Nikon patents of the week

Patents gives us a glance on what's on the mind of Nikon's engineers, nothing more. In the past, Nikon has filed patents for new products before their announcement (example: the 85mm f/3.5 DX Micro lens). I will continue to monitor all new patent applications with the hope to discover signs of a new product. Here are my findings for this week:

Patent application 20100086296 - fuel cell as a camera power source and a way to get oxygen to the fuel cell:

"In a camera, air orifices for linking the space inside a cell compartment with the outside of a casing are disposed in a position other than the grip portion which is held by a user, in the vicinity of the center of the front surface of the casing, that is, in the vicinity of a lens-barrel. A concave-convex portion serving as an air orifice guard is formed at the side opposite to that where the lens-barrel is disposed with respect to the air orifices. As a result, even when the user takes a picture of an object by holding the camera with his/her own hand, the air orifices are prevented from being closed by the user's hand. Oxygen (air) can be constantly supplied to the fuel cell accommodated inside the cell compartment, and the fuel cell can continuously generate a sufficient quantity of electricity."

Patent Application 20100086293 - focus detecting apparatus:

"Disclosed is a focus detecting apparatus detecting an image offset of an optical system. The apparatus comprises a micro lens array arranged with a plurality of micro lenses, a photo-detector having a plurality of detecting elements provided so as to correspond to each of the plurality of micro lenses and receiving an optical beam from the optical system via the micro lenses, and a calculator that selects a pair of detecting elements from the plurality of detecting elements in accordance with a plurality of aperture values of the optical system and calculates an image offset of the optical system based on outputs from the pair of detecting elements. The pair of detecting elements receive respectively a pair of optical beams passing through different areas of the optical system."

Patent Application 20100085648 looks like another p&s camera lens that is suppose to be good and cheap:

"According to the present invention, a zoom lens and optical apparatus that are compact, generate high image quality yet can be manufactured at low cost, and a manufacturing method thereof, can be provided."

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  • John

    Thanks for keeping up with the patents and everything going on in the marketplace. Your work is appreciated.

  • The invisible man

    Thanks for keeping up with the patents and everything going on in the marketplace. Your work is very appreciated.

  • ed nafzger

    Thanks for keeping up`patents now we all wait for new lenses and the D700 repl and D4

  • GaGa

    Thanks for keeping up with the patents and everything going on in the marketplace. Your work is appreciated.

  • litebyte

    Good patent place this is., keep them coming.

  • Carlos

    Admin, do you have anything about the mirrorless system regarding possible timing?(your findings or guesses) do you think that the camera that nikon was about to release (the G11 competitor) maybe is the mirrorless (IntLenses) camera?thanks….

    • Carlos, besides multiple patent applications and several comments from Nikon execs we don’t have anything else.

  • shivas

    looks like the D4 is going to be SICK!

  • Anonymous

    I preffer this kind of rumor!!!!!!!!

    • C Benson

      This not a rumor!!!!! ( fiction ), this is real information.

  • Kevin Y

    awesome vigil. good jo

  • The invisible man

    NIKON 24mp sensor VS NIKON 12mp sensor.

    Guys, tired to ear “12mp is more than needed” I did this:
    I have a large shelf with hundreds DVD, clock, books, souvenirs, etc…
    I took 2 pictures with my D90 (portrait position)
    I took an other picture with my D90 (landscape position)
    Pictures taken with my 24-70 Nikkor AF-S f2.8 (at f/11) and ISO 200.
    Camera mounted on a Manffroto proffesional tripod.
    I used differents focales on the zoom to keep the subject with identical size
    I then put together the 2x12mp portaits pictures with photoshop (to make a 24mp landscape picture) and compare with the 12mp lanscape picture resized with photoshop.
    When I zoom both pictures at 100% there is a HUGE difference, the 2x12mp is way sharper with much more details than the 1x12mp.
    If you still think that 12mp is good enough, contact me and I will email you the pictures.

