After Vibrating Shutter Patent, Canon unveils clickable dials

photo of canon eos mirrorless camera

Canon has recently received a lot of attention about a series of new patents for unique lens designs, sensors and even a vibrating shutter button. Now the company has designed clickable dials.

Canon’s patent design features dial buttons that can be both turned and clicked as needed. This might seem slightly odd, but it could also be a very functional idea for photographers working in the field.

A great thing about these efforts from Canon is that aside from being one of the most beloved camera brands in the world, the company isn’t afraid to really play with how its cameras work in new ways.

Some users might find the idea of a vibrating shutter release, or a clickable dial pointless, but I beg to differ. In the field, it’s sometimes these sorts of odd little functional features that can make a major difference for capturing photos with minimal hassle.

The vibrating shutter is a perfect example: While it might seem gimmicky at first glance, in the era of modern mirrorless cameras with totally silent electronic shutter capacity, it’s a perfect way of being sure that your camera truly did capture a certain photo.

 If the vibration could be further wed to a camera’s AF system in such a way that it goes off if the photo was also taken in focus, that would be cool indeed.

Moving back to Canon’s clickable dial design, Canon Watch has uncovered a patent concept in which Canon camera dials can not only be rotated left or right in the usual way but also clicked downwards.

In Canon’s patent concept, the company uses dry patent document technical text to nonetheless clearly state that the purpose of this feature is to reduce “erroneous operation during a rotary operation.” While being “excellent in immediacy”.

In other words, you as a user could use this click function on Canon camera dials to rapidly adjust a certain setting more easily, while also not being able to accidentally click your dials when you do want to turn them.

canon clickackable shutter button patent diagram

The full text of the patent application –numbered 2023009898- for the clickable dial goes as follows:

“An object of the present invention is to provide a rotary operation member capable of a compound operation that prevents an erroneous operation during a rotary operation.

Description of the Related Art

Conventionally, in an electronic device having a rotating/swiveling operation member such as a dial, there has been proposed a structure capable of performing a combined operation of a rotating operation and a swinging operation of the rotating operation member.

However, the prior art disclosed in the above-mentioned patent document requires a plurality of means for producing a rotating operation and a swinging motion, and there is a concern that the swinging operation may be erroneously performed during the rotating operation.


Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a rotating and swinging operating member that performs rotating and swinging operations with a common member while preventing erroneous operation during rotating operation.


According to the present invention, it is possible to provide a composite operating member that is capable of rotating and swinging operations and that is excellent in immediacy while preventing erroneous operations.”

Will this actually appear in future Canon cameras? Who knows, but probably, because Canon has a penchant for actually experimenting with these kinds of things in its live camera releases.

Will it be worth a damn to anyone? Also, who knows, but it will be fun to try it out, and maybe some users will love the feature, and that’s important.

Canon seems to love experimenting with patents. So much so that it’s the only company in existence that has so far spent 37 consecutive years with a place in the list of top 5 US patent applicants.

Canon was late in coming to the race for creating and releasing mirrorless cameras and replace DSLR, but now that it’s here, the brand has been doing a remarkable job of upsetting early innovators like Sony an d Fujifilm.

As long as the products it creates make photographers extremely happy, that’s wonderful.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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