Canon files patent for tilting viewfinder

Details about a new Canon patent for a brand-new mirrorless camera tilting electronic viewfinder have surfaced.

New patent

Image courtesy: Japanese Patent Office

The details of the new patent were highlighted by the website Canon has registered the new design with the Japanese Patent Office. The electronic viewfinder pulls out from the back of the camera body. You can also tilt it upwards when you have pulled it out. This means that you can use the viewfinder to set up your shots while looking into it from a top down position.

Technical challenges

The new patented electronic viewfinder design uses a telescoping style mechanism. This is what allows the viewfinder to be pulled out and then rotated. However, there isn’t a lot of room inside a mirrorless camera. The patent sets out how the telescoping part of the electronic viewfinder is fitted into the area between the camera’s sensor and the hot shoe. As a result of this design, Canon has also miniaturized some components.

Cinema EOS cameras

The new telescoping electronic viewfinder design would be a first for the company’s mirrorless camera range. However, the Canon Cinema EOS C100 Mark II camera already uses a similar style of viewfinder. The C100 Mark II viewfinder can be tilted up to 68 degrees although it doesn’t feature the telescoping design. In addition, the new Canon patent appears to show the new electronic viewfinder angled so that it faces straight up at 90 degrees.

What we think

Although many people rely on a camera’s rear screen, an electronic viewfinder is much easier to see in a bright outdoor location. Looking into a viewfinder also helps focus your attention by removing distractions from your peripheral vision. The Canon patent for a tilting electronic viewfinder is an interesting development. It would make it much easier to set up low-level shots. It’s also a concept that video shooters are much more used to than still photographers. The electronic viewfinders found on many traditional video camcorders used a similar design. We will have to wait to see which cameras Canon chooses to equip with the new style of electronic viewfinder.


Canon has only just published the patent. It’s unlikely therefore that we will see cameras with the new electronic viewfinder design on the market for a year or two.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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