Microsoft announces patent licensing deal with Canon

Microsoft announces patent licensing deal with Canon

Microsoft has signed an agreement with camera-maker Canon to cross-license several patents. Microsoft says that this agreement will allow for increased innovation, while at the same time preventing patent lawsuits. Microsoft has a fairly long history of IP licensing agreements with other companies, having made 1,100 such deals since 2003.

The patent agreement covers a number of areas. These include patents for digital imaging and mobile, though the exact terms of the deal will not be disclosed, presumably for competitive reasons. For its part, Canon says that this is a "natural extension" of the company's long relationship with Microsoft, with whome they have worked on a number of projects, including color technology.

What do you think of Microsoft's deal with Canon? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Microsoft


Reader comments

Microsoft announces patent licensing deal with Canon


Well this is Interesting considering I use both brands...would love to see a canon camera with WPlike interface like Samsung has that camera..whatever its name is lol

Though everyone gets your comment, I just want to help you out by saying that the correct spelling is "innovation".

That depends on the EYE of the photographer. That being said, we all know that Nikon has the best lens out there, and it is the lens that makes the difference other than the developed eye.

In addition, when it comes to color, I prefer Nikon because they have a natural tone. Canon is in the vivid side. Also, when it comes to higher ISO, Nikon produces less noise in the image. Something that Canon still has not achieve or match.

I am not trying to put Canon, but I've used both DSLR. However, saying one is better than the other is really moot point. Again, it is with the preference of the photographer, and from someone who has used both.

Yet to match? You mean like they already have. You mean as they did before, while everyone else was telling them CMOS sensors were no good. And the best lenses in the world?

No. The things I said are known facts. That being said, there are Canon users that uses Nikon lenses. I could have gone with either, but it is the natural color and high ISO (less noise) that made me stick with the Nikon.

I just say its the best because it is what I use :). It's not meant to be taken seriously. Having said that, while I have used Nikon very few times, I have noticed images taken on Nikon tend to be more clear, hence your point about noise.

Ah, it appears that cameras is yet another area where we can waken the fan boys. We actually don't "all" know that Nikon has the best lens out there. As with smartphones and computer operating systems, I'm all for consumer choice and what works best for me. If I chose to respond to such a claim about the best lens, I would simply note which lenses most professional photogs are using along the sidelines of any sporting event I've ever been to. Hint. It's Canon.

Tamron, Sigma, ZEISS.... There are a ton of awesome lens makers. Your "best" statement is very amateur.

And that is why all theme parks and NASA uses Nikon right?

In addition, sports photographers are the worse people that you could ask advice from when you are getting into photography. They will inform you to purchase the most expensive things out there considering the fact that you wouldn't probably even use your photography skills on sporting events. 

Disney used canon for most of the 2000's, now Nikon pays them to be in the parks so of course that is what they now use.

The last few times I was in their theme park, they were using Nikons, and that was even before the 2013 deal. I know that San Diego Zoo uses Nikons, Gaylord Hotels around the country uses Nikon as well.

Dieney's Photopass photographers began their Nikon sponsonship before the 2013 signage deal.  They used Canon until they were paid not to.  I wouldn't be suprised to find the other venues you mentioned had similar deals with Nikon.

Nice link.

I'm a Canon guy, but you do know that the IXUS series are point and shoots right? Looks like you kind of proved his point. Those are pro level Nikon bodies they're using.

You dismiss a group of folks (sports photogs) who generally use Canon lenses as "being the worst people to ask" even though they make their living taking pictures and you cite themepark use of Nikon as an example of its superiority, ignorant of the fact that nothing that happens in a themepark (including which camera to use) happens without being paid for. It's great that you love Nikon. They make great products. Just stop trying to tell us that we "all" know they are the best. They are an excellent choice. Canon has worked for me and those sports photogs. I know people who swear by Zeiss as well. Choice. It's a good thing.

First of all, I would ask you to read my comment once again. Second, you labled it, and not me. Sports photographers (both Canon and Nikon users) use the most expensive gears, and they will not go for anything less. Now, if you are a novice, and then you ask them what gears you should have, more than likely, they will inform you of the type of grear they use. Now, unless you will be doing the same thing they are doing, then yes, it will be a good investment. However, if you will be doing other things like portrait and such, especially if you are just a beginner, do you really think that would be a wise investment in your part?

