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Author Topic: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories  (Read 3556 times)

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Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« on: January 11, 2012, 10:02:39 PM »
Short range wireless communication Canon has applied for a patent that would allow short range wireless communication between the lens and camera body, as well as the flash to camera body and live view to computer. This sort of technology could also be used for an electronic view finder.

Patent Publication No. 2012-2984

  • 2012.1.5 Release Date
  • Filing date 2010.6.16

Electrical contact

  • Increasing contact for additional functions and a loss of compatibility with legacy equipment
  • Problems such as dirt and wear

Radio

  • Not a problem unique to the electrical contact
  • Might be intercepted

Canon’s patented

  • Short-range wireless
  • Reduce the output of the radio, about 30 ~ 50mm and the radius of the wave communications
  • Communication from the reach of the waves inside of the equipment is not leaking
  • In range because there is only one model, no pairing
Source: [EG]

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Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« on: January 11, 2012, 10:02:39 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 10:15:53 PM »
I can just see the paparazzi jamming each others cameras so they can be the one to get a money shot.  A very low power communication will be extremely easy to jam with a tiny directional transmitter. 

Certainly, the British police will have a jammer on every street corner.  And sports arenas, theaters, almost any public venue will have jammers.

And, there is always a concern about any radio equipment on a aircraft.  It may be low power by design, but if it malfunctions, who knows what it will do.  Mr Murphy is still alive and well.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 10:17:34 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

Blaze

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 10:30:39 PM »
Can someone explain what the benefit of a wireless connection between the lens and camera is? Seems pretty silly to me.

bvukich

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 12:14:54 AM »
Can someone explain what the benefit of a wireless connection between the lens and camera is? Seems pretty silly to me.

To take a wild guess...  It would be so they could advance the communication protocols between lens and body, without changing the mount.  Perhaps fancy AF motor or aperture control?  Or probably more likely, move the sensors and processing for IS into the body.  That would gain you increased processing power for better algorithms ("scene" linked IS modes for consumer bodies?), better sensors which are farther off axis (should be more sensitive).  Servo AF tracking could also possibly benefit from that sensor information in some instances, maybe, couldn't hurt.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 12:42:06 AM by bvukich »

bvukich

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 12:38:24 AM »
I can just see the paparazzi jamming each others cameras so they can be the one to get a money shot.  A very low power communication will be extremely easy to jam with a tiny directional transmitter. 

Actually, because of inverse square power law (2x the distance takes 4x the power, 4x->16x, etc.), this would take a lot of power to jam. For example, lets take the 30mm distance, because even that is a long distance between the lens and body, someone 3m away (100x farther) would take 10000x as much power to appear as strong to the receiver. A 1mW (ERP) transmitter would take at least 10W (ERP) to drown out.  You would basically have to cook someone just to jam their lens.

That's also assuming the quite long distance of 30mm, and no shielding.  Since the lens is in physical contact with the body, it should be trivial to very effectively shield it.  If it were me, I would actually use the mount as part of the shield.  Have a small hole on each flange that lines up when the lens is mounted, and an antenna on each side.  The two would only be a couple of mm apart, 1-2mm probably less (nearly touching), the hole would basically be a waveguide, or closer to just a tuned cavity.

PeterJ

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 01:58:48 AM »
I must say it sounds like a bit of a dud to me. Bvukich has put up some good arguments for the positives although considering it will need a new body and lens as a pair to work if it were me I'd do something like the following:

Camera and lens (or flash) talk to each other using the existing SPI-like protocol to identify themselves and their capabilities. If they can support the new protocol the existing data lines are swapped to a high-speed balanced pair system pushing things up into the Gb/s range, otherwise things continue on as currently.