    • psychphoto

      So, what print size would that be, respectively?

      • The invisible man

        18×14 inches (45x35cm) at 300dpi.
        And you get more “croping” capability.

        • Jose

          Dear friend

          For this printed size, 24 MP and 12 Mp Must be the same, the problem here is not the resolution of the camera is the capability of the printer to make better work. Worst if you use 300 dpi.

          The relation between size and megapixel is not our conclusions this is the results of studies made by camera and printer manufacturers (Including canon) Of course if you need to zooming your pictures and then print this results 24 MP will be better than 12 MP and the final work must be better.

    • Andrew

      Get a life. Take your camera outside for once atleast….

    • Whiners

      Real photographers don’t spend the day shooting books all day. I had a D300s and traded it up for the D700. The versatility of the D700 out trumps the limited abilities of DX.

      • The invisible man

        You’re right, they also spend the day on Nikon Rumors, best info site around !
        BTW, I’m not a real photographer I’m just taking pictures and selling them for more than 20 years.
        I also graduated in photography from CFA de Lille (France) and owned a photo store and a reporter business for 15 years.
        But I don’t see myself as a “real” photographer, just a photographer, sound like my brother, he is a musician, not a real musician !

        • visibleman

          You better tell National Geographic to politely ask their photographers to get a better camera then, as it would seem by your eureka moment that their files are frankly not good enough. Get a D3x/sony/5D2-what’s the problem-can’t you afford the D3x?? You’re like a little child who cries all day long because he doesn’t get what he wants, Let’s see some links to your work/prints for sale/exhibitions etc. please.
          A tosser indeed.

          • Anonymous

            The Invisible Man is right. There is much more details at 24MP.

          • The invisible man

            Sure !
            Go to this website, my work is under AlexFr
            Pictures have copyright.

          • C Benson

            To those who think that 12 mega pixel is way to go, you are stuck in the past. Today’s photographers want and need higher mega pixels. Here is the reason why, photographers who make money from their work need the extra edge when it comes to their clients. I’m a professional photographer an I have to listen to my clients because they are paying my salary. If you want to stay in business you have to keep up with technology.

          • Global

            Why do you say he is a cry baby? He is merely voicing his preference for a specific kind of item. The frustration you sense is the tension between brand loyalty and requested features.

            There are a LOT of people who say “you aren’t going to trade your system just for one feature.” These people are less reasonable than the people who voice what they want.

            Think about it. If everyone was happy with 6mp, we’d have a D40sss by now and no D3x would even exist. For everyone who says “I don’t care” there should be someone saying “I care (about x y z features).”

        • psychphoto

          touchy touchy

          aren’t we sensitive

          • Like cannibals without fresh bodies….everyone is turning on each other. Invisodude…loved the url. At least I have something to laugh about while I wait.

            I really need to upgrade from D300 to FX for the type of shooting I do. I would love to see the D700x with lowlight sensitivity of D3s but I have to decide before the end of May and we may not make it.

    • Alex Wong

      Your way of “2x 12mp = 24mp” equation is wrong. Just because pixel rate is doubled doesn’t mean you get twice the pixel.

      Nikon D3x, 24.5mp, 6048×4032
      NIkon D3, 12.1mp, 4256 x 2832

      You get, at best, 50% in pixel increase, not your 8512×5664 flawed comparison.

      • Erik S

        Where did you get these numbers from? If you refer to the invisible man he said 18×14 at 300dpi that equals 5400×4200 pixels just under 23mp.
        If you put two 12MP beside eachother you do get 24MP but usually some of it gets lost in overlap so 22-23mp.

        I don’t get what you are saying with at best 50% increase?
        23mp/12mp is a 90% increase.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        Alex Wong,

        learn math and something about geometry. You didn’t quite get this square thing, did you ? ? ?

        • Anonymous

          Victor, yes in terms of geometry it is max 50% increase but in terms of information captured it is 100% increase.

