Camera system including camera and computer having inter

Camera system including camera and computer having inter
US007161618B1
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Niikawa et al.
(54)
(45) Date of Patent:
CAMERA SYSTEM INCLUDING CAMERA
6,201,571 B1*
3/2001 Ota ....................... .. 348/231.3
6,226,449 B1*
6,256,059 B1*
5/2001 Inoue
7/2001 Fichtner
THEREOF
6,313,877 B1*
6,507,363 B1*
11/2001 Anderson ..
1/2003 Anderson ..
6,668,134
12/2003
.
..
.
_
..
Inventors‘ Masah‘t" N“k;Wa’l§aka1_(JP)’K_enJ‘
_
_
)
_
~
7,099,559 B1*
_
Nettee-
_
_
_
SuhJeette any thselahheh the term efthts
patent 15 extended or adjusted under 35
(51)
(52)
(58)
(JP)
8/2006
............ .. 386/94
9/2001
A1*
2002/0018114 A1*
Parulski et al.
348/211
.... ..
348/207
2/2002 Shibata etal. ......... .. 348/14.07
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
860978
8/1998
(Continued)
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Eastman Kodak Company. “Kodak Digital Science DC120 Zoom
Digital Camera User’s Guide”, 1997.*
(200601)
us. Cl. ............................. .. 348/207.1; 348/333.04
Field of Classi?cation Search ......... .. 348/20799,
348/2071, 207.11, 211.99, 211442119,
348/222.1, 231.99, 231.3, 231.6, 231.7, 333.01,
348/33302, 333.04, 333.05, 333.11, 333.12,
348/333.13, 552
See application ?le for complete search history.
(56)
Niikawa et al.
2001/0019359
............................... .. 10-068975
Int, Cl,
H04N 5/225
348/207.1
8/2001 Fichtner ......... ..
Foreign Application Priority Data
Mar. 18, 1998
348/231.1
(Continued)
Mar. 18, 1999
(30)
Niikawa
2001/0015758 A1*
(21) Appl- No: 09/270,834
Filed:
348/333.05
348/2319
2/2004 Mamiya ...... ..
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(22)
348/231.5
348/2221
6,784,925 B1* 8/2004 Tomat et a1. ........ .. 348/333.05
6,819,355 B1* 11/2004 Niikawa .............. .. 348/207.11
Asstghee- Mlhelta Co“ Ltd's Osaka (JP)
*
(
~
B1*
6,690,415 B1*
Nakamura, Ta atsu PUP)’ Izum‘
HaYakaWa’AmagaSakI (JP)
(73)
Jan. 9, 2007
AND COMPUTER HAVING INTER-DEVICE
CONTROL CAPABILITY AND CAMERA
_
(75)
US 7,161,618 B1
(Continued)
Primary Examinerivivek Srivaswva
Assisllml Examinel’i-lason Whipkey
(74) Attorney A8641, 0r FirmiBuchanan Inge/r5911 &
Rooney PC
(57)
ABSTRACT
References Cited
U_S_ PATENT DOCUMENTS
A camera system includes a camera for photographing an
object and acquiring image data of the object, and a com
4992366 A *
2/1991 Mergah
puter connectable to the camera. The camera is provided
5,402,170 A
5,473,366 A *
3/1995 Parulski et al. ........ .. 348/211.6
12/1995 Imaeda et al. ..
.. 348/14.01
5 581299 A
12/1996 Raney ................ .. 348/64
’
’
5,584,035
With a manipulation member and a Camera Controller for
dt ttf th
- 1 tb
d
6 ee 11.1%. an 0139mm“ 0
e mampu a Ion mem er an
transmlttmg a s1gnal based on the detected results to the
A
*
5 633 678 A *
12/1996
Duggan et a1.
.....
345/619
.
.
.
.. 348/231.5
computér' The Computer 15. Provlded W1th a Controller for
5’999’708 A * 0/1999 Kajita
358“ 15
6,111,662 A * 8/2000 Satoh ...... ............. ...... 358/442
controllmg a screen of a d1splay funct1on1ng together W1th
the eehtPuter based eh the Signal reeetved from the eahtera
6,151,652 A *
6,191,807 B1*
5/1997 Parulski ........ ..
. . . ..