The old Nikon/Canon debate will never really go away. Nikon doesn't have the 'best' lens neither does Canon, what they have is good lenses in some categories. Canon beats Nikon with their telephoto line up with breadth of IS and speciality lenses available. I'm not saying Nikon is rubbish, but Canon just has a stronger line up when it comes to telephoto lenses of 200mm+. In wide angle Nikon generally has a better range and quality lenses than Canon especially in the ultra-wide category, and standard lenses and telephotos it's a toss up between between the two. Macro, the edge belongs to Canon because they have one of the best Macro lenses the MP-E 65 combined with the 100mm L IS.  Nikon have better, if a touch confusing, lens compatibility than Canon if you want to play with old lenses. All this is moot however when you start playing with Phase One gear, Zeiss glass and the like...

As you said Nikon is the current leader when it comes to high ISO due to the on sensor DAC, the collaboration with Sony has paid dividends for image quality. As to Skin tone that's a moot point however with RAW images and a GMB colour chart, though in this regard it really comes to what camera you use, lens and RAW converter as much as anything else and colour is always a subjective taste anyway. The best skin tones are currently considered to be produced by Fuji's Trans-X sensor tech at least out-with medium format cameras.

These days it's as much which eco-system suits the photographer as it is about what genre they are photographing. The other gotcha is the video and remote capture, in these Nikon really has dropped the ball and they're playing catch up. One the plus side for Nikon they have a superior range of AF systems across the board compared to the confusing mess (especially the rubbish AF at the consumer end) Canon has. 

How you know the folks here aren't big photography people: not a single mention of Contax/Carl Zeiss, Leica, Hasselblad, or even Leaf.


Love Sony sensors btw, but each lens pretty much matches depending on the whims of the shooter, some like how one lens has a more cold/warm cast, smoother/rougher bokeh formation, sharpness (yes, even this can be debatable), etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  It really is all about what the photographer wants/adapts to.

I did in mentioning Medium (or even Large) format cameras, but they're mostly restricted to those with free cash or working professionally.

Personally I prefer P1 to Hasselblad systems, especially since 'Blad locked out third party systems.

I'll agree with you on the video part of the camera of Nikon. In that sense, Nikon as you have said, dropped the ball.

MP-E 65, that if you are using a SLR. At the moment, Canon has not produced any macro lenses for their DSLR line - which kind of surprises me.

And Canon itself has adapted the Nikon F-mount with their M15P-CL for industrial use.

Yes they have, 100mm L Macro, 2.8 IS... Probably one of the best macro lenses on the market at present and when combined with a full frame sensor amazing detail and clarity.

The industrial market is totally different from consumer and dSLRs. F-mount is used for compatibility and they are generally prime, non-AF types to reduce the costs of manufacturing.

You also got to remember Canon is one of the few companies that have total control of their production line combined with R&D, they are present in multiple markets from medical, video/film, manufacturing, photography and more so they are not stiff necked when it comes to producing equipment tailored to different markets.

Ok, I missed that lens. :(

That is correct, but my point is that Nikon lense is the standard in that part of the market.

Both have control of their product line, and both have R&D and has competing products in multiple markets.

No the Nikon mount is standard, and anyone can create a lens to mate to that mounting. This is why it's standard. Creating a 50mm lens isn't that difficult, the formula has remained the same for the last century it's just the quality of materials, glass and coatings that have changed things.

Last I checked Nikon doesn't produce their own camera sensor, Canon does. That's what I referred to, Canon has the R&D and manufacturing capability to produce sensors not just for broadcast quality video cameras but also producing still sensors found in dSLRS. Also Canon is still using the same sensor design that was found the D60 from 14 years ago and that's what crippling their High ISO ability. The sensor has been refined and optimsed to the point that they now have to come up with something new, and they've been playing with multi-layer and Foveon type sensor technologies going by the patents they've publically released. The problem for Canon is they focussed on modernising their lenses for digital cameras and creating specality lenses to the point that the camera sensor has been neglected. This is why Sony's sensor tech is so important to Nikon and Canon users alike, it's now finally creating meaningful competition that we've lacked.


