Electronic recording camera with front projector

Electronic recording camera with front projector
United States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
Larish
[451
[54] ELECTRONIC RECORDING CAMERA WITH
FRONT PROJECTOR
[75] Inventor: John J. Larish, Fairport, NY.
Attorney’ Agent’ or Firm_phi?p D‘ Junkins
[57]
NY
The portion of the term of this patent
subsequent to Apr. 19, 2005 has been
disclaimed.
assed, upon shutter 0 ening, to a frame of
Apr. 15, 1988
image and into a second optical image portion which is
passed to a video charge coupled device with an elec
Related US. Application Data
continuatiomimpm of sen No‘ 933,170’ Nov_ 21,
1935, Pat, No_ 4,733,526,
tronic image array for conversion to an electronic im
age. The electronic image is viewed before and at the
instant of shutter opening through a video display unit
associated with the camera and the electronic image is
recorded in the memory of a microprocessor associated
Clef """""""""""" " G03];
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4/291_’358/909’
with the camera at the instant of shutter opening. The
[58] Field of Search ................. .. 354/75 76 ’290 291
76,
[56]
hoto
graphic ?lm for recordiiig thereon as a photogli’aphic
'
[63]
ABSTRACI
A dual function electronic recording portrait camera
that divides the image-forming light re?ected from a
portrait subject and received through the front lens of
the camera into a ?rst optical image portion which
[21] Appl‘ No': 182’260
[22] Filed:
Date of Patent: * May 30, 1989
Primary Examiner-L. T. Hix
Assistant Examiner—David M. Gray
[73] Assignee: AutoStudio Corporation, Fairport,
[ * ] Notice:
4,835,563
recorded electmnic image COTIeSP'OndS exactly to the
photographic image recorded On
and the electronic
image may be recalled from the memory of the micro
processor for video display and review by the camera
operator and the portrait subject. Based upon there
References Cited
U5, PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,322,4s7 5/1967 Renner .............................. .. 354/291
3,546,378 12/1970 Karikawa
354/75
View of a number of vide°fdispl.ayed’ elecironicauy'
recorded poses of the portrait subject, select1on of one
4,130,834 12/1973 Mender et al. .
.. 358/906
of more Preferred Poses can be made prior to develQP'
4,183,644 6/1980 Mureck et a1. .
.. 354/291
merit of film containing frames of photographic images
43031322 12/1931 Someya
- 354/432
corresponding exactly to the displayed electronic im
4,368,966
. 354/131
ages_
1/1983 Hagyuda
4,420,773 12/1983 Toyoda et al
4,618,239 10/1986
Sakamoto
..
4,714,962 12/1987 Levine ............................... .. 358/209
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5 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
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4,835,563
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May 30, 1989
Sheet 2 of 2
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outside of the camera housing a ?at screen video view
?nder is provided which permits the operator (portrait
ELECTRONIC RECORDING CAMERA WITH
FRONT PROJECT OR
photographer) to view the image which is being re
ceived by the video pickup device. The camera and
overall system components are interfaced with and
This is a continuation-in-part of US. application. Ser.
No. 06/933,170 ?led Nov. 21, 1986, now US. Pat. No.
connected to a microprocessor and are controlled by
the ?ash circuitry of the camera. When the operator is
satis?ed with the subject’s appearance and pose (as seen
4,738,526, granted Apr. 21, 1988
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
through the video view?nder), press-button action trips
Portrait photography, to a signi?cant extent, has
the camera shutter for exposure of a frame of ?lm, actu
depended upon the imagination of the photographer. A
creative portrait photographer selects and captures
ates the ?ash circuitry of the camera ?ring ?ash lighting
apparatus and directs (through the microprocessor) the
qualities in and features of his or her subject that make
the picture artistic rather than common place. Classi
electronic storage (via solid state memory) of a video
image identical to the image captured by the camera
cally, the photographer positions the portrait subject in
?lm.
