Based On Image Signal Patents (Class 348/364)
  • Patent number: 8164642
    Abstract: An image-capturing device includes: a destructive read-type image sensor that executes photoelectric conversion of a light flux from an optical system at a plurality of pixels, stores electrical charges resulting from the photoelectric conversion at the plurality of pixels, and outputs a signal corresponding to each of the stored electrical charges; a read unit that reads out the signal from the image sensor over a specific cycle; a display unit at which display is brought up based upon the signal read out by the read unit each time the read unit reads out the signal; a storage unit that individually stores signals read out by the read unit, each in correspondence to a read operation; an adding unit that adds up a plurality of signals obtained sequentially over time among the signals stored in the storage unit; and a focus detection unit that detects a focus adjustment state of the optical system based upon adding results provided by the adding unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Yosuke Kusaka
  • Publication number: 20120057073
    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: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Applicant: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Price, Xiaosong Zhou, Hsi-Jung Wu, James Oliver Normile
  • Patent number: 8120696
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses and systems are disclosed for accelerating the operation of the automatic functions of an imager, e.g. a camera system. The automatic functions may, for example, include one or more of auto-focus, auto-exposure and auto-white balance. A special “windowing mode” is implemented in which information is acquired from only a subset of defined windows from the full pixel array area in order to set image capture parameters of the imager in accordance with current scene conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Dmitri Jerdev
  • Patent number: 8115859
    Abstract: An auto-exposure control method includes: creating an exposure table and an analog gain table including an exposure time and an analog gain of an image sensor set according to an index, respectively; calculating an average luminance value of an image frame obtained by the image sensor; checking whether or not the average luminance value is within a pre-set range including a prescribed final target value; if the average luminance value is not within the pre-set range, determining a shift step from indexes which have been applied to a current image frame according to the difference between the average luminance value and the final target value in order to determine indexes of the exposure table and the analog gain table to be applied to a next image frame; and repeatedly performing of reading an exposure time and an analog gain corresponding to the indexes shifted by the shift step determined from the indexes applied to the current image frame, from the exposure table and the analog gain table, applying the sam
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Gyu Won Kim, Hak Sun Kim, Won Tae Choi, Kyoung Joong Min, Joo Young Ha
  • Patent number: 8111940
    Abstract: Which types of subject among a predetermined plurality of types of subject are contained in an image represented by input image data are detected. Features regarding the detected subject types are calculated in a feature calculating circuit based upon the image data. In accordance with the features calculated, the gain for every subject type is calculated. The gains are weighted and averaged using degrees of importance that have been input for every subject type. The input image data is corrected based upon applicable gains obtained by the weighted averaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Takahiro Okamoto
  • Patent number: 8107003
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus having an electronic shutter for controlling the charge accumulation time of an image sensing element and a mechanical shutter for releasing/shielding an optical path to the image sensing element includes an electronic shutter mode of controlling the image sensing time mainly by the electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter mode of controlling the image sensing time mainly by the mechanical shutter. In the electronic shutter mode, the operations of the electronic and mechanical shutters are controlled to overlap each other, and a charge reading period of the image sensing element and part of a release operation period of the mechanical shutter are controlled to overlap each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toshio Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 8107002
    Abstract: The invention is provided to perform exposure control that uses a diagram for monitor-through in a shooting waiting state in which the output frame rate of an image sensor is set into 30 fps and that for high-speed movie recording is performed during move images shooting with the high-speed movie mode in which the output frame rate is set into 300 fps. Upon shifting to exposure control at the high-speed movie mode, the aperture value to be first set is determined uniquely from the current LV value by using a program diagram for preparing to start high-speed movie recording in which the space scale of the program diagram for monitor-through is converted into a space scale similar to that of the diagram for high-speed movie recording. Then, the exposure adjustment that sets the determined aperture value, and the shutter speed and the gain corresponding to thereof as exposure control values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshiyuki Kato
  • Patent number: 8106981
