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Canon patenting touchscreen DSLR

updated 04:00 pm EST, Thu December 3, 2009

Patent would simplify Canon pro cameras

Future Canon DSLRs could be some of the first to switch to touchscreens for much of their input, a newly unearthed patent filing shows. The application shows an interchangeable lens camera that would use both a touchscreen and an optical viewfinder but which would implement a unique system to avoid accidental input on the touch display immediately below. By setting a determining which eye would use the viewfinder, the system could partly disable the touchscreen to prevent accidental input while still maintaining some level of control.

The patent spotted by Photography Bay also describes some of how the touchscreen interface in question would work. Photographers would always have quick access to the aperture and shutter speed through swiping gestures; regular taps would adjust other settings like the exposure, ISO levels, metering and other tasks that normally require a directional pad or a scroll wheel. One image in the patent shows a camera back with these controls absent and hints Canon may completely scrap those particular controls, although it still has physical buttons and dials for quick access to common tasks.

As a filing, there is no guarantee the patent will be granted or implemented, Canon nonetheless began producing its first touchscreen PowerShots this summer and saw its DSLR patent published in October, implying that any camera of that class won't appear until next year at the earliest.

by MacNN Staff



  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    patents, erg

    So, Canon wants to patent the same basic functionality as the existing Nikon Coolpix S60?

  1. Heavydevelopment

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Although Ashton Kutcher

    ....would be involved with Canon's camera, and I think it's safe to say that this is a good thing for everyone.

  1. lolcat789

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'll keep my buttons

    Thank you very much.

  1. bluejammm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Call it the Smudgescreen

    Ashton Kutcher works for Nikon.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gimmick wars

    Seriously? Touchscreen for shutter, aperture, exposure time, ISO, etc? Any SLR user worth their salt wants to be able to control all of this stuff while looking through the viewfinder. That means it's all manual buttons. Without tactile feedback, this makes an SLR for people who still use "scene modes."

    Canon is smarter than that. My guess is they want the patent before Nikon starts using it. Maybe they'll just use the interface for reviewing and navigating through photos. That's the ONLY real use this could have.

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