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Some new Canon USPO Patent Applications
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Some new Canon USPO Patent Applications

If you’re bored and love reading patents, take a peak at the list below.

Solid state image sensor device and camera with asymmetric microlenses

This patent deals with light loss at the periphery of sensors. Most notably, this is a problem with short registration distance cameras (such as the EOS-M) and non-BSI sensors.
Unlike some of the other patents in this area in the past, this one specifically mentions dual pixel sensor array as an embodiment example in the patent and also deals with potential cross talk from light entering the microlens and being at such an angle that it goes to the neighboring pixel (adding false color).

I'm wondering if the EOS-M5 and 6 had something of the sort; or will in the future, as the color casting from the M3 to the M5/6 is dramatically improved to be an complete non-issue.  However to date, canon hasn't stated anything specific about the EOS-M sensors.

Image Pickup Element for Detecting saturation and outputting the results of the saturation detection in association with pixel signal... 

This one is a pretty sensor geeky patent and deals with what happens when one of the A or B parts of a dual pixel sensor's pixel becomes saturated.  Normally, A+B is the actual pixel value (the two half's of a pixel) that the sensor outputs, however if A or B is saturated, than A+B isn't the actual value at all and some of the saturated amount leaks into the other half.  THis patent deals with this condition and improves the linearity of the sensor results when this occurs.

Image capture apparatus and method of controlling the same.. 

This patent is a dual pixel optimization.  It looks at prior AF operation and the amount of defocus and then determines if the calculation should use both the historical value and the current value to calculate the final defocus amount.  What canon is attempting to do is improve the low light focusing capablity of dual pixel sensors in this patent.  By using more than one sample of defocus information on a given pixel, a more accurate defocus amount can be calculated.

Solid-State image sensor and camera where the plurality of pixels form a pixel group under a single microlens

This patent is interesting for a few reasons. From my knowledge anyways, Canon hasn't explored much in the way of back side illuminated sensors (BSI), and this patent shows clearly a back side illuminated sensor array and deals with the design of a BSI sensor.

Expanding on that, the patent goes into quad pixel sensors (up from dual pixel sensors) with 4 pixels under each microlens (most likely because BSI offers greater efficiency per pixel in a sensor, this allows canon to expand dual pixel to quad (AF sensitivity in up/down and left/right orientation).

It also shows an embodiment of 5 and 6 pixel arrays under the microlens offering both X and Y orientation of AF sensitivity and also diagonal.

Focus Detection Apparatus and Control method for focus detection apparatus

Even with such a boring patent title this one has me excited.  This is a fully automated AF calibration for canon DSLR's.  Yes, please can we have this now?  Like fo-cal and other tools, this would calibrate and show the variation of all AF sensor points, and not make just one adjustment for the camera and lens combination.

Next Article Canon stacked sensor patent
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How to view Japan Patent applications.

Unfortunately, there's no direct way of linking to the patent application (sad!) however, this is the easiest process to view a japan patent or application.

  1. Go to the Japan Patent Office search page.
  2. If it's a patent application (they are usually in the format of Year-Number ie: 2017-011300) then type the patent application number into the second field down from the top where it says publication of patent application. 
  3. Click on search.
  4. Then click on the patent application number link, and there's the patent application!

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