If you're one of the more daring (or foolhardy) photographers out there, you've tried camera tossing: hurling your camera into the air in the hopes that a timed shot will catch either a unique perspective or an artistic spin. Nikon might not want to stop those shooters from throwing caution to the wind, but its recently published Japanese patent would at least keep those throws to a minimum. Cameras based on the patent could use a built-in accelerometer not just for timing the shot, but to brace for a fall by covering the lens and retracting its barrel on the way down. In theory, the photographer gets a perfect aerial portrait without all the guesswork and a minimum of damage. Call us skeptical that we'll ever see the patent reach a shipping product, though -- even if it was limited to rugged cameras, a mode built almost exclusively around voiding the warranty probably wouldn't sit well with Nikon's accountants.
[Image credit: Zoli B, Flickr]