Patents Examined by Melissa Jan Koval
  • Patent number: 7661892
    Abstract: An image-capturing device includes a lens barrel having therein an optical image-capturing system; a light control blade which opens and closes an optical path of the optical image-capturing system so as to control the amount of light entering the system; and a base body having a transmission hole through which the optical path extends and supporting the light control blade in a movable manner. The light control blade includes a multilayer laminate including a base material composed of a film and serving as a substrate, and at least a metallic layer disposed on the base material; and a light-blocking layer disposed on a first section of the multilayer laminate. A second section of the multilayer laminate not having the light-blocking layer disposed thereon defines a light adjustment filter for adjusting the amount of incident light. The first section having the light-blocking layer defines a light-blocking portion for blocking incident light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Shun Kayama, Yukiko Shimizu, Atsushi Takano
  • Patent number: 7660519
    Abstract: An autofocus apparatus includes an imaging device that captures a subject image through a photographic lens; an AF area determining device that determines a range of image signals to be used for autofocus adjustment based upon image signals provided by the imaging device; a focus adjustment device that adjusts a focal point position achieved through the photographic lens by driving a focus lens so as to maximize contrast achieved with the image signals in the determined range; and a control device that controls the focus adjustment device, if the range of the image signals determined by the AF area determining device has been altered, so as to adjust the focal point position by using image signals in the altered range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Yukikazu Iwane, Shigeo Takahashi, Toshimi Watanabe, Toshiaki Maeda
  • Patent number: 7632024
    Abstract: A retractable lens (1) and a swingable lens retracting device (2) thereof are provided. The retractable lens has first, second and third lens groups (L1, L2, L3) constituting a photographing optical system. The swingable lens retracting device consists of a second lens group moving frame (21) and a second lens group holding frame (22) rotatably received in the second lens group moving frame via a pivot shaft (221). A pair of torsion springs (224) is mounted on respective opposite ends of the pivot shaft. When the retractable lens is retracted back to a retracted state, the second lens group is biased by the swingable lens retracting device to an off-axis space radially outside a common optical axis of the photographing optical system with its optical axis being orthogonal to the common optical axis. The transition between a retracted position and a photographing position of the second lens group is accomplished by the resilient restoring force of the torsion springs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Asia Optical Co., Inc.
    Inventor: Chun-hung Huang
  • Patent number: 7574126
    Abstract: A lens position calculator is provided that determines a phase of a driving signal as a reference position of an imaging lens when an output value of a position detection sensor reaches a threshold value. The lens position calculator determines a position obtained by performing addition or subtraction on the reference position read out from a reference position storage as a judgment position, detects an output value of the position detection sensor at a timing in synchronization with the driving signal that drives a driver and at the judgment position, and judges whether the output value of the position detection sensor at the judgment position reaches the threshold value or not, so as to determine the reference position again.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Kenichi Honjo, Kouji Shibuno, Takayuki Hayashi, Masato Murayama
  • Patent number: 7574130
    Abstract: Disclosed is a mobile communication terminal having a camera function and a method of controlling a photographing process thereof. According to an embodiment of the disclosure, the mobile communication terminal comprises two buttons relating to the camera function positioned separately on a main body of the terminal. A first button is a photographing button that captures an image when on-state and a second button is a supporting button, provided the user chooses to activate this function. In this setup, the mobile communication terminal protrudes a camera lens or takes a photograph only when the first and the second buttons are in the on state. Accordingly, it is possible to reduce the possibility of dropping the terminal due to carelessness during photography, and to decrease the possibility of damaging the camera lens even when the terminal is dropped on the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Pantech Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Woo Sung Kim
  • Patent number: 7544004
    Abstract: A lens barrel includes a lens mount for holding a lens in a barrel, a guide shaft extending parallel to an optical axis of the lens within the barrel and connected to the lens mount for guiding the lens mount along the optical axis, and a support operable to support opposite ends of the guide shaft in its extending direction within the barrel, the support including a support unit operable to support at least one of the opposite ends of the guide shaft, the support unit including a hole provided in the barrel, and a bearing member attached from the exterior of the barrel into the hole and being removable therefrom, the bearing member being rotatable about a center axis of the hole, wherein the bearing member includes a shaft inserted into the hole and a bearing hole provided in the shaft, with one end of the guide shaft being inserted into the bearing hole and a center axis of the bearing hole being eccentric from a center axis of the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Kawai, Hideharu Miyagaki
  • Patent number: 7532811
