Based On Image Signal Patents (Class 348/364)
  • Patent number: 8514323
    Abstract: An imaging unit obtains image data. An imaging controller controls the imaging unit to obtain a plurality of pieces of image data having different exposure values. A standard image decision unit decides the image data with the shortest length of exposure time of the plurality of pieces of image data as standard image data. A correlation quantity detection unit detects a correlation quantity between the standard image data and the plurality of pieces of image data. A first combination processing unit generates first combined image data by combining the plurality of pieces of image data in accordance with the correlation quantity. A second combination processing unit combines the standard image data and the first combined image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignees: Olympus Imaging Corp., Olympus Corporation
    Inventors: Tatsuya Kino, Yukihiro Naito
  • Patent number: 8508656
    Abstract: A method and a circuit for controlling a dynamic image sensor defining, for each image, several successive time intervals of exposure of photodiode cells, starting from successive decreasing reset levels, wherein the time intervals of exposure of the image respect a homogeneous distribution of the amount of cells in ranges of brightness levels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Grenoble2) SAS
    Inventor: Paul Varillon
  • Patent number: 8502913
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes a histogram shape determination unit that acquires a histogram of luminance values from video captured by an image capturing unit and determines whether or not the captured video is a night scene from the shape of the histogram. The imaging apparatus also includes a point light source determination unit that acquires the maximum value of contrast for each horizontal line in the video as a line evaluation value and determines whether the captured video is a night scene based on whether or not the line evaluation value has a characteristic of an object as a point light source. If the histogram shape determination unit and the point light source determination unit determine that the captured video is a night scene, the imaging apparatus determines that the scene captured by the image capturing unit is a night scene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Satoshi Nakayama
  • Patent number: 8493501
    Abstract: A scene-aware auto-exposure control process stabilizes changes in a camera's auto-exposure settings so as to reduce lighting and color flicker during image capture operations. A metric, referred to as the Modified Adjusted Luminance (MAL) metric, is defined to remain relatively constant as long as the lighting of the scene being captured remains relatively constant. Thus, scene changes such as an object moving into, out of, or around in a scene do not significantly affect the MAL metric's value and do not, therefore, trigger an exposure adjustment. Once the MAL metric indicates a scene's lighting is stable, the camera's auto-exposure operation may be suppressed. As long as incoming frames indicate a stable lighting condition (based on the MAL metric), auto-exposure operation may remain suppressed. When incoming frames result in a substantially different MAL over a specified number of frames, auto-exposure operation may be restored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Price, Xiaosong Zhou, Hsi-Jung Wu, James Oliver Normile
  • Patent number: 8477222
    Abstract: In a solid state image sensor having a pixel array, a first frame is imaged using varying exposure times in a series of zones. The exposure time for a subsequent frame is selected from the results of the first frame, The exposure times are controlled in a rolling blade manner by controlling the number of lines between reset and readout. The sensor is particularly suited to use in bar code readers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (R&D) Ltd.
    Inventor: Justin Richardson
  • Patent number: 8477210
    Abstract: An output value calculating unit 5 performs weighting arithmetic operations on a plurality of filter values calculated by a filter value calculating unit 4 by using a feature quantity detected by a feature quantity detecting unit 1, a directional correlation value calculated by a directional correlation value calculating unit 2 and an amplitude level calculated by an amplitude level calculating unit 3, and multiplies a result of the weighting arithmetic operations by a sensitization magnification to create pixel signals of a correctly exposed image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Masashi Tamura, Narihiro Matoba
  • Patent number: 8446489
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an imaging device, a drive control method, and a program configured to be capable of making sensitivity ratios constant and improving a S/N ratio. When a storage period of pixels (G pixels) with a green filter as a reference does not exceed a predetermined threshold value, an adjustment of the sensitivity ratio by gains by color is performed. When the storage period of the pixels with a green filter is larger than the predetermined threshold value, the storage periods of the pixels with a red filter (R pixels) and the pixels with a blue filter (B pixels) are calculated from the set sensitivity ratios, and if the calculated values do not exceed a maximum setting value, the adjustment of the sensitivity ratios by the storage periods by color is performed. In contrast, if the calculated storage period is larger than the maximum setting value, the adjustment of the sensitivity ratio is performed by combining the storage period by color and the gains by color.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Kaneo, Shizunori Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 8441551
    Abstract: Circuitry, apparatus and methods provide flicker detection and improved image generation for digital cameras that employ image sensors. In one example, circuitry and methods are operative to compare a first captured frame with a second captured frame that may be, for example, sequential and consecutive or non-consecutive if desired, to determine misalignment of scene content between the frames. A realigned second frame is produced by realigning the second frame with the first frame if the frames are determined to be misaligned. Luminance data from the realigned second frame and luminance data from the pixels of the first frame are used to determine if an undesired flicker condition exists. If an undesired flicker condition is detected, exposure time control information is generated for output to the imaging sensor that captured the frame, to reduce flicker. This operation may be done, for example, during a preview mode for a digital camera, or may be performed at any other suitable time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: ATI Technologies ULC
