Processing Circuit Patents (Class 396/125)
  • Patent number: 10091407
    Abstract: An exchangeable lens includes: a mount unit at which a camera body is detachably engaged; a plurality of drive target members, conditions of which change as a drive force is applied thereto; an initialization unit that executes initialization processing for each of the plurality of drive target members; an initialization status transmission unit that transmits initialization statuses, each indicating a status of the initialization processing executed for one of the drive target members, to the camera body via a first transmission path over predetermined first cycles; and a drive condition transmission unit that transmits a drive condition of at least one drive target member among the plurality of drive target members to the camera body via a second transmission path different from the first transmission path over predetermined second cycles different from the predetermined first cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masafumi Oikawa, Kazuharu Imafuji, Shigeo Takahashi, Shunji Nagaya
  • Patent number: 10044926
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices for optimizing phase detection autofocus (PDAF) processing are provided. One aspect provides an apparatus comprising: an image sensor configured to capture image data of a scene; a buffer; and a processor. The processor may be configured to store the image data in the buffer as a current frame and divide the current frame into a plurality of windows each corresponding to a different spatial region of the scene. The processor may be further configured to identify a central portion of the current frame comprising a subset of the plurality of windows. The processor may be further configured to determine a depth value of the central portion based on performing PDAF on the subset of the plurality of windows and determine a confidence value for the central portion based on the depth value and image data corresponding to the subset of the plurality of windows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Micha Galor Gluskin, Sanket Krishnamurthy Sagar
  • Patent number: 9813603
    Abstract: There is provided a lens unit equipped with multiple focus lenses provided inside a lens barrel, multiple actuators corresponding to the respective multiple focus lenses and configured to move each of the multiple focus lenses inside the lens barrel, and a control circuit configured to control movement of the multiple focus lenses according to different rules between a case of a position of each of the multiple focus lenses being inside a designated range of satisfactory optical performance, and a case of being outside the range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tomoomi Ito, Rui Chen, Makoto Kanai, Fumikazu Kanetaka, Naoki Miyagawa
  • Patent number: 9667852
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus includes a focus adjustment unit, an image sensor, a focus evaluation value calculation unit, and a control unit configured to drive the focus adjustment unit based on a focus evaluation value to perform an in-focus operation. A change curve representing a change amount of a focus evaluation value indicating a focusing state of an object image includes a first slope before inversion of a sign of an inclination of the change curve at a peak value on the change curve and a second slope after inversion of a sign of an inclination of the change curve at a peak value on the change curve. The control unit determines whether the focus evaluation value corresponding to the peak value on the change curve is used for the in-focus operation based on an inclination of the first slope and an inclination of the second slope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hideyuki Hamano
  • Patent number: 9618723
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus to which a lens unit having an optical imaging system is attachable, comprising: an image sensor configured to generate an image signal by performing photoelectric conversion on a light flux passing through the optical imaging system; a first calculation unit configured to obtain first control information for focus control by using a signal output from the image sensor; and a second calculation unit configured to obtain second control information for focus control without using a signal output from the image sensor, and transmit the second control information to the lens unit. The first calculation unit transmits the first control information to the lens unit without mediation of the second calculation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroto Suzuki
  • Patent number: 9609204
    Abstract: An auto-focus device, for eliminating an uncomfortable feeling when phase difference AF is switched to optical path length difference AF when an arbitrary area is set as a focusing target area, and a method for controlling operation of the same. A desired area is set as the focusing target area. Until a first threshold value position is reached, the focus lens is moved based on a phase difference AF evaluation value obtained from a phase difference AF sensor so as to bring the center portion of the imaging area into focus. Until a second threshold value position is reached, the focus lens is moved based on a phase difference AF evaluation value which is obtained from a signal of an area corresponding to the set focusing target area. When the focus lens reaches the second threshold value position, the focus lens is positioned at the focusing position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Ebato, Takahisa Sato, Aiko Sekiya
  • Patent number: 9398206
    Abstract: A focus adjustment apparatus that, based on imaging signals obtained by picking up an optical image of an object formed via a photographing optical system including a focus lens, adjusts a position of the focus lens, reads out, in parallel with an operation of reading out first imaging signals at a predetermined frame rate, second imaging signals at a frame rate that is higher than the predetermined frame rate, the number of the second imaging signals being smaller than the number of the first imaging signals, generates first and second focus signals using the first and second imaging signals, and performs first focus adjustment according to determination of the focus state based on the first focus signal and second focus adjustment according to determination of the focus state based on the second focus signal to determine an in-focus position of the focus lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masaaki Uenishi