    Abstract: An image photographing apparatus and method, and more particularly, an image photographing apparatus and method that may divide each unit sensor of an image sensor into a high-sensitivity sensor and a low-sensitivity sensor and sense an incident optical signal using the high-sensitivity sensor and the low-sensitivity sensor. The image photographing apparatus may include a light reception unit receiving an optical signal, a sensor unit sensing the optical signal, which is incident to a pixel region, using a plurality of sensors with different sensitivity and converting the sensed optical signal into a plurality of electrical signals, and a signal extraction unit extracting the quantity of accumulated electric charge for the optical signal, which was sensed by each of the sensors, with reference to each of the electrical signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hyun-chul Song, Won-hee Choe, Seong-deok Lee, Jae-hyun Kwon, Kang-eui Lee
  • Patent number: 8102438
    Abstract: An imaging device of the present invention includes a solid-state image sensing device; a vertical transfer drive circuit for feeding a subpulse to the solid-state image sensing device; and a control circuit, and repeats a series of photographing operations in a cycle same as or longer than a period during which the series of photographing operations are performed, the series of photographing operations including an exposure operation for exposing an imaging area after the subpulse is fed to the solid-state image sensing device to sweep out electric charges accumulated in pixels. The control circuit stops the subpulse from being fed from the vertical transfer drive circuit to the solid-state image sensing device during a period during which the exposure operation included in the series of photographing operations is not performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kenichi Kido
  • Patent number: 8085315
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes a photometry section, an exposure calculating section, an imaging section, and an image processing section. The photometry section performs the photometry of a subject. The exposure calculating section sets exposure conditions based on a photometry result of the photometry section. The imaging section images the subject in accordance with the exposure conditions to generate image data. The image processing section is capable of performing the image correction to perform improvement of luminosity for the dark region, on the image data generated in the imaging section. In the above described configuration, the exposure calculating section determines exposure conditions according to correction setting of the image correction in the image processing section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Masaru Muramatsu
  • Patent number: 8081238
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus includes a shutter-operation accepting unit that accepts a shutter operation; an image capturing unit that captures an image of an object and generates a captured image; a brightness-information extracting unit that extracts, from the captured image, brightness information indicating brightness of the whole captured image; a luminance-value-distribution-information extracting unit that extracts, from the captured image, luminance-value-distribution information indicating a distribution of luminance values in the captured image; a scene determining unit that determines a scene of the object included in the captured image based on the extracted brightness information and luminance-value-distribution information; and a control unit that performs control to record captured images using at least two different image capturing/recording parameters if, when the shutter operation has been accepted, the scene of the object included in the captured image is determined to be a predetermined s
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Toshiki Ono
  • Patent number: 8077256
    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: June 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Apple, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Price, Xiaosong Zhou, Hsi-Jung Wu, James Oliver Normile
  • Patent number: 8059187
    Abstract: Appropriate gray level processing is applied to various image data. A digital camera having a grayscale correction function is provided. An AE control section generates a brightness histogram of a preview image which is obtained by a CCD. An exposure correction amount calculation section, based on the brightness histogram which is generated, sets an exposure value which is under an appropriate exposure value in consideration of grayscale correction to be performed by a grayscale correction section. The grayscale correction section applies grayscale correction to each partial region of image data of an image which is captured. The exposure correction amount calculation section varies the exposure value between when a face is included in a subject and when a face is not included in the subject.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Kenichi Nakajima
  • Publication number: 20110273546
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for presence detection using an image system. The image system may be a camera that is integrated into an electronic device. In some embodiments, the image system can accommodate multiple operating modes of the electronic device. For example, when the electronic device is operating in a normal power mode, control circuitry of the image system can detect when a user has left and is no longer using the electronic device. When the electronic device is operating in a power saving mode, the control circuitry can detect user presence (e.g., when a user has come back to the electronic device). In some embodiments, the control circuitry can adjust for both gradual and sudden light changes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2010
