Canon is playing with two different astronomy-oriented technologies, which may have implications for camera and lens products in the future. Earlier this morning, Canon released information about its ongoing astronomy project with Okayama Observatory.
Canon contributed sensor technology with quick read-outs, allowing for measurement of rapid brightness changes. The very large pixels (19 micrometers square) are read out at 98 frames per second, allowing for detection of rapid changes, and also for noise reduction via stacking even with fast-moving objects. The telescope is scheduled to be ready to be employed by researchers this coming August.
Amusing to note is that the 35mm sensor box camera at the heart of the machine is EF mount – not RF mount. Technically, Canon will have launched a new EF camera in 2021.
On the other side of mount, Canon is trying to patent new catadioptric lenses, a design concept most commonly seen in telescope optical tube assemblies. These lenses typically have very large objective apertures and are foreshortened by having the optical path fold in on itself with a centrally-suspended mirror occupying the middle of the frame.
Of the embodiments contemplated in that patent, one is particularly interesting (the 1200mm f/8) because separate rumors were published about that focal length and aperture by Canon Rumors a month ago.