Nikon started producing their own sensor in 2007 with the D3. However, Nikon didn't start rolling it on other DSLRs until the introduction of the D3100 in 2010, and they're forced due in part that Sony announced that they will no longer create a full frame sensor. If that actually happened or not, Nikon has been rolling out DSLRs with their own sensors.

Which actually makes it even more compelling. If it is true that Nikon has to go to third party to build their CMOS, then they are sure making a heck of job when it comes to it. Unlike Canon, that has a fab shop and is still somewhat laging behind Nikon.

You have to remember, unlike Canon and Sony, Nikon is just in the camera / lens company, so if Canon or Sony closes their camera division, they will still thrive, thus Nikon has to be the best in their field.

No it's actually the opposite, Nikon loses a percentage of their sales to a third party manufacturer and also drives up the costs for developing any new tech. In addition they are beholden to that manufactures schedules for supply and demand. This makes them vulnerable to Sony et al who can produce sensors for their own cameras quicker and more efficiently.

Canon doesn't have any of those constraints and therefore keep all profits internal, plus they have the freedom to experiment with their proceses. Also it'll be cheaper for Canon to produce theirs and reduce wastage.

Canon is on a mature and proven process, and it's all the more amazing that they've managed to squeeze every last bit out of it especially in the silicon wafer industry which is very volatile and has a short life span when it comes to lithographic processes. Nikon has historically lagged behind Canon and other manufacturers in many technical areas, particularly in the digital era. Canon did an unthinkable move in 1987 by redesigning their complete range for EOS, something that allowed them to take advantage of upcoming new technologies that makes Canon such a strong force in the digital markets today. This is one reason quite a few pro's hate Canon because their kit became obsolete and in recent years they grudgingly had to forgive Canon.

And do you really think that having your own manufacturing plant doesn't eat your profit? In fact, it eats more because you are employing people and running the facilities. Why do you think companies that have factories are laying off people and closing plants when they start to struggle? Historically, Nikon's gross profit margin are a lot better than Canon during the last few years - Nikon is in the 20 - 40 percentile while Canon is in the single digit.

Also, do you really think that Canon is running to any delays even if they have their own shop. Everybody is susuptable to manufactures schedules for supply and demand.

Do you also think that Nikon cannot demand their manufacturing partners to do what they want?

Basically at the end of the day, both generates great competing products - they just do it differently.






You're also narrow in your thinking. The fabs Canon have produces sensors and chips for all the markets Canon has products in so the cost is amortised over the whole company not just one division.

All chip companies can run into delays but when you contract to a third party it's different. You buy time slots and Lots of silicons of wafers, you do your production run for that period. At that point you're stuck if you need more or if you produced too many until that company has another slot for you, and if you've screwed up the design you're out of luck. You have no control over the production line, costs or even plant R&D. All of which factor into the cost. Does having your own plant offset these? Probably. Especially if you start going to specialist and niche markets such as medical sensors and equipment.

As to finances, Canon works as a homogenous whole where the cameras are broken out, Nikon is very dependant on lenses and camera based technologies (although they do have a presence in CAD operations) hence it's harder for them to adapt to changes. The two companies are very, very different in  corporate style and market demographics. Plus Canon's R&D is the third highest patent holder in America the last I checked and has one of the largest R&D budgets. Canon is more like Sony than Nikon in corporate structure and business sectors.

At the end of the day as you said they are both good cameras, I've worked with both and I prefer Canon but I also like working with the Fuji x100s.

Dude, first of all, take a chill pill, and stop with the personal attack because all I did was asked you questions. In addition, and again, as I said in my previous comment, it doesn't matter how they do things because - again - at the end of the day, they both create great competing products.

Remeber this comment that I made to you:
You have to remember, unlike Canon and Sony, Nikon is just in the camera / lens company, so if Canon or Sony closes their camera division, they will still thrive, thus Nikon has to be the best in their field.

So what's the difference between that and your thrid paragraph? It is the same thing. You are over analyzing.

So basically it is not being narrow minded. It is about common sense.

Nice comment. Glad I didn't have to type that up, after reading the one guys comments. You saved me a bunch of time lol!

I'd prefer Sony (I have and love the NEX-6), but I doubt they'd be too willing to share technology that may go into the Xperia phones some day.

