Canon Patents

Patent: Eye-controlled autofocus for mirrorless cameras

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Is Canon preparing to return a feature from the days of the EOS-3? The feature being eye-controlled autofocus.

A patent uncovered by Canon News shows us that Canon is working on the technology for eye-controlled autofocus for mirrorless cameras. Eye-controlled autofocus uses your eye to select the autofocus point, so no joystick or touchscreen interaction is required to move the autofocus point around.

Canon News explains Japan Patent Application 2019-129461:

We have a mirrorless camera (Canon specifically states this by including item 10, which is a display element for the viewfinder).  The important pieces are 13a-13f which are light sources for illuminating the line of sight of the photographer’s pupil. The half mirror is in place so that 16 and 17 which is the image sensor that is used to monitor where the eye position based upon the pupil location. Read more analysis of this patent




PerKr

EOS 90D
Jul 11, 2018
140
144
Sverige
Would be pretty neat but getting it to work with single point AF might be a stretch given how many focus points mirrorless cameras tend to have. Zone AF with eye control though would be nice. Either way, about time this technology was updated and returned to active duty, especially considering how we now have a gazillion focus points, rendering joysticks a less than optimal alternative.
 
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DBounce

Canon Eos R3
May 3, 2016
475
516
The original version was so good that many claimed it was telepathic. I think Canons’ got this one in the bag. I can’t wait to see it in a pro body.
 
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Proscribo

EOS RP
Jan 21, 2015
262
147
Would be pretty neat but getting it to work with single point AF might be a stretch given how many focus points mirrorless cameras tend to have. Zone AF with eye control though would be nice. Either way, about time this technology was updated and returned to active duty, especially considering how we now have a gazillion focus points, rendering joysticks a less than optimal alternative.
Amount of af points isn't the issue (we won't be going back to 3 or so anyway), it's that you need to be able to compute accurately where the person is looking at. If you can manage that then the more af points the better.
 
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Bahrd

Red herrings...
Jun 30, 2013
206
145
♫ Twenty four years, just waitin' for a chance,
To tell [it] how I'm feeling, maybe get a second glance! ♫
 
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zonoskar

EOS M6 Mark II
Aug 29, 2018
71
103
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? I never used it on the film camera's, so I don't know.
 
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dlmartin81

EOS R
Sep 1, 2018
31
16
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? I never used it on the film camera's, so I don't know.

I'm curious about that as well.
 

Proscribo

EOS RP
Jan 21, 2015
262
147
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? I never used it on the film camera's, so I don't know.
Sure we'd get some "AI" to go with it to decide when you want to refocus.

Realistically back button focus probably is the real way to go
 
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Apr 18, 2011
6
6
Maybe the eye controlled focus is active only on half press shutter button or back focus button press?
 
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Mar 8, 2013
5
7
I had eye control on the A2E back in the 90’s. It was amazing!! Absolutely perfect for framing. The focus was activated the same as today...when you half-press the shutter release. So you frame your shot, look at your focus point, half-depress, the target focus point lights up, and you shoot.

It was made for creative framing.

Jim in Boulder
 
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koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
2,204
2,263
Would be pretty neat but getting it to work with single point AF might be a stretch given how many focus points mirrorless cameras tend to have. Zone AF with eye control though would be nice. Either way, about time this technology was updated and returned to active duty, especially considering how we now have a gazillion focus points, rendering joysticks a less than optimal alternative.

I think it will only be available on L+Tracking mode, so you can pick which face to focus on in groups.
 
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Reactions: 1 user
Feb 14, 2019
6
9
I had a couple of EOS 50e's and the eye -focus was great. I don't understand why Canon stopped it. With a DLSR or mirrorless it would need a button to activate it to prevent unwanted activity whilst scanning the frame.
 
Sep 13, 2014
4
1
Had it on my Elan 7e, Never understood why it disappeared. No need for servo and AI; I have my own eye! Even worked with glasses.
 

SV

EOS R5
CR Pro
Aug 24, 2017
79
201
Oh I hope so - Used it on the A2E and the EOS 3 and it was really useful. I'm surprised it hasn't resurfaced sooner!
 
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Reactions: 1 user
Feb 7, 2019
409
475
UK
I’m sure it wouldn’t work for all situations, in which case you’d just switch to a normal focus system. I’ve never actually heard a bad thing said about the old eye-focusing system!
 
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weixing

EOS RP
Jul 20, 2010
619
20
If the eye control focus is responsive enough, I think will be very useful for wildlife especially BIF.
 
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Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
2,236
1,542
Had it on Elan 2e, did not work reliably enough for me. Now, 20 years later, it will probably work better.
 
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