11/2000
Kondo et al. ........ .. 348/23199
2/2001 Hamada ................ .. 348/14.07
22 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets
DISPLAY AREA CHANGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DISPLAY
MAGNIFICATION RATES CHANGE AT DIGITAL CAMERA
(011)
US 7,161,618 B1
Page 2
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2002/0033888 A1*
3/2002 Yamagami ................ .. 348/232
2003/0011683 A1*
2003/0142215 A1*
1/2003
7/2003
Yamasaki @1111. .
Ward @1111. ..... ..
2005/0078189 A1*
4/2005
Creamer et al. ....... .. 348/207.1
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
JP
JP
JP
889635
07044477
07-225687 A
09163209
1/1999
2/1995
8/1995
6/1997
JP
09270944
JP
09289631
10/1997
11/1997
JP
09326799
12/1997
. 348/207.1
348/231.3
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Eastman Kodak Company. “History of Kodak”, http://WWW.kodak.
com/global/en/corp/historyOfKodald1990jhtml?pq-path:2703 .*
Eastman Kodak Company, “User’s Manual: EOS DCS 1”, 1997, p.
* cited by examiner
U.S. Patent
%
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 1 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
305 301
8m
FIG.1
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 2 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 4 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
oo
{6
1001
~1 100
I2
FIG.5
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 6 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
SCREEN 0F PC (D10)
1.9.11.
QMQQSB
EH41:
Y
iv
'
SCREEN OF THE DIGITAL CAMERA (D10)
FlG.7(b)
FIG.7 a
( )
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 7 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
SCREEN 0F PC (D12)
[ZIEIEIIMEIZ]
7AI\ \&
SCREEN OF DIGITAL CAMERA (D12)
FIG.8(b)
FIG.8(a)
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 8 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
SCREEN 0F PC (D13)
15"‘ FRAME
IS BEING
\\\\\\\\\\\\‘_
TRANSFERRED
46,‘
TOTAL 40
,
‘
FRAMES
8%
‘STOP TRANSFER! k
SCREEN OF DIGITAL CAMERA (D13)
FIG.9(b)
FIG-9(a)
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
US 7,161,618 B1
Sheet 9 0f 13
DISPLAY AREA CHANGE m ACCORDANCE WITH DISPLAY
MAGNIFICATION RATES CHANGE AT DIGITAL CAMERA
(D1 1)
FIG.10
50% DISPLAY AT DIGITAL CAMERA
(D20)
A
v
<|;___________
1
FIG.11(a)
l»
DISPLAY AREA CHANGE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DISPLAY
MAGNIFICATIUN RATES CHANGE AT DIGITAL CAMERA
iTl
(D21)
FIG.11(b)
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
US 7,161,618 B1
Sheet 10 0f 13
100% DISPLAY AT DIGITAL CAMERA
(D30)
l.
FIG.12
1)
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 11 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
WARNING SCREEN AT PC (D40)
I
DATA BEING TRANSFERRED
IEII—___X>:IEZI
I
DATA TRANSFER IS INTERRUPTED DUE TO
INSUFFICIENT CAPACITY OF HARD DISK
@@
I
h—"’
WARNING SCREEN AT DIGITAL CAMERA (D40)
INSUFFICIENT CAPACITY OF HARD DISK IS
DETECTED WHILE TRANSFERRING DATA T0 PC
PROCESS I S I NTERRUPTED
PRESS SHUTTER BUTTON TO RETURN TO
ORIGINAL SCREEN
FIG.13(b)
I
FIG.13(a)
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
US 7,161,618 B1
Sheet 12 0f 13
DIGITAL CAMERA SIDE
PC SIDE
SCREEN SYNCHRONIZED
CONTROL
SCREEN SYNCHRONIZED
CONTROL
NOTICE OCCURRENCE OF EVENT
AND POSITION OF MOUSE TO
DIGITAL CAMERA
V
S1303
DISPLAY RESULT OF
EVENT ON PC D l SPLAY
DISPLAY WARNING
S133
V
VRAM DATA
RECEI VED 7
S1304
TRANSMIT VRAM DATA
OF PC
S134
TRANSFORM COORD l NATE
135
I
ALLOCATE DATA ON VRAM
OF DICI TAL CAMERA AND
UPDATE MOUSE CURSOR
uonca coursms 0F
EVENT AND OCCURRED
COORDINATE ( x. y)
ANALYZE CONTENT OF EVENT
AND TRANSFORM COORDINATE
(x. y) -—>(X. Y)
I
S1307
DISPLAY RESULT OF
EVENT ON PC DISPLAY
S139
I
VRAM DATA
RECEIVED ?
