Michihiro Shiina has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Abstract: A data imprinting device of a camera, when a free mode is set, is responsive to operation by each camera user, and prepares character strings as desired by the camera user and stores the prepared character strings to an electrically rewritable non-volatile memory E.sup.2 PROM. When the free mode is set, character strings stored in the E.sup.2 PROM are read out from the E.sup.2 PROM according to operation by the camera user, and displayed on an imprint display unit and used for imprinting. As character strings prepared by the camera user are stored in the E.sup.2 PROM, the character strings are preserved without being destroyed even when a power source is shut down because a battery is unloaded or used up.
Abstract: A camera includes a lens barrel which can be retracted into a camera body, and a lens barrel storage control apparatus. The lens barrel has a front lens group mounted in a front end portion thereof and a rear lens group movably disposed therein. The lens barrel storage control apparatus controls a DC motor for retracting the lens barrel, if the rear lens group is in a safe area where it will come into no contact with a film in retracting the lens barrel into the camera body, and then controls a stepping motor for locating the rear lens group to a final standby position after completion of storage. On the other hand, if the rear lens group is out of the safe area, the control apparatus controls the stepping motor for locating the rear lens group to the rearmost position in the safe area, and controls the DC motor for retracting the lens barrel.
Abstract: A camera has a two lens group zoom system composed of a front lens group and a rear lens group, and a home position check apparatus of the rear lens group driven by a stepping motor. The home position check apparatus is so arranged that a detection as to if the rear lens group is located at the home position is started only when the rear lens group reaches the predetermined position before the home position. Before the rear lens group reaches the predetermined position, only the movement of rear lens group to the home position is carried out but the home position check of rear lens group is not.
Abstract: A camera according to the present invention prevents distance measurement errors in remote control shots under high luminance and those in which the distance of a background between right and left objects is measured, by projecting a remote control signal including a ranging signal in a form of infrared beam from a transmitter. The ranging signal, within the remote control signal, includes multiple pulses with different pulse widths, and each pulse width is set so that the number of pulses received by the receiving circuit becomes fewer accordingly as the distance between the transmitter and a receiver provided in the camera becomes larger. When the receiver receives a ranging signal from the transmitter, a distance recognizing unit counts a pulse number of the ranging signal received by the receiver, and recognizes the distance to the transmitter, namely the object, from the relationship of received pulse numbers and distance stored in a memory unit.
Abstract: A camera includes a lens barrel which can be retracted into a camera body, and a lens barrel storage control apparatus. The lens barrel has a front lens group mounted in a front end portion thereof and a rear lens group movably disposed therein. The lens barrel storage control apparatus, first, controls a stepping motor for driving the rear lens group to locate the rear lens group at a standby position in the barrel, and then controls a DC motor for driving the lens barrel to retract the lens barrel into the camera body while keeping the rear lens group at the standby position. Also, when it is detected that the rear lens group is not located at the standby position, the control apparatus controls the DC motor to locate the lens barrel at a suitable position within a range where the lens barrel can be set in a photographable state.
Abstract: A camera having a zoom system which comprises a front lens group driven by a DC motor and a rear lens group driven by a stepping motor includes a motor control apparatus for controlling the DC motor and the stepping motor. The motor control apparatus voltage measuring means for measuring a voltage of a power source for driving the DC motor and the stepping motor, decision means for deciding as to whether the voltage is more than a predetermined value, means for simultaneously driving the DC motor and the stepping motor, if a decision is made that the voltage is more than the predetermined value, and means for driving only the DC motor and thereafter driving only the stepping motor, if the voltage is not more than the predetermined value.
Abstract: A data writing/reading device of a camera, in case it has become impossible to write data correctly to certain memory area of an E.sup.2 PROM because of frequent rewritings, can write data to other memory areas of the E.sup.2 PROM, and read out the data. Write requiring data to the E.sup.2 PROM is written to a first predetermined address of the E.sup.2 PROM, and read out immediately after writing. If the write requiring data and the read data are non-coincident, an address which is different from the preceding address is designated, and writing and reading are repeated until the write requiring data and read data become coincident. When the write requiring data and the read data agree with each other, writing to the E.sup.2 PROM is finished. And, an address on which data which agrees with the write requiring data is written, as data, to a second predetermined address of the E.sup.2 PROM which does not overlap with addresses used for writing write requiring data.
Abstract: A pre-winding control device of a camera which continues pre-winding from where it left off after a power failure interruption and battery replacement. When a patrone is loaded in the camera, the total number exposures is read from the patrone and the read number of written to an electrically rewritable non-volatile memory E.sup.2 PROM. Subsequently, pre-winding for winding the film from the patrone to a spool is started. For every frame of film wound to the spool, the number of unexposed frames in the patrone is counted down and written to the E.sup.2 PROM. When pre-winding is interrupted due to battery replacement, pre-winding is continued based on the number of unexposed frames stored in non-volatile E.sup.2 PROM.
Abstract: A panoramic camera is provided with a masking mechanism. When the panoramic size is designated, the masking mechanism partially masks an exposure aperture that otherwise would create a full size picture, thereby to form a panoramic picture. On a rear door of the camera are mounted first and second data recorders. When the full size is designated, the first data recorder records numerical data on the first picture and in a larger size. When the panoramic size is designated, the second data recorder records numerical data on the second picture and in a smaller size. The full-size data are positioned outside the area of the panoramic picture.