In accordance with the unique system of the inven
tion, the stored video image can be outputed (by wire
less transmission means) to a video portrait viewer
a multitude of poses and takes one or more proof nega
tive photographs of each pose. Proof prints of each
photo are then prepared and submitted to the subject
for consideration. In a follow-up visit between the pho
tographer and the portrait subject the proof prints are
(CRT screen) for subject viewing. The video portrait
20 viewer can also be utilized as a means for displaying to
the portrait subjects (particularly children) attention
reviewed and selection is made with respect to one or
more of the photos. Finally, the portrait subject re
getting images (static or live) of animals, toys, etc. dur
ing the pose preparation periods of portrait photo
ceives ?nished prints and/or enlargements of the se
lected photo or photos. The entire portrait photography
graphic sessions. In addition, the portrait viewer (via
process is time consuming for both the photographer 25 microprocessor direction) can be utilized to display a
and the subject and, if a ?rst set of proof prints does not
multiplicity of the captured (stored) video images (each
yield an acceptable photo, the process of photography
representing a ?lm frame) for subject comparison and
selection. Thus, immediately following the taking of a
and preparation of proof prints must be repeated.
number of portrait photographs, the entire group of
It is an object of the present invention to provide an
stored video images can be displayed in sub-groups (2,
improved system for accomplishing high quality por
4, 6, etc. images), manipulated for side-by-side compari
trait photography over a relatively short time period
including a single photographer-subject photography
session with ?nal photo selection by the portrait sub
son and reduced in preference for ?nal selection. The
overall auto-portrait system of the invention may also
include a color portrait printer (microprocessor di
ject.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an 35 rected) for the production of frame printouts as an aid in
the photo proo?ng and selection process with the pro
improved automated system for accomplishing high
quality portrait photography during a single photogra
trait subject.
pher-subject session including in-session selection of
The microprocessor is used to check out and direct
all functions of the system including ?lm loading, ?lm
one or more photos by the portrait subject for ?nishing
40 advance, ?ash actuation, auto-focus, and image align
as photo prints and/or enlargements.
ment and selection. With regard to the video portrait
It is a still further object of the invention to provide
an improved automated system for high quality portrait
viewer and the one or more electronic ?ash units of the
photography which permits subject photographing,
photo pose selection and ?nal print and/or enlargement
system, the microprocessor directs the wireless trans
mission of video image information to the viewer and
within a period of approximately one hour.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a
?ash actuation and timing information to the ?ash units.
The camera module also includes a slide projection
unique method for accomplishing high quality portrait
unit for projecting appropriate background images and
photography during a one-hour session in a photogra
/or scenery against a high gain re?ection screen posi
tioned as a backdrop behind the portrait subject. In
phy studio including subject multiple frame photo
graphing, photo pose comparison and selection and
?nal print and/or enlargement production and delivery.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be
apparent from the following summary and detailed
description of the invention, taken with the accompany
50 operation, the background images or scenery are pro
ing drawing.
55
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a method and system
(including a unique arrangement of computer and pho
tographic apparatus) for automated or computer-aided
portrait photography. The method and system utilize a
jected onto the re?ective front-coated surface of a beam
slitter located within the camera in front of the camera
lens and are thereby front projected to the re?ection
screen. Image-forming light re?ected from the portrait
subject and background light re?ected from the screen
enter the camera through its front opening, pass
through the front beam splitter to and through the cam
era lens, and thereafter pass in part through the behind
the-lens beam splitter to the camera shutter and in part
are re?ected to the video pickup CCD device. The
front projector includes means for bar code reading of
slide identi?cation and computer veri?cation informa
fully automatic, between-the-lens 35mm automatic cam
era including latest auto-wind, auto focus and auto
tion that the slide used for background projection pur
exposure features. A beam splitter behind the camera
poses is appropriate in accordance with desired photo
lens captures a part of the image-forming light re?ected 65 graphic affects, as-well-as, a slide positioner so that the
from the portrait subject to provide a video pickup
slide is correctly oriented.
charge coupled device (CCD) with an exact color video
The system and methodolgy of the present invention
image of the subject as seen by the camera. On the
combines the latest automatic 35mm camera technology
4,835,563
3
.
and microprocessor image information reception, ma
nipulation, storage and regeneration technology for
high quality automated or computer-aided, one-session,
4
structure (behind the lens L1) is a beam splitter 18 which
is essentially a ?at glass lens which is silver coated on its
front surface 180. The beam splitter 18 is positioned to
portrait photography, proo?ng and product delivery.
