Based On Image Signal Patents (Class 348/364)
  • Patent number: 7812920
    Abstract: A production method of a substrate for a liquid crystal display in which an exposure pattern of a color filter or a black matrix is formed in a predetermined position of a TFT substrate at a high level of precision. Therefore the production method includes following steps: applying a photosensitive material for a color filter or a black matrix onto a TFT substrate; image-capturing a pixel region by an imaging unit while transporting the TFT substrate coated with the photosensitive material at a predetermined velocity by a transporting unit; detecting a reference position preset in the pixel region image-captured by the imaging unit at an image processing section of a control unit; and controlling irradiation timing of a light source in an exposure optical system by a lamp controller with reference to the detected reference position, and forming an exposure pattern of a color filter or a black matrix at a predetermined position of the TFT substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Assignee: V Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jin Iino
  • Patent number: 7800686
    Abstract: An electronic camera includes: a luminance detection device that detects a luminance of a photographic field; an image sensor that captures an image of a photographic subject; a light reduction device that changes over between reducing an amount of light from the photographic subject that is conducted to the image sensor, and not performing such light amount reduction; and a calculation device that, when moving image photography is started with the image sensor, decides whether or not to perform the light amount reduction with the light reduction device according to the luminance detected by the luminance detection device, and then calculates a control exposure for this moving image photography.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Akihiko Meguro, Kazuya Umeyama
  • Patent number: 7800657
    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: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Shane C. Hu
  • Patent number: 7800655
    Abstract: A digital still camera having a photographing lens system set in a lens tube, a CCD solid image-capturing device, and a mechanical shutter. The mechanical shutter is set on a light path between the photographing lens system and the CCD solid image capturing device. The CCD solid image-capturing device divides a frame of an image into a plurality of fields and transmits the fields serially. The camera compares at least two fields of them, and detects abnormality caused by, for example, abnormal operation of the mechanical shutter or light leakage of the lens body. The camera also displays or announces the abnormality to a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Kenji Shiraishi
  • Patent number: 7787045
    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: December 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ueda, Kenichi Honjo, Naoto Yumiki, Toshio Makabe, Kenji Maeda, Kaoru Mokunaka, Kazuhiro Ishimaru
  • Patent number: 7787025
    Abstract: An image pickup device includes an image pickup unit configured to convert a subject image to image data and to output the image data and a face image recognition unit configured to recognize a face image from the image data. When the face image is recognized by the face image recognition unit, the face image portion is cut out and stored as a separate image file.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Limited
    Inventors: Masato Sanno, Takahiro Fujisawa
  • Patent number: 7782393
    Abstract: A method for capturing multiple sets of image data with an electronic camera having a shutter and an electronic shutter for selectively allowing light to reach an image sensor comprises opening the shutter and the electronic shutter, allowing light to reach the image sensor for a first exposure time, closing the electronic shutter, reading out pixel data captured during the first exposure time, allowing light to reach the image sensor for a second exposure time, and, reading out pixel data captured during the second exposure time. The method may be used to obtain multiple differently exposed images of a scene for combination into a high dynamic range image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory John Ward, Helge Seetzen
  • Patent number: 7777805
    Abstract: This invention allows executing proper photometry within a short time even when a single-lens reflex type image capturing apparatus performs flash photography using an electronic viewfinder. When performing photography from a live view display state using a flash unit which illuminates an object, a shutter front curtain is closed, and a quick return mirror is driven into a photographing optical path. After a photometry sensor near an optical viewfinder temporarily measures reflected light from the object, photography is executed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tetsuji Ogami
  • Patent number: 7768560
    Abstract: A multiband camera control apparatus comprises a multiband camera section configured to be capable of capturing a plurality of color bands, a computer configured to control the multiband camera section, a user interface configured to transmit instruction information for the control from the user to the computer, and parameters configured to control the corresponding band in each of the plurality of bands. The user interface includes a switching instruction section configured to switch between the plurality of bands. The computer is configured to control the multiband camera section by using the parameter corresponding to the band selected according to the instruction to switch between the plurality of bands from the switching instruction section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: Olympus Corporation
    Inventors: Masaya Katsumata, Toru Wada, Takeyuki Ajito, Yasuhiro Komiya
  • Patent number: 7760999
