A patent application, filed by Canon, reveals technology that would effectively incorporate fuel cell technology in DSLRs and other small consumer electronic devices. The United States Patent Application Publication Pub. No. 20080081236 can be found here.
As Canon points out it the patent claims, fuel cell technology is a bit of a tough cookie for small electronic devices due to uneven gas densities and variances in load currents, among other things. For example, the mirror operation in a DSLR can cause sudden fluctuations in the load current, which is problematic for fuel cells. However, Canon claims to have overcome this barrier in its fuel cell power system, “which is capable of counteracting the instantaneous fluctuation of a load current and [is] designed as a smaller lightweight system.”
The patent doesn’t reveal the what the fuel cell system will look like when integrated into a DSLR. Maybe we’ll see some sort of battery grip integration in the first iteration, like in the MTI Micro image above.
On a (perhaps) related note, MTI Micro recently announced a partnership with an unnamed Japanese digital camera manufacturer to evaluate the use of fuel cells in digital cameras. (See this report on Engadget for more.) I’m just reading between the lines here, but maybe Canon is that “someone special” for MTI Micro.