Rumors about Canon’s much-anticipated in-body stabilization (IBIS) are a dime a dozen, but a recent patent application from Canon dives into more detail than we’ve seen before, further lending credence to the rumors the technology could make it into Canon’s next R-series camera body.
First discovered by Canon News, Japan patent application 2019-152785 details how in-body stabilization technology can be improved by more accurately moving and positioning the sensor along its axes. According to the patent, Canon plans to do this through the use of a magnetic circuit known as the Halbach array.
|An illustration from the patent showing how in-lens stabilization would work alongside the in-body stabilization to achieve optimal results.|
The Halbach array, believed to have first been discovered by John C. Mallinson in 1973, is a collection of magnets that is particularly arranged so that one side of the magnetic field is magnified while the opposite side is effectively canceled out. Halbach arrays have multiple uses ranging from something as simple as a refrigerator magnet to something as intricate as a particle accelerator (where it’s used to focus particle accelerator beams).
Canon’s implementation, however, would use Halbach arrays to ensure that when a correction is applied to one axis, it won’t negatively affect another axis. Particularly, Canon’s patent application details how it would use a Halbach array on the vertical (y-axis) stabilization unit to ensure that the horizontal correction (x-axis) isn’t skewed when applying y-axis corrections.
|A pair of illustrations from the patent showing how the Halbach array would be positioned.|
The patent application also explains how the IBIS would work hand-in-hand with in-lens stabilization units to create the most effective stabilization possible. Specifically, the patent says the in-lens stabilization would account for corrections on the XY planes (2-axis stabilization) while the in-body stabilization would be able to account for shake on XY-theta planes (3-axis stabilization with vertical, horizontal and roll compensation). Similarly, gyro units within both the lens and camera would work alongside one another to account for angular corrections so the image stabilization element in the lens could be adjusted in coordination with the image sensor to most accurately correct the optical axis.
Below is a brief illustration of XY-theta alignment at work:
It’s unknown, of course, if this particular patent application will be used down the road in a future IBIS arrangement, but it is one of the more detailed patents we’ve come across from Canon regarding the technology. Based on this particular patent application, it would be a 5-axis IBIS unit, similar to those found in Sony and Nikon mirrorless cameras.