, too. The focal length of the lens is unknown, but it will definitely be a zoom unit. Unfortunately, the megapixel count and size of the sensor are also not mentioned.
Canon filed the patent on June 26, 2016, while the application has been published on January 18, 2016. As usual, do not hold your breath over an official launch in the near future.
It will be quite hard to achieve such feat. The two cameras (lens-style one and the smartphone’s unit) are not the same, so we are curious to find out how the Japanese manufacturer will manage to capture a 3D shot this way. There is a strong chance that the 3D mode will not be available at all focal lengths.
Nevertheless, if the Canon lens-style camera becomes a reality, then it will definitely be something different than what is available on the market. Check out the patent details at Egami and let us know what do you think about it!