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus includes an image sensor which photo-electrically converts an object image formed by an objective lens, a shutter which is arranged between the objective lens and the image sensor, opens to set the image sensor in an exposure enable state, and closes to set the image sensor in a light-shielding state, a dark image acquisition unit which acquires a dark image by closing the shutter and causing the image sensor to accumulate charges, and a control unit which controls an aperture size of an aperture stop arranged at the objective lens, wherein if the aperture stop has a aperture size more than a predetermined aperture size before acquiring the dark image, the dark image acquisition unit acquires the dark image after the control unit controls the aperture stop to an aperture size not more than the predetermined aperture size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2010
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Akira Karasawa
  • Patent number: 7755664
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus having a function for generating wide dynamic range, synthesized image by synthesizing image signals corresponding to a plurality of frames of different exposure amounts. A correcting section for correcting exposure amounts of at least one image signal of the image signals corresponding to the plurality of frames of different exposure amounts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Olympus Optical Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Minoru Kakinuma, Hidetoshi Fukuda, Hiroaki Koseki, Takumi Momose, Osamu Inagaki
  • Patent number: 7738029
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an image-taking apparatus such as a digital camera which is equipped with a release button and shoots a still image when the release button is pressed. It can perform proper metering for still images and reduce a time lag between a half press and the time when it is ready to shoot a still image. The image-taking apparatus has a through image display section which displays a through image which is moving images for display before a half press, a metering section which performs both metering for a through image and metering for a still image before the half press, a distance measuring section which measures distance in response to a half press, and a shooting section which shoots a still image in response to a full press.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Koji Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 7738020
    Abstract: An imaging system includes a photocell circuit. The photocell circuit includes a photodetector circuit. The photodetector circuit includes an input configured to receive incident light. A first terminal communicates with a sample node. A second terminal communicates with a monitor node. A sampling circuit is configured to drive the sample node to a first reset value at a first time in response to a first reset signal. The sampling circuit allows the first reset value to decay at a second time subsequent to the first time. A monitor circuit is configured to drive the monitor node to a second reset value at the first time in response to a second reset signal. The monitor circuit allows the second reset value to decay at the second time. The monitor circuit detects a third time when the monitor node decays to a predetermined stop value subsequent to the second time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Marvell International Ltd.
    Inventor: Lawrence T. Clark
  • Patent number: 7738031
    Abstract: In an image input device including a multistage aperture (13) which reduces a quantity of light by changing an aperture, and an ND filter (15) which reduces a quantity of light by changing transmittance of passing light, if ghosts tend to occur due to the second light reducing means, the generation of ghosts is effectively avoided. An object determining unit determines whether a strong light source is present on an object image formed by an optical unit (10) for imaging based on luminance distribution on the object image. The multistage aperture (13) and the ND filter (15) are controlled in order to obtain a proper exposure to pickup the object image. If the object determining unit determines which a strong light source is present on the object image, the ND filter (15), which reduces the quantity of light by changing the transmittance of passing light, is used as less as possible, and the multistage aperture (13) is functioned preferentially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Junichi Shinohara
  • Patent number: 7733384
    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: September 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kenichi Kido
  • Patent number: 7714928
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus is provided with an image sensor having a photoelectric conversion characteristic having a linear characteristic area where an electrical signal is outputted after being linearly converted in relation to an amount of an incident light and a logarithmic characteristic area where the electrical signal is outputted after being logarithmically converted in relation to the amount of the incident light; an evaluation value detector for detecting exposure evaluation values concerning an exposure control based on a luminance information of a subject; and a central control unit for controlling the exposure based on the exposure evaluation values detected by the evaluation value detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Koichi Kamon, Kazuchika Sato, Jun Minakuti
  • Publication number: 20100110280
    Abstract: In an environment recognition apparatus including a light projector that intermittently projects a light pattern toward an object to be measured existing in an environmental space in accordance with a duty factor of a pulse train defining one frame, a camera that outputs a difference image between an image of the object taken at an exposure where the light pattern is projected and an image of the object taken at an exposure where the light pattern is not projected and the object is recognized based on the difference image, there is equipped with a timing controller that controls the projection timing by varying a pulse repetition period in the pulse train in one frame at random, thereby effectively avoiding the interference with the other while using a camera of ordinary sensitivity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2008