S1308
TRANSMIT VRAM DATA
OF PC
S140
TRANSFORM COORDINATE
(X. Y) ->(x. y)
1
‘141
ALLOCATE DATA ON VRAM
OF DIGITAL CAMERA
;
V
r
FIG.14
I
RETURN
I
I
RETURN
I
U.S. Patent
Jan. 9, 2007
Sheet 13 0f 13
US 7,161,618 B1
REGISTRATION OF ACTION TO FUNCTION KEY (D50)
TRANSFER DATA
SPECIFY FOLDER TO WHICH DATA ARE TRANSFERRED
CHANGE SCREEN DTSPLAY MAGNIFTCATION
TURN OFF POWER SOURCE OF PC
DISPLAY IMAGE DATA IN PC
EXECUTE APPLICATION IN PC
TRANSFER IMAGE TO PC IMMEDIATELY AFTER
__EHOT_OCRAEHLNC_ ____________________________________ __
PRESS UP KEY/DOWN KEY TO SELECT CONTENT OF
REC | STRATION AND PRESS SHUTTER BUTTON TO EFFECT
FIG.15
US 7,161,618 B1
1
2
CAMERA SYSTEM INCLUDING CAMERA
AND COMPUTER HAVING INTER-DEVICE
CONTROL CAPABILITY AND CAMERA
THEREOF
With this camera system, since the screen of the computer
is controlled in accordance with the operation of the manipu
lation member of the camera, the user can control the screen
Japanese Patent Application No. H10-68975, the content of
which is incorporated hereinto by reference in its entirety.
of the computer from the camera side.
In a case where an operation of the manipulation member
of the camera is to specify a folder for transferring image
data photographed by the camera to the computer, the user
can specify the folder in the computer from the camera side.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention claims a priority based on the
1. Field of the Invention
The above and other objects, features, and advantages of
the present invention will be apparent from the following
detailed description of the preferred embodiments with
reference to the attached drawings, wherein:
This invention relates to a camera for photographing an
object and acquiring an image data of the object, and to a
camera system including a computer having a connector
which allows a camera to be connected with the computer.
This invention also relates to a camera used in said system.
2. Description of the Related Art
Image data taken by a digital camera is typically loaded
into a computer using an image loading software (or a driver
software) for the digital camera. The image taken into the
computer is processed, printed, or recorded using an appli
FIG. 1 is a front view of the digital camera according to
an embodiment of the present invention, which can be used
in a digital camera system;
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the digital camera shown in FIG.
20
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the digital camera shown in
FIG. 1;
cation software installed in the computer. Some camera
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the control system of the
digital camera shown in FIGS. 1 through 3;
systems allow the live-view image being taken by the digital
camera to be displayed on the monitor screen of the com
puter with help of the driver software, or allows the shutter
of the digital camera to be released by the driver software.
However, in these conventional techniques, the user inter
face of the digital camera and that of the personal computer
are different in shape and operation, and therefore it is
required for the user to become pro?cient in the use of both
interfaces.
25
FIG. 6 illustrates a screen transition in the system shown
in FIG. 5;
30
35
FIGS. 8(a) and 8(b) illustrate a screen D12 in the screen
transition shown in FIG. 6, wherein FIG. 8(a) illustrates a
screen of the personal computer and FIG. 8(1)) illustrates a
screen of the digital camera;
FIGS. 9(a) and 9(b) illustrate a screen D13 in the screen
40
troublesome operations.
Further, in a case where a digital camera is connected to
transition shown in FIG. 6, wherein FIG. 9(a) illustrates a
screen of the personal computer and FIG. 9(b) illustrates a
screen of the digital camera;
FIG. 10 illustrates a screen D11 of the digital camera in
a computer, although they exchange their data with each
other, these data exchange can not be performed in a single
action.
FIGS. 7(a) and 7(b) illustrate a screen D10 in the screen
transition shown in FIG. 6, wherein FIG. 7(a) illustrates a
screen of the personal computer and FIG. 7(b) illustrates a
screen of the digital camera;
the user should select one of these interfaces in accordance
with a required operation, which also causes confusing and
FIG. 5 illustrates an overall construction of a digital
camera system according to one embodiment of the present
invention;
When a digital camera is connected to a personal com
puter to operate the digital camera, the digital camera and
the personal computer cooperate with each other. Neverthe
less, since the user interfaces of the digital camera and the
personal computer are different in shape and operation, the
user confuses the operation of these interfaces. In addition,
1;
45
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
the screen transition shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 11(a) illustrates a screen of the digital camera D20
in the screen transition shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 11(b) illustrates a screen D21 of the digital camera
in the screen transition shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 12 illustrates a screen of the digital camera D30 in
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to
provide a camera system in which a camera and a personal 50 the screen transition shown in FIG. 6;
FIGS. 13(a) and 13(b) illustrate a screen D40 in the screen
computer are connected to each other, and which enables an
easy operation of the digital camera.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a
camera suitably used in the above-mentioned camera sys
tem.