  • Patent number: 9319577
    Abstract: An exchangeable lens includes: a mount unit at which a camera body is detachably engaged; a plurality of drive target members, conditions of which change as a drive force is applied thereto; an initialization unit that executes initialization processing for each of the plurality of drive target members; an initialization status transmission unit that transmits initialization statuses, each indicating a status of the initialization processing executed for one of the drive target members, to the camera body via a first transmission path over predetermined first cycles; and a drive condition transmission unit that transmits a drive condition of at least one drive target member among the plurality of drive target members to the camera body via a second transmission path different from the first transmission path over predetermined second cycles different from the predetermined first cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masafumi Oikawa, Kazuharu Imafuji, Shigeo Takahashi, Shunji Nagaya
  • Patent number: 9304019
    Abstract: The rotation detection apparatus includes a rotatable member rotatable with rotation of a motor and having multiple pattern element portions in its rotational direction, a signal outputter to output a detection signal changing in response to rotation of the pattern element portions, and a memory storing correction values each provided for each of the pattern element portions and used to perform correction of an error in a relation between rotational positions of the rotatable member and the change of the detection signal. A corrector performs the correction with reference to a reference position of the rotatable member in an origin state where a driven member driven by the motor is located at its origin position and by using each of the correction values for each change of the detection signal when the rotatable member is rotated from the reference position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Junki Yoshimuta
  • Patent number: 9300856
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for adjusting compression rate based on the image size analysis in a camera device are provided. The image processing apparatus includes a compression rate determiner which determines a compression rate according to complexity of an image by extracting auto focus filter values of the image acquired from the camera, a processor which processes the image acquired from the camera in a unit of the line, and a still image codec which compresses line images output from the processor at the compression rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sungjun Yim, Myoungwon Kim, Moonsoo Kim, Jaedong Kim, Kangmin Lee, Jongheum Han
  • Patent number: 9225892
    Abstract: An exchangeable lens includes: a mount unit at which a camera body is detachably engaged; a plurality of drive target members, conditions of which change as a drive force is applied thereto; an initialization unit that executes initialization processing for each of the plurality of drive target members; an initialization status transmission unit that transmits initialization statuses, each indicating a status of the initialization processing executed for one of the drive target members, to the camera body via a first transmission path over predetermined first cycles; and a drive condition transmission unit that transmits a drive condition of at least one drive target member among the plurality of drive target members to the camera body via a second transmission path different from the first transmission path over predetermined second cycles different from the predetermined first cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masafumi Oikawa, Kazuharu Imafuji, Shigeo Takahashi, Shunji Nagaya
  • Publication number: 20150125140
    Abstract: Noise produced during phase-difference changes is minimized without decreasing the responsiveness of a vibration-wave motor. A lens-side MCU (15) for a lens barrel (10) controls a drive apparatus (14) that applies a drive voltage to the vibration-wave motor (12) by outputting an A-phase drive signal and a B-phase drive signal thereto. The lens-side MCU (15) uses, for example, a drive-voltage setting unit (152) and a duty-cycle change unit (153) to change the drive voltage. Also, the lens-side MCU (15) is provided with a phase-difference change unit (154) that changes the phase difference between the A-phase drive signal and the B-phase drive signal. When driving the vibration-wave motor (12), the lens-side MCU (15) changes the drive voltage to Vreg, and when the phase-difference change unit (154) is changing the aforementioned phase difference, the drive voltage is changed to V1, V1 being greater than zero and less than Vreg.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takatoshi Ashizawa, Kazuyasu Oone, Shinji Nishihara, Toshikazu Morioke
  • Patent number: 8948584
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device includes a common output line, a sensor cell unit which outputs a signal to the common output line, a transfer circuit unit which is connected to the common output line, holds a signal from the common output line in a transfer capacitor, and transfers the signal, first, second and third memory cell units each of which stores a signal from the common output line in a memory capacitor, inverts and amplifies the signal in the memory capacitor, and outputs the signal to the common output line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Daisuke Inoue, Tomohisa Kinugasa, Hirofumi Totsuka
  • Patent number: 8941774
