There are many kinds of cameras: DSLRs, point and shoot, mirrorless, even that weird Sony F707 from when DSLRs started. But one thing almost never changed since when cameras started. Even the old Analog cameras. The Shutte Button. Sure, it was mechanical at first and got a new “half-press” when auto fucus was introduced. But the overall mechanics stayed the same. Click the button – make a photo.
In a patent application spotted by Canon News, you see something that resembles a touchpad. If you google translate the patent (like I did), you see that it does not just resemble a touchpad. It is a touchpad. Moreover, the back LCD has another touch screen, similar to what we are actually used to in recent camera lines.
Looking further at the patent, there are many diagrams, text, and charts explaining the menu system and sliding mechanism. It can detect different types of slides and distinguishes a press from a slide. To be honest, the machine-translated patent is not 100% clear to me. I could pick up that the pad can control the autofocus location. (You can usually find that function on the back of the camera for easy thumb access). The patent application shows a DSLR of some type, which shows that Canon is working on this for a while. If this was a new concept, it would have probably been a mirrorless camera.
Now, Canon did play a bit with touchpads in the EOS R line, and it has gotten mixed reactions. Some think it’s the best interface ever, while others are having issues dialing the sensitivity in. Putting a touchpad on the most used interface element in the camera will surely require some market education. On the other side, touchpads do not require any physical holds in the body to operate. This can be a huge boost in weather sealing.
What do you think? Is this ingenious or plain silly?
[JPO via Canon news]