    Publication date: November 10, 2011
    Applicant: Aptina Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Sheng Lin, David Pope
  • Patent number: 8049791
    Abstract: An automatic exposure control circuit and a method for generating a hierarchical histogram for exposure control. The control circuit and the method result in the generation of a histogram with sub-histograms of differing resolutions. The sub-histograms are used to adjust an image exposure setting according to a distribution of pixel values determined from the histogram.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Shane C. Hu
  • Patent number: 8035729
    Abstract: In a digital camera 1, in an automatic shooting stand-by state, when judged at Step S26 that an automatic shooting condition has been satisfied (N at Step S26), whether or not to issue an AE re-processing command is judged. In other words, whether or not the current shooting condition is similar to a condition where an automatic shooting condition is satisfied is judged. When judged to issue the AE re-processing command, exposure tracking in an aperture-priority mode is performed (S28), and shooting exposure conditions excluding the aperture value for still-image shooting in the aperture-priority mode are determined. Then, the storage is updated (Step 29), and the process returns to Step S26. When judged at Step S26 that an automatic shooting condition has been satisfied (Y at Step S26), record processing for still-image shooting is performed with the updated shooting exposure conditions without changing the aperture value (Step S30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tomohiko Murakami, Yoshiyuki Kato
  • Patent number: 8035728
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for applying exposure compensation to an image. Exposure correction limits inclusion of, but does not ignore, image highlights and lowlights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Aptina Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Igor Subbotin, Ilia Ovsiannikov
  • Patent number: 8026964
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for correcting defective pixel signals, wherein pixel signals are corrected in accordance with correction information associated with operating conditions under which an image is acquired. A method for acquiring and storing correction information in an imager device is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2011
    Assignee: Aptina Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Nathan Walter, Sachin Datar
  • Patent number: 8013930
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes a shutter drive section, an aperture blade drive section, an ND filter drive section, a light intensity detection section, a memory, and a control section. The shutter drive section opens and closes a shutter for a light receiving surface of a solid state image sensor. The aperture blade drive section drives an aperture blade forming an aperture. The ND filter drive section adjusts the position of an ND filter against the aperture. The control section calculates the exposure control voltage representing an exposure amount from the light intensity signal output from the light intensity detection section, and reads out the F value and the shutter speed corresponding to the exposure control voltage from the exposure control table stored in the memory so as to avoid a partial application state of the ND filter, for controlling respective drive sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Victor Company of Japan, Limited
    Inventors: Hideki Tengeiji, Etsuo Shima
  • Patent number: 8009225
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes an automatic exposure control unit that changes an exposure value based on luminance detected by a luminance detection unit for detecting luminance of an imaging screen, and a luminance changing amount detection unit that detects a luminance changing amount in the imaging screen. A method of setting an exposure value is changed between when the luminance changing amount detected by the luminance changing amount detection unit exceeds a preset luminance changing amount and when the luminance changing amount does not exceed the preset luminance changing amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Isamu Senoo
  • Patent number: 8009224
    Abstract: It is possible to improve a response of a dynamic range expansion processing. The present image signal processing method includes a first step (ST2) of extracting distribution parameters from a distribution of pixel signal levels composing an image signal of one picture, a second step (ST4, ST5) of determining a target value (BP1, BP2, etc.) of a break point based on extracted distribution parameters for a break point at which an inclination of an image signal level changes with respect to a cumulative change of amount of incident light upon pixels of the imaging portion changes, and a third step (ST6, ST7) of controlling the imaging portion so as to obtain a target value and change an output saturation characteristic of the image signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Kyocera Corporation
    Inventor: Hidetoshi Umeda
  • Patent number: 7995845