    Inventors: Graham C. H. Greenland, Milivoje Aleksic, Sergio Goma
  • Patent number: 8436935
    Abstract: In an image pickup device of the present invention, in the case where a mode switch 116 selects a finder mode, a focusing lens is driven at a first speed when a focusing operation is performed in a focus control unit 203. In the case where the mode switch 116 selects a live view mode, the driving speed of the focusing lens is switched in a range lower than the first speed in accordance with brightness of an object detected by a photometric unit 114 when the focusing operation is performed in the focus control unit 203. With such a configuration, a lens driving control method is changed by AF control of a phase difference detection system and AF control of a hill climbing system, and a driving system suitable for each AF system is performed, whereby the focusing operation can be performed normally at a high speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ueda, Kouji Shibuno, Michihiko Ootsuka
  • Patent number: 8432481
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus has an image sensing element which accumulates received light as a charge, a mechanical shutter which travels to shield the image sensing element, and a scan unit which makes a scan for starting charge accumulation. The image sensing apparatus executes the scan for starting charge accumulation prior to traveling of the mechanical shutter and controls the scan for starting charge accumulation and traveling of the shutter to serve as a front curtain and a rear curtain of a shutter. Note that a scan pattern setting unit (113b) sets the scan pattern of the charge accumulation start scan based on information associated with a mounted photographing lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akihiro Namai, Hiroshi Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 8416319
    Abstract: Systems and methods for imaging objects are provided. An imaging device includes a sensor to provide an image of an object. The sensor can have a sensor exposure time and a sensor gain and the image includes a plurality of frames, each of the plurality of frames that can depict at least a portion of the object. The imaging device includes a motion detector to determine whether there is movement of the at least a portion of the object between adjacent frames of the plurality of frames. The imaging device also includes a controller. The controller can set the sensor exposure time to a first value in response to a determination by the motion detector that there is movement of the at least a portion of the object between adjacent frames. The controller can also set the sensor exposure time to a second value in response to a determination that there is no movement of the at least a portion of the object between adjacent frames.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Freedom Scientific, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd Conard
  • Patent number: 8405736
    Abstract: Techniques for reducing the amount of time a camera device requires to automatically adjust focus and/or exposure settings prior to image capture are described. As disclosed, sensor data is used to identify the camera device's orientation. Once known, face detection operations are performed for only that orientation thereby dramatically reducing the amount of processing time required to perform the face detection. The result of the face detection operations may be used to automatically adjust the image capture device's focus and/or exposure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: Ralph Brunner
  • Publication number: 20130070110
    Abstract: There is provided an imaging device including: an image pick-up device for imaging a chemiluminescent imaging subject; a pre-exposure section that performs pre-exposure of the image pick-up device to the imaging subject plural times to acquire plural pre-exposure images; a light emission characteristic calculation section that calculates the light emission characteristics of the chemiluminescent imaging subject based on the plural pre-exposure images; an exposure time calculation section that calculates an exposure time for main exposure corresponding to a target density for the imaging subject based on the light emission characteristics; and a main exposure section that performing main exposure to the imaging subject with the calculated exposure time so as to acquire a main exposure image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: FUJIFILM CORPORATION
    Inventor: Akira YAMAGUCHI
  • Patent number: 8395698
    Abstract: In an exposure determining device, an image acquiring unit acquires a first image. The first image is picked up by an image pickup unit at a first exposure. A light-intensity detecting unit extracts areas in the first image and detects a light intensity in area. A mismatch area determining unit determines, based on the detected light intensity in each area, whether each area is a mismatch area in which an edge is estimated to be undetected due to excess or shortage of the first exposure for a corresponding one of the areas. When it is determined that one of the areas is the mismatch area, a second exposure determining unit determines a second exposure of the image pickup unit. The second exposure is matched with the light intensity in the mismatch area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Takayuki Kimura
  • Patent number: 8390736
    Abstract: A shooting parameter adjustment method for face detection includes (A) acquiring an image; (B) dividing the image into a plurality of blocks, and calculating a brightness value of each of the blocks; (C) selecting at least one of the plurality of blocks, and adjusting a shooting parameter according to the brightness value of the selected block; and (D) acquiring another image according to the shooting parameter, and performing a face detection procedure with the another image. The shooting parameter adjustment method can automatically adjust a shooting parameter of an image capturing device according to brightness of different blocks in an image. Therefore, by using this method, the brightness of a face, no matter being too high or too low, can be adjusted to a value suitable for face detection, so as to improve the accuracy of the face detection procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Pixart Imaging Inc.