    Publication date: May 6, 2010
    Inventor: Chiaki Aoyama
  • Patent number: 7692693
    Abstract: A CCD of a digital camera has high sensitive main pixels for depicting gradations in low and middle brightness portions of a subject, and low sensitive sub pixels for depicting gradations in high brightness portions of the subject. Main pixel image signals from the main pixels have a larger signal level than sub pixel image signals from the sub pixels. The main pixel image signals are attenuated by an attenuator to have the same signal level as the sub pixel image signals. The attenuated main pixel image signals and the sub pixel image signals are amplified by an amplifier with the same gain. The amplified main and sub pixel image signals are digitalized and composed to generate composite image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Misawa
  • Patent number: 7688359
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a method for acquiring automatic exposure control parameters and a method for controlling automatic exposure control parameters and an imaging device. The core idea is to take the brightness weighted average value obtained according to brightness distribution weighted statistics of the image as the exposure control parameter. Then through adjusting the weighted coefficient of pixels in different brightness regions, control the influence of the pixel concentrated brightness regions on the brightness average value. Because the brightness distribution is the basis for determining weighted statistics, the control method of the present invention is not influenced by the scene assumption. Rather it can be universally adapted to a variety of different scenes, and the exposure control effect is not influenced by the position of scenes in the actual bright region/dark region and block distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Guangyao Zhao, Xiaoxia Wei, Jing Wang, Haitao Yang, Yilin Chang
  • Patent number: 7683964
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus which keeps down an increase in the amount of processing at the time of exposure determination and at the same time enables effective utilization of the improved photometry resolution for back light detection, an which has a luminance calculation unit dividing image data output from an image capturing device into a plurality of regions and measuring the luminance of each and an exposure control unit generating and grouping a plurality of intermediate regions from the object luminances output from the luminance calculation unit, generating an exposure evaluation value from the luminances of the intermediate regions, and suitably controlling the exposure for image capture in accordance with the measured luminances, and an image capturing method used for the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takayuki Okuno
  • Patent number: 7667765
    Abstract: The shutter of a digital imaging device may be calibrated by comparing a characteristic of two separate exposures obtained from a single field of the device's imaging sensor during a single exposure cycle. Calibrating the shutter in this manner facilitates the accuracy of even very short exposure times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Richard Turley, Dan L. Dalton, Daniel M. Bloom, Gregory V. Hofer, Casey L. Miller, Scott A. Woods
  • Patent number: 7667763
    Abstract: A digital still camera records image data by picking up an image of an object. One mode is set among plural photographing modes including a standard photographing mode and a portrait mode adapted to an image containing an abrupt change in gradation. An optimized exposure amount is acquired according to brightness derived from the image data. When the portrait mode is set, portrait mode image data is acquired by setting exposure lower than the optimized exposure amount. The image data is processed in gradation conversion by use of first or second gamma conversion table. The first gamma conversion table is used for the standard photographing mode. The second gamma conversion table is used for the portrait mode, predetermined to extend a dynamic range of the image data after the gradation conversion in comparison with the first gamma conversion table, to process the portrait mode image data in gradation conversion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Koji Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 7667764
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus is constructed in such a manner that a calculation priority setter 5111 (5111a) sets a priority between exposure amount control by an exposure amount control parameter calculator 511 (511a) serving as exposure amount controller, and dynamic range control by a dynamic range control parameter calculator 512 (512a) serving as dynamic range controller. Exposure control is executed by performing the exposure amount control and the dynamic range control based on a photoelectric conversion characteristic, by using exposure evaluation values detected by an evaluation value detector 405, based on the priority set by the calculation priority setter 5111 (5111a).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Koichi Kamon, Kazuchika Sato, Jun Minakuti
  • Publication number: 20100039551
    Abstract: An exposure method is disclosed. Correct exposure settings are determined for an object in a scene. The determined exposure settings include an exposure time. Whether any portion of an image of the scene formed using the determined exposure settings is overexposed or underexposed is detected. Adjustment times of photometers of an image sensor corresponding to the over/underexposed region(s), if any, to the exposure time are calculated. The calculated adjustment times are converted into regional exposure time(s) for the over/underexposed region(s). The image sensor is exposed using the exposure time and the regional exposure time(s).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2008
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Applicant: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: ZHENG-GANG LIN
  • Publication number: 20100033619
