Canon Develops New Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology To Significantly
Improve Autofocus Performance During Live View And Video Shooting
MELVILLE, N.Y., July 2, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a
leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its parent company,
Canon Inc., developed Dual Pixel CMOS AF, an innovative new autofocus
technology for the EOS 70D Digital SLR camera. Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a
phase-detection AF technology conducted directly on the image sensor
plane, employs a CMOS sensor on which all of the effective pixels are
able to perform both imaging and phase-detection AF simultaneously to
achieve dramatically improved AF performance over prior EOS cameras
during Live View and video shooting.
Dual Pixel CMOS AF logo
Dual Pixel CMOS AF structure
As digital SLR cameras have evolved in
recent years in terms of functionality and performance, shooting styles
have become more diverse. An increasing number of users no longer rely
exclusively on the viewfinder when shooting, but rather view the
camera's LCD monitor when using the Live View function to capture still
images and when shooting video.
Canon's newly-developed Dual Pixel CMOS AF is an innovative new
image-plane phase-detection AF technology that employs a CMOS sensor on
which all of the effective pixels are able to perform both imaging and
phase-detection AF simultaneously. Each individual pixel (the smallest
structural unit capable of outputting an image signal) on the CMOS
sensor incorporates two independent photodiodes (elements that transform
light into electrical signals) which output signals that can be used
for both imaging and the phase-detection AF. When using the EOS 70D
Digital SLR camera's Live View function, the technology enables
autofocusing with ease, flexibility, speed and accuracy similar to
shooting through the viewfinder, enabling sharp focus to be obtained
across a wide shooting area1 through phase-detection AF2 until final focus is achieved. Compared with earlier generations of Canon's image-plane phase-detection AF3,
Dual Pixel CMOS AF realizes shorter focusing times, outstanding
tracking performance and smoother autofocusing during video shooting.
And, because Live View shooting can be used in a manner similar to using
the camera's viewfinder, the fast and smooth AF performance allows
users to concentrate more attention on the subject and composing the
photo when shooting.
Compared with the EOS Rebel SL1, which employs Hybrid CMOS AF II, the
EOS 70D Digital SLR camera (scheduled to go on sale in September 2013),
which is the first camera to feature Dual Pixel CMOS AF, not only
achieves AF speed that is approximately 30 percent faster4
but also delivers improved Movie Servo AF tracking for continuously
smooth focusing during video shooting, even when filming quickly moving
Because the outstanding AF performance of Dual Pixel CMOS AF is made possible with 1035
models of EF lenses (including many earlier models and models available
outside of Japan), users can enjoy a wide range of photographic
endeavors achievable with various lenses.
Recognizing great potential for the application of this technology
across diverse product categories, Canon aims to promote its development
efforts in the field of AF technology, targeting further advances to
contribute to expanding the world of photographic expression.
How Dual Pixel CMOS AF Works
With conventional phase-detection AF, the light that enters through
the photographic lens is divided into two images. The difference in the
focus point position between the two images is measured on a dedicated
AF sensor rather than the image sensor itself, enabling the camera to
determine the direction and amount of lens adjustment required to obtain
proper focus. Because phase-detection AF enables fast focusing
performance compared with contrast-detection AF, the technology is
widely employed in digital SLR cameras, mainly for viewfinder shooting.
Dual Pixel CMOS AF employs the same measurement principle as a
dedicated AF sensor, except that it is carried out directly with the
image sensor. Its large coverage area enables smooth and reliable
image-plane phase-detection AF for both still images and video with no
reliance on dedicated AF sensors or contrast-detection AF.
Contrast AF is an autofocus method employed in compact digital
cameras and video camcorders, as well as conventional digital SLR
cameras for Live View shooting. Because contrast is highest when an
image is in proper focus, the camera analyzes the contrast information
from the image on the image sensor, adjusting the lens until the maximum
contrast value is reached. While contrast AF offers high focusing
accuracy, it tends to require more time compared with phase-detection AF
because the focusing components of the lens must be driven during AF
measurement to find the point of peak contrast.
Hybrid CMOS AF and Hybrid CMOS AF II
Hybrid CMOS AF is an AF method employed in the EOS Rebel T5i Digital
SLR camera and the EOS M digital camera that delivers enhanced focusing
speed during Live View shooting and when shooting video. Combining fast
phase-detection AF and high-accuracy contrast AF, Hybrid CMOS AF makes
possible faster focusing performance than contrast AF alone, quickly
measuring the subject distance using a dedicated phase-detection AF
image element embedded in the CMOS image sensor and completing the
process with extreme accuracy using contrast AF. The EOS Rebel SL1
camera features Hybrid CMOS AF II, which makes use of an imaging sensor
that supports AF across a wide area spanning approximately 80 percent of
the shooting area measured vertically and horizontally.
For more information about the development of Dual Pixel CMOS AF visit: http://usa.canon.com/gamechangeraf
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer,
business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With
approximately $40 billion
in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks
third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2012† and is one of Fortune
Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies in 2013. In 2012, Canon U.S.A.
has received the PCMag.com Readers' Choice Award for Service and
Reliability in the
digital camera and printer categories for the ninth consecutive year,
and for camcorders for the past two years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to
level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent
U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it
U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign
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† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
Availability, prices, and specifications of all products are subject
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1 Shooting area coverage of approximately 80 percent vertically and horizontally for the EOS 70D Digital SLR camera.
2 Contrast AF employed when using some older EF lens
models, during magnified view, during Movie digital zoom and when using
3 Hybrid CMOS AF and Hybrid CMOS AF II, which combine phase-detection AF and contrast AF.
4 When used with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens,
based on a comparison by Canon. Disparity between AF methods may be
small depending on lens used and shooting conditions. Disparity becomes
greater when using older types of lenses.
5 As of July 2, 2013.