Nikon patent shows an oddly shaped LCD screen

Update: this screen could be from the Nikon E3 DSLR model back from 1998 (thanks Kyrken).

Patent application 20100103283 is for reducing the power consumption in a camera and has a drawing of an oddly shaped LCD screen. I wonder what shape must the camera have in order to accommodate an LCD screen like that.

More details about this patent:

"In a digital still camera, when the reproducing mode is selected, an indication to the effect that the operation is in standby for reproduction is displayed on an indicating device, and if the command dial is not operated until 16 seconds elapses after the indication has been started, the supply of source voltage to the various parts of the camera is stopped, to achieve a reduction in power consumption. If the command dial is operated within 16 seconds, image signals are output to an external monitor and also an indication to the effect that reproduction is in progress is displayed on the indicating device. If the command dial has been operated within three minutes after reproduction of a given photographic frame has been started, reproduction of the following frame is performed, but if the command dial has not been operated until the three minutes have elapsed, the indication to the effect that the operation is in standby for reproduction is displayed again. If the sensitivity changeover switch and the command dial are operated together during reproduction or standby for reproduction, the photographic frame to be reproduced is determined in correspondence to the quantity and direction of the rotation of the command dial and the frame number of the frame thus determined is displayed on the indicating device."

Another drawing indicates NTSC or PAL selection outputs during reproduction mode:

"Figs. 14A and 14B show an example indication on the indicating device when the photometry mode switch and the exposure correction changeover switch are operated at the same time in the reproducing mode"

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  • Paul

    New form factor for DSLR or EVIL?

    • Banned

      Looks like a medium format DSLR screen to me.

      • DK

        medium format for sure.

        • dave

          Medium format? with an “economy” setting? There’s no “JPG” “NEF”/”RAW”, “TIFF” on the display. That implies it is either always JPG or always RAW. And if it were always RAW, there wouldn’t be an economy setting ;-). Somehow, I don’t think it’s medium format. If Nikon built a P&S for StarTrek:TNG, that’s the kind of panel you’d expect to see on it.

        • dave

          Nikon E3… nevermind.

          I suspect they used an existing and outdated LCD panel for use in the patent so as not to give away anything new. After all, it’s not the LCD panel that is being patented (although they sure are spending a lot of time describing it)

    • some strange compact with emphasis on video

  • f8.8… means not designed for SLR lenses… means I don’t care 😉

    • Eric

      8 is just an LCD placeholder for numbers.
      it could be anything from f/0.1 to f/99.


      Not True -*-
      My D90 has one!!
      D300 D700 D3 D3s D3X all have it dude!!

  • DSLR or not, that is one odd shaped LCD screen!?!

  • PedroS

    video camera

  • John

    Medium Format

    • Funny that you said this because the next post will be about medium format – apparently Nikon UK is conducting phone surveys about medium format cameras. Only full-time pro photog are targeted.

  • Dan

    Pic Quality: Economy
    easy to understand terms for P&S for the masses


      It could also be for model replacement, somewhere near D90!!

    • You caught the big hint.

      No RAW, and some lame wordage.

  • telecomm

    Nothing exciting here – isn’t this just an indicator screen for the top (not the back) of a DSLR?

    • this is the top LCD screen, which is square in all current models

      • Segura

        More of an elongated rectangle instead of a square in all current models “with a top LCD” (no D3000)

  • Johnny

    Top panel screen, maybe? (next to the shutter)

    • Johnny

      edit: (next to the shutter release button)

      • Richard

        I think it is for “packaging” reasons as well. Just whether it is a shutter release or a jog wheel (if on the back of the camera, it would be for space saving purposes which suggests a more compact body to me. If it is for the EVIL project, it might be on top to make room on the back of the body for a viewing screen while keeping the overall size of the body quite compact.

        On the other hand…not all patents see the light of day as a product, so we may never know.

        • True, but note that the patent is not about the LCD screen – it is about power saving stuff and they use this LCD as an illustration. Weird, unless this LCD is linked to this power saving inventions.

          • Richard

            OLED in disguise?

  • The Picture Quality portion of the screen does not have RAW but has EF? This is definitely for low level DSLR, EVIL or p&s.

    • on the other site if it has a second LCD screen (in addition to the main screen on the back) it should not be that entry level (D3000, D5000 and all current p&s models do not have top LCD screen, D90 and up have it)

      • Craig

        Also, no scene modes like in lower level models. Just A,S, and M.

      • Astrophotographer

        Very simple ISO (Sensitivity) settings like a P&S. Yet does provide shutter speed and aperture indicators like an SLR.

    • Astrophotographer

      Do Nikon P&S have AE option’s as shown in part F?

      From the patent
      “the photometry mode is indicated in the indication area F”

  • The A part looks like printer options to me – Nikon-goes-Polaroid ?

    • Kwartjuh

      A-part? you mean on the top? no, thats for showing the mode the camera is in.
      A (aperture), M (manual), S (Speed/time), or P (automatic program).
      They are shaped exactly like the higher-level DSLR’s, which makes me believe this is NOT for a compact, but rather for an EVIL or common DSLR.

      In fact, i think this is for the new generation top-level Nikon Camera. It probably has an even bigger prismhouse so even less room for a top LCD. This might be NIkon’s workaround.

      Or not and i am completely off. We shall see.

  • Jørgen

    Remote control?

