Canon has patented an optional optical image stabilization unit, which can be added into lenses without altering their focal length or aperture settings.
Beside a camera body and a lens, photographers can use accessories during a photo shoot. Some of these accessories can be attached directly onto the camera or onto the lens. The list includes flash units, external viewfinders, converters, and filters among others.
It seems like Canon is working on a different type of accessory, one which has the potential of revolutionizing the digital imaging industry. It consists of an optional image stabilization unit, which can be added into a lens.
Optional Canon image stabilization patent shows up in Japan
Photographers often bemoan the lack of optical image stabilization into their lenses. As a result, companies are making IS units, albeit they are bigger, heavier, and more expensive. This means that lenses without built-in IS still have a place on the market.
There are numerous combinations available on the market, so a lot of professionals are calling for digital imaging makers to find a compromise. Some photographers are not even using the IS system, while others never use it. In addition, there are photographers who do not use the IS system often, but they do need it from time to time.
The solution may come from Canon. The company seems to be planning to take the image stabilization system out of its lenses, a solution which could reduce the size, weight, and price of a lens. As for the photographers who cannot shoot without IS technology, Canon is working on an external image stabilization unit, which could be added into a lens.
This information is coming from a patent leaked in Japan. It is demoed on a 400mm f/2.8 lens and it shows that users can add IS to their lens without modifying its focal length or its aperture value.
Canon’s patent shows that the IS system must be added into the lens somehow
For the time being, the patent details are a bit unclear. Although the idea could revolutionize the digital imaging market, there are some unknown details about the implementation.
The patent application does not say with accuracy where and how the IS system will be added to the lens. It is unclear whether users will have to put it inside the lens, which will mean that it will be compatible only with some future lenses, or it will be mounted between the camera and the lens, similarly to how photographers mount converters.
The patent for the optional Canon image stabilization unit is hinting at the fact that the IS system will have to be inserted into the lens. However, we should not jump to conclusions for now, so stick around for further information.