    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: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Applicant: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Takayuki Kimura
  • Patent number: 7659931
    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: July 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Mitsuharu Ohki
  • Patent number: 7656458
    Abstract: A color photographing device is equipped with a light-receiving section having a red pixel selectively receiving red light and outputting a red pixel signal and a green pixel selectively receiving green light and outputting a green pixel signal. The color photographing device is further equipped with an optical filter disposed on the side with a light-receiving surface of the light-receiving section. The optical filter substantially equalizes the signal level of the red pixel signal and the signal level of the green pixel signal when achromatic color illuminated by a solar light source in the daytime is photographed. Therefore, a white balance gain Wr at about 5000K can be lowered as compared with a conventional color photographing device. Accordingly, reduction of color noises and enhancement of gradation can be expected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Hideo Hoshuyama
  • Patent number: 7656456
    Abstract: Both a specific target and the background thereof in the image of a subject are caused to take on brightnesses that are relatively appropriate. Preliminary image sensing is performed to obtain a preliminary image of the subject. The image of a face is detected from within the preliminary image of the subject and the representative luminance of the face image is calculated. If the representative luminance calculated is not appropriate, then amount of exposure is adjusted so as to make the face image slightly darker than the appropriate brightness. Regular image sensing is then carried out. If the representative luminance of the face image in the image of the subject obtained by regular image sensing is not appropriate, a tone adjustment is applied utilizing a tone curve. Thus there is obtained an image of the subject in which both the face image and its background exhibit brightnesses that are relatively appropriate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Yitong Zhang
  • Patent number: 7656457
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus that includes a device for discharging charge or F/E-IC for discharging charge accumulated in an imaging device or CCD and for canceling exposure in a discharging term of the charge. The imaging apparatus also includes a light shielding device or mechanical shutter unit for a mechanical shutter, which shields light by the mechanical shutter, and a control device or CPU block for hastening by a predetermined time the charge discharging term of the CCD in the discharging device and a light shielding timing of the mechanical shutter in the light shielding device, when a shutter speed for recording a subject is more than a predetermined time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Noriaki Ojima, Tatsutoshi Kitajima, Kohichi Sugiura, Toshiaki Nakahira, Akihiro Yoshida
  • Patent number: 7652689
    Abstract: In a digital still camera, the amount of blur when a picture is taken is calculated from a first picture captured with a high-speed electronic shutter and a second picture captured with a normal shutter speed (5), and the blur in the picture captured with the normal shutter speed, which is degraded by the blur, is corrected through digital signal processing, by applying a picture restoration algorithm (6). Blur can be corrected by a simple device, without requiring an angular velocity sensor or a circuit to process its output in order to reduce the effect of camera shake.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Naoyuki Fujiyama, Tetsuya Kuno, Kazuhiro Sugiyama
  • Patent number: 7648246
    Abstract: A projector includes: an imaging structure that photographs an image projected on a projection object to take a photographed image; an imaging control module that performs exposure adjustment in the imaging structure to attain a preset target exposure; a control module that sets the target exposure in the imaging ctrl module; an angle information acquisition module that obtains angle information representing an inclination of the projector to the projection object; and a storage unit that stores a map representing a variation in target exposure against the angle information. The control module controls the angle information acquisition module to obtain the angle information, refers to the map stored in the storage unit to specify a target exposure corresponding to the obtained angle information, and sets the specified target exposure in the imaging control module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Noriaki Miyasaka
  • Patent number: 7649556
    Abstract: At least either of image data and image generation record information is analyzed to determine an image quality parameter relating to image quality, and an output target decision regarding selection of image data as an output target is performed on the basis of the image quality parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Ikuo Hayaishi, Takahiko Koizumi
  • Patent number: 7643069
    Abstract: A device for adjusting the exposure of an image sensor includes an average luminance value calculation unit, a first exposure control unit and a correction exposure value calculation unit. The average luminance value calculation unit calculates the first total average luminance value of pixels that are output from the image sensor. The first exposure control unit controls the exposure value of the image sensor based on a previously set exposure value. The correction exposure value calculation unit calculates a correction exposure value by multiplying the exposure value, which is previously set on the first exposure control unit, by the ratio of a target luminance value to the first total average luminance value. Additionally, the first exposure control unit receives the correction exposure value from the correction exposure value calculation unit and controls the exposure value of the image sensor based on the correction exposure value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Assignee: Core Logic Inc.