    Inventors: Shu-Sian Yang, Ren-Hau Gu, Yi-Fang Lee, Ming-Tsan Kao, Teo-Chin Chiang, Chi-Chieh Liao, Wei-Ting Chan, Yu-Hao Huang
  • Patent number: 8379140
    Abstract: A video image pickup apparatus (10) includes an image sensor (120), a knee processor (132) for performing a compression in a high-luminance characteristic interval of a picture signal based on an output signal of the image sensor, a block luminance calculator (151) for dividing a frame of image based on the output signal of the solid-state image pickup device into a set of blocks, calculating a set of luminance indices of respective blocks, an extreme extractor (152) for extracting a block having a highest luminance index, together with the luminance index, a display information generator (153) for generating a set of pieces of image information for exposure guide display including an image representing a region of the extracted block and an image representing the luminance index, an image superposer (160) for superposing the set of pieces of image information for exposure guide display on a frame of image based on the compressed picture signal to generate a frame of superposed image, and a view finder (170)
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: JVC Kenwood Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Kido, Toshihide Kobayashi, Kazunori Shioda
  • Patent number: 8379141
    Abstract: A method of dynamically changing a parameter of a frame is disclosed. An input frame is determined as a special scene or a general scene. A subsequent frame is predicted by changing the parameter of the subsequent frame according to a special-scene operation when the input frame is the special scene, and by changing the parameter of the subsequent frame according to a general-scene operation when the input frame is not the special scene. The predicted frame is determined whether to be a special scene. Accordingly, the parameter of the input frame is changed according to the special-scene operation when both the input frame and the predicted frame are the special scenes; the parameter of the input frame is changed according to the general-scene operation when both the input frame and the predicted frame are not the special scenes; and the parameter of the input frame is maintained without change when only one of the input frame and the predicted frame is the special scene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Ability Enterprise Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chi-De Chen
  • Patent number: 8368804
    Abstract: An imaging control apparatus inputs an image signal from an image sensing unit, controls, based on a first image signal from the image sensing unit for a first region, a mechanical component which controls an aperture for image sensing by the image sensing unit, and electronically controls, based on the first image signal and a second image signal from the image sensing unit for a second region, the image luminance represented by an output from the image sensing unit for the second region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Katsuhiko Nagasaki
  • Patent number: 8358368
    Abstract: An image processing device and an image processing method determine whether the photographic scene has a high luminance difference. If the photographic scene has a high luminance difference, the image processing device and method switch the image pickup unit to a high luminance difference exposure mode. If the photographic scene does not have a high luminance difference, the image processing device and method switch the image pickup unit to a normal exposure mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hung-Yuan Chiang, Ho-Chun Yen
  • Patent number: 8358356
    Abstract: Provided is an image capturing apparatus and method, in which the limit of the application of blurring to an input image is determined with the use of a database of recognizable blur levels, and the input image is processed by applying filtering properties corresponding to variations in digital gain and an exposure time. The image capturing apparatus includes a light reception module which receives an optical signal; and an image processing module which adjusts an exposure time-to-digital gain ratio with reference to the amount of light included in the optical signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignees: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sung-Su Kim, Byung-Kwan Park, Dae-Su Chung
  • Publication number: 20130016188
    Abstract: According to the embodiment, a camera module has a variable aperture unit and a control driver. In the variable aperture unit, switching is made between transmitting and blocking of the light incident from the imaging lens for each region. In the variable aperture unit, at least one of an area and a position of the transmissive region for transmitting light can be changed. The control driver can adjust the imaging timing of the image sensor in response to at least one of the area and the position of the transmissive region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Publication date: January 17, 2013
    Applicant: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Takayuki OGASAHARA
  • Patent number: 8355073
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus includes a luminance value calculation unit configured to calculate a luminance average value and a luminance peak value from an image obtained by image-capturing for each of frames formed by dividing one screen, a first calculation unit configured to combine the luminance average value and the luminance peak value obtained for each of the frames, a second calculation unit configured to calculate an average value of composite values equal to or more than a predetermined threshold value among composite values obtained by the first calculation unit, and a setting unit configured to set knee strength based on the average value of the composite values obtained by the second calculation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Jun Makino