    Abstract: A system and method for capturing and distributing photographic images are provided. A wireless transmitter is physically coupled with a subject. The wireless transmitter broadcasts an identification code that is received by a wireless transceiver associated with a camera. One or more cameras capture visual images and associate at least one image with at least one wireless transmitter identification code. The image is stored as a record in a database and associated with one or more identification codes and a time/date stamp. The record is retrievable by reference to each associated identification code and optionally in reference to the time/date stamp. Records may be provided via the Internet or other electronic communications network, to include telephony systems. Records may be provided according to price schedules related to image quality, quantity, advertising content options.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Inventor: David Andrew Sauder
  • Patent number: 7527438
    Abstract: A retractable photographic lens includes a moving ring; a holding frame which holds a retractable optical element and is movable between a photographing position and a displaced position displaced from the photographing position; and a driving device which moves the holding frame from the photographing position to the displaced position using a rearward moving force of the moving ring when the retractable photographic lens moves from a operating state to a fully-retracted state. The driving device includes first and second driving devices which give the holding frame first and second amounts of retractive movement per unit of movement of the moving ring, respectively. When the retractable photographic lens moves from the operating state to the fully-retracted state, the first driving device firstly moves the holding frame toward the displaced position and subsequently the second driving device moves the holding frame to the displaced position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Hoya Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nomura, Shinya Suzuka, Ken Endo
  • Patent number: 7515818
    Abstract: This invention provides an image capturing apparatus which sets the spectral characteristics of a split light beam to be substantially equal to those of straight traveling light upon splitting a light beam coming from a photographing optical system and enables an autofocus detection function by the split light with a sufficient light amount. A digital camera includes a photographing optical system, beam splitter, focus detection sensor, polarizing filter, and CMOS sensor. The beam splitter splits a light beam which travels toward the CMOS sensor that receives an object image formed by the photographing optical system, depending on the direction of polarization, and the focus detection sensor performs focus detection based on the light beam split by the beam splitter. The polarizing filter removes substantially the same polarized light component as a polarized light component that travels toward the focus detection sensor as a result of splitting by the beam splitter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masafumi Kimura
  • Patent number: 7512330
    Abstract: A focus state detection apparatus has a sensor that senses light rays that pass through a lens subjected to focus detection and is composed of a plurality of photoelectric converter elements, a charge accumulation unit that accumulates pixel signals obtained by the sensor, a first accumulation controller, a second accumulation controller, a first storage unit that stores each accumulated signal of each of the plurality of areas accumulation-controlled by the first accumulation controller, a second storage unit that stores the accumulated signal of the combined area accumulation-controlled by the second accumulation controller, and a defocus state detector that detects a defocus state of the area from the accumulated signal stored in either the first storage unit or the second storage unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takashi Ichimiya
  • Patent number: 7505681
    Abstract: In a circumstance in which light is emitted from many electronic flashes, e.g., a press conference hall or a wedding hall, light emission from other electronic flashes overlaps preliminary light emission performed before main light emission. This decreases the photometry accuracy with respect to preliminary light emission and makes it difficult to perform proper flash exposure. In a camera system designed to perform preliminary light emission before main light emission, photometry is performed a plurality of number of times upon preliminary light emission, and flash exposure is performed by suppressing photometric values which may have been influenced by light emission as disturbance other than the preliminary light emission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masami Shimizu
  • Patent number: 7488078
    Abstract: A system and method displays a realistic image that allows a user to readily grasp his/her own positional relationship and also to experience a sense of presence. An outer dome screen is disposed so as to surround a user, and an immersion image such as the scenery of the surroundings of an object is displayed thereon. An inner dome screen is disposed inside the outer dome screen, and it displays a bird's-eye image of the object as perceived by the vision of the user when the object is viewed from a viewpoint of the user. In this case, the user is allowed to readily grasp his/her own positional relationship by the bird's-eye image and is allowed to experience a sense of presence by the immersion image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsujiro Kondo, Yuji Okumura, Tsugihiko Haga, Tetsuya Murakami, Kenji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 7484851
    Abstract: An image forming device for forming an image on an image forming object by irradiating the image forming object with a luminous flux corresponding to the image, the image forming device including: a lens having a zoom lens and a focus lens; a driving system; a position sensor; a controlling circuit; and a memory. When the controlling circuit receives a first command, the controlling circuit sets the target values, controls the driving system using the set target values, and performs control to record the respective positions detected by the position sensor in timing of ending the controlling of the driving system in the memory as a first adjustment value. When the controlling circuit receives a second command to read contents of the memory, the controlling circuit reads the first adjustment value from the memory, and controls the driving system using the first adjustment value as the target values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Daizo Oka
