Nikon’s patent for split pixel patterns and on-sensor PDAF

Nikon filed a patent in Japan for split pixel patterns and electrical circuit design for cross on-sensor PDAF (the split pixel might be for the green color). The patent describes two read-out circuits, one for PDAF and another for images from the split pixel. Additional information is available here.

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  • Chris Phillips

    Can anybody explain what is so special about this design in plain English???

    • Chris Johanson

      Because it signifies (in a way) Nikon’s true intention of making mirrorless happen. Plus, even if it doesn’t happen, the upgraded Phase Detection AF will improve Nikon’s video capabilities (finally).

      • Chris Phillips

        That would be awesome

      • silmasan

        Would be nice to have it in the D750’s successor. They can market that as a video-capable DSLR again.

      • ninpou_kobanashi

        Hubba Hubba

    • cBBp

      Well the square one alternating gives you good Auto focus readings. The cross type one possible has split pixels stacked atop another sensor pixel which is possibly RGB all in one pixel area. That’d be pretty unique and answer competition to both Canon DP Af and Fujis nice color rendition.


      • Chris Phillips

        Applicable to mirrorless I guess no?

        • cBBp

          Its pretty much specifically for mirrorless

          • ITN

            And for video autofocus in DSLRs.

  • Eric Calabros

    Google translate can’t help at all.. but I guess this design let them achieve very fast scanning speed and also outputs CD data at the same time its outputting PD data.

    • KnightPhoto

      Sounds promising for Nikon’s mirrorless AF. Heck maybe our F-mount lenses will actually AF decently?

  • animalsbybarry

    Nikon has patented several differrent dual pixel desighns….I have seen several of these patents

    Clearly the intent is to build a mirrorless camera with awesome autofocus capability
    It is also obvious that not all of these patents will actually find thier way into a camera

    The one thing I am not expecting to see is the D850 sensor on the new Nikon mirrorless……the new mirrorless camera will most likely have some radically new sensor in order to deliver superb autofocus that I believe Nikon will insist on

    • António

      Yes, as a matter of fact if we look at the competition AF (namely the Sony A9) and live view issues it’d be rather strange to see Nikon using the D850 or any other of their present DSLR sensors in a mirrorless camera.

      As you say they need to position it at the state of the Art or even offering a differentiation to put them ahead of the run and I’d add that besides they don’t actually manufacture the sensors they have the capabilities to design them and the expertise on the lithographic processes to help to make it possible to the manufacturer.

  • MonkeySpanner

    This new mirrorless is going to be awesome. I wonder if they will try to put this on-sensor focus system in a DSLR – because Nikon DSLRs are pretty much the worst for LV autofocus.

  • Jacob Smith

    If Nikon get’s this right and releases the PDAF with a FF mirrorless camera have to wonder how many former Nikon users are going to think about or will return to Nikon.

    • Duncan Dimanche

      i might frankly ! I am a Sony shooter but I could go back if they did give us an Slog and the AF in video 😉

  • And this isn’t just to cover Nikon 1 tech?

    • Piotr Kosewski

      Yeah… this might be a patent for future camera, but Nikon has had this or similar technology since 2011.
      AF in Nikon 1 used to be the only one that really worked; then the only one with acceptable lag and EVF blackout latency. Today it is still pretty relevant among much younger systems from Sony and Olympus.
      It’s just that Nikon could not use it in their DSLRs (let alone make a MILC).

      • Couldn’t? I’m skeptical of that, except perhaps their lenses weren’t quite compatible mechanically?

  • MonkeySpanner

    I’d they are just now filing this patent then the mirrorless product is still a year away.

  • Nikkor300f4VR

    [excitement intensifies..]

  • Kuri Morgernstern

    The drawing of the pantent is similar to SPIDER projecto of lockheed martin

  • Politics_Nerd

    F*ck mirrorless! This should be on every (Nikon) DSLR’s LV screen!

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