Canon is arguably one of the best camera manufacturers out there, but it’s not a brand you’d normally associate with drones. That might change soon, if a new patent application filed by the company is any indication.
Canon has applied for a patent for a drone-mountable camera that can pan and tilt to track subjects automatically. The March 15 application, unearthed by Digital Camera Info, focuses on a camera system that can move around freely with minimal change in the orientation of the drone. The patent goes on to explain that it aims to make aerial photography and videography accessible to even those operators who may not have much experience with drones.
Fans were quick to point out that the main camera unit seen in the patent application bears a striking resemblance to the AI-powered PowerShot PICK product, which the company showcased at CES 2022. PowerShot PICK combines Canon’s optical, video processing, and imaging technology to analyze a scene, identify people, track their faces, and then determine the perfect moments to capture photos and videos.
It’s also worth noting that Canon’s patent focuses only on the camera system and not the drone configuration, indicating a brand-agnostic approach – at least for now. And this strategy would make sense for Canon, which has already tried (unsuccessfully) to break into the drone market back in 2017 with a high-end search and rescue aircraft.
That said, a patent filing doesn’t necessarily mean that an actual product is on the way. But a notable camera brand adding a bit more competition to the consumer drone market is something we all should welcome.