I prefer Canon and shoot professionally. It mostly came down to the interface on Canon which I found more intuitive. It felt completely backwards on Nikon.

That said, whenever someone asks me which system to buy, I say go with either - they're both great. I just prefer Canon.

Awesome! An encouraging sign that Microsoft Mobile will continue Nokia's tradition in providing a cutting edge experience in mobile photography.

Nokia 808 PureView is as good as it current gets for still images. I own the 808, 1020 and 1520 and the 808 resolves more detail with less noise, natural colors and had a more powerful Xenon flash than the 1020.

Software wise, the 1020 takes the win but camera hardware wise, the Nokia 808 has a superior camera sensor and Xenon flash and those are essential.

Are you considering the .DNG file from the 1020? Everything I take with my 1020 goes right into Adobe Camera Raw for adjustments and noise reduction. It would be nice if they kept that same sensor size of the 808 though. Maybe the successor for the 1020 will push those numbers back up? Here's to hoping that comes true.

I hope so too! Loving my 1020 and although its not the easiest camera on a smartphone to shoot with I still get amazing pictures, anxiously awaiting it's successor!!!

The Canon 5D Mark III is a thing of beauty. Makes me almost ashamed of my  5D Mark II. Anywho, I wonder if this is to imprive on the PureView technology. Hopefully the Surface line benefits from this as well.

I would love to see an app for Canon WiFi cameras as well as one for wired connection. I currently have a Dell venue pro 8, but it's not the easiest since eos utility is geared toward mouse use.

I'd love to see the in device processing from Canon point and shoots in a phone. I'd also welcome Canon apps like Remote shooting.

I wonder what Cabin will do on their end. Maybe they will have more connected cameras.

Exciting development.

Any deal with Canon that has to do with any type of mobile innovation can't be a bad thing. I'm excited.

I think it may be for their liquid lense tech . Here are the benifits from a different company that does the same thing.

  • Very fast image capture
  • Very fast AF mode (non sequential algorithms)
  • Capturing multiple images at different focus positions, from infinity to 1cm object.
  • Reconstruct a 3D map from captured depth information
  • Correct for handshake in real time
  • Super-resolution, zoom

Nokia was rumoured on having a camera that can take pics with different focus positions . Also I would think the liquid lense would allow optical zoom in a camera phone without all the motors.

Does it really matter if it's Cannon or Nikon? The thing that many people will want to know, is it better than the current cameras that are available on current Nokia phones? Personally, it doesn't matter to me, as long as it takes good quality pictures.

I hope Carl Zeiss optics are still in the cards. They are what made pureview awesome. If this leads to an improvement I'm all for it

*starts playing cello*

Sounds great. I just hope they don't end up making a Windows Phone 8.1 camera that can also make calls like the Galaxy S4 Zoom (which isn't quite as good as a DSLR, but it's the same idea)

Great news !!

Canon hardware and Microsoft software ( and if it is based on existing Nokia and Canon software...)  awesome combination...



So does this mean they've been woeking together already and are just making the public aware, or that they will be working together?

Wow anyway Lumia they have great cameras even now if they cameras become a Canon's products that would be even better results ! Canon and Nokia..."The world is in your hands" !

Awesome, no one can argue that canon is top notch stuff, especially their glass. Not even Nikon users, which is nearly as top notch. ;-)

Sony sensors are used in the iPhone which is considered the best phone quality around. Sooooo there's that. I doubt it will be anything next level. Meh...

Pureview with canon expertise behind it = no one can touch windows for imaging and maybe canon can benefit from pureview tech

Canon bla bla bla
Nikon bla bla bla

Bla bla. Bla bla bla. Bla bla.

In the end you know what you want...it's a Sony.

Xenon flash, ZEISS optics, and Canon technology?? I see an amazing camera coming up very soon.

Camera Sensor Technology & Auto Focus is the main part plus other sensor tech you will find in canon cameras.

Can't wait to see what products and innovations come from this. I'm hoping its a Nokia that puts my 1020 to shame in the optics department. Being able to slave some of canons flashes to it remotely would be epic!

Combine Pureview with Canon technology? That would be awesome. Supersampling with Canon optics and hardware! I might be only dreaming. Though I'm not sure if the Pureview technology belongs to Microsoft Mobile or to the rest of the Nokia company.

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