Sony may have changed the game with the introduction of eye autofocus but Canon might be about to resurrect a feature that’s not been seen since the Canon EOS-3 and EOS 7 were released around twenty years ago: eye-controlled autofocus.
Forget eye detect, face detect, tap to focus or subject tracking. Released in 1998, what made the EOS 3 special was that the camera would automatically choose one of its 45 autofocus points according to where the user’s eye was pointed. In effect, looking at your subject would prompt the camera to bring it into focus. A recently-discovered patent suggests that Canon is in the process of bringing this feature back from the dead for its forthcoming mirrorless cameras.
The patent has been translated by Canon News and shows how technology is being developed that include “light sources for illuminating the photographer’s eyeball […] for detecting the direction of the line of sight.”
Canon News does add that this is merely a patent with no suggestion as yet that Canon has any immediate plans to implement it. Regardless, it will make many Canon fans happy as this has been a much-missed feature with many wondering why Canon decided to drop it.
Did you use eye-controlled autofocus in one of your old Canon bodies? Is it something that you’d like to see Canon bring back? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.