Canon is cooking up some sweet viewfinder tech in their R&D labs!
One of the biggest benefits of a mirrorless system, in my opinion, is the EVF, especially these days with as good as they have gotten. However, there are still just times and situations where an OVF is an ideal shooting scenario. Unfortunately, there aren’t any cameras out there right now that offer this functionality with TTL viewing. Fujifilm’s X-Pro and X100 series camera have hybrid EVFs but the OVF is not TTL.
That may soon change for Canon DSLR cameras in the next generation, or at least Canon is playing with the idea, as a recently filed patent shows.The idea behind a hybrid viewfinder is that it eliminates a clear advantage mirrorless cameras have over DSLRs in terms of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) viewing the scene. In a DSLR you are looking through the lens at the scene as it is. You don’t get the benefit of seeing exposure or getting relevant shooting information that you may want or need. In a mirrorless camera utilizing an EVF, you get to see the scene exactly as your camera’s sensor is picking it up with the settings you have applied.
This allows you to make quick exposure and settings adjustments on the fly, whereas on a DSLR you may not notice something unless you actually take the time to open an image and preview it or shoot with live view on the rear LCD.
This new Canon patent (first reported by The Digital Picture) is at least the second filed by the company in the last few years and depicts a design by which the user of the DSLR could switch between an OVF and an EVF. So imagine the 5D Mark V with a special toggle button or switch that flips the mirror up and drops an EVF over the OVF effectively giving you the best of both worlds. Obviously it’s not as simple as I made it out to be, which is likely largely why we have not seen such technology just yet.
It would be very interesting to see if Canon makes use of this technology in its next generation of DSLR cameras; or if the technology falls by the wayside as Canon heats up its development of mirrorless technology.
Finally, since this is a patent and not an official announcement, it is important to remember that this means nothing. Canon could totally scrap any plans it has to use this if it even has plans to use it. Companies often patent designs regardless of intent to actually use it. It’s simply to keep the rights to something and not let someone else have it.
So, don’t go selling your Canon DSLRs just yet. But that said, it looks like some interesting tech could be coming down the pipe from Canon.