    Abstract: This disclosure describes techniques for determining a shape of a signal. In particular, a kernel is applied to a portion of a signal to compute at least a first, first order derivative of the portion of the signal and a second, first order derivative of the portion of the signal in a single pass of the kernel. The shape of the portion of the signal is determined based on the first and second first order derivatives. In one example, the shape of the portion of the signal is determined based on the ratio of the first, first order derivative and the second, first order derivative. These techniques may be particularly effective for detecting edges within image signals. However, the techniques may be used to detect the shape of significant changes within any signal that represents a variable that is changing over time, space or other dimension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventor: Babak Forutanpour
  • Patent number: 7995134
    Abstract: At least one exemplary embodiment is directed to an image pickup apparatus that has an external sensor for detecting brightness separately from an image sensor for obtaining an image pickup signal and controls the insertion and removal of a filter into and from an image pickup optical system in accordance with the brightness of the subject, using brightness information obtained from the external sensor and the image pickup signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kazutoshi Kawada
  • Patent number: 7978258
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system for automatically adjusting an exposure time to improve or otherwise optimize a dynamic range of a digital image. The system includes a camera configured to capture an image of a subject within the field of view at a first exposure time. The captured image is composed of multiple pixels, with each pixel having a respective intensity value. The system further includes a shutter or suitable control configured to control an exposure time of the camera. A controller configured to carryout the following steps including: (a) querying a frequency distribution of pixel intensity values; (b) determining an effective “center of mass” of such a distribution, or histogram, to determine an adjusted exposure time; and (c) capturing a second image of the subject at the adjusted exposure time thereby obtaining an image with an improved or optimal dynamic range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: HistoRx, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason Christiansen, Dylan M. Reilly, Brian Bourke-Martin, Mark Gustavson
  • Patent number: 7973853
    Abstract: An image pickup device provided with an automatic exposure function includes an image pickup unit configured to input image data corresponding to a subject, a face detection unit configured to detect a human face from the image data input from the image pickup unit, a photometric unit configured to measure optical intensity, designating the human face detected by the face detection unit as a photometric area, and an exposure control unit configured to calculate the exposure based on the photometric result of the human face by the photometric unit, and to perform exposure control based on the calculated exposure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Limited
    Inventors: Noriaki Ojima, Masato Sanno
  • Publication number: 20110157393
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a lensless optical device for acquiring an image. The device can include a light attenuating layer having a plurality of elements, where transmittance of each of the plurality of elements is controllable, and an image detector disposed at a distance from the light attenuating layer, the image detector configured to acquire an image with light that passes through the light attenuating layer. The device also can include a light attenuating layer controller configured to simultaneously control transmittance of each of the plurality of elements independent of each other. Methods of detecting and tracking an object in a scene are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Publication date: June 30, 2011
    Applicant: The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
    Inventors: Asaf Zomet, Shree K. Nayar
  • Patent number: 7970271
    Abstract: In order to perform a brightness correction that is suited to a face image in a moving image, a still-image brightness correction parameter for performing a brightness correction suited to a subject image is calculated from a face image in the subject image and the overall subject image. A moving-image brightness correction parameter is calculated using the calculated still-image brightness correction parameter and a moving-image brightness correction parameter that has been calculated in a subject image of a previous frame. By using the moving-image brightness correction parameter calculated, the brightness of a subject image obtained subsequent to the first-mentioned subject image is corrected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Masahiko Sugimoto
  • Publication number: 20110122310
    Abstract: A camera includes: a taking lens forming an image of a subject; an image pickup unit; a subject brightness acquisition unit acquiring the brightness information of the subject on the basis of the output of the image pickup unit; a control unit controlling the exposure according to the brightness information acquired by the subject brightness acquisition unit; and a storage unit storing the information indicating the optical state of the taking lens before the subject brightness acquisition unit acquires the brightness information. The control unit determines whether or not the brightness information is acquired again by the subject brightness acquisition unit according to the information about the optical state of the taking lens stored in the storage unit when the subject brightness acquisition unit previously acquired the brightness information, and the information about the optical state of the taking lens when the latest brightness information is acquired.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2010
    Publication date: May 26, 2011
    Inventor: Yasunori KUDO
