Canon may have known that cameras like the R5 have a tendency to overheat, and a new patent design shows the company has created a unique heat sink design to help keep them cool.
Most video cameras like the Panasonic S1H or even the Canon R5 C have active cooling built in to help keep the processor and other camera circuitry cool while shooting. These fans are also generally designed to be quiet so as not to be picked up by a microphone in the group.
But with a smaller and more compact mirrorless camera setup, like the R5 or even a pocket camera, the ability to cool down an overheating sensor becomes more problematic. Basically, manufacturers are forced to choose between small and compact or cool and high-performance companies.
When users discovered they couldn’t shoot at the R5’s highest resolution for a very long time before the camera overheated, several third-party and DIY solutions popped up to help extend shooting times, such as the Tilta Cooling System, which is essentially a fan that turns off the camera’s internal battery via a USB connection.
Third-party solutions have their advantages, but Canon was thinking about solving the same problem by designing an external heatsink.
In a patent application filed in Japan in 2015 but published earlier this year, the company has designed an external cooler designed for use with smaller mirrorless cameras. The design appears to take advantage of the USB-C port on the side of the camera and use it to act as a kind of conduit by which heat from the processor and sensor can be sucked out and transferred to an external heatsink mounted on the back of the camera.
The design would work best with a camera with this specific intent, Canon News reports. In theory, the Canon design could also be used to protect other devices from overheating including smartphones, tablets and even laptops, although it’s possible that the device’s firmware should support such an accessory and that USB ports should be Designed to absorb heat transfer.
While the accessory will undoubtedly add to the size and weight of the camera, it will help mitigate overheating issues with camera designs that suffer due to their small size. When the desire for a small, compact camera is more pressing than one that can absorb heat well, it can be removed.
The only real issue may be how to get around the vari-angle LCD screens, and Canon may have to re-design them or expect their users to flip the screen before attaching the external dock. It’s also possible Canon could consider designing the heatsink to be mounted under the camera just like the battery grip, allowing for a more secure connection using a tripod mount.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that Canon is thinking seriously about how to address overheating issues in its cameras without having to sacrifice performance.