Nikon patents a projector built in a DSLR camera

Nikon filed a patent in Japan for a projector built in a DSLR. We already have the Coolpix S1100pj point and shoot camera with a built-in projector and Nikon is at least thinking of bringing that technology into a DSLR camera. The cool part is that the projection will happen through the electronic viewfinder (the initial translation was not clear, so I got this paragraph this directly from the Japan Patent Office):

"When the photographing instrument is set as electronic view finder mode, the photography person can see the taken image displayed on a liquid crystal display panel by looking into a liquid crystal display panel from an eyepiece. On the other hand, when the photographing instrument is set as projector mode, the light which supported reproduced image information is projected on the screen of the photographing instrument exterior via the eyepiece of an electronic view finder, and two or more persons can see the reproduced image simultaneously projected on a screen."

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  • That can be the D800. Sounds strange to me though!

    • Maybe the EVIL is the D800

      • The Man from Mandrem

        Maybe the D800 is Evil….

        • +1

        • SimonC

          No, D800 is not quite evil enough. It’s semi-evil. It’s quasi-evil. It’s the margarine of evil. It’s the Diet Coke of evil, just one calorie, not evil enough.

          • texasjoe

            Muah hahahaha (closed fist, pinky up at corner of mouth).

  • Lol, yes. I’m certain that Nikon is just now patenting technologies that are going into cameras releasing this year.

  • Wow, this is going to be interesting to see how they implement it in a DSLR ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • Banned

      Honestly I can’t think of something more gimmicky than this. Definitely not a power user feature, it’s got nothing to do in a DSLR as far as I’m concerned. But if noobs want to buy this, well thanks for subsidizing me!

      • Mock Kenwell

        Okay, so now we’ve figured out how to squeeze a projector into a DSLR. We’ve figured out how to squeeze a camcorder into a DSLR. Can we please start figuring out how to squeeze more than 12MP into a DSLR?

        • SZRimaging

          I present you the D7000 and D3X, both over 12MP. Problem solved.

          • Mock Kenwell

            One a crop sensor and the other the cost of a small vehicle. Problem still on-going.

  • I only fear if they make the camera more heavy, and beside D800 photographers might not need to project their pictures without going through them on a computer

  • chris

    Umm…am I the only one who only wants my camera to be a CAMERA? Not a cell phone, not a camcorder, not a projector. Please, nikon…professional photographers don’t want toys, they want tools.

    • Alex

      I too don’t want cameras to be toys, but who says that this is targeted for you or me. I would assume that this will make it’s way into the entry lineup (if it Nikon ever decides to start putting projectors into their DSLRs) I wonder how many of Nikon’s patents actually see the light of day on the consumer market.

      • if Nikon decides to implement that, it will probably be an entry level/consumer model – it requires EVF in order for the projector to work

        • SGN

          An A55 competitor from Nikon? This could be successful in that market… nothing like sensor-fresh images to liven up a gathering!

    • Mock Kenwell

      Yes, you are the only one.

    • SZRimaging

      VDSLRs are tools. I for one would love to have video in my next body, and will make sure it is a feature. When I go shoot out on the hill, it is nice to be able to shoot both still and video. And I see a lot of PJs using video in addition to stills.

  • zzddrr

    Wasn’t enough a crappy coolpix projector? What the heck is going on with Nikon? I can see that as the “fun” camera but once they implement it in a serious dslr I will sell all my nikon gear and never look back. Just think about it, you are outdoors climbing a mountain, where the hell would you project your perfect shots? I would understand if it would have some wireless communication but this …. Next thing we’ll see from Nikon is the hologram of some weird japanese Jedi knight. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nikon stop throwing more crap at us!!!! For a damn projector we’ve been waiting and waiting? One thing for sure this new Nikon president has a serious supplier of some strong shit. I mean, what else can explain this … they must smoke some shit in the Nikon labs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Banned

      Project your photos, for whom, for what???

    • scurvyhesh

      take a pill big boy. Its a patent application, not a product on the market. I don’t see a use for it, but I also dont have a use for Video. At least not yet…. But when I do it is there for me to use. So bring on the projector!

      • zzddrr

        I was seeing front of my eyes the soccermoms trying to project next to the field their blurriest picture/video. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope at least they stand behind the right end of the camera ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Rocking Kenwell

          You mean you want to stand behind the right end of the Yummy Mummies? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • scurvy hesh

          LOL! point taken

  • I think having a projector that shot out of the lens would be kick-ass.

    • scurvyhesh

      I had a bit to think about it and now I have to agree elph! I also paint murals on the side, and if this thing has the ability to project big enough, I can take a portrait of someone, project it on the wall and then start painting!!!!

      • zzddrr

        Now, your painting will also address the missing megapixels. Your brush will just fly on the wall ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Isn’t that like cheating?