          • Victor Hassleblood

            of course it is. This is why I’m sending Wong back to school.

            Twice res = twice size (surface).
            12 MP = single page
            24 MP = double page

            Nothing really left to say but this: Come on Nikon, gimme a D700X . . .

    • Jose

      Sorry, but i forgot another important point, Most of the best pictures took around the worls was made by film cameras, using differents films such as ektacrome that should be the best one. If you use for example ISO 100 film you can not make extremely zooming with out see the grains. I just like tho express that best pictures is not relationed with the difference between 12 MP and 24 MP and less relationed between 12 MP against 15 or 18 MP, Nikon have 24 MP camera but you need to spend arond 7000 bucks is the same if you use a Honda Civic or and BMW the car do not make you better driver

    • Daniel

      Nice comparison and also against your point. What you did was effectively using a larger sensor than FX, not using more megapixles in a DX body. If you increased a DX sensor to 24 Mpix you’d experience two issues, diffraction _and_that the 24-70 isn’t good enough. Good luck in the future!

      • Victor Hassleblood

        Just another not capable of grammar school math . . .
        DX is less than half the size of FX. The sensor in this comparison was not effectively bigger than FX. It was still significantly smaller.

        FX = 35.9mm x 24mm = 861.1mmSQUARE
        DX = 23.6mm x 15.8mm = 372.88mmSQUARE
        FX/DX = 2.310 ….

        In other words, a 12.3 MP DX upscaled to FX would deliver even 28.4 MP without pixel scramming beyond old and existing Nikon-DSLR-technology.

      • The invisible man

        Not good enough ???
        You’re kidding right ?
        I”ve tested the 24-70 with my TC (Peter know what I’m talking about).
        It as enough resolution for a 50mp sensor !
        I’m not even talking of the 105mm f/2.8 micro AF-S, with that lens I was able to shoot Neil Armstong’s foot print on the moon (he did not wear Nikes).

    • Cadence SF

      true enough, that’s one way to double your pixel without spending a big chunk of cash. However what people seems to compare with out proper understanding is that 24MegaPixel from every camera manufacturer aren’t the same. Because there’s noise factor from how small each light capturing pixels are. The smaller the more heated up they get, and produces “noise” in essence lowering the quality of the image. Nikon has been at the forefront as far as noise is concerned with D3 series and D700. EOS 5D MkII is doing pretty well, they tend to rely heavily on (in camera) image smoothing software.

      Anyway nice work on patent monitoring!

    • Dogbreath

      Write back when you do a valid comparison.

      1 – 2x12MP shots through a lens != 1x24MP through the same lens.
      2 – 2x12MP shots on a given sensor size != 1×24 MP shot on the same sensor size.

      All you have proven, yawn, is that two photos = more detail than one photo.

      • Discontinued

        yet another proof of desperation. Come on Nikon. You can do it.

  • Fishnew

    Thanks for keeping up with the patents and everything going on in the marketplace. Your work is very appreciated.

  • Mike

    A fuel cell? Perpetual power? Unreal. Can anyone comment on that technology?

    • Mehmet

      Fuel cell uses hydrogen. It combines hydrogen with oxygen to generate power and side product water. It has the same working principle with hydrogen cars.

      • Richard

        Actually, there has been a lot of work done using alcohol for fuel cells for devices such as laptops. It appears that there is a lot more work left to be done before it is a marketable product though.

    • C Benson

      It’s just another way of saying battery pack inside the camera or vertical grip.

      • zzddrr

        Since there is a new nuclear treaty between the US and Russia, Nikon managed to get hold of some good stuff. We’ll have a small nuclear reactor in photobags. I guess this is part of the regular Nikon cost savings. The only drawback is that some of the shots will actually show the skeleton of the portrait subject (because of the radiation), but other than that the tech is ready to go.


  • Rock Kenwell

    Thanks for keeping up with my patents and everything going on in the Rock Kenwell universe. My work is very appreciated.