    Inventor: Sung Chen Jun
  • Patent number: 7626632
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods, systems, and computer-program products for correcting image streaking, light scattering, and other effects in digital images generated by multispectral sensors. An image frame, a plurality of image frames from the digital sensor when exposed to dark, and a plurality of image frames from the digital sensor when exposed to light are received. The received image frame is corrected based on the received plurality of image frames exposed to dark and the plurality of image frames exposed to light. The received image frames are enhanced based on characteristics of the digital sensor. Light scattering effects are removed from the corrected image frame based upon characteristics of the digital sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Robert W. Turner, Pauline Joe, Mark A. Zenor
  • Patent number: 7623179
    Abstract: A method and a storage medium for auto exposure control are provided. A desired image is divided into a plurality of sample blocks, each includes red, green, and blue subpixels. A maximum exposure ratio and an average exposure ratio are obtained according to the maximum and average values of each red, green, and blue subpixel retrieved from each sample block and a predetermined desired maximum brightness and a predetermined desired average brightness. It is determined whether the maximum exposure ratio is smaller than the average exposure ratio. If it is, a strobe of the storage medium shines a flashlight based on the average exposure ratio, and, if it is not, the strobe shines a flashlight based on the maximum exposure ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2009
    Assignee: Asia Optical Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Wen-Hung Hsieh, Ching-Jung Tsai, Shu-Chen Hsiao
  • Patent number: 7593048
    Abstract: Imaging system having a sensor array with photocells that permit the monitoring of light levels while the sensor is exposed to a scene, and the ability to accurately avoid saturation on a per column, row, or array basis. The sensor array supports variable dynamic range by allowing variable integration times for different columns or rows of the array, thereby improving image quality of a scene in which there are both strong and weak light areas. In one embodiment, the photocell includes a parasitic multi-emitter bipolar junction transistor (BJT) acting as a photodetector. The parasitic device is part of a saturation detection circuit and also supports an electronic shutter mechanism. The parasitic BJT also permits increased sensitivity over some previous CMOS approaches. The photocell design is also spatially efficient, using in one embodiment only four MOSFETs in addition to the parasitic BJT.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: Marvell International Ltd.