  • Patent number: 7944485
    Abstract: A method, apparatus, and system for dynamic range estimation of imaged scenes for automatic exposure control. For a given exposure time setting, certain areas of a scene may be brighter than what a camera can capture. In cameras, including those experiencing substantial lens vignetting, a gain stage may be used to extend dynamic range and extract auto-exposure data from the extended dynamic range. Alternatively, dynamic range can be extended using pre-capture image information taken under reduced exposure conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Ilia Ovsiannikov
  • Patent number: 7940325
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of capturing images having an optimized quality during night time conditions is provided. The apparatus for capturing images includes an image-capturing unit that captures an light from an object and generates a first digital image, a night-scene-sensing unit sensing whether the first digital image is a night-scene image, an exposure-adjustment unit adjusting an optimized exposure time by comparing an edge level of the night-scene image with that of a pre-generated reference image if it is sensed that the input image is the night-scene image, and a controller controlling the image-capturing unit to generate a second digital image based on the adjusted exposure time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignees: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sung-su Kim, Dae-su Chung, Byoung-ho Kang, Seong-deok Lee
  • Patent number: 7936336
    Abstract: An optical mouse and image capture chip thereof. The image capture chip comprises an image sensor, a calculating logic circuit, and a refreshing logic circuit. The image sensor has a plurality of sensor units, capturing an image according to an exposure parameter to provide a plurality of exposure values. The calculating logic circuit provides an average exposure value by calculating the exposure values. If the exposure sample is within a first exposure range, the refreshing logic circuit maintains the exposure parameter and accordingly drives the image sensor to capture a next image. If the average exposure value is within a second exposure range, the refreshing logic circuit adjusts the exposure parameter with a first exposure extreme and accordingly drives the image sensor to capture a next image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: PixArt Imaging Incorporation
    Inventors: Chun-Huang Lin, Jeng-Feng Lan
  • Patent number: 7925152
    Abstract: An exposure control method adjusts an exposure setting used for capturing an image including a foreground object and a background. The foreground object is extracted from the image by an object detection procedure. If the area of the foreground object is greater than a predetermined area value, the brightness of both the foreground object and the background is analyzed. On the contrary, if the area of the foreground object is not greater than the predetermined area value, only the brightness of the background is analyzed. The exposure setting is adjusted according to the analysis result. Accordingly, greater brightness stability is provided during the capture of the following images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Vatics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kuo-Chin Lien, Chun-Hung Shen
  • Patent number: 7920204
    Abstract: The image capture apparatus changes a time from the commencement of the operation of the accumulation of the electrical charge to the shuttering, by the shutter blade unit, of the pixel within the image capture element by way of the reset operation in a state of retracting the shutter blade unit from the light path of the image capture element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroshi Miyanari
  • Patent number: 7920187
    Abstract: An image pickup device includes an image pickup unit configured to convert an optical image of a subject to image data and to output the image data, a face image recognition unit configured to recognize face image from the image data, and a face portion judgment unit configured to judge each portion in the face image recognized by the face image recognition unit. When every portion in the face image can be judged by the face portion judgment unit, a release button for executing photographing of the subject is automatically pressed, or the photographing operation is executed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Limited
    Inventors: Masato Sanno, Kenji Shiraishi
  • Patent number: 7893973
    Abstract: Document image data is converted into luminance image data. Block image data is generated from the luminance image data. Start point block pixel data and end point block pixel data are set based on a change rate of luminance values of adjacent block pixel data. A luminance value of block pixel data between the start point block pixel data and the end point block pixel data is corrected based on a start point luminance value and an end point luminance value. The luminance value, of the block pixel data wherein each luminance value of an adjacent block pixel data cluster is less than an average value, is substituted by the average value. The luminance value of each pixel data is set based on the luminance value of the block pixel data. Post process luminance image data that includes each pixel data is reconverted into the document image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: PFU Limited
    Inventors: Jiyun Du, Satoshi Miyamoto, Nobuhisa Yamazaki
  • Patent number: 7889274