  • Patent number: 8345120
    Abstract: An electronic camera includes: an image-capturing unit with variable image-capturing sensitivity, which captures an image of a subject through a photographic lens; a brightness detection unit that detects subject brightness; an exposure calculation unit that executes an exposure calculation by using, at least, the image-capturing sensitivity set at the image-capturing unit and the subject brightness having been detected; a flash quantity calculation unit that calculates a main flash quantity for a flash unit that illuminates the subject when capturing an image thereof; and a sensitivity adjusting unit that adjusts the image-capturing sensitivity so as to achieve optimal exposure with a main flash quantity within a flash quantity control range of the flash unit when the main flash quantity having been calculated by the flash quantity calculation unit is outside the flash quantity control range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Takeuchi, Tsutomu Wakabayashi
  • Patent number: 8345108
    Abstract: The present invention is applied to an image pickup apparatus for which, for example, a CMOS solid-state image pickup element is used. One screen image is divided into a plurality of blocks, and a motion is detected for each of the blocks to control the exposure time of the block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Seiji Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 8339506
    Abstract: A system and method of image capture parameter adjustment using face brightness information is disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a method is disclosed that includes determining a luma value based on a brightness variation within a selected portion of an image, where the selected portion of the image corresponds to at least a portion of a face. The method further includes adjusting an image capture parameter at least partially based on the determined luma value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Szepo R. Hung, Ruben M. Velarde, Jingqiang Liang
  • Patent number: 8331621
    Abstract: A toll violation enforcement system that contains a capture unit that receives a trigger signal and takes vehicle images of passing vehicles. A lighting unit configured to operate continuously is provided to establish a major lighting source incident on the vehicle. A processing unit is provided that processes the vehicle image and controls the settings employed by the capture unit. The processing unit preferably contains a plate location module for extracting an original resolution license plate area image from a first vehicle image; an exposure control module for controlling the exposure setting on the capture unit to provide consistent intensity of the license plate area; a resolution reset module for changing the image resolution for a second vehicle image; an image enhancement module for brightening pixels of the second vehicle image; and an image compression module for compressing the license plate area image and second vehicle image to a predetermined format.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: United Toll Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jim Allen, Sheng Zhong, Raghavan Venugopal, Balaraju Banna, Xidong Zheng
  • Patent number: 8330851
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus including a half mirror, a phase difference detecting AF sensor, an image pickup device, and a display is provided. The half mirror is provided so as to be movable between a first position on an optical path of the subject image light from the photographing optical system and a second position to which the half mirror is evacuated from the optical path of the subject image light. When the half mirror is in the second position, the image pickup device generates an actual photographing image on the basis of the subject image light reaching the image pickup device from the photographing optical system without passing through the half mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Nobuharu Murashima
  • Patent number: 8310590
    Abstract: An image sensor includes: image-capturing pixels that generate first image signals with a charge storage time controlled by a first storage control signal; and focus detection pixels that generate second image signals with a charge storage time controlled by a second storage control signal generated independently of the first storage control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Yosuke Kusaka
  • Patent number: 8305471
    Abstract: The present invention relates to improved imaging devices having high dynamic range and to monitoring and automatic control systems incorporating the improved imaging devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Jeremy C. Andrus
  • Patent number: 8300141
    Abstract: The invention accomplishes an image capture apparatus capable of allowing a user to more easily attain, as compared to a conventional image capture apparatus, image data of a captured image which includes no blown-out highlights or loss of shadow detail throughout an entire image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hideki Ohnishi, Makoto Hayasaki
  • Patent number: 8269869
    Abstract: In an imaging apparatus, a function whose value increases in time is used as a threshold electric-signal level, and an electric-signal level of a photoreceptor element is compared with the threshold electric-signal level. Even if a light received by the photoreceptor element has a low luminance, the electric-signal level of the photoreceptor element crosses the threshold electric-signal level in a short time, allowing calculation of the amount of optical energy received by the photoreceptor element. Furthermore, when an object having a region where brightness changes in time and also having a region with a low luminance is imaged, imaging interval is changed in accordance with luminance. Accordingly, information regarding how the brightness of the object is rapidly changing in time can be obtained more precisely, and an image can be output without making a projection image of the dark region completely black.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Mitsuharu Ohki