receive image-forming light (passing through camera
Development of the portrait ?lm and printing of se
lens L1) and re?ect a part of the image-forming light
through a ?ied lens L2 to a mirror 20 and through relay
lected photographic prints and enlargemants is carried
out via well known high speed (one-hour or less)
developing/printing apparatus and systems. The system
also permits automated order processing and billing
with printouts, as-well-as ?lm frame and video frame
image identi?cation means.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
lens L3 to a video pickup or CCD array device 21. The
principal portion of the image-forming light (passing
through lens L1) passes through the beam splitter 18 and
(upon the opening of shutter 17) is received by ?lm 15
with the image captured thereon by the ?lm’s light-sen
sitive coating.
The camera module 10 is also specially equipped with
The foregoing and other objects, features and advan
a built-in front projector 22 which includes a tungsten
tages of the invention will become apparent hereinafter 5 halide previewing lamp 230 and an electronic discharge
from the following detailed description of the invention
?ash lamp 23b which fully illuminates a 35mm slide 24
taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings
of background or scenery subject matter at the instant
wherein:
of ?lm exposure. The slide subject matter is projected
FIG. 1 comprises a top view of the layout of equip
through projector lens L4 to a beam splitter 25 which is
ment utilized and interacting to accomplish automated 20 silver coated on its front surface 25a. The beam splitter
portrait photography as a system in accordance with
25 is positioned to receive the background (scenery)
the invention together with block diagramatic presen
image-forming light and re?ect same through the front
tion of the relationships of internal equipment compo
opening 26 of the camera module 10 for projection to
nents and functions of the principal items of equipment
the re?ection backdrop screen 80 situated behind the
25
of the system;
portrait subject (see FIG. 1). The background image
FIG. 2 is a side sectional schematic representation of
forming light is re?ected back from the screen 80 to the
the camera module utilized inthe automated, computer
front opening 26 of the camera module 10 and, together
aided portrait photographic system of the invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged side sectional view of the front
projector portion of the camera module of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a top view of the rotatable slide table of the
front projector portion of the camera module;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a background or scenery
slide mount designed for use with the front projector of
the camera module in accordance with the invention;
and
FIG. 6 is an underside view of the background slide
mount of FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
Referring now to the drawings, a preferred embodi
ment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 and in
with the image-forming light from the portrait subject
S, passes: through the beam splitter 25; to and through
camera lens L1; and to and through (in part) the behind
the-lens beam splitter 18. As previously indicated, a part
of the image-forming light from the portrait subject and
a part of the background (scenery) image-forming light
is re?ected by beam splitter 18 through ?eld lens L2 to
mirror 20 and through relay lens L3 to the video pickup
CCD device 21.
The front projector 22 is designed to accept only
specially prepared slide mounts for the portrait back
ground (scenery) slides. Thus, each slide mount 27 (see
FIGS. 5 and 6) for each slide 24 has a single eccentri
cally rounded corner 27a and a bar code strip 27b on the
underside of mount 27 (see FIG. 6). As shown in FIG.
3, the front projector 22 includes a slide veri?er section
cludes a layout of equipment utilized and interacting for
automated portrait photography as a system together 45 28 with a built-in bar code reading device 28a for read
ing the bar code strips 27b on slide mounts 27 through
with a block diagramatic showing of the relationship of
reader port 28b of veri?er section 28. A selection of
the principal equipment modules and their components
background slides 24 are carried by a rotatable slide
and functions. Numeral 8 represents in general an auto
table 29 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) which includes a central
portrait studio according to the invention. The studio
hub portion 30 around which the slides 24 are posi
consists of basic equipment components including: cam
tioned over table ports 29a on support ledges 29b
era module 10, microprocessor 40, wireless video por
which surround the ports 29a. The inner course of each
trait viewer 50, wireless lighting units 60, a computer
support ledge 29b includes a reader port 30a which,
directed printer 70 and a high re?ection backdrop
upon rotation of slide table 29 to position a slide over
screen 80. These equipment components, as situated in
projection lamps 23a and 23b of the projector 22 in
FIG. 1, are centered about a portrait subject S located
alignment with projector lens L4, corresponds with
in front of re?ection screen 80 facing the camera mod
reader port 28b of the slide veri?ear section 28 and
ule 10 and in viewing alignment with the video portrait
permits the reading of the bar code strip 27b on the
viewer 50. As shown in FIG. 1, the microprocessor 40
underside of the slide. The rotatable slide table 29 is
is positioned below the camera module 10.