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus to which an accessory is detachably attached, said accessory including an optical member, includes a signal generation unit configured to generate a vertical synchronizing signal and output the generated vertical synchronizing signal, an imaging unit configured to accumulate charges in synchronization with the vertical synchronizing signal and output an imaging signal, a control unit configured to generate a clock signal and control data communication with the accessory based on the clock signal, a first terminal for sending the clock signal to the accessory, and a second terminal for communicating data with the accessory, in which the control unit, after the data communication via the second terminal, notifies timing at which the vertical synchronizing signal is output using the clock signal via the first terminal by changing a signal level of the first terminal after a lapse of a predetermined time while the signal level is kept at a predetermined level, and controls the accessory to dr
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Keisuke Kudo, Yoshihiko Aihara, Minoru Uchiyama
  • Patent number: 8903233
    Abstract: The present disclosure illustrates an auto-focus system using multiple lenses and method thereof. The system is characterized in using multiple lenses and combining a focus depth based approach and a contrast value based approach to improve focus speed and precision. In particular, the system can avoid the impairment caused by the repeat pattern in the focus depth based approach.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Altek Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Yu-Chen Huang, Wen-Yan Chang, Chung-Chia Kang
  • Patent number: 8861949
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of adjusting an auto focus are provided. The apparatus includes: an imaging pickup device for generating an image signal by capturing light passing through an imaging lens; a shutter for controlling light exposure of the image pickup device; a focus detector that calculates a contrast value from the image signal and detecting a focus from the contrast value; and a release controller for controlling a release operation constituting a photographing operation of a still image, wherein the release controller includes, as driving modes, a first mode that directs a focus lens included in the imaging lens to be driven while driving the shutter, and a second mode that directs the focus lens not to be driven while driving the shutter. Accordingly, a photographing time is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Ishibashi, Masataka Hamada
  • Patent number: 8855479
    Abstract: To provide an imaging apparatus and a method of controlling the apparatus that enables improved automatic focus adjustment performance also in relation to an image having a shallow depth of field. An imaging element 103 includes a focus state detection unit for detecting a phase difference. A camera signal processing unit 106 generates a focus adjustment signal based on the imaging signal and outputs the signal to a camera control unit 109. The camera control unit 109 acquires an in-focus lens position in accordance with a focus lens based on a focus deviation amount based on a focus state detection result, calculates distance information related to the in-focus distance on the image screen, and controls the driving of the focus lens 102 based on the distance information and the focus adjustment signal from the camera signal processing unit 106.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hitoshi Yasuda
  • Patent number: 8837932
    Abstract: A camera includes a depth-sensing lens, an auto-focusing apparatus, and a display screen. In an auto-focusing method of the camera, a focusing position of the depth-sensing lens is determined when an image of the scene is shown on the display screen. The depth-sensing lens senses a depth between the object and the camera, and determines a distance between the object and the focusing position of the depth-sensing lens. An optimal focus of the camera is calculated according to the depth and the distance. The auto-focusing apparatus controls the depth-sensing lens to move from the focusing position to the optimal focus of the camera. The camera controls the depth-sensing lens to capture an image of the scene based on the optimal focus when a user presses a button of the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hou-Hsien Lee, Chang-Jung Lee, Chih-Ping Lo
  • Publication number: 20140255017
    Abstract: A light-emitting element driving apparatus comprising a light-emitting element, a driving unit including a control terminal for driving the light-emitting element based on a potential of the control terminal, and a controlling unit including a voltage holding unit, wherein the controlling unit controls the potential of the control terminal such that an emitted light amount approaches a target value and causes the voltage holding unit to hold a voltage corresponding to the potential of the control terminal, when the light-emitting element is in an emitting state, controls the potential of the control terminal to inactivate the driving unit, when setting the light-emitting element in a non-emitting state, and controls the potential of the control terminal by using the voltage of the voltage holding unit, when setting the light-emitting element in the emitting state again.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2014
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masanori Shibata, Yoshikazu Yamazaki
  • Publication number: 20140139723
    Abstract: A method capable of performing an automatic focus function upon a specific movable object in a real-time manner, the method being applicable to a photographic apparatus with the automatic focus function, includes: capturing real-time image within a field of view (FOV) of a lens; comparing images of a plurality of image areas of the real-time image with a feature image of the specific movable object to identify an image area corresponding to the feature image of the specific movable object; and, performing automatic focus on the identified image area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2013
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: PIXART IMAGING INC.