    Abstract: An image input apparatus can acquire an image with a high contrast without saturating a camera output even for a subject having a large light and dark difference while achieving a wide dynamic range. An image sensor has an input-output characteristic varying with a plurality of regions delimited according to a difference in the amount of incident light. A video luminance signal level is detected from a video signal of the image sensor. An amount of light on a screen is calculated from the image luminance signal level. The image sensor is adjusted to make the amount of light on the screen coincide with a target light amount. The target light amount is set such that a relation between the target light amount R and an amount of light Q at a change point that is at the lowest luminance in an input-output characteristic of the image sensor satisfies R<Q.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kenichi Fujie, Yoshiyuki Fujii, Hisashi Ishikura, Tomoko Konda, Takayuki Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 7889271
    Abstract: A solid state image pickup device is provided which can reduce crosstalks between range finding photoelectric conversion elements (AF sensor) and photometry photoelectric conversion elements (AE sensor). The solid state image pickup device has an n-type epitaxial semiconductor region, a p-type first well region formed in the semiconductor region, a p-type second well region formed in the semiconductor region and electrically separated from the first well, an n-type first impurity doped region formed in the first well region and an n-type second impurity doped region formed in the second well, wherein a photometry photoelectric conversion element is formed by using the p-type first well region and n-type first impurity doped region, and a range finding photoelectric element is formed by using the p-type second well region and n-type impurity doped region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hidekazu Takahashi
  • Patent number: 7884879
    Abstract: In an image sensing apparatus and exposure control method, detecting an object that satisfies a certain preset condition from image data obtained by image sensing with an image sensing element, and carrying out photometry on the image data as a whole to acquire an overall photometric value while carrying out photometry on an area of a detected object within the image data to acquire an object photometric value. An exposure value is then determined based on the overall photometric value and the object photometric value, with exposure controlled during image sensing based on the determined exposure value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yasuyoshi Miyazaki
  • Patent number: 7880778
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus having an image pickup device structured by a plurality of pixels having different photoelectric conversion characteristics different from each other on each side of an inflection point, correcting an error of the photoelectric conversion characteristics, thereby contributing to realization of high image quality will be provided. In the image pickup apparatus having an image pickup device structured by a plurality of pixels having different photoelectric conversion characteristics different from each other on each side of the inflection point, on the basis of the inflection point of the standard photoelectric conversion characteristic and correction data, whether or not to execute a correction using the correction data to the imaged data of the pixels and whether or not to execute characteristic transformation using the characteristic transformation section to the imaged data of the pixels are decided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.
    Inventor: Koichi Kamon
  • Patent number: 7876366
    Abstract: An electronic camera includes an imaging device. The imaging device carries out an exposing operation for exposing an object scene and an amplifying operation for amplifying a raw image signal generated by the exposing operation, according to a set imaging parameter. A CPU selects one program chart satisfying a parameter condition, from a plurality of program charts stored in a flash memory, and extracts three imaging parameters from the selected program chart. The extracted imaging parameters are set to the imaging device. The imaging parameter here includes exposure time, amount of aperture, and AGC gain as parameter elements. In addition, the parameter condition includes an AGC gain condition in that each of three AGC gains defining respectively the three imaging parameters is equal to or less than a predetermined value and an exposure time condition in that three exposure times defining respectively the three imaging parameters are shorter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazutaka Yoshizawa, Kohei Fukukawa, Kazuhiro Tsujino
  • Publication number: 20110001845
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and system with a hierarchical histogram generator that generates sub-histograms of differing resolutions. These sub-histograms are used to adjust an image exposure setting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2010
    Publication date: January 6, 2011
    Inventor: Shane C. Hu
  • Patent number: 7864242
    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: July 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akihiro Namai, Hiroshi Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 7859589
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus for capturing an image using a solid-state imaging device includes the following elements. One or more signal correction units correct an image signal obtained by capturing the image on a color component basis. A luminance detection unit detects luminance information from image signals obtained at locations prior to and subsequent to at least one of the signal correction units. An exposure control unit controls an exposure adjustment mechanism on the basis of the luminance information detected by the luminance detection unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuhiro Yabe