  • Patent number: 8264596
    Abstract: A digital camera of the present invention includes a microcomputer 110 having a live view mode controlling so that image data generated by a CMOS sensor 130 or image data obtained by subjecting the image data generated by the CMOS sensor 130 to predetermined processing is displayed on a liquid crystal monitor 150 as a moving image in real time, and the microcomputer 110 controls so that movable mirrors 121a and 121b to enter an optical path of an image pickup optical system after the amount of light from a subject is obtained based on the image data generated by the CMOS sensor 130, a strobe 137 emits light, and measurement results of an AE sensor 133 are obtained. Due to this configuration, in a digital camera that includes a movable mirror and is capable of displaying a subject image in a live view through an electronic viewfinder, the operability thereof can be enhanced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ueda, Kenichi Honjo, Naoto Yumiki, Toshio Makabe, Kenji Maeda, Kaoru Mokunaka, Kazuhiko Ishimaru
  • Patent number: 8259219
    Abstract: A detection system for an image capture device includes an image detecting unit, a calculation unit, a selection unit and a switching unit. The image detecting unit provides a plurality of focus modes suitable for different ambient light conditions, and acquires image parameters. The calculation unit determines exposure time suitable for the current ambient light conditions based on the acquired parameters. The selection unit selects a suitable detection mode based on the determined exposure time. The switching unit switches the image capture device to the selected suitable detection mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Feng-Ching Liao
  • Patent number: 8259197
    Abstract: An imaging device includes an imaging sensor, a switching section, and a controlling section. The imaging sensor includes a light receiving surface to which light receiving elements capable of addressing reading are arranged, and having, on the light receiving surface, an imaging area capturing a subject image and an optical black area outputting a signal of a dark current component, the optical black area which the light receiving elements are covered with a light shielding member. The switching section switching a first state and a second state. The controlling section reads a signal level by each partial area at the optical black area when a dark image is captured in the second state after capturing a normal image in the first state, sequentially compares with the signal level at a corresponding position of the normal image, and controls a exposure time of the dark image according to the comparison result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Shinsuke Sambongi
  • Patent number: 8253850
    Abstract: In a digital camera, in an automatic shooting stand-by state, when it is judged that an automatic shooting condition has not been satisfied, it is judged whether or not to issue an AE re-processing command (that is, it is judged whether or not the current shooting condition is similar to a condition where the automatic shooting condition is satisfied). When it is judged to issue the AE re-processing command, exposure tracking in an aperture-priority mode is performed, and shooting exposure conditions excluding the aperture value for still-image shooting in the aperture-priority mode are determined. Then, storage is updated. When it is judged that an automatic shooting condition has been satisfied, record processing for still-image shooting is performed with the updated shooting exposure conditions without changing the aperture value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tomohiko Murakami, Yoshiyuki Kato
  • Publication number: 20120212663
    Abstract: There is provided an image capturing apparatus, comprising an image capturing unit configured to acquire video data at a first frame rate or a second frame rate higher than the first frame rate; and a control unit configured to perform control of an aperture and an exposure time within a range in which the exposure time is shorter than or equal to a maximum exposure time that is a reciprocal of a frame rate of the image capturing unit, so that luminance of the image signal acquired by the image capturing unit is at a predetermined level, wherein when the image capturing unit is operating at the first frame rate, the control unit performs the control within a range in which the exposure time is shorter than a first time that is a reciprocal of the first frame rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Publication date: August 23, 2012
    Applicant: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Taro Takita
  • Patent number: 8237853
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus that carries out image sensing continuously and inputs a plurality of images, having a digital signal processing circuit that detects, at each input image, from image data thereof, an object that satisfies a preset condition, a first exposure value determination unit that calculates a first exposure value from the image data, a second exposure value determination unit that calculates a second exposure value based on the detected object, and a selection unit that selects either the first exposure value, the second exposure value, a currently set exposure value, or an exposure value calculated based on a luminance of an area referenced when calculating a currently set exposure value as an exposure value to be used for a next image sensing based on object detection results obtained by the digital signal processing circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenji Takahashi