    Inventor: Yen-Min Chang
  • Patent number: 8717451
    Abstract: The camera body includes a synchronizing signal generator that generates a synchronizing signal, a body controller that controls the camera body and generates a command to control the interchangeable lens. The body controller performs control to send the interchangeable lens a command to set the interchangeable lens to a synchronous mode in which operation of the interchangeable lens is controlled in synchronization with the synchronizing signal and a command to set the interchangeable lens to an asynchronous mode which is a mode other than the synchronous mode. The interchangeable lens includes a lens controller that controls the operation of the interchangeable lens. The lens controller controls the operation of the interchangeable lens in the synchronous mode or the asynchronous mode according to the command received from the camera body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Mitsuyoshi Okamoto, Kenji Kawazoe, Naotake Kitahira, Koji Shibuno
  • Patent number: 8660418
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of adjusting an auto focus are provided. The apparatus includes: an imaging pickup device for generating an image signal by capturing light passing through an imaging lens; a shutter for controlling light exposure of the image pickup device; a focus detector that calculates a contrast value from the image signal and detecting a focus from the contrast value; and a release controller for controlling a release operation constituting a photographing operation of a still image, wherein the release controller includes, as driving modes, a first mode that directs a focus lens included in the imaging lens to be driven while driving the shutter, and a second mode that directs the focus lens not to be driven while driving the shutter. Accordingly, a photographing time is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Ishibashi, Masataka Hamada
  • Patent number: 8648927
    Abstract: An imaging device includes an AF section that determines in-focus positions for subjects; a determination section that determines a main subject; a shifting section that, if a difference between an in-focus positions of the main subject and a non-main subject is a first threshold value or greater, shifts a focal position for the non-main subject from the in-focus position towards the main subject side; an imaging section that sequentially captures images at the in-focus position of the main subject and the shifted focal position of the non-main subject; a detection section that detects corresponding points of the subjects between a reference image and a non-reference image; an deformation section that deforms the non-reference image to match the corresponding points thereof with those of the reference image; and an generation section that generates a blur-adjusted image based on the reference image and the deformed non-reference image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Junya Kitagawa, Koichi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 8644697
    Abstract: A system, method, and computer program product are provided for automatically progressively determining focus depth estimates for an imaging device from defocused images. After a depth-from-defocus (DFD) system generates sometimes-noisy estimates for focus depth and optionally a confidence level that the focus depth estimate is correct, embodiments of the present invention process a sequence of such input DFD measures to iteratively decrease the likelihood of focus depth ambiguity and to increase an overall focus depth estimate confidence level. Automatic focus systems for imaging devices may use the outputs of the embodiments to operate more quickly and accurately, either directly or in combination with other focus depth estimation methods, such as calculated sharpness measures. A depth map of a 3D scene may be estimated for creating a pair of images based on a single image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: CSR Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Meir Tzur, Guy Rapaport
  • Publication number: 20130322863
    Abstract: A camera includes a depth-sensing lens, an auto-focusing apparatus, and a display screen. In an auto-focusing method of the camera, a focusing position of the depth-sensing lens is determined when an image of the scene is shown on the display screen. The depth-sensing lens senses a depth between the object and the camera, and determines a distance between the object and the focusing position of the depth-sensing lens. An optimal focus of the camera is calculated according to the depth and the distance. The auto-focusing apparatus controls the depth-sensing lens to move from the focusing position to the optimal focus of the camera. The camera controls the depth-sensing lens to capture an image of the scene based on the optimal focus when a user presses a button of the camera.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2013
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Applicant: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: HOU-HSIEN LEE, CHANG-JUNG LEE, CHIH-PING LO
  • Publication number: 20130322862