    Inventor: Lawrence T. Clark
  • Patent number: 7590346
    Abstract: A digital camera includes: an image sensor that captures an image of a subject and outputs an image signal; and a control device that engages the image sensor to capture an image at an exposure value having been set, makes a decision as to whether or not an overflow or an underflow deviating from a dynamic range of the image sensor manifests, calculates an exposure correction quantity with which the exposure value having been set is to be corrected in order to reduce the overflow or the underflow based upon results of the decision and engages the image sensor to capture a new image at an exposure value having been corrected in correspondence to the exposure correction quantity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Norikazu Yokonuma
  • Patent number: 7576793
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus which is capable of optimizing the responsiveness of linear changes in focus to operations of a ring member without sacrificing the operability of the ring member, while using a small-sized, low-cost ring member for manual operations. The rotating operation state of a focus ring 600 is detected by ring rotation sensors 603, 604. A camera microcomputer 116 causes a focus lens 105 to be moved and stopped in an optical axis direction thereof based on results of the detection by the ring rotation sensors 603, 604. The camera microcomputer 116 controls the responsiveness of linear changes in focus to the rotating operation state of the ring member detected by the ring rotation sensors 603, 604 in accordance with at least the depth of focus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroto Okawara
  • Patent number: 7576797
    Abstract: Automatic white balancing and/or autoexposure as useful in a digital camera extracts color channel gains from comparisons of image colors with reference colors under various color temperature illuminants and/or extracts exposure settings from illuminance mean, illuminance variance, illuminance minimum, and illuminance maximum in areas of an image with a trained neural network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Nasser Kehtarnavaz, Hyuk-Joon Oh
  • Patent number: 7548270
    Abstract: A method of exposure control for an imaging system. A predetermined number of images are captured by one or more imagers, wherein the images are defined by an image resolution matrix. The images are masked to establish a region of interest within the image resolution matrix and brightness of the images is analyzed within the region of interest. An exposure time is calculated for a subsequent image capturing step based on the brightness analysis, and an exposure time setting of the imager(s) is adjusted during the subsequent image capturing step based on the calculated exposure time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2009
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hongzhi Kong, Qin Sun
  • Patent number: 7535511
    Abstract: An automatic exposure control method and compensation apparatus are disclosed. It includes a coordinate system having sub-ranges with different corresponding exposure compensation values. It includes the setting of bright and dark regions threshold values and the calculation of the ratios of the pixel count in an image where the luminance of each pixel is higher than the bright area threshold value for obtaining a bright area ratio, and also includes the calculation of the ratio of the pixel count in an image where the luminance of each pixel is lower than the dark area threshold value for obtaining a dark area ratio. Afterwards, the image position in the coordinate system is determined. When the image position in the coordinate system is fallen inside one of the sub-ranges, the corresponding exposure compensation value of the sub-range where the image is located is given to compensate the exposure value of the image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2009
    Assignee: Sunplus Technology Co, Ltd.
    Inventors: Cheng-Yu Wu, Zhe-Hong Lin, Hung-ren Chen
  • Patent number: 7525592
    Abstract: An image capture device includes a light source, an image capture unit, a brightness detector, an object distance obtaining unit which obtains an object distance to the object, first and second controllers, and an amplifier which amplifies an image signal output from the image capture unit by an amplifying factor according to a sensitivity set by one of the first and second controllers. The first controller disables the light source and sets a sensitivity which is in accordance with the brightness of the object and which is lower than a predetermined sensitivity. The second controller enables the light source and sets a sensitivity which is lower than the predetermined sensitivity. The second controller includes a sensitivity obtaining unit which obtains a sensitivity according to the object distance and a maximum amount of light emitted from the light source, and a setting unit which sets the obtained sensitivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshiyuki Kato
  • Patent number: 7522210
    Abstract: In a first exposure condition calculating operation, proper exposure conditions in imaging are calculated by the imaging element including the effective exposure time and ISO sensitivity without preliminary light emission from the strobo part. In a second exposure condition calculating operation, the exposure condition is determined by compensating at least the ISO sensitivity among the exposure conditions calculated in the first exposure condition calculating operation by dimmer or light control operation with preliminary light emission of the strobo part. Exposure of the imaging element is executed as a regular imaging operation under the exposure condition calculated and determined in the second exposure condition calculating operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Olympus Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshinao Shimada
