Canon has patented new versions of its Phase-Difference autofocus technology, which hints at electronic viewfinders in mirrorless cameras and translucent mirrors in DSLR cameras.
Back in July 2013, Canon introduced the first camera with Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus technology, called EOS 70D. This system improves AF performance in Live View mode when taking photos and videos. The system is based on Phase-Difference technology, which splits pixels into two photodiodes allowing them to grab more light and to focus faster.
It appears that the company is aiming to significantly improve the functionality power of this system, as it has just patented some new versions. It appears that the Phase-Difference AF technology will be used in mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders and in DSLRs with translucent mirrors.
Future Canon mirrorless camera could employ an electronic viewfinder
A lot of sources have said that the Canon EOS M3 will be released in two versions, one with an electronic viewfinder and another one without that. However, this model has been announced and it does not have an EVF.
The Japan-based company may change this aspect in the future, as it has patented a new autofocus technology which will have implications in a Canon mirrorless camera with an integrated electronic viewfinder.
According to Egami, Canon is working on a Phase-Different AF technology that will allow MILCs to autofocus a lot faster when photographers use the EVF.
Unfortunately, there are few details available about how the company will implement this system. However, the good thing is that it finally signals the company’s intention to launch a Canon mirrorless camera with a built-in EVF.
Canon could join Sony in making DSLRs with translucent mirrors
The patent application does not stop here because it also reveals the fact that Canon is working on DSLR cameras with semi-transparent mirrors.
Sony’s A-mount cameras, such as the A99, feature translucent mirrors. Some of the light that hits the mirror is actually capable of going through and reaching the image sensor, while the rest of the light is reflected towards the Phase-Detection AF sensor.
This technology allows the camera to provide full-time Phase-Detection AF even when using a viewfinder. However, the viewfinder must be electronic, such as the one used in Sony A-mount cameras.
The PlayStation maker has been rumored to stop making DSLRs with semi-transparent mirrors, as image sensors are now powerful enough to support built-in Phase-Detection AF.
It remains to be seen whether or not Canon will ever release a DSLR with a translucent mirror. Either way, take this information with a pinch of salt and stay tuned!