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a multi-lens device and method having improved autofocus. The method comprises: determining from a first focus value and second focus value whether a focus distance of a first lens or a focus distance of a second lens corresponds to a peak focus position; and adjusting the focus distance of the first lens and second lens when neither the focus distance of the first lens nor the focus distance of the second lens corresponds to the peak focus position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2012
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Applicant: RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED
    Inventor: Cheng-Sheng HSU
  • Patent number: 8598508
    Abstract: An imaging device including an electronic shutter and a pixel array with color pixels with different characteristics of spectral sensitivity arranged. The pixel array part has at least one clear pixel, the plurality of color pixels including (i) a first color filter pixel having a peak of spectral sensitivity characteristics for red, (ii) a second color filter pixel having a peak for blue, and (iii) a third color filter pixel having a peak for green. The clear pixel has a high transmittance arranged in an oblique pixel array system at a given position of a given row and a given column with respect to the first color filter pixel, the second color filter pixel, and the third color filter pixel. An electronic shutter is separately driven for the at least one clear pixel and for the plurality of color filter pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Junichi Kanai, Nobuo Nakamura
  • Publication number: 20130308932
    Abstract: A lens barrel includes a moving lens unit that moves in accordance with a zooming operation, a focus lens that moves to correct an image plane variation caused by a movement of the moving lens unit, a driver that moves the focus lens, a controller that controls the driver, a zoom state detector that detects a zoom state, a focus lens detector that detects a position of the focus lens, a storage portion that stores tracking data indicating the position of the focus lens to correct the image plane variation, and a data correction portion that measures a real position of the focus lens in an in-focus state in a plurality of zoom states for each zooming operation in directions from wide angle to telephoto sides and from the telephoto to wide angle sides to generate correction data and correct the tracking data based on the correction data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2013
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yuki Nagao
  • Publication number: 20130308933
    Abstract: A lens apparatus detachable from an image pickup apparatus includes a focus lens, a driver configured to drive the focus lens, a first position detector configured to detect a position of the focus lens, and a controller configured to correct the position of the focus lens detected by the first position detector to a position of the focus lens in a predetermined optical characteristic, to transmit a corrected position of the focus lens to the image pickup apparatus, to correct driving information of the focus lens in the predetermined characteristic received from the image pickup apparatus to driving information of the focus lens in a current optical characteristic, and to instruct the driver to drive the focus lens in accordance with the position of the focus lens detected by the first position detector and corrected driving information of the focus lens.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2013
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: CANON KABUSHIKIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Minoru Uchiyama
  • Patent number: 8577216
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to techniques for calibration of an auto-focus process in an image capture device. The techniques may involve calibration of a lens actuator used to move a lens within a search range during an auto-focus process. For example, an image capture device may adjust reference positions for the search range based on lens positions selected for different focus conditions. The different focus conditions may include a far focus condition and a near focus condition. The focus conditions may be determined based on a detected environment in which the device is used. Detection of an indoor environment may indicate a likelihood of near object focus, while detection of an outdoor environment may indicate a likelihood of far object focus. An image capture device may detect indoor and outdoor environments based on lighting, exposure, or other conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Jingqiang Li, Szepo Robert Hung, Chinchuan Andrew Chiu
  • Patent number: 8571403
    Abstract: In an autofocus system, a focus measurement unit receives an image, and accordingly generates an associated focus value. A focus transform unit receives and then transforms the focus value provided by the focus measurement unit, therefore generating an associated transformed focus value. An in-focus position estimation unit obtains an in-focus position, in an analytical manner, according to some transformed focus values and some associated lens positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: National Taiwan University
    Inventors: Tung-Chan Tsai, Homer H. Chen
  • Patent number: 8571404
