Since 2007 later, the built-in of phase detection range finder method will take build-up within image sensor. As of July 2010 in Japanese published patents, which Nikon has nearly 20 patents published, Canon has nearly 25 patents, Sony has nearly 15 patents of publication, and Panasonic also has a few of patents. However, Pentax is no patent in this one side. These are also R&D for the image sensor.
In a hereditary way, an AF sub-mirror is added to a master-mirror's backside, that is source from the Pentax's patents, (registered in 1973-1979). Pentax ME-F was first applied example, released 1980 and sold into market 1981, while the ME-F was taking CD-AF analog circuit. Today's the master-mirror way still be a faraway origin came from the Pentax's patent, in 1956.
In July 2010, Fujifilm announced FinePix F300EXR camera, the phase difference detection range finder successfully achieved the built-in method on the image sensor. However, Fujifilm did not publish about the source of technology and that who is the sensor's manufacturer.
Perhaps, in the Nikon V1 its sensor manufacturer is Fujifilm, and not Sony? "we engineered and developed this sensor inside Nikon. But for the production side, that is done by our partner", Suzuki Masahiro said. (Mr. Suzuki is the General Manager, Research & Development Department, Development Headquarters, Imaging Company, and managed the team that created the new products).
I wish to see the built-in method of phase detection range finder will be into APS-c and 35mm sensors, but the OVF should not disappear at the DSLR camera, does it only remove the AF sub-mirror and complicated AF module.
In the DSLR, this built-in method will cut down costs and heightens AF reliability, can avoid the traditional AF module's potential accuracy error, (the original two optical planes are merged into a single optical plane), no longer need AF module's mechanical adjustment procedure. The Live-view mode to be AF faster.
Also, if the Coolpix P7100's successor is a 2/3-inch sensor with the built-in of phase detection range finder would be exciting.
Nikon, Publication JP 2010129783, Date: 2010-06-10
Sony, Publication JP 2010-78707 (P2010-78707A) Date: 2010-04-08
Canon, Publication US2010165176 (A1) Publication date: 2010-07-01