New patents from Fuji, Canon and Hoya

FujiFilm filed a patent in Japan for a three layer image sensor with improved color reproduction and high sensitivity. In a recent Q&A session FujiFilm acknowledged that the sensor in the X100 is their own creation. The latest DxOMark test showed that the Fuji X100 sensor outperforms most of the DSLR cameras on the market today: Pentax K7, K-x and K-r, Nikon D300S, D3100, D5000, Sony Alpha 290, 390, 450, 550, SLT Alpha 33, Canon EOS 1100D, 600D, 60D, 7D, 1D Mark III (thanks Dan).

Takeshi Higuchi, board member of Fujifilm Holdings recently said:

"Digital camera resolution has reached saturation and the next innovation will be on sensors with CMOS technology, which brings advanced imaging features to digital cameras."

FujiFilm is expected to launch 40 new camera models this year, 27 of them will be launched by May, 2011.

Toshiba also filed their own patent for a three-layered image sensor:

The previously covered Canon lens adapter patent is now available on USPTO with a better description in English:

"In response to the desire to decrease the size and weight of digital single reflex lens cameras, in recent years a new type of single lens reflex camera that differs from the conventional single lens reflex camera has been proposed. The new type of single lens reflex camera is not provided with a quick return mirror for guiding the imaging light flux to a viewfinder, and the flange back is shorter than that of a conventional camera. The new type of interchangeable lenses having a short flange back that is compatible with this new type of camera has been proposed. However, these new type of interchangeable lenses cannot easily handle a variety of photographic conditions because there are few models. Therefore, there are cases in which it is desirable to use in the new type of camera the conventional type of interchangeable lenses that have already been introduced to the market and for which there are ample models and quantities. Thus, a conversion adapter for connecting the conventional type of interchangeable lenses with the new type of camera body is necessary. The functions required of this conversion adapter generally include matching the differing mounting profiles of the lenses and the camera body, matching the differing flange backs of the lenses and the camera body, and not hindering the communication system between the lenses and the camera body."

The sentence "The new type of single lens reflex camera is not provided with a quick return mirror" indicates that Canon may be bringing out a pellicle mirror camera with a new mount. There were several hints in the past that Canon is working on a new small interchangeable camera solution.

Canon also filed a patent for a two-row parallel output pixel layout.

US patent publication 2009/0245774 (now patent US7903960) from Hoya is for corrections for slight inclinations from vertical/horizontal when taking a picture by using the sensor-shift stabilization hardware to rotate the sensor to correct orientation.

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