Canon is putting part of its vast research efforts against optimization technologies for power usage in the face of an RF system that lags Sony in battery performance. A patent published last week shows an example of the tweaks being sought. Many such optimizations will be needed to make an appreciable difference.

The European patent – attributed to a Canon employee who has done previous research work in the accessory communications and recording media space – sets up a system allowing the camera to ask a lens to switch to a different communications protocol appropriate to a different power provision state.

As the new RF mount system added several additional pins to allow for greater bandwidth, Canon engineers have noted in interviews in the past that some of the new pins aren’t yet used, allowing for future functionalities. The pins that are used may require additional power from RF lenses when not employing the EF-mount legacy pin-out communication protocols.

A notable complaint for RF-mount camera users who employ legacy EF-mount big white telephoto lenses has been the simplistic power coupling of those lenses to the R cameras, especially as the IS systems appear to continue grinding along even when the camera itself is in sleep mode. While the technology mentioned in the patent would likely not apply to legacy lenses, it could apply to the adapters to which those EF lenses must mount, helping solve this issue in a future adapter release. The control ring adapter – and perhaps other of the adapter line – is said to be firmware upgradeable, although no upgrades have been made available since their release.