mounted to the upper wall 220 of the front projector 22
The camera module 10 is shown in the side sectional
by a pivot connector 31. The rotation of slide table 29 of
schematic representation of the module in FIG. 2. The
the front projector may be by hand by the camera oper
camera 11, located within camera module housing 12, is
ator or may be accomplished by an electrical drive
an automatic 35mm long length camera including latest
auto-wind, auto-focus and auto-exposure features. The
mechanism (not shown) as directed by keyboard in
camera also includes as basic components: ?lm com 65 struction of the microprocessor associated with the
partment 13 including a bulk ?lm delivery cartridge 14,
?lm l5 and a ?lm take-up cartridge 16; shutter mecha
nism 17; and front camera lens L1. Built into the camera
camera in the auto-portrait system. The focusing of lens
L4 of the front projector may also be directed by key
board and microprocessor control.
5
4,835,563
.
6
processor and a receiving antenna R1 associated with
The camera module 10 (as shown in FIG. 1) has as
part of its structure, on the outside of housing 12, a ?at
screen video view?nder 33. Alternatively the view
?nder 33 may be a handheld unit with video screen and
limited keyboard interconnected to the camera module
the video portrait viewer 50. Alternatively, the trans
mission of imagery may also be conducted by direct
cable connection between the microprocessor 40 and
the video portrait viewer 50.
Film roll and frame identi?cation date, correspond
and microprocessor by appropriate electric cable or by
wireless communication. The video view?nder 33,
under microprocessor control and direction in coopera
tion with the camera’s video pickup CCD device 21,
ing video image identi?cation and retrieval information,
and customer order processing and billing information
(function 45) is also handled by the microprocessor 40
and ordered out or printed out through operator key
permits the operator (portrait photographer) to see the
image of the portrait subject as viewed by the camera 11
board direction. Thus, video irnages captured during
prior to the ?ring of the camera to expose a frame of
the photography session can be printed out for compari
son and selection purposes via electronic printer 70 and
?lm. Through the video view?nder the operator can
the order processing and billing information is gener
direct adjustment of the subject’s pose position and
expression. The camera’s internal battery power supply
ated by the same printer at the conclusion of the session.
The auto-portrait system of the invention also in
and operating circuitry drive all functions of the camera
including the electronic exposure ?ash unit 23b of the
front projector 22. Activation of the camera circuitry
functions, along with other functions of the interrelated
microprocessor 40, wireless video video portrait viewer
50 and wireless lighting system 60, for accomplishing
auto-portrait photography in accordance with the in
vention, are initiated by push button 32 of the camera
_ module 10.
The microprocessor 40 of the present auto-portrait
cludes special lighting apparatus 60. The lighting appa
ratus, as shown in FIG. 1, comprises compact rechar
geab;e ?ash lighting (function 61), ?red by remote con
20
trol through the wireless'transmission of light ?ring
signals under microprocessor direction. The subject
lighting units 60 have built in spill-control louvers
which reduce or eliminate background pickup and. as
sure professional lighting with a minimum of lighting
expertise on the part of the operator. Although cable
system may be of any of the well-known commercially
connection between the electronic ?ash devices 61 and
available types. It is used in the system, through its
the microprocessor is entirely within the realm of the
autoportrait system, wireless control through the mech
interface with the camera module 10, to check and
control all camera control functions 41 including ?lm
anism of transmission antenna T and reception antennae
R2 at the light stations is preferred so that ?oor areas
loading and rewind, film advance, electronic ?ash, front
projector operation and auto-focus. The microproces
between the microprocessor 40 and the lighting units 60
sor 40 also acts and interacts within the auto-portrait
are free of communication cables. The same non
obstruction philosophy applies with respect to commu
nication between the microprocessor and the video
Thus, the portrait subject’s image a seen by the video 35 portrait viewer 50. As previously indicated, the screen
80, which acts as a backdrop with respect to camera
pickup device of the camera is relayed to the video
subject alignment for receiving projected background
view?nder 33 of the camera for operator viewing and,
and scenery, has a high re?ection surface. Although the
upon activation of the camera circuitry (shutter opening
camera module has its own internal power source via
and ?lm capture of a portrait photograph on ?lm), the
batteries (expendable or rechargeable), the micro
subject’s portrait video image is captured by the micro
processor 40 is provided with its power via power line
processor’s memory store 43. Upon operator direction
37. Where wireless lighting 60 is provided, the elec
(through an infrared keyboard arrangement, not show)
tronic ?ash units 61 included in such lighting are ener
the portrait video image may be retrieved from the
gized by rechargeable batteries.
