Patent: Canon continues Quad-Pixel autofocus development

Canon Rumors Guy

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The next autofocus advancement coming from Canon will likely be in the form of quad-pixel autofocus, I would think we’d see such technology appear in the Canon EOS R1 first.
Quad-Pixel AF would improve the autofocus performance when you’re shooting in any orientation.
Canon Quad-Pixel Overview

[Publication Number] Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2022-2383 (P2022-2383A)
[Publication date] January 6, 2022
INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY: An image pickup device, an image pickup device, and a focus detection method.
[Application date] June 22, 2020
[Applicant]
[Identification number] 000001007
[Name or name] Canon Inc.
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To increase the division direction of a pupil region while suppressing variation in sensitivity of an image signal.
[0002]
As one of the focus detection methods of an image pickup device, a so-called image pickup surface phase difference method, in which a pupil division signal is acquired by using a focus detection pixel formed in an...

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Antono Refa

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Mar 26, 2014
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Samsung is hot on Canon's heels (page 9/22)...

PS
Neither seems to use a quad-pixel design (each pixel has a pair of photodiodes - just rotated in different directions)?
AFAIK, DSLR autofocus sensors don't measure in two directions on the same sensor spot, just close enough to do the trick. Also, they have a larger area than a pixel.

Does seem odd to me that there's a correlation between the direction in which the AF is sensitive and the pixel colors - the horizontal & vertical ones are all on blue & green pixels, while the diagonal ones are all on red pixels. I know the pixels' response is on a wide spectrum with a peak in the relevant color (not exactly red, blue, and green), but I wonder whether this will hurt AF performance.

[I doubt this would be a big problem, one could probably autofocus in a working orientation and rotate/recompose. That, or the actual distribution might differ to prevent that.]
 
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scottburgess

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Jun 20, 2013
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PS
Neither seems to use a quad-pixel design (each pixel has a pair of photodiodes - just rotated in different directions)?
The diagram illustrates a design change. The notation about "sensitivity differences" between sites might indicate that Canon intends to turn each pixel into a Bayer color array (I don't know Japanese, so I can't say with any certainty if the shading is for color), effectively obtaining the Foveon-esque pixel element they've long sought. That's speculative, though. It's really hard to say from a small snippet of one patent how the phase difference elements will be deployed or what the long-term strategy is.
 
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bbasiaga

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Could be exciting! I'd like to see what they can do with it. The AF performance is so amazing already. This seems like it would take the last 'weakness' out of the system.

An R1, a 300 2.8, a set of extenders would be my dream kit, in addition to what I have. Just need the funds, and one of those neuralizers from MIB to make my wife 'remember' that she gave me permission to buy it all.

Brian
 

Hector1970

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Mar 22, 2012
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The modern camera is ridiculously good. Focusing is almost the last thing to perfect
Could be exciting! I'd like to see what they can do with it. The AF performance is so amazing already. This seems like it would take the last 'weakness' out of the system.

An R1, a 300 2.8, a set of extenders would be my dream kit, in addition to what I have. Just need the funds, and one of those neuralizers from MIB to make my wife 'remember' that she gave me permission to buy it all.

Brian
Modern camera's have gotten so good, they are close to perfection. I'm sure high ISO performance can be improved a little but is remarkably good compared to a few years ago. I'm sure we will have higher MP and more FPS but both can become more trouble than they are worth.
Focusing really is the last thing to perfect. It's good but far from perfect. It will be interesting how much better they can make it. Maybe quad pixel AF sensor will be a breakthrough.
I liked your last comment , some day I must tell my wife if anything happens to me to sell my photography gear for 10 times what I said I paid for it.
 

Juangrande

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Mar 6, 2017
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The modern camera is ridiculously good. Focusing is almost the last thing to perfect

Modern camera's have gotten so good, they are close to perfection. I'm sure high ISO performance can be improved a little but is remarkably good compared to a few years ago. I'm sure we will have higher MP and more FPS but both can become more trouble than they are worth.
Focusing really is the last thing to perfect. It's good but far from perfect. It will be interesting how much better they can make it. Maybe quad pixel AF sensor will be a breakthrough.
I liked your last comment , some day I must tell my wife if anything happens to me to sell my photography gear for 10 times what I said I paid for it.
As a portrait photographer that uses multiple strobes 95% of the time, even outdoors, the holy grail is a sensor that can do flash sync at any shutter speed. This is all I’ve ever wanted. Everything else is pretty much there in the R5.
 
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privatebydesign

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As a portrait photographer that uses multiple strobes 95% of the time, even outdoors, the holy grail is a sensor that can do flash sync at any shutter speed. This is all I’ve ever wanted. Everything else is pretty much there in the R5.
Only when that sync speed is matched with flash that a can output meaningful light levels at those shorter durations. The two go hand in hand and at this point in time the flash power isn’t there...
 

privatebydesign

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My ProFoto lights can go as fast 1/80,000s
Yes if you are talking about the Pro-10 it outputs 2.4 Ws at 1/80,000 sec which is about as useful as a small candle, and that is just a copout t0.5 time.

The same $16,000 power pack and $3,000 head flash actually takes 1/400 sec to output a full power flash in normal mode. Any shutter speed faster than 1/400 second is going to limit flash power. And that was my point.....

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