Dirty contacts are still a problem, but unless you want seperate batteries in your lens you still need a solid power connection anyway. The existing pins might not be physically ideal, but then again USB 3.0 does fine with some fairly clunky looking pins.

mememe

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 02:00:20 AM »
Absolutely useless... Unless they create a system that has no space for contacts. (fullframe mirrorless compact-Camera  ;D )

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 02:00:20 AM »

ferdi

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 04:40:02 AM »
This could be great for third-party or homemade extenders/extension tubes.
But I think they just want to improve the weather sealing.
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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 05:37:17 AM »
Dirty contacts are still a problem, but unless you want seperate batteries in your lens you still need a solid power connection anyway.

Back to batteries in lenses?

Absolutely useless...

Pretty much sums it up, although most patents are, could just be a way to stop the competition from developing something similar.

Although, maybe that's a point? Sigma/Tamron reverse-engineer their AF routines by playing with lens/body contacts, if Canon bring out a new communications protocol then they'll have to take time figuring it out. Depending on the patent, they may even be able to lock out 3rd-party lens manufacturers. Is that good or bad for business? Bad because you can't put a 3rd-party AF lens on your Canon body, but good for business because all the P&S upgraders who don't know any better are locked into a Canon lens without knowing it.

This could be great for third-party or homemade extenders/extension tubes.
But I think they just want to improve the weather sealing.

Help, my lens won't autofocus because my bellows are too long and the wireless signal won't reach!
(AF on macro though, not a good idea anyway)
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seanmcr6

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 11:11:21 AM »
A single communication protocol for lenses and flashes and monitoring devices is a very smart idea with broader uses than you guys are thinking of.

Imagine a future C301, where the viewfinder et all are wirelessly connected. No more snake's nest. That's a huge bonus.

If Canon wins this patent, it's going to put pressure on the competitors in the future.

I find it's like Nikon's patent on digital cropping. At first I thought it had very narrow use, but now with video and the new D4, it's quite the powerful function that NO ONE else can have.

Also, this patent doesn't say it's exclusive to an SLR body type.

CarebbianTraveler

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2012, 12:27:16 PM »
To take a wild guess...  It would be so they could advance the communication protocols between lens and body, without changing the mount.  Perhaps fancy AF motor or aperture control?  Or probably more likely, move the sensors and processing for IS into the body.  That would gain you increased processing power for better algorithms ("scene" linked IS modes for consumer bodies?), better sensors which are farther off axis (should be more sensitive).  Servo AF tracking could also possibly benefit from that sensor information in some instances, maybe, couldn't hurt.

The only benefit a wireless connection has over an electrical is that you can completely seal it against water and dirt. But when this part of the camera gets water, the contacts are your smallest problem.
In terms of simplicity, speed, power efficiency, reaction time, interception, etc... the electrical are way better. And specially because a lens needs a lot of power to focus, a wireless connection would have to be pretty complicated.
And about the compatibility point: whatever data signal you can send through the air, you can also send it through an electrical contact. There's no problem in increasing the functionality and still keep it 100% backwards compatible. USB and ethernet are examples.

No, I think the only reason for Canon to change the mount is to make people buy new lenses and cameras, and to prevent companies like Sigma from releasing lenses for Canon cameras.

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 01:13:54 PM »
While on the subject of Patents, it seems Canon owns a sizeable chunk of them... amazingly, more than Microsoft! :o

http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/11/ibm-maintains-top-spot-in-global-patent-rankings-canon-overtake/

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dr croubie

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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 06:17:39 PM »
Imagine a future C301, where the viewfinder et all are wirelessly connected. No more snake's nest. That's a huge bonus.

Sounds like a concept computer I read about a few years ago, just a bunch of black boxes stacked together, a 'CPU box', a 'hard-drive box', a 'video card box', you could rearrange them how you wanted, no cables between them, used short-range wireless comms too (but it was only a concept, the data-rates between them were way too slow). Tried to google it, but only came up with wireless networking how-tos...
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Re: Patent - Short Range Wireless Lens Mount & Other Accessories
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 06:17:39 PM »