Abstract: A camara control device continues a pre-winding or a first frame setting when a pre-winding or a first frame setting is stopped in the middle because a battery of the camera is taken out or because of exhaustion of the battery and after that another battery is loaded. The camera control device writes a pre-wind signal to an electrically rewritable non-volatile memory E.sup.2 PROM when a pre-winding is started and erases the pre-wind signal in the E.sup.2 PROM when the pre-winding is finished, and writes a first frame set signal to the E.sup.2 PROM when a first frame setting is started and erases the first frame set signal in the E.sup.2 PROM when the first frame setting is finished. If the pre-winding or the first frame setting is stopped in the middle, the pre-wind signal or the first frame set signal in the E.sup.2 PROM is not erased.
Abstract: A self-photographing method for an autofocus camera, wherein, upon depression of a shutter release button, the subject distance data are detected a plurality of times at periodic intervals, and a predetermined exposure operation, that is, an actual shutter release operation is automatically executed using the autofocus system when the detected subject distance data have changed from each other. The distance data are repeatedly detected and compared with each other until these distance data differ from each other. If the distance data have been equal for a predetermined time interval from the shutter release button depression, then the actual shutter release operation is executed, or is called off and the self-photographing is terminated. It is preferred that the detected change of distance be a decrease of distance, indicating that the photographer has stepped into the picture, whereupon the measured distance becomes his distance in place of the background distance.
Abstract: Continuous photography control for a camera wherein an autofocus system is provided, and a motor is used commonly to move a taking lens for focusing and to open and close a shutter for exposure. When a mode switch is operated to set a continuous photography mode wherein plural exposures are continuously performed, the motor is driven to move the taking lens from an initial position into an in-focus position that is determined by the autofocus system and, thereafter, to open and close the shutter a selected number of times while maintaining the taking lens in the in-focus position. The taking lens is returned to the initial position after the selected number of exposures are performed.
Abstract: A battery check system for a device which can be supplied with power either from a battery pack or from a D.C. plug adapted to be connected to an A.C. source by way of an AC/DC converter is provided with a large current load check mode for checking the supply voltage under a large load condition and a small current load check mode for checking the supply voltage under a small load. There is provided a mode switching means for setting the mode of the battery check system to the large current load check mode when said device is to be supplied with power from the battery pack and to the small current load check mode when said device is to be supplied with power through the D.C. plug.
Abstract: A single lens reflex camera having a reflex mirror and a light-blocking plate mounted therein for pivotal movement as a unit between a viewing and a photographing position. A driving mechanism is provided, having an electric motor for causing the pivotal movement of the reflex mirror and light-blocking plate. A manually operable mirror swing-up member causes the driving mechanism to swing up the reflex mirror and the plate to the photographing position. A switching member is operated at the beginning of the operation of detaching a taking lens from the camera and causes the driving mechanism to swing the mirror and plate down so as to place the reflex mirror and the light-blocking plate in the viewing position even though the mirror swing-up member has been operated.
Abstract: A camera of the type in which a taking lens is orientable relative to the camera body comprises a lens holder, a light-impervious member connecting the lens holder and camera body for allowing at least an axial movement of the taking lens, and a supporting member attached to the lens holder for detachably connecting a flash unit.
Abstract: A display device for a camera has a display panel with a digital display unit having seven display segments disposed in a figure-eight shape. The digital display unit displays the number of exposed frames or other exposure information, and in addition, a portion of display segments is utilized for display or for indicating an alarm condition of the camera. In order to clearly recognize the display or alarm of the camera conditions, a character or symbol representative of the display content or alarm content is disposed near a display segment used for both numerical display, and camera condition display or alarm. A display of the film winding state is performed by flashing the laterally elongated display segments positioned between patterns formed sideways of the digital display unit and symbolizing a film supply section and a film winding section.
Abstract: A camera having a provision for multiple exposures comprises an exposure mode setting member for selectively setting the camera operation either to an ordinary-exposure mode or to a multiple-exposure mode, a switch member which is rendered operative only when the exposure mode setting member selects the multiple-exposure mode and a one-frame film advance mechanism actuated by the operation of the switch member. This camera further comprises a data recording device for recording data such as the date on a film once every frame and a mark recording device for recording the same number of marks as there have been multiple exposures upon every exposure.
Abstract: A film wind-up control apparatus of a camera in which a film is transported in zigzag direction passing around at least a guide roller located before an exposure station, is adapted to advance the film a predetermined length of the film when an exposure is made in a predetermined period of time and an extra length in addition to the predetermined length after the predetermined period of time has elapsed, so as to advance that part of the film which was previously positioned around the guide roller, beyond the exposure station. The apparatus is also adapted to indicate the number of possible exposures with one decrement every other occurrence of the extra length of film advance. In this way, film that has become permanently curled around the guide roller never comes to rest in the exposure station; but at the same time, the count of remaining frames is kept accurate.
Abstract: A reflex camera having a reflex mirror and a light-blocking plate which are pivotally mounted for swinging movement so as to move between a viewing position and a photographing position. The reflex camera has a driving mechanism including an electric motor for causing the swing-up and -down movement of the reflex mirror and the light-blocking plate between the above-mentioned two positions, and a position-detecting device to detect the moved positions of the reflex mirror and the light blocking plate so as to control the speed of rotation of the electric motor according to the detected positions, thereby to prevent shocks and vibrations on the reflex mirror and the light-blocking plate.
Abstract: A film wind-up apparatus is incorporated in an interchangeable film magazine adapted to receive a film which has a backing paper including a leading end portion. The winding device automatically winds up the leading end portion only after the magazine is attached to a camera having a winding motor, film is loaded in the film magazine, the back cover of the magazine is closed, and a light-shielding plate is removed. Upon completion of the winding operation, a photosensitive portion of the film faces the exposure aperture, and a camera so equipped is ready to make exposures.