One of the issues with a totally silent camera is the fact that we have very little in the way of feedback when an operation occurs. If you don’t want that incessant beep and are using an electronic shutter, it’s easy to miss that an image has been taken, or that another operation has occurred.
This may be even more problematic if the R1 according to some rumors has a completely electronic shutter or global shutter with no mechanical shutter assembly.
Canon has explored haptic vibration feedback for its cameras in prior patent applications, but this patent application (2023-147064) seems to be specifically on a 1 series sized camera body. One issue especially with the 1 series sized camera bodies is that you can’t really know what grip is being used, and firing off piezoelectric motors to vibrate the 2 different grips is inefficient. Of course, with 1 series DSLR cameras, you always had that thunk of a shutter assembly, but that will not be the case going forward in the realm of the RF mirrorless mount.
This patent application deals with detecting the hand position, and then knowing that, vibrates the motor underneath the operator’s hand. In the image, 100a and 100b are the vibration devices underneath both grip positions on the integrated grip camera. It seems from this patent application that Canon is using hand pressure and grip deforming as a basis for grip detection. I guess this makes sense as you can’t guarantee that a user would be gripping the camera with bare hands or conductive gloves. Canon is doing something clever here though and using the same vibration motors as the grip deforming detection. Since a motor can also be a generator, it’s possible to use it for both.
All in all an interesting patent application that may indicate Canon’s thoughts on a future R1 camera. But as with all patent applications, this simply is a look into what Canon is researching, it may or may not end up in an actual patent, or product.
Source: Japan Patent Application 2023-147064
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