microprocessor’s memory store and displayed by wire
In operation of the auto-portrait photo studio of the
less (or cable) transmission on the CRT screen of the 45
present invention, the portrait subject is positioned ap
video portrait viewer 50. Display on the viewer 50 may
propriatel in alignment with the camera module 10 in
be as a single full-screen portrait image (viewer funtion
front of the re?ective background screen 80. Usually
51) or in ‘a multiple display arrangement (viewer func
the portrait subject will be seated for subject comfort
tion 52) at reduced size along with other portrait images
captured during the photographic portrait session for 50 and for ease in promoting appropriate pose orientation
and development of a pleasing expression. Through
comparison and selection purposes. During multiple
operator (portrait photographer) control the camera
display, the several images may be shifted in their dis
module 10 is aligned properly with the portrait subject
play arrangement and reduced in number as the selec
and determination is made as to the nature of the back
tion process proceeds.
ground scenery to be utilized. Subject alignment of the
The microprocessor 40 also receives for storage,
camera module is accomplished by the operator’s view
retrieval and display purposes (under keyboard direc
ing of the portrait subject through the video view ?nder
tion), via the portrait viewer 50, single images or video
33 associated with the camera module. The subject’s
tape live images and programs for gaining the attention
system to provide lighting control 42 and to receive the
output of the camera’s video pickup CCD device 21.
of the protrait subject and for promoting special photo
graphic expressions from children (subject pleaser func
tion 53) during child portrait photography sessions. As
viewer 50 in accordance with instructions and imagery
or programmed video material generated by the micro
previously indicated, the transmission of a single cap
processor 40 by operator command and inputted by
tured video image (function 51), multiple displayed
images (function 52) or subject pleaser imagery (func
keyboard operation.
tion 53) may be by wireless transmission (function 44)
under the direction of the operator via the microproces
sor. The wireless transmission systems involve the use
of a transmitting antenna T associated with the micro
attention is held or attracted to the video portrait
At the time of operator decision as to desired subject
65 pos and expression, the push-button 32 of the camera is
depressed whereby the camera circuitry (in cooperation
with the microprocessor): (i) actuates the ?ash projec
tion of background scenery to background screen 80 by
7
4,835,563
8
entry ?eld lens for receiving the second portion of
said image-forming light from said beam splitting
the front projector 22 of the camera; (ii) actuates ?ash
lighting of the portrait subject by electronic ?ash units
60; (iii) opens the shutter 17 of the camera for the admis
means, a beam folding mirror for redirecting said
sion of image-forming light from the portrait subject to
imageforming light received from said entry lens, a
relay lens for receiving said redirected image-form
ing light, and an electronic image array device for
the light-sensitive surface of a ?lm frame within the
camera; and (iv) simultaneously records within the mi
croprocessor’s memory a video image of the portrait
receiving said redirected image-forming light from
subject as picked up by the video charged coupled
said relay lens and creating an electronic image of
device 21 of the camera in sequence from the behind
the portrait subject;
the-lens beam splitter 18, ?eld lens L2, mirror 20 and
10
relay lens L3. The video image captured by the micro
processor is an exact replica 'of the photographic image
of the portrait subject captured on a frame of the ftured
by the microprocessor is an exact replica of the photo
(0) a front projector within the camera housing and
arranged to project illustrative matter to a high
re?ective screen situated behind the portrait sub
ject as background scenic imagery for the portrait
photography of the portrait subject, said projector
including a focusing lens, light generating means
graphic image of the portrait subject captured on a
and means for positioning a transparency slide
containing said illustrative matter between said lens
frame of the ?lm within the camera. In accordance with
the invention, the captured video image can be re
trieved from the microprocessor’s memory store for
and the light generating means;
manipulation, display and/or printout as required by the
operator and in accordance with the portrait subject’s