    Abstract: Provided are a digital photographing apparatus, a method of controlling the same, and a computer-readable medium for storing a program for executing the method. In the method of controlling a digital photographing apparatus, at least one target subject is determined from an input image. A target subject focus value of the at least one target subject is extracted while auto-focusing the at least one target subject. It is determined whether the target subject focus value stays within an in-focus range for a reference time or longer. The at least one target subject is auto-photographed when the target subject focus value is stays within the in-focus range for the reference time or longer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hyeon-cheol Jo, Jae-myung Lee
  • Patent number: 8554068
    Abstract: In a camera system according to the present invention, a lens controller obtains an exposure synchronizing signal that is generated by a camera controller from a camera body, causes a configuration formed of a first encoder, a second encoder and a counter to detect the position of a focus lens according to the obtained exposure synchronizing signal, and notifies the camera body of the detected position of the focus lens. The camera controller associates the position of the focus lens or the mechanism member obtained from the lens controller with an AF evaluation value based on the exposure synchronizing signal, and controls an autofocus operation of the camera system based on the position and AF evaluation value that are associated with each other. With this configuration, it is possible to improve the accuracy of an autofocus operation with a contrast system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Kouji Shibuno, Mitsuyoshi Okamoto, Taizo Aoki
  • Patent number: 8503873
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device includes a common output line, a sensor cell unit which outputs a signal to the common output line, a transfer circuit unit which is connected to the common output line, holds a signal from the common output line in a transfer capacitor, and transfers the signal, first, second and third memory cell units each of which stores a signal from the common output line in a memory capacitor, inverts and amplifies the signal in the memory capacitor, and outputs the signal to the common output line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Daisuke Inoue, Tomohisa Kinugasa, Hirofumi Totsuka
  • Patent number: 8463118
    Abstract: An imaging system includes an interchangeable lens and a camera body. The camera body includes a main body controller operable to transmit a reference signal for providing a reference of a driving start timing of the focus lens and delay time information indicating delay time with respect to the reference signal, to the interchangeable lens. The interchangeable lens includes a lens controller operable to control the focus lens to be driven at a timing obtained by delaying the timing provided by the reference signal by the delay time based on the reference signal and the delay time information received from the main body controller. The delay time is set so that, for example, an exposure timing of a predetermined area in the imaging element is substantially coincident with a stop period of the wobbling operation of the focus lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Kenji Kawazoe, Mitsuyoshi Okamoto, Naotake Kitahira, Koji Shibuno
  • Patent number: 8433187
    Abstract: An electronic device including a camera adapted to capture images is provided. The camera includes a lens having a first focusing state and a second focusing state; an image sensor adapted to capture a first image of an object in the first focusing state and a second image of the object in the second focusing state. The electronic device further includes a memory configured to store instructions; and a processor coupled to the memory and the camera, wherein the processor is adapted to determine a distance to the object based on the first image and the second image. A lens system including an actuator to modify a configuration of the lens system is also provided, having a first and second focusing state; a memory; and a lookup table to estimate a distance from the lens system to an object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: DigitalOptics Corporation MEMS
    Inventors: Noy Cohen, Gal Shabtay
  • Publication number: 20130094844
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a camera module having an auto-focus apparatus including: a piezoelectric actuator for generating a force for moving a driven member; a rod connected to the piezoelectric actuator and transmitting the force of the piezoelectric actuator to the driven member; a lens barrel having at least one lens; and a connecting member for coupling the rod and the lens barrel together by a magnetic force. The connecting member has a rod guide groove corresponding to the rod and the rod is inserted and coupled to the rod guide groove in a movable manner. Since the lens barrel as a driven member is magnetically coupled to the rod which is adapted to move by the piezoelectric actuator, it is possible to easily assure the tilting performance of lens while securing and maintaining a preload. In addition, the overall size of the camera module can be reduced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2011
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: SAMSUNG ELECTRO-MECHANICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Byung Hoon Kang, Dong Kyun Lee, Chuel Jin Park