  • Patent number: 8237807
    Abstract: Several methods for operating a built-in digital camera of a portable, handheld electronic device are described. In one embodiment, the device receives a user selection (e.g., tap, tap and hold, gesture) of a region displayed on the display screen (e.g., touch sensitive screen). A touch to focus mode may then be initiated in response to the user selection and exposure and focus parameters determined and adjusted. Then, an automatic scene detection mechanism can determine whether a scene has changed. If the scene has changed, then the touch to focus mode ends and a default automatic focus mode initiates. This mode sets a new exposure metering area and focus area prior to determining and adjusting exposure and focus parameters, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy Jones, Nikhil Bhogal, Ralph Brunner
  • Patent number: 8237813
    Abstract: Techniques for creating a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image within a consumer grade digital camera from a series of images of a scene captured at different exposure levels, and displaying the HDR image on the camera's built-in display, are provided. The approach employs mixing images of the series to incorporate both scene shadow and highlight details, and the removing of “ghost” image artifacts appearing in the mixed HDR image resulting from movement in the scene over the time the series images are captured. The low computational resource utilization of the present invention's image mixing and ghost removal processing operations, along with the present invention's ability to commence image mixing and ghost removal prior to the acquisition of all series images, can significantly reduce the time required to generate and display a tone mapped HDR image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: CSR Technology Inc.
    Inventor: Haim Garten
  • Patent number: 8224176
    Abstract: A method for capturing an improved archival image using an electronic image capture device having a flash, comprising: capturing at least two preview images of a scene at different capture times using the image capture device; determining a scene brightness; using a processor to analyze the captured preview images to determine a motion velocity for the scene; determining a flash exposure setting and an ambient exposure setting responsive to a ratio between the determined scene brightness and the determined motion velocity; and capturing an archival image using the determined flash exposure setting and the determined ambient exposure setting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Bruce Harold Pillman, John Norvold Border, Robert Paul Cloutier, Richard Bruce Wheeler
  • Patent number: 8223258
    Abstract: A backlight photographing method is applicable in a digital camera. In the backlight photographing method, a backlight detection program is first executed to obtain a backlight flag. Next, when the backlight flag is in a backlight status, a flash is emitted and a photo is photographed. In addition, photographing parameters of the digital camera may be adjusted according to a low brightness characteristic value acquired by the backlight detection program, so as to obtain a photo having a foreground with a preferred exposure effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Altek Corporation
    Inventor: Ssu-Hua Huang
  • Patent number: 8199224
    Abstract: An imaging device includes an imaging sensor, a switching section, and a controlling section. The imaging sensor includes a light receiving surface to which light receiving elements capable of addressing reading are arranged, and having, on the light receiving surface, an imaging area capturing a subject image and an optical black area outputting a signal of a dark current component, the optical black area which the light receiving elements are covered with a light shielding member. The switching section switching a first state and a second state. The controlling section reads a signal level by each partial area at the optical black area when a dark image is captured in the second state after capturing a normal image in the first state, sequentially compares with the signal level at a corresponding position of the normal image, and controls a exposure time of the dark image according to the comparison result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Shinsuke Sambongi
  • Patent number: 8195041
    Abstract: An exposure control unit comprising a photometer, a designator, a first calculator, a first counter, a selector, a second calculator, a categorizer, and an exposure controller is provided. The photometer comprises a plurality of photometric zones. The designator designates the photometric zones one by one as a target zone. The first calculator calculates a first difference. The first counter counts a first determination number. The selector selects the target zone of which the first determination number is greater than a second threshold. The second calculator calculates a categorization value. The categorizer categorizes a target zone into low- or high-luminous zones. The exposure controller controls an exposure of the imaging apparatus on the basis of the partial value of light for one of the low- and high-luminous zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hirotaka Ueno, Kazuhiro Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 8194153