  • Patent number: 7480452
    Abstract: Methods and related computer program products, systems, and devices for auto-focusing in an image-capturing system includes sampling output signals from an auto-focusing circuit in a first interval of lens distances and determining a first lens distance and a second lens distance corresponding to the two highest values of the sampled output signals in the first interval of lens distances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: Winbond Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuya Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 7480456
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus and recording method that can further improve ease-of-use for the user creates directories according to shooting situations selected from multiple predetermined types of shooting situations, assigns image data produced as a result of photographing a subject to the directories according to the selected shooting situations, attaches identification information to the image data according to the selected shooting situations, and stores the image data to which the identification information is attached, together with an application program of one or more specified applications, so as to associate the image data with the applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiharu Yanagida, Kuniya Hayashi, Yuko Aoki
  • Patent number: 7480451
    Abstract: The combined actuator described can be incorporated into a miniaturized camera product. In the camera product, the shutter driver uses the focus or zoom actuator's power amplifiers to control the current flow in shutter actuators. As such, the space needed for the camera's electronics is smaller and it is less expensive to manufacture the camera product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: Nokia Corporation
    Inventors: Mikko A. Ollila, Olli-Pekka Haila
  • Patent number: 7477840
    Abstract: An image stabilizer includes a guide device which guides an image-stabilizing optical element in a direction orthogonal to an optical axis and an image shake counteracting driving device, the image shake counteracting driving device including a drive source; a first moving element; a second moving element capable of transferring a moving force of the first moving element to a holder which holds the image-stabilizing optical element; and a mutual guiding device which couples the first and second moving elements to allow the first and second moving elements to move relative to each other in the guide direction. The mutual guiding device includes two first slidable portions provided at two different positions in a direction orthogonal to the guide direction, respectively; and one second slidable portion provided at a position different from the positions of the two first slidable portions in the guide direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Hoya Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nomura, Shinya Suzuka, Ken Endo
  • Patent number: 7475992
    Abstract: A light recycler for use in color projection display systems. The light recycler redirects light reflected by a color wheel of the projection system to increase the light output of the projection system. The light recycler is capable of setting the desired numerical aperture of the light source beam, as well as providing the desired spatial distribution of light in terms of intensity and angle. This improves the light uniformity and brightness of the image displayed by the projection system, and improves the efficiency of the system. The light recycler includes at least one substantially planar optical element array receiving the non-uniform light from the light source. The optical element array includes an optically transmissive substrate and a plurality of optical micro-elements formed in the substrate. The micro-elements act together to produce an output light beam having a desired cross-sectional area and spatial distribution of light intensity and angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Inventor: Nayef M. Abu-Ageel
  • Patent number: 7469098
    Abstract: An optical apparatus which achieves fast focusing operation and allows accurate focusing is disclosed. The optical apparatus includes a first focus detector which detects a focus state on a subject, a second focus detector which detects a focus state on the subject in a detection method different from a detection method of the first focus detector, and a controller which has a function of detecting whether or not the subject is a moving body and a function of performing focus control of an image-taking optical system in a first sequence in which at least one of the first and second focus detectors is used and a second sequence in which at least the other of the focus detectors is used. The controller preferentially uses one of the first and second sequences depending on the result of the detection with the moving body detecting function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2008
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenji Ito
  • Patent number: 7458687
    Abstract: A digital cinema projection apparatus having an illumination source with a first etendue value for providing polarized polychromatic light. A first lens element lies in the path of the polarized polychromatic light for forming a substantially telecentric polarized polychromatic light beam. A color separator separates the telecentric polarized polychromatic light beam into at least two telecentric color light beams. At least two transmissive spatial light modulators modulate the two telecentric color light beams. There is an etendue value associated with each spatial light modulator. The etendue value is within 15% or greater than the first etendue value corresponding to the illumination source. A color combiner combines the modulated color beams along a common optical axis, forming a multicolor modulated beam thereby; and a projection lens directs the multicolor modulated beam toward a display surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Barry D. Silverstein, James R. Kircher, Joseph R. Bietry