Canon continues further development of its miniature lenses for what appears to be smartphone applications.

This is a patent (USPTO) for the Canon 100-400mm camera/lens that can fit in the palm of a child's hand.

This patent explains more about the camera, along with lenses that will mount to it. In theory, Canon could develop a range of different focal lengths that will attach to the camera unit.

Could this be the birth of a tiny new camera and lens system? I don't know, but it's definitely an interesting concept that appears to be deep into development.

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21 comments

  1. That is a wonderful concept, especially for drones which needs light but powerful gear. On the other hand, should a drone be equipted with 400mm lens... spying on people would be a lot easier...
  2. I can’t wait for the 600mm version. It better be at least F4.
    Yes looks like a potential spy tool alright. Interesting if it will make it to the market

    It's the market it will enter what worries me!
  3. I can’t wait for the 600mm version. It better be at least F4.
    Yes looks like a potential spy tool alright. Interesting if it will make it to the market
    Spying is nothing new to Canon. In the late 1980s we barrowed a small Canon video camera for a motorcycle mount shot. The camera had previously been used by an alphabet-agency (CIA, FBI, NSA). Spying is what they do.
  4. Depends on sensor size, of course.
    there wasnt any equivalent crap talk. they sayed 100-400mm
    with couple cm lens its around f16
    maybe they use that new super DR sensor to this
    Or something like that video camera what can shoot on night 4million iso
    some kind of cheap version from that. or why not same sensor ,would be coolest toy ever.
    Pocket sized looking glass with camera option,would think this replaces binoculars. could sell lot
  5. Interesting concept and maybe a winner if it comes to the market. What I have seen on my holidays is that there are vast amounts of smartphone shooters, no compact shooters, some system camera (SLR or ML) shooters and very very few (incl. me) with a tripod. A tele zoom option with high IQ for smart phones would be a great accessory for lots of people and might bring some sales back to Canon.

    About the 100-400 / sensor size discussion IMO it will be the equiv focal length for a smaller sensor.
  6. This development work has multiple possible markets for Canon, but Axis security systems are probably at the top of the list. Just mount it on a motorized gimbal head and weatherproof it and presto, a new class of security cam.
  7. Spying is nothing new to Canon. In the late 1980s we barrowed a small Canon video camera for a motorcycle mount shot. The camera had previously been used by an alphabet-agency (CIA, FBI, NSA). Spying is what they do.
    Spying ISN’T what they do according to some in the media and a political bias. It’s “investigating” lol
  8. That is a wonderful concept, especially for drones which needs light but powerful gear. On the other hand, should a drone be equipted with 400mm lens... spying on people would be a lot easier...


    A 400mm lens on a small drone would need some serious IBIS functionality, as the vibration from the motors is substantial. Not to mention the instability from the flight control system. Folks like DJI use wide angle lenses to 'gloss over' those limitations.

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