Dual Pixel CMOS AF from Canon

Tuesday, 2 July 2013 StrongMocha 0

Canon today announces the development of Dual Pixel CMOS AF, an innovative new autofocus technology for digital SLR cameras. Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a phase-difference AF technology on the image sensor plane, employs a CMOS sensor on which all of the effective pixels are able to perform both imaging and phase-difference AF to achieve dramatically improved AF performance during Live View shooting and when shooting movies.


As digital SLR cameras have evolved in recent years in terms of functionality and performance, shooting styles have become more diverse, with an increasing number of users no longer relying exclusively on the viewfinder when shooting, but rather confirming images on the camera’s LCD monitor when capturing images using the Live View function and when shooting movies.

Canon’s newly developed Dual Pixel CMOS AF, an innovative new image-plane phase-difference AF technology, employs a CMOS sensor on which all of the effective pixels are able to perform both imaging and phase-difference AF. Each individual pixel (the smallest structural unit capable of outputting an image signal) on the CMOS sensor incorporates two independent photodiodes (elements that transform light into electrical signals) which output signals that can be used for both imaging and the phase-difference AF.

When using the Live View function, the technology makes possible shooting with a feel similar to when shooting through the viewfinder, enabling sharp focus to be obtained across a wide shooting area*1 through phase-difference AF*2 until final focus is achieved. Compared with Canon’s previous image-plane phase-difference AF*3, Dual Pixel CMOS AF realises shorter focusing times, exceptional tracking performance and smooth autofocusing during movie shooting. Accordingly, because Live View shooting can be used in a manner similar to using the camera’s viewfinder, the fast and smooth AF performance allows users to focus more attention on the subject and composing the photo when shooting.

Compared with the EOS 100D, which employs Hybrid CMOS AF II, the EOS 70D (scheduled to go on sale in Australia from early September 2013), the first camera to feature the new AF technology, not only achieves an approximately 30% faster*4 focusing speed but also delivers improved Movie Servo AF tracking for continuously smooth focusing during movie shooting, even when filming quickly moving subjects.

Because the outstanding AF performance of Dual Pixel CMOS AF enhances functionality when using 103*5 models of EF lenses (including earlier models), users can enjoy a wide range of photographic endeavours enabled through various lenses.

Recognising great potential for the application of this technology across diverse product categories, Canon aims to promote its development efforts in the field of AF technology, targeting further advances to contribute to expanding the world of photographic expression.

  1. Shooting area coverage of approximately 80% vertically and horizontally for the EOS 70D.
  2. Contrast AF employed when using some older EF lens models, during magnified view, during Movie digital zoom and when using an extender.
  3. Hybrid CMOS AF and Hybrid CMOS AF II, which combine phase-difference AF and contrast AF.
  4. When used with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, based on a comparison by Canon. Disparity between AF methods may be small depending on lens used and shooting conditions. Disparity becomes greater when using older types of lenses.
  5. As of July 2, 2013.