  • Patent number: 7847830
    Abstract: A method of adjusting exposure settings for a digital camera includes searching at least a portion of the field of view of the camera for pixels having a flesh tone. The flesh tone pixels are analyzed to identify at least one flesh tone spot. Spot metering of the field of view of the camera is carried out such that at least one flesh tone spot is given greater weight than the rest of the field of view. Then, the exposure settings are adjusted based on the spot metering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB
    Inventors: Terrence E. Rogers, Jason M. Cope
  • Patent number: 7847857
    Abstract: An imaging device includes a sensor that is color coded by using high-sensitivity pixels having higher sensitivity to incident light than chromatic color pixels and an automatic exposure function that allows the imaging device to control exposure according to illuminance in an imaging environment. An algorithm in the automatic exposure function that determines a reference color in a level diagram according to the illuminance uses the high-sensitivity pixels as the reference color in a low illuminance region where the gain of the sensor is set to a maximum, while using green pixels, which are the chromatic color pixels, as the reference color in a standard illuminance region where the gain of the sensor is set to a minimum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Shinichiro Saito, Masaaki Sato, Hirotake Cho
  • Patent number: 7839444
    Abstract: A solid-state image-pickup device includes a pixel array unit including pixels that include photoelectric transducer two-dimensionally arranged in a matrix and a driving unit for reading out pixel information corresponding to a number of pixels less than the number of pixels included in the pixel array unit as monitoring image information and reading out pixel information corresponding to a predetermined region in the pixel array unit at a cycle shorter than the display cycle of the monitoring image as autofocus image information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Daisuke Kuruma
  • Patent number: 7834915
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus that processes input image data includes an exposure-correction-value acquiring unit that acquires exposure correction values at plural stages with respect to an exposure control value during imaging of the input image data, an illumination-component generating unit that generates illumination components on the basis of the input image data, a gain-amount calculating unit that multiplies each of plural weighting coefficients with a multiplication coefficient corresponding to the exposure correction value corresponding to the weighting coefficient and adds up multiplied values to calculate a gain amount, and a gain applying unit that applies, for each of pixels, the gain amount calculated by the gain-amount calculating unit to the input image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Masafumi Wakazono, Naoya Katoh
  • Patent number: 7830446
    Abstract: An object of this invention is to limit a correction amount for correcting the exposure error of a photographed image so as to prevent an excessively corrected image sensing result, and obtain a desired image sensing result by changing the correction width of the correction amount in accordance with the setting state and operation state of an image sensing apparatus and the object brightness in image sensing. To achieve this object, an exposure error value is calculated from the exposure level of an image signal and an exposure level obtained by photometry. The correction amount of the exposure error value is calculated on the basis of at least one of the setting state of the image sensing apparatus, the operation state of the image sensing apparatus, and the object brightness state in image sensing. The exposure error of the sensed image is corrected using the correction amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2010
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Teruhiko Ueyama
  • Patent number: 7821570
    Abstract: A method of adjusting exposure of a digital camera based on range information, including a digital camera capturing a first digital image at a selected exposure of a scene having objects; providing range information having two or more range values indicating the distance from the digital camera to objects in the scene; using the range information and pixel values of the captured digital image to determine an exposure adjustment amount for the selected exposure; and applying the exposure adjustment amount to the digital image to produce a second digital image with adjusted exposure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Andrew C. Gallagher, Nathan D. Cahill, Gabriel Fielding, Lawrence A. Ray, Edward B. Gindele
  • Patent number: 7817206
    Abstract: An embodiment of the invention is a method of generating a final exposure setting, including, (a) selecting one of a number of predetermined exposure settings as a current exposure setting for a solid state camera having a camera imager, (b) generating a captured scene by the camera imager using the current exposure setting, (c) selecting according to an automated search methodology another one of the exposure settings to be the current setting in response to the captured scene being underexposed or overexposed, and, (d) repeating (b) and (c) until the captured scene is neither underexposed or overexposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Cynthia S. Bell, Edward P. Tomaszewski, Amy E. Hansen, Kannan Raj