Canon applies for an optical viewfinder patent for mirrorless cameras
I really have no clue on how this would work in the real world, however Canon was looking at an adapter for mirrorless cameras that would provide an optical viewfinder with a mirrorless camera.
This adapter would provide the half mirror assembly that would split the optical path between the image sensor and the viewfinder, and allow for simutaneous use of the image sensor and that of the optical viewfinder.
The image sensor would be responsible for AF for one embodiment, the other embodiment has a seperate phase detect AF sensor.
This patent application while surprising gets around the problem domain of people that just love the optical viewfinder and don't like an EVF. Yes, mirrorless fans, there are people like that ;)
This would also expand on having seperate phase detect AF sensor for a mirrorless camera (such as what the Sony smart adapter does for the E mount to A mount).
This patent is loose on actual hard assembly and manufacturing details, which strikes me as being an exploritory or defensive patent and not something Canon is actively looking at. However, it could be the start of what they are planning on doing with a full frame mirrorless camera body.
Japan Patent Application 2018-005126
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