  • daniel

    I think terminators use fuel cells, the future is today!

  • enesunkie

    Thanks for keeping up with the patents and everything going on in the marketplace. Your work is appreciated.

  • Vic

    kudos for the patent news admin

  • The visible woman

    Your pictures are great, thanks !
    (The link did not work, I had to key it manualy)

  • annatar

    A fuel cell for a camera? sounds like overkill to me…Nikon engineers are smoking something weird. How about designing a SLR camera with 90% less menu items? Now that would be worth patenting.

    • Canon Fangirly

      There is a camera like that. It’s called Leica S2.

  • Berger

    April april……

  • Jens Marklund

    Yeah, what I really want is a fuel tank close to my face when I’m shooting in a desert.

  • Ceiling Cat

    only if you use 6 D40 bodies to do it

  • BenS

    Fuel cell powered cameras ? Would this mean it would shoot by itself much like the Toyota Prius’ unintended acceleration ?

    Hmm looks like a mass recall waiting to happen… just joking 🙂

    • The invisible man

      It’s easy for Nikon to do a recall: it just erase the Nikon logo and replace it with “CANON”.

  • David Haselblaff

    The patent does not really say what kind of fuel cell it is, right?

    • Discontinued

      The fuel must be diesel (suites 12MP-Sensors). The engine must be a 7.2l V8 four stroke with automatic transmission (3 gears, one reverse) for AF-coupling and up to 14fps ; – )

      Is there more than one type of fuel cell ? ? ?

      • rg

        transmission has be tiptronic for full time manual override.

  • Anonymous

    In the previous thread our NR Admin mentioned that 2 months before the D5000 came out there were rumors. Now, do the math! This time it is so quiet … this means that most likely for another month or two we gonna have to wait.

    I say f_ _k Nikon with its 12MP mediocre resolution along with the jello 720p!!!! We wanted to buy into a system that is competitive and not just bloody night vision! Now it turns out that Nikon engineers smoke some weird stuff and want us to carry fuel cells in a 12MP camera. Hey, wake up focus on the image side of the bloody camera development and buy your f_ _kin’ fuel cell from Toshiba since you cannot even make your own sensor. Seriously, next thing we’ll learn is that Nikon wants to put ABS or tracktion control in our cameras. 🙂

    • The visible woman

      You may change your mind soon, I don’t think the 3 sensors will be the only surprise we’ll get for this year, I don’t have any info beside the 3S but I don’t see Nikon selling his 12mp for long…

      • The invisible man

        Get back to the kitchen now.
        I ask you to translate my infos not to comment on NR.
        And don’t forget to clean up my lenses after you’re done with the dishes.
        Women, it’s like Nikon’s cameras, they are not as they use to be !

        • Anonymous

          That was funny Invisible family

          • We have not herd from the invisible children and grandchildren…

  • The invisible child


    • The invisible man

      I’ve try to take pictures of them but it did not work vey well, I think I will have to convert my D90 to infrared (at least I’ll fund a use for that piece of junk)

  • Invisible man, any more info on 3S? 😀

    • The invisible man

      Maybe Tuesday noon, but the bugs are fixed so I probably won’t ear about it before it get relased at the end of May.

  • A Nikon watcher

    Has anyone noticed in that autofocus patent there’s an electronic link to control the aperture, not a mechanical lever.

  • Richard

    Did anyone else in the UK read the title in the style of Harry Hill’s ‘TV highlight of the Week’?
    I only ask because I like fuel cell patents but then I also like focus detecting apparatus patents. But which is best? There’s only one way to find out…


    Or was it just me?

  • nikonlvr2343

    I don’t know what I enjoy more, reading about Nikons patent applications, OR not reading about a D700 replacement.
    Wasting electrons, hello.

  • sjms

    saw this in actual operation 5 years ago by canon on a XT

  • NIKON D750??????

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