desire. Thus, the entire process of portrait photography,
including proof review and selection, can be accom
plished in a matter of minutes by the system of the pres
ent invention. Coupled with the technology and equip
ment of fast ?lm development and printing (one hour or 25
less, the entire portrait photography process, as auto
(d) video display means associated with said auto
matic camera and interconnected to said charge
coupled device as a view?nder for optically dis
playing to the camera operator the electronic im
ages directed to said device; and
(e) microprocessor means in communication with the
electronic circuitry means of said camera for con
trolling the automatic functions thereof and in
mated by the invention, can be accomplished in an ex
communication with the video charge coupled
tremely short period of time with delivery of high qual
ity prints and enlargements to the portrait subject in less
device thereof for recording in the memory of said
microprocessor means an electronic image of said
subject at the instant of exposure of a frame of said
than several hours from the time of commencement of 30
the portrait photography session.
?lm, said recorded electronic image corresponding
While the invention has been described in connection
with particular structural embodiments of an auto-por
trait studio and camera module, variances and modi?ca
tions in the embodiments will be apparent to those
skilled in the art. Accordingly, such modi?cations are
to be included within the spirit and scope of the inven
tion sa de?ned by the following claims.
What I claim is:
exactly to the photographic image recorded on said
?lm.
2. In the dual function portrait camera of claim 1
wherein the means for positioning a transparency slide
between the focusing lens and the light generating
means of the front projector of said camera comprises a
rotatable slide table for carrying a multiplicity of trans
parency slides of differing scenic imagery and for posi
1. In a dual function portrait camera for the concur 40
tioning said slides, one-at-a-time, in appropriate align
ment for projection of the illustrative matter thereof.
3. In the dual function portrait camera of claim 2
image-forming light re?ected to said camera from a
wherein the rotatable slide table of the front projector
portrait subject on photographic ?lm within the camera
of said camera includes a multiplicity of slide ports each
housing as a photographic image and electronic imag
ing of a second portion of said image-forming light by 45 provided with slide acceptance means for assuring the
acceptance of a transparency slide only in its proper
video charge coupled device within said housing as an
orientation for the projection of the illustrative matter
electronic image, said camera comprising:
rent photographic recording of a ?rst portion of the
of said slide as correctly positioned background imag
(a) an automatic camera including a camera housing,
ery, each of said transparency slides having a single
receiving image-forming light re?ected to said 50 eccentrically con?gured corner for mating with the
slide acceptance means of said slide ports.
camera from a portrait subject, auto-exposure shut
4. In the dual function portrait camera of claim 1
ter means behind said front lens means and in front
wherein the front projector of said camera is provided
of said ?lm, auto-?lm-wind means for said ?lm, and
with slide veri?er means in communication with the
electronic circuitry means for operating the auto
55 microprocessor means for reading bar code identi?ca
matic functions of said camera;
tion indicia on each transparency slide to verify that the
(b) light beam splitting means within the camera
illustrative matter of said slide is compatible as back
housing between said front lens means and said
ground scenic imagery for the portrait photography.
shutter means for passing a ?rst portion of the
photographic ?lm, auto-focus front lens means for
image-forming light received by said front lens
5. In the dual function portrait camera of claim 1
means to said shutter means for exposure of a frame 60 wherein means are provided for interconnecting the
microprocessor means of said camera with an electronic
of said ?lm upon the opening of said shutter means
printer for printing-out optical images of the portrait
and thereby recording a photographic image of
said subject thereon and for directing a second
subject as viewed by said camera and recorded as elec
portion of said image-forming light to the video
charge coupled device within said camera housing,
said video charge coupled device including an
tronic images in the memory of said microprocessor
65
means.
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