  • Patent number: 8422877
    Abstract: An imaging system includes an interchangeable lens and a camera body. The camera body includes a main body controller operable to transmit a reference signal for providing a reference of a driving start timing of the focus lens and delay time information indicating delay time with respect to the reference signal, to the interchangeable lens. The interchangeable lens includes a lens controller operable to control the focus lens to be driven at a timing obtained by delaying the timing provided by the reference signal by the delay time based on the reference signal and the delay time information received from the main body controller. The delay time is set so that, for example, an exposure timing of a predetermined area in the imaging element is substantially coincident with a stop period of the wobbling operation of the focus lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Kenji Kawazoe, Mitsuyoshi Okamoto, Naotake Kitahira, Koji Shibuno
  • Patent number: 8391698
    Abstract: Systems and methods for implementing Z-buffer generation in a camera are disclosed. In an exemplary embodiment the method may comprise exposing a plurality of pixels on an image capture device to a modulated light signal reflected from different regions of a scene adjacent a camera after different delays. The method may also comprise correlating intensity of the modulated light signal received by the image capture device for each the different delays to determine a flight time of the modulated light signal. The method may also comprise generating a Z-buffer corresponding to the different regions of the scene based on the correlation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Richard Turley, Andrew C. Goris, David Branson, David R. Lawson, Donald J. Stavely, David K. Campbell
  • Patent number: 8385734
    Abstract: A focus control apparatus for use in an imaging apparatus includes an exchangeable lens and a camera body. The exchangeable lens includes an optical system including a focus lens. The camera body is able to hold the exchangeable lens and includes an imaging element. The apparatus further includes a pan•tilt detection unit, a decision unit, and a control unit. The pan•tilt detection unit detects a pan and tilt of the camera body. The decision unit determines whether the exchangeable lens is able to achieve wobbling. The control unit controls an automatic focusing process of the focus lens in accordance with an image data generated by the imaging element. The control unit executes a different automatic focusing process in accordance with a decision made by the decision unit, when the pan or tilt of the camera body is detected to have started.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Olympus Imaging Corp.
    Inventor: Tetsuo Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 8379138
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes: a control unit configured to move a focusing lens, and detect a focus position; wherein the control unit executes auto-focus (AF) scan processing in which only a part of a range of movement of the focusing lens is set as a scan range, as first scan processing, and executes auto-focus (AF) scan processing in which a region including a region differing from the scan region of the first scan processing is set as a scan range, as second scan processing, in the event that a focus point is not detected in the first scan processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuo Mise, Hiroyuki Nemoto, Eiji Shintaku, Manabu Yamauchi, Toshiki Ono
  • Patent number: 8351777
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus includes a focus detector that utilizes a phase detection method, an image pickup device, an optical path switch configured to switch a path of light from an object between a first optical path used to lead the light to the focus detector and a second optical path used to lead the light to the image pickup device, a face detector configured to detect a face of the object from the image data, and a controller configured to provide such a control that the optical path switch can set the second optical path after the optical path switch sets the first optical path and the focus detector detects the on-focus state using the phase difference method, and allows the face detector to detect the face of the object after the optical path switch can set the second optical path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Isao Nakazawa
  • Patent number: 8340513
    Abstract: A camera and a method for performing auto-focusing applying thereto are provided. The camera adjusts a focus using two auto-focusing methods if specific photographing conditions are satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Woo-Seok Choi
  • Publication number: 20120301126
    Abstract: An interchangeable lens to be removably attached to a camera body, includes: a receiving device that receives predetermined control data from the camera body through a first transmission path; a control device that executes predetermined control processing based upon the control data upon reception of the control data by the receiving device; a generation device that executes at predetermined intervals generation processing for generating predetermined lens data which indicates an operating state of the interchangeable lens; a transmission device that transmits the lens data to the camera body through a second transmission path, which is different from the first transmission path, upon generation of the lens data by the generation device; and a prioritizing device that gives priority to the generation processing by the generation device over the control processing by the control device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Publication date: November 29, 2012