    Abstract: In an imaging apparatus capable of selectively performing an imaging operation in normal imaging mode and that in composite imaging mode, auto exposure control is stopped after the auto exposure control for long-time exposure image signals and short-time exposure image signals is temporarily completed in composite imaging mode and if, after the auto exposure control is stopped, a predetermined brightness change in images is detected continuously for a predetermined time or longer based on brightness values detected from the images obtained from a composite image signal, the imaging mode of the imaging apparatus is switched from the composite imaging mode to the normal imaging mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Akira Asoma
  • Patent number: 8189097
    Abstract: An adjusting method of flash intensity is applied in an image capture apparatus with a flash lamp, where two pre-flash images corresponding the object are retrieved under two different pre-flash lights, respectively, and then a flash intensity of main-flash light is calculated according to one of the retrieved pre-flash images, so as to retrieve a main-flash image corresponding the object under the main-flash light with the calculated main-flash light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Altek Corporation
    Inventors: Chan-Min Chou, Chung-Pin Lu
  • Patent number: 8189070
    Abstract: Several methods and apparatuses for implementing automatic exposure mechanisms for image capturing devices are described. In one embodiment, an automatic exposure mechanism can use data from a light meter of an image capturing device to determine a metered exposure value associated with incident light. The automatic exposure mechanism can determine a rule based exposure value based on a predetermined rule and exposure settings (e.g., a predetermined light sensitivity of a capture media and a predetermined f-number of the image capturing device). The automatic exposure mechanisms can select either the metered exposure value or the rule based exposure value to set an exposure setting for the image capturing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Ralph Brunner, Monique Perez Relova
  • Patent number: 8189073
    Abstract: A tone adjustment method for a digital image and an electronic apparatus using the same are presented. A digital image is loaded. A detail image layer and a primary image layer are generated according to the digital image. A tone mapping procedure is performed on the primary image layer, for generating a tone mapping layer. A detail gain lookup table is loaded and then a corresponding gain is looked up according to each pixel value in the primary image layer, for generating a detail gain adjustment layer. A detail gain control procedure is performed and then a detail gain adjustment is performed on the detail gain adjustment layer and the detail image layer, for generating a gain correction layer. The gain correction layer and the tone mapping layer are combined, and then a combined layer is output, thereby completing the tone adjustment for the digital image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Altek Corporation
    Inventors: Yu-Chen Huang, Ming-Jiun Liaw
  • Patent number: 8189094
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus includes a luminance value calculation unit configured to calculate a luminance average value and a luminance peak value from an image obtained by image-capturing for each of frames formed by dividing one screen, a first calculation unit configured to combine the luminance average value and the luminance peak value obtained for each of the frames, a second calculation unit configured to calculate an average value of composite values equal to or more than a predetermined threshold value among composite values obtained by the first calculation unit, and a setting unit configured to set knee strength based on the average value of the composite values obtained by the second calculation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Jun Makino
  • Patent number: 8179472
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus includes an image pickup unit selectively performing an image capturing operation in a normal image capturing mode where an exposure image signal is output in a unit period and a combined image capturing mode where long- and short-exposure image signals are output in the unit period; a signal processing unit generating a combined image signal with a dynamic range wider than that of the long-exposure image signal or the short-exposure image signal by combining the long-exposure image signal and the short-exposure image signal; a detection unit generating a luminance integrated value of the combined image signal; and a control unit performing exposure correction control using the luminance integrated value. The control unit initializes a correction value used in the exposure correction control when the mode is switched from the normal image capturing mode to the combined image capturing mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Akira Asoma
  • Patent number: 8169504
    Abstract: This invention provides an image processing device and an image processing method capable of performing image processing of higher accuracy using the synthetic image data with enlarged dynamic range. An image processing method including the steps of acquiring a plurality of input image data with pixel information defined with a first tone range by performing imaging over plural times at different exposure conditions using an imaging unit, generating synthetic image data with pixel information defined with a second tone range wider than the first tone range by synthesizing the plurality of input image data, generating processed image data containing pixel information defined with the second tone range by performing image processing on the synthetic image data for facilitating detection or measurement related to an imaged target; and converting the processed image data to output image data containing pixel information defined with a third tone range narrower than the second tone range is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Omron Corporation
    Inventors: Yutaka Kiuchi, Yutaka Kato