Could we be expecting a revolutionary Canon mirrorless camera?

Could we be expecting a revolutionary Canon mirrorless camera?
(Image credit: Canon Watch)

As if the upcoming Canon EOS 1-DX Mark III wasn't exciting enough, it looks like a revolutionary new Canon mirrorless camera might be finding its way to production soon. Canon have recently filed a patent application for a mirrorless camera with a particularly unique design.

The patent literature was filed in Japan and shows a mirrorless camera with a particularly large screen display on its back. There also appears to be a virtual control wheel placed within the screen itself to replace the control wheel usually found on Canon mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.

Read more: Best Canon camera

As reported by rumor website Canon Watch, one of the most interesting aspects of this patent application is that the virtual control wheel is also seemingly displayed in the electronic viewfinder. Whether this suggests that a riff on Canon's divisive eye-controlled focus could be making a comeback or not, we couldn't say - but being able to choose your settings simply by looking at a particular menu option would certainly be an interesting design feature.

Could this technology be included in an update to the Canon EOS RP?

Could this technology be included in an update to the Canon EOS RP? (Image credit: Canon)

There also seems to be the possibility for more than one virtual control wheel on the screen. We would assume this is meant to make up for the apparent lack of dials and controls on the top of the camera as well. 

We can't imagine this as a design for a high-end professional Canon mirrorless camera model, as the lack of physical controls could be off-putting for pros who need to be able to rely on muscle memory for difficult shooting situations. However, we could potentially see it being an interesting design for entry-level cameras designed to snap up smartphone users looking to upgrade. 

Canon are well known for filing patents that never see the light of day, but we could definitely see a smartphone-savvy market for this interesting Canon mirrorless camera design. However, we'll just have to wait and see whether it ever sees the light of day…

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.