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazuharu IMAFUJI
  • Publication number: 20120294598
    Abstract: An exchangeable lens includes: a mount unit at which a camera body is detachably engaged; a plurality of drive target members, conditions of which change as a drive force is applied thereto; an initialization unit that executes initialization processing for each of the plurality of drive target members; an initialization status transmission unit that transmits initialization statuses, each indicating a status of the initialization processing executed for one of the drive target members, to the camera body via a first transmission path over predetermined first cycles; and a drive condition transmission unit that transmits a drive condition of at least one drive target member among the plurality of drive target members to the camera body via a second transmission path different from the first transmission path over predetermined second cycles different from the predetermined first cycles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masafumi OIKAWA, Kazuharu IMAFUJI, Shigeo TAKAHASHI, Shunji NAGAYA
  • Patent number: 8302007
    Abstract: The present invention relates to navigating in a geographic information system. In an embodiment, a method tours geographic information in a geographic information system. A set of actions for a tour is received. Each action includes a tour time. A tour time of at least one of the actions is defined by a user. Each action in the set of actions is executed to tour geographic information in the geographic information system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Barcay, Michael Weiss-Malik
  • Patent number: 8280239
    Abstract: Provided are a digital image photographing apparatus which easily captures an image of a composition intended by a user, a method of controlling the apparatus, and a recording medium having a program for executing the method. The apparatus includes: an image capturing device for receiving light to generate data on an image; and an auto-focusing tracking unit for allowing a lens to be auto-focused on a subject selected by a user. The image capturing device generates data on a still image when the subject on which the lens is auto-focused is located in a predetermined region of interest (ROI).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyu-ern Hwang, O-hyun Kwon
  • Publication number: 20120243858
    Abstract: In an autofocus system, a focus measurement unit receives an image, and accordingly generates an associated focus value. A focus transform unit receives and then transforms the focus value provided by the focus measurement unit, therefore generating an associated transformed focus value. An in-focus position estimation unit obtains an in-focus position, in an analytical manner, according to some transformed focus values and some associated lens positions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 7, 2012
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Applicant: NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Tung-Chan TSAI, Homer H. CHEN
  • Publication number: 20120237194
    Abstract: An imaging system includes an interchangeable lens and a camera body. The camera body includes a main body controller operable to transmit a reference signal for providing a reference of a driving start timing of the focus lens and delay time information indicating delay time with respect to the reference signal, to the interchangeable lens. The interchangeable lens includes a lens controller operable to control the focus lens to be driven at a timing obtained by delaying the timing provided by the reference signal by the delay time based on the reference signal and the delay time information received from the main body controller. The delay time is set so that, for example, an exposure timing of a predetermined area in the imaging element is substantially coincident with a stop period of the wobbling operation of the focus lens.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Applicant: PANASONIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: KENJI KAWAZOE, MITSUYOSHI OKAMOTO, NAOTAKE KITAHIRA, KOJI SHIBUNO
  • Patent number: 8233078
    Abstract: Autofocus operations in a digital camera are described. In one embodiment, a processor detects a face in an image captured by the camera, and calculates the size of the face. It selects from amongst a number of previously stored face sizes, one that is closest to the calculated face size. It retrieves a previously stored lens focus position that is associated with the selected, previously stored face size. It signals a moveable lens system of the digital camera to move to a final focus position given by the retrieved, previously stored lens focus position. Other embodiments are also described and claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventor: E-Cheng Chang