        • scurvy hesh

          Not really. A lot of muralists use projectors. Especially when you are working on these “guerrilla ad campaigns” made to look like street art. You often have to do 10 or more in a major city and they all have to look exactly the same. If I’m getting paid to do a cooperate logo with a face or other elements, then I really dont see the need to prove my myself. I’m already getting paid duuuude. Time is money. And If I can have a tool to save me time, then I will use it. By your logic then all cameras should be manual focus, no Ittl, CLS and no built in Light meters. Do you want to go back to that? I sure dont!

  • From what I understand the EVF light is turned up and used as a projector? So if someone is shooting through the EVF and accidentally presses the projector button they get a blinding blast of projector light? ><

    • eb

      I thought the same thing. Projector to the eye from 3cm away. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen

  • Maybe this isn’t meant as a projector at all…
    If the light can be shot out through the lens, this could very well be an AF-assist-lamp. The benefit would be perfect AF-spot coverage, no matter what focal length!

  • Harold

    The Sony techs have cooked something in their labs too. A Camcorder with build in projector.

  • oh strange… where the world is walking…
    instead of real advantages such as dynamic range, color depth,… somebody spend money and time with such silly “features” as silly projector… who needs?

  • FM-2 fan

    very interesting – but how do they plan to power the light-source properly? That is a real challenge – the idea as such is brilliant, since the same lens and be used for image capture and projection

    on the other side of the coin: I wish the cameras to support also support for th video formats … then it becomes a cinema in a camera … cool

  • So the translation says it goes through the EVF, but the picture looks like its projecting through the lens. So which is it?

    PTTL anyone?

    • VJ

      I also wondered about that…
      If you follow the line on the left image, it goes from the outside, to the mirror, through the pentamirror, to another mirror and then to this thing that is mounted horizontally on top of the camera body.
      And even though they mention an EVF, the camera still has a pentamirror… It seems to me they are using an EVF to show the image, but alter its path to make it come out of the lens… I just wonder where they get the light from…

      • VJ

        or maybe that thing on the top is the light, and the evf is on one side of the pentamirror (e.g. to allow overlaying with the real image)…?

        • randyravener

          I was thinking it as more of a movable EVF.

          flipped up when in EVF mode so you can see the things which are displayed when you look through the viewfinder.

          flipped down when in projection mode and light output is amplified such that the image from the EVF is reflected on the reflex mirror and is then projected out of the lens onto a surface.

          • VJ

            Yes… But then it would need an awfully powerful backlight… All projectors I know of use some light behind a transparent screen that displays the image…

  • distanted

    I sure hope this kind of stuff isn’t taking time away from serious camera technology development. By the time this patent becomes a product, most people will be wirelessly transmitting images/video to their HD IPS tablets.

    • Igor

      Well, it actually makes sense if one want to eliminate the necessity of the computer to post-process the images. Cameras already have powerful processors working with images at speed of a few frames per second. Add to this projector a bluetooth keyboard & mouse, image processing software and one can eliminate a laptop/tablet.

  • Serguei_V

    This is vulgar

  • Tony Chivers

    If it’s going to be an EVIL camera, what’s the mirror for?

  • Mock Kenwell

    Thank GOD someone finally did it! Now that the projector/camera issue is solved, we can get to work on figuring out how an overheated sensor can also make toast.

  • LeBleu

    The only way this would work would be with an entry level DSLR. I can’t see a possible camera like the D800, or a D400, or even worse a D4 with a projector option. this would be cool for like a D4000 or some weird model like that.

  • If I think about how much heat my real projector dissipates (and therefore how much power it sucks) to project a decent image at decent luminosity, size and distance I can only think that the image projected by this things must really suck!
    But I am just “projecting” here.
    Has anyone seen how the coolpix projects?

  • That’s insane, I can already think of the ways this would benefit my business. I wonder when this will actually come into play?

    • Mock Kenwell

      Honestly? How? If you waltzed into my company and presented with your DSLR while I squinted, I’d laugh my ass off and show you the door.

  • zoetmb

    I’m not one to complain about extra functionality that I don’t personally use (like the way some people complain about video), but the very last thing I would ever want in a camera is a projector. The projection technology is horrible – it’s dim, fuzzy, etc. It’s nothing more than an incredibly stupid marketing gimmick and Nikon better not include it in a high-end body. Rather than concentrating on such ridiculousness, they should incorporate easy tethering via WiFi or Bluetooth so you could send your images to a computer, TV, cellphone or whatever and use a decent viewer, not some toy projector.

  • Anders G

    They are simply trying to patent a modern camera obscura.

  • I don’t like it personally (gimmick etc) but think it would be useful for those videographers who want to group preview their recorded rushes at the pub or a mates house or on a wall etc. That would be a good selling point if I were in to that stuff and they managed to build on existing projection technology i.e. make it better.

  • If the projector was relatively dim to save battery life and worked in real time with video and was designed to be used with some sort of large addon eyepiece this could get interesting. Something that blocked out light and allowed you to shoot video with a “screen” that was bigger than the LCD.

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