A friend in the business just informed me that the US just patented the F6 and he understands it to be a 35mm format hybrid DSLR. My other posting regarding the D2x being 11mp, the D2z with 3 11mp chips, both with remote to television, the photojournalist D2h P and the Digital U, aren't a joke either. Really. Of course the joke could be on me... but I doubt it. Funny, no mention of a D200.
And, in reviewing the patent, it is definitely for a DSLR. This does not neccesarily mean much, though, as most companies own hundreds of patents that they don't do anything with. They patent anything and everthing.
------------------- CORRECTION: Upon reviewing the patent further it does not appear to be for a DSLR. The main focus of the patent issued on March 30 is a new flash system. Anyone know anything about the details of i-TTL? Does it involve a small 48 pixel CCD in the pentaprism housing? That's seems to be the big deal is this patent. The description points out that this is described in terms of a film camera, but could be adopted by a digital camera. -------------------
I thought the patent they received on March 23 for a "super wide-angle lens system" was pretty interesting. Especially considering they mention f 1.4. This could be for other optical equiptment though. I don't know what aperatures microscopes use. And also, doesn't Nikon make optics for semiconducter machines? Although I can't believe you'd use a wide focal lenght for that.
Did you check out the interesting Quicktime files (with the drawings)? Took a while to down load. I think that it was for i-TTL. (I wonder if any of the i-TTL brochures have "Patent Pending" associated with it. If you notice the patent application was dated 2002, I believe.
>By the way, the trademark for "F6" appears to be owned by a >company in New Jersey for some protective sleeving for >cables and wires. > >That certainly does not preclude "F6D" or the like.
Actually, as long as products don't infringe on each other, the same trademark can be registered for as many different products as you want. There is F6 cable sheathing already, but there can still be, e.g., an F6 car, F6 washing machine, F6 clock radio, etc., and of course, an F6 camera, we hope.
The patent submission was also apparently started at least by October 2001. I doubt that the design of any camera which has yet to be shipped was started that early.
From the few patents I have, it is my experience that patents are usually issued long after the products hit the market. Several years later is not unusual. But it would be a very rare patent that was issued prior to a product being shipped.
You're correct Jim about the timing. I just got two last week for a product that went on the market about 18 months ago. That's why I was guessing it was for i-TTL. The wide angle one on March 23, I was guessing was the 12-24DX, although the f 1.4 aperature threw me off. That one very well also might have been a lens design they think they might use sometime in the future. Companies patent ideas all the time, even if they don't use them, just in case a competitor comes up with something similar later on. People would be amazed if they knew how many patents most companies have "sitting on the shelf".
>What your friend relayed on to you was a Hoax, and has >nothing to do with the truth > > >The F 5 will be the last great 35mm camera Nikon makes and >at this time, Nikon has no intentions on stopping making it. > > >The “D” series will continue to be there name for the >digital line.
Just curious why you think it is a hoax. My friend who relayed the F6 patent info works in a fairly large Nikon dealership. He isn't the kidding type. I'd give it sometime.
The F6 “hybrid” rumor has been circulating for some months and is not an April fool’s day hoax, but whether we see a camera matching the rumor is another story.
I have searched all of Nikon's recent patents and could put together a fantastic camera from them, but the PTO's public database for issued patents, is only current to 3/30/04, as of this morning. Further, while generally no one patent will spill the beans on a new camera, as all of Nikons recent slrs are the product of numerous patents, there is . . .
A Nikon patent application for a film/digital hybrid SLR. It is Appliction 20030223743, filed on December 30 2002, published December 4 2003. It claims priority from a Japanese Patent application filed January 11, 2002.
Below are some the relevant claims
1. A camera body comprising: a first body having a photographic lens mounting portion at which a photographic lens can be mounted; and a second body having a reference surface to be used to position a photographic recording medium, wherein: the first body is mounted at a surface substantially matching the reference surface at the second body.
With the “second body” being . . .
5. A camera body according to claim 1, wherein: the photographic recording medium is film; and the reference surface is equivalent to a film rail surface.
6. A camera body according to claim 1, wherein: the photographic recording medium is an image-capturing element; and the reference surface is equivalent to a surface at which the image-capturing element is mounted.
Anyone who knows the truth about how this particular patent application is being put to use, has gone silent on the issue. We will just have to wait.
I enjoy running what-if's as much as the next person (I'm real big fan of alternative history novels ), but this is all just speculation at this point. I thank everyone for their input (especially the patent research - amazing what folks can find nowadays if you know where to look), but we're locking this thread now and moving on to other subjects. Thanks All!