updated 07:40 am EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
Method to detect perfect shot at apex of camera throw
Nikon has received a patent for a way to protect a device being used in "camera tossing." The Japanese patent details how a camera could detect the highest point in its trajectory in order to take a photograph, as well as to brace itself for impact as it falls back down by retracting and covering the lens.
At present, photographers need to set the shot on a timer, then time the throw of the camera so it would take the shot at the apex of the camera's trajectory. By using an accelerometer, the camera takes away the guesswork, lowering the potential number of times that the camera would need to be thrown in order to get a decent result.
By including the process of protecting the camera as part of its fall, the amount of possible damage is lessened for compact cameras, according to Nikon Rumors. Digital SLRs, though having exposed lens barrels, could still receive some protection, such as locking the mirror down to protect the sensor, and retracting parts of the lens barrel extended by zooming and focussing.
Despite the patent, it is unlikely for Nikon to place the entire idea of the patent as a marketable feature in its future releases. Though detecting a fall and automatically bracing for impact would help in some respects, detecting the perfect time to take a photograph in "camera tossing" would potentially open the door to increased warranty repairs and lawsuits from camera owners.