Canon has designed a folding rear camera screen

Canon foldable camera screen
(Image credit: Canon / US Patent Office)

Canon has designed a folding rear screen for mirrorless cameras, taking a trick out of the book of the smartphone industry and the wave of foldable devices. 

This marks an interesting turn of the work from a camera manufacturer. After years of seeing traditional camera sales eroded by camera phones (opens in new tab), as handsets have taken the best features of cameras and combined them with the advantages of phones, Canon has turned the tables and the best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab) could now take the signature feature of the best fold phones (opens in new tab)

That is if one or both of Canon's recently spotted designs make it to the marketplace. The manufacturer's first design features a screen with two folding hinges, which fold open like old-fashioned window shutters. Its second design features a single folding hinge, which opens like a landscape-oriented greetings card. 

The two hinge / three display portions design (Image credit: Canon / US Patent Office)

"A display of an electronic apparatus includes first to third display portions that at least partially have flexibility and are integrally configured," says the first patent (20220269152, as spotted by (opens in new tab) Canon Watch).

"The display has a first bending portion at a boundary between the first display portion and the second display portion and has a second bending portion at a boundary between the second display portion and the third display portion."

The single hinge / two display portions design (Image credit: Canon / US Patent Office)

"In an electronic apparatus, a display at least partially has flexibility, includes a plurality of display portions, and includes a bending portion at each of boundaries of the display portions," reads the description of the second patent (20220272266). 

"An electronic apparatus includes, near each bending portion, a hinge portion that relatively rotatably couples two display portions and is configured to be bendable at each bending portion as a start point in response to rotation of each hinge portion."

As foldable screens become more commonplace on all manner of electronic devices, it makes sense that they should also make their way to cameras – and it's also high time that the camera industry started taking some cues from smartphones.

Now, if we could only get a decent touchscreen interface rather than these archaic menu systems…

Read more: 

Best Canon cameras (opens in new tab)
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (opens in new tab)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.