Patent Explained Take 2 :)
By| May 1, 2010
This is why patents drive me crazy, I need to hire a technical interpreter.
The main point in the patent is the hybrid viewfinder (108,132,154 and 179). Neither the beamsplitter/pellice (182) display (185), nor IS, GPS, Wireless, RGB Flash, are important in this patent.
A simple version of this hybrid viewfinder can be included in a consumer camera. And this is already coverd by claim 1 of the patent. Everything else is a goodie or, more likely, a red herring.
Fig. 17 does show a hybrid viewfinder without the pellicle. But the same brightness adjustment as the Fig.3 viewfinder.
All claims of the patent reference the hybrid viewfinder of claim 1.
So a camera with a pellicle, GPS, built-in printer, Wireless, a LED RGB flash-unit, remote-controll of cameras, Sensor IS WITHOUT the hybrid viewfinder is not covered by this patent.
Seeing that there are several implementations of the hybrid viewfinder shown in the patent, it is clear that they already experimented a lot with its implementation. Also the shown automatic brightness adjustment (156 in Fig.3) shows that this is already somewhat matured. I suspect that this is to be built in one of the next models.
They also have a means of showing live view through the finder while still using the phase detect AF sensor.
This is not at all covered by the patent and actually this would require a beamsplitter between the lens and the sensor. This is not even mentioned in the patent maybe I should patent this myself :-)