  • Patent number: 7518643
    Abstract: A camera device and method for performing a shooting operation by converting image light into an electrical signal. The location of a dark distribution is determined, and a dark distribution histogram ratio is calculated. The location of a bright distribution is determined, and a high-brightness slice set value is set. A determination is made as to whether or not a subject is in a backlighted state based on whether a dark_ratio falls within a predetermined range. When the subject is not in a backlighted state, the previously-set high-brightness slice set value is used unchanged. On the other hand, when the subject is in a backlighted state, the dark_ratio is normalized, so that, for example, backlight correction is carried out so that a high-brightness component limiter value of an integration signal of a peak-value-detected output is decreased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Kawanishi
  • Patent number: 7508417
    Abstract: To realize a wireless imaging apparatus having excellent sensitivity to an environmental change, a wireless imaging device has an imaging unit with a function of imaging a subject and a communication unit with a wireless communication function. The imaging unit has, at least, an optical lens, an aperture 2 to limit incident light from the optical lens, an optical sensor 4 to convert the incident light passed through the aperture 2 into an electric signal, and an antenna for wireless communication, integrally formed with the aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Naoki Nishimura, Kenji Saitoh, Masaaki Shibata
  • Patent number: 7508422
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus is provided with an image sensor having a photoelectric conversion characteristic comprised of a linear characteristic area where an electrical signal is outputted after being linearly converted in relation to an amount of an incident light and a logarithmic characteristic area where the electrical signal is outputted after being logarithmically converted in relation to the amount of the incident light. An evaluation value detector of a signal processing unit detects evaluation values concerning an image sensing control from each of the linear characteristic area and the logarithmic characteristic area upon picking up an image of a subject based on pieces of subject luminance information in the respective areas. A central control unit (image sensing controller) carries out the image sensing control based on the evaluation values corresponding to the respective areas detected by the evaluation value detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Koichi Kamon, Kazuchika Sato, Jun Minakuti
  • Patent number: 7492412
    Abstract: A solid-state image pickup apparatus includes a low-sensitivity decision section made up of an arithmetic circuit and a data decision circuit. During RAW mode recording operation, the arithmetic circuit executes sensitivity correction on low-sensitivity pixel data. The data decision circuit compares the low-sensitivity pixel data thus corrected with high-sensitivity pixel data to thereby produce map data pixel by pixel. Subsequently, pixel data are omitted on the basis of an embedding condition assigned to basic data set beforehand and the map data, whereby recording data a regenerated. The recording data are then recorded in a recording medium together with the map data and high-sensitivity pixel data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Misawa
  • Patent number: 7480452
    Abstract: Methods and related computer program products, systems, and devices for auto-focusing in an image-capturing system includes sampling output signals from an auto-focusing circuit in a first interval of lens distances and determining a first lens distance and a second lens distance corresponding to the two highest values of the sampled output signals in the first interval of lens distances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: Winbond Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuya Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 7477314
    Abstract: The invention concerns with an exposure control mechanism for use in an image pickup apparatus in which a diaphragm aperture formed by a plurality of diaphragm blades moving straightforward in opposite directions is covered by an ND filter, and intends to prevent deterioration of image quality caused by diffraction even in an image pickup device having a small picture size and a short pixel pitch. The image pickup apparatus comprises an exposure control mechanism for adjusting the quantity of light flux entering a shooting lens system. The exposure control mechanism comprises a diaphragm made up of diaphragm blades movable on a plane perpendicular to an optical axis in opposite directions to define a diaphragm aperture, and an ND filter made up of at least two ND filter elements having different transmittances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yusuke Nanjo, Yuichi Nakano, Akira Kumano, Masatoshi Yamagiwa
  • Patent number: RE41144
    Abstract: Object: To broaden the range of photographing of object, until illumination of 0.02 lux. Construction: In the case of sufficient bright object, photographing is performed by a conventional circuit at a high S/N ratio, at a high degree. In the case of an insufficient bright object, inserting auxiliary amplifying circuit m, m1, m2 or em and ignoring the S/N ratio, and raising the amplification degree. In the case of sufficient bright object, photographing is performed by high S/N ratio, and high degree, in the case of insufficient bright object, an auxiliary amplifying circuit m, m1, m2 or em is inserted ignoring the S/N ratio until utility noise composite of 20 dB (10%).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Watec Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shigeto Igarashi