  • niels

    Isn’t it a new topscreen for a DSLR? It looks a little bit to that of the Sony A900. But I think it probably is for something in the range of D90

  • Joe

    THis is probably the new Nikon portable photo printer that every one is talking about.
    The main LCD show the picture while the side screen shows the EXIF information

  • Habitak

    Maybe will the next generations of Pro DSLR’s have a completly new Design. Powersaving is important for take movies.

    EF means perhaps ExtraFine. It has not enough Space for the whole word

  • D40-owner

    It’s the top screen of the new….. Digital FM2n !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • joebee

      yes please!


    I think it is for a camera that still have the reflecting mirror(like SLR)
    but something is going strange down there!
    I know you guys are thinking EVIL but I feel it is not “Electronic View Finder”.
    And this camera have a function to do something about picture-reproduction…..??
    What’s that??
    or……Is this the SLR that the photography magazine is waiting to get it to the cover page?
    ps: Although it could still be for a mid-range SLR (D90 & ABOVE)….

  • Astrophotographer

    From the patent here the figure description:

    In FIG. 2A the compression mode is displayed in the indication area A, the sensitivity of the CCD 9 while photographing is indicated in the indication area B, the mode that is set for the white balance is indicated in the indication area C, the exposure mode is indicated in the indication area D and the presence or absence of exposure correction is indicated in the indication area E. Furthermore, the photometry mode is indicated in the indication area F, the battery capacity in the indication area G, the aperture value in the indication area H, the shutter speed in the indication area I, the number of frames remaining that can be recorded on the memory card 13 is indicated in the indication area J and the frame number of the photographic frame for the next photograph is displayed in the indication area K.

  • twoomy

    This is actually the LCD for a new electric shaver that they’re working on. The economy cut gives you a Don Johnson 1980s look while saving about 50% on power consumption.

  • Andrew

    May be for better video control on DSLR?

  • ArtTwisted

    if this goes on the top of a slr shaped body it would most likely mean a large hand grip shaped like a triangle ish which most MF cameras sport. This would fit great on top of such a handle. I would guess that nikon is interested in larger format photography, of course a patent is just a patent. Exciting though. I do like the layout of the LCD as well, my current D90 lcd on the top is very usefull and is the only lcd i use to change settings other then complex menu items which rarely get looked at, but it is designed in a very cluttered matter where it looks like nikon had a certain space left and a list of thigns that had to go in it so they cramed it all in, this on ther other hand is spaced out and organized. could be a nice change.

  • Anonymous

    I think they just smoked too much weird stuff lately and can not get things straight.

  • EF= extra fine

  • Anonymous

    All I want to know is where is my announcement for the new DSLR ;- (

  • joebee

    Does “sensitive hi” mean D700s and “sensitive std” D700x?

  • spam

    An oddly shaped LCD don’t mean oddly shaped pictures or oddly shaped cameras! In fact, a LCD with this shape will fit on cameras of any shape as long as the camera is bigger than the LCD.

  • Anonymous

    It looks a lot like the top panel LCD on the Sony A850.

  • That Other Nikon Guy

    What do you guys think the letter “B” section stands for? Are we saying goodbye to ISO?

  • Kyrken

    The patent is for the top LCD panel for the Nikon E2N/E3 DSLRs. DSLRs Nikon were making before the D-series.

    • Astrophotographer

      I think you nailed it. We’ve been fooled again.

    • preston

      so do you think they would bring this back for any reason other than nostalgia?

  • Joel S

    Probably for the top of the camera.

  • Anonymous

    F_ _k Nikon! It is an impotent company that cannot produce just 12MP. I guess many of us will switch to Canon and Sony if this shitty company cannot introduce something useful in less than 1 month. As it appears Nikon cannot even get rid of the crappy 12MP D700s in the UK. They are running some promotoion for that sh_t in between May-June 2010.

    • VanSmak

      If you don’t have anything constructive to add, then go post over at your beloved Canon Fanboy site.

      • Anonymous

        I think it was constructive but it seems to me that you did not understand what it really means.

        Nikon is running some promotion in May-Jun 2010 for the D700. Think logically! This means that no new camera before this promotion ends. See, no new Nikon (D700 replacement) before JULY 2010!

        So, many of us who want a high res dslrs for the summer vacation will have no other option but to take a closer look at the canon and sony (even though many of us DO NOT LIKE THEM!!!)

        • Mike

          How many vacation pictures do you plan to blow up past 16×20? Again, the D700 is an incredibly capable camera. Rent a 24 mp D3x if you can’t afford to purchase it. Or buy an a850/5D II. Just stop the bitching please. Imagine all thr pictures you’re not taking with it!

          • Anonymous

            See, that’s exactly the problem! I guess Mike you’d be happy with 2MP.

  • mozart luvr

    The “8.8” has nothing to do with an F-stop. What looks like an “8” is a combination of all the short lines that make the numbers 0,1,2,3,4, etc. I don’ t have my cameras in front of me now, but I’m sure that is how the numbers on my D200 and D300 are made.

  • Donald

    Anyone elso know about a D700 UK promo for May & June , I might be in the market for one if the D700_/D900 does not appear before my next trip !

  • Zorro

    There won’t be a top LCD on the rumored D40s.

  • coolpux

    not enuff space to display ISO 819,200

  • disco

    if its for nikon’s 1st dslr, wots the pal/ntsc for?

  • Edward Nafzger

    To the invisibleman Happy birthday on the 25th mine is on the 18th of may

  • Aaron Shepard

    Here’s a thought for all of you: If Nikon made a mirrorless medium-format camera, couldn’t it use current Nikon lenses?

  • Justin

    Has it ever crossed anyone’s mind it might be a new battery grip LCD panel?

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