A couple of recent Nikon patent applications show off some new features and diagrams for pro-level DSLRs.
In this patent application (filed in May 2011), Nikon details a dust-reduction feature using the above model in its diagrams. The key feature is basically a hole at the bottom of the mirror box that is used to catch dust when the mirror swings up just before the shutter opens.
Nikon claims this feature captures reduces 50% of sensor dust after 10,000 shutter actuations.
Another Nikon patent application (filed in June 2011), shows off a new mirror assembly that allows the sub-mirror to rotate back into focusing position independently of the main mirror. Essentially, this method subjects the sub-mirror to less vibration caused by the main mirror’s return.
According to Nikon’s patent claims, this should speed up continuous shooting AF acquisition. Perhaps this could push the D4 over the 10fps barrier? Even if we don’t get any substantial max fps increase, it would hopefully push the Focus Priority shot speed (under AF-C Focus Selection) up higher. The shot-to-shot speed in Focus Priority mode tends to slow way down on the D3S in some situations; however, the accuracy is unparalleled in most cases.
As with all patents, there’s no guarantee that any of the tech outlined therein will make it into upcoming camera models. However, these two patent applications could prove to be very important to upcoming Nikon cameras (even if they are a little boring on the sexy-tech side of things).