Patents are always interesting to look at from a purely speculative angle, due to the hit or miss nature of if they actually make it to market or not. It gives you a look into the R&D of our favorite companies and what they are thinking the future of their business could be.

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If Canon’s latest patent is any indication, the DSLR king doesn’t feel that mirrors are going any where any time soon. A new patent, discovered by Egami, reveals a new multi-layered auto-focus sensor. Think of it like Sigma’s Foveon Technology, only instead of each layer picking up different colors, each layer is monitoring a different aspect of the scene you are focusing in.

The idea is pretty interesting, if you ask me. I could be wrong, but since this is a dedicated AF sensor, it would seem that this is technology meant for use in a DSLR, which utilizes a dedicated AF sensor (unlike mirrorless systems where the AF must be done on the imaging sensor as well).

Canon-EOS-6D-Sensor

Below you can read the machine translated patent details. It sounds like it could be a pretty accurate system.

Patent Publication No. 2015-37217

  • Published 2015.2.23
  • Filing date 2013.8.12

Canon patent

  • AF sensor
  • In the depth direction, I comprises a first layer, the second layer, the photoelectric conversion portion of the third layer
  • The second layer is for monitoring, detecting the amount of light that is received in real-time, to control the accumulation time
  • The third layer in a bright environment, the dark environment so that the use of the first layer, sensitivity can be switched
  • Furthermore, in a dark environment is used by adding the first and third layers

What are your thoughts on this interesting Canon Patent? Do you see this making it into a future DSLR? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]