Patent: Eye-controlled autofocus for mirrorless cameras

SwissFrank

EOS RP
Dec 9, 2018
289
113
Wouldn't Eye controlled focus make framing a bit more difficult, or at least make the focus wander all around the frame while you check the framing?
On my old EOS-3, I had the custom function set to only AF when I pressed the asterisk button, I think it was. I had the shutter half-depress set to exposure lock, and finger OFF the asterisk be focus lock.

It worked great on the EOS-3 and I have no idea why they then discontinued it. It was especially important for focusing off-center subjects. Instead of bothering moving the cursor on my EOS-1-whatevers, I'd focus-recompose-shoot, but unless the plane of focus were spherical or DOF pretty thick, that basically doesn't work great. (I did it anyway but got lots of unusable shots that way, but still never learned to like manually moving the focus point around.).
 
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bitcars

5D mark II
Apr 24, 2019
10
14
What if user is wearing glasses (corrective lenses, not sunglasses), Does that affect the eye following?
 

amorse

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 26, 2017
417
398
www.flickr.com
Neat!

To be honest, while I feel like I'd be able to keep my eye on target to direct focusing, I wonder how accurate my eye movement would be with a moving target. With so many focusing points I'd bet it would be difficult to keep your eye on a small subject and have it hold focus. I suspect the selection might have to just assess which subject you're trying to focus on and have the camera make the more accurate focus adjustment from there - like a focusing hand-off. I.e. I look at a face, hit focus, and the camera performs and holds eye tracking on that face. That could be a killer feature for sports/wildlife where I could use eye tracking to select a subject and have the camera hold it from there among other possible subjects. Not that I do a lot of that kind of photography, but I'd suspect that would be attractive to a lot of buyers.
 

miketcool

EOS T7i
Jun 29, 2017
93
143
Seriously, no one needs to wonder about how good ECF is. I used it for years on the EOS 3. I can take a brand new EF lens, do the quick calibration (you look at four dots in the viewfinder), and the camera acts like it’s reading my mind. I’ve always wondered why it went away. Excited for it to come back!
 

canonical

EOS 80D
Jul 3, 2019
103
80
YES YES YES, bring it on! The one and only truly intuitive way to control an AF-system.
Works like a charm on my old Elan 7e. A 2019-worthy new implementation in mirrorfree cameras should be absolutely fantastic. Now with a gazillion of AF-points over 100% of frame. Brilliant. Can't wait to see it in EOS M5 Mk. II and/or M50 Mk. II.
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,373
1,716
YES YES YES, bring it on! The one and only truly intuitive way to control an AF-system.
Works like a charm on my old Elan 7e. A 2019-worthy new implementation in mirrorfree cameras should be absolutely fantastic. Now with a gazillion of AF-points over 100% of frame. Brilliant. Can't wait to see it in EOS M5 Mk. II and/or M50 Mk. II.
Canon may reserve it for FF MILCs.
 
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canonical

EOS 80D
Jul 3, 2019
103
80
What if user is wearing glasses (corrective lenses, not sunglasses), Does that affect the eye following?
Works very well for me wearing corrective glasses on my old Elan 7E. A new 2019 implementation of Eye-ControlledAF should be absolutely phenomenal.
 

canonical

EOS 80D
Jul 3, 2019
103
80
Canon may reserve it for FF MILCs.
possible, Canon being nerfing marketing-differentiating Canon. Although it would be really smart of them to include it in every single Canon EOS camera. It would be their single and truly outstanding USP vs. any competing product by any other manufacturer at every level (especially if their new patents hold water). I would even forgive Canon -1 EV dynamic range vs. Sony/Nikon sensors in exchange for a well-working, "2019-worthy" implementation of ECF. :)
 
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canonnews

EOS RP
Dec 27, 2017
257
155
Canada
www.canonnews.com
Neat!

To be honest, while I feel like I'd be able to keep my eye on target to direct focusing, I wonder how accurate my eye movement would be with a moving target. With so many focusing points I'd bet it would be difficult to keep your eye on a small subject and have it hold focus. I suspect the selection might have to just assess which subject you're trying to focus on and have the camera make the more accurate focus adjustment from there - like a focusing hand-off. I.e. I look at a face, hit focus, and the camera performs and holds eye tracking on that face. That could be a killer feature for sports/wildlife where I could use eye tracking to select a subject and have the camera hold it from there among other possible subjects. Not that I do a lot of that kind of photography, but I'd suspect that would be attractive to a lot of buyers.
I could see this working well with eye AF - for instance the camera focuses via eye AF which would select the closest eye, and by looking at the eye you want in focus, eye AF would jump to that eye.

Canon may reserve it for FF MILCs.
more than likely. consider the extra room it would require in the camera body, this really wouldn't fit in with smaller EOS-M cameras.
 
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amorse

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 26, 2017
417
398
www.flickr.com
I could see this working well with eye AF - for instance the camera focuses via eye AF which would select the closest eye, and by looking at the eye you want in focus, eye AF would jump to that eye.
Exactly my thoughts. Not necessarily a focus point selector, but a subject selector - the photographer's eye basically tells the camera what subject he/she is trying to focus on, and the camera holds that focus using the focusing technology we already have in mirrorless cameras. I could see that being a huge asset when there are a lot of potential subjects in frame where the camera has a hard time finding the one you want. For instance, trying to photograph moving action where there are a lot of faces in the frame, you could potentially just look at the face you want to select it, and let the camera hold that focus while you look around to set the composition or check the edges of the frame. Maybe a pipe dream, but that would surely be faster than a joystick or touch to focus on the screen while looking through a viewfinder.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,359
612
I have a Elan 7E still out in my studio, the eye focus works, but is not fantastic and does not always pick up my eye movement, so I have to watch and make sure the AF point moves correctly. I've recalibrated it numerous times. That is really old technology, they can probably make it faster and better by a huge factor if they want. I don't think being mirrorless has anything to do with it, its in the viewfinder and whether eye position is calibrated to the image on the focus screen or a lcd screen should not matter.

After uploading the photo, its amazing how similar the old cameras and the new ones look.


Canon  Elan 7E_02.jpg
 
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Cochese

EOS T7i
Oct 22, 2014
97
46
This would be handy right now, considering my joystick just mysteriously broke on my 5DMIV.
 

rikstir

Rick Fowler 5DMK4
Jun 3, 2016
8
6
Never worked very well for me. Was okay horizontally but didn’t work at all vertically.
 

AJ

EOS 7D MK II
Sep 11, 2010
615
21
Also how about binocular sensors. Use right eye for focus point and left eye for exposure point.
I use my nose on the touch-screen for AF selection. You could use the eye at the same time for exposure. Or vice versa, eye for AF point and nose for exposure.

just kidding
 
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