Canon may soon be offering aperture adjustment rings for its DSLR cameras. Adjusting apertures on modern day DSLRs has been relegated to electronic controls that make it difficult to get a smooth transition between aperture settings, which is especially important when it comes to recording videos. Thanks to a patent application from Canon, we now know that they've been working on addressing this issue.
These new lenses that Canon is working on, feature the typical focus ring and zoom ring, but add a third ring for controlling the aperture. However, unlike old school cameras, this aperture ring controls the setting electronically rather than through a mechanical iris.
It's not clear whether the new aperture ring would allow for smooth adjustments or 1/3-stop clicks. But judging from the filing, which indicates that there are two separate aperture adjustment options for movie capture and still images, it's highly likely to adjust smoothly. The new aperture ring is used in movie capture mode, while the common controls on the camera body are used in still image mode.