55
transition shown in FIG. 6, wherein FIG. 13(a) illustrates a
screen of the personal computer and FIG. 13(b) illustrates a
screen of the digital camera;
FIG. 14 is a ?owchart showing a synchronizing control
process of the screens of the digital camera and the com
To achieve these objects, in one aspect of the present
puter; and
invention, a camera system includes a camera for photo
graphing an object and acquiring an image data of the object,
FIG. 15 illustrates a screen D50 in the screen transition
a computer connectable to the camera, a manipulation
member provided to the camera, and a camera controller
provided to the camera. The camera controller detects the
shown in FIG. 6, wherein the screen is displayed on the
digital camera.
60
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
operation of the manipulation member and transmits the
detected signals based on the detected results to the com
puter. The camera system further includes a controller
functioning together with the computer based on the signal
The preferred embodiment of the present invention will
now be described in detail using an example of digital
received from the camera.
camera as a computer-peripheral apparatus.
provided in the computer to control the screen of the display
65
US 7,161,618 B1
4
3
<Structure of the Digital Camera>
the “forcible ?ash mode”, the built-in ?ash device 5 forcibly
As shown in FIGS. 1*3, a digital camera 1 comprises a
camera frame, Which is referred to as a main body 2, and a
emits ?ash light regardless of the brightness of the object. In
the “?ash prohibition mode”, light emission of the built-in
photographing unit 3 Which is attachable to and removable
from the main body 2 on the right side of the main body 2
in the front vieW shoWn in FIG. 1. The photographing unit
3 is pivotable Within a plane parallel to the right side of the
?ash device 5 is prohibited. Every time the user presses the
FL mode setting key 11 positioned above the LCD 10 on the
rear face of the main body 2, the ?ash mode is sWitched
among three modes in a cyclic order. The digital camera 1
has a 1/s compression rate and a 1/20 compression rate, and the
main body 2.
The photographing unit 3 has an image pick-up device
user can select the preferred compression rate K. For
comprising a Zoom lens 301 and a photoelectric conversion
example, if the compression rate setting sWitch 12 is shifted
device such as a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) array, to
convert the optical image of an object into an electric image
to the right, the compression rate K is set to 1/s, and if it is
shifted to the left, the compression rate K is set to 1/20.
Although, in this embodiment, the compression rate K is set
consisting of charge signals, each of Which Was generated by
each pixel of the CCD via photoelectric conversion. The
main body 2 has a display or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
to tWo values, it may be set to three or more values.
A photographing/reproduction mode setting sWitch 14 is
positioned at the top right of the rear face of the main body
2. Digital pictures are taken in the photographing mode. In
10, a slot 17 for receiving a memory card 8, and a connection
terminal 13 for connecting the digital camera to a personal
computer. The image signal taken by the photographing unit
the reproduction mode, the digital images recorded in the
3 is subjected to a prescribed image processing in the main
body 2. The processed image is displayed on the LCD
display 10, recorded into the memory card 8, or transferred
to the personal computer.
A Zoom lens 301 is provided in the photographing unit 3.
memory are reproduced and displayed on the LCD 10. The
photographing/reproduction mode setting sWitch 14 is also a
bicontact slide sWitch. For example, if the sWitch is shifted
An image pick-up circuit including a CCD color area sensor
303 is located at an appropriated position behind the Zoom
20
25
sWitch, respectively.
lens 301. A light adjusting circuit 304 having a photo sensor
305 for receiving ?ash light re?ected from the object is
provided at an appropriated position in the photographing
unit 3.
As shoWn in FIG. 1, a grip 4 is formed in the left-hand
upper side of the front face of the camera main body 2, and
30
a built-in ?ash device 5 is provided in the right-hand upper
side at an appropriate position. Frame forWard and backWard
sWitches 6 and 7 are provided near the center of the top face
of the main body 2 as shoWn in FIG. 2. The forWard sWitch
6 feeds the frame in the direction that the frame number
increases in the photographed order, and is referred to as an
UP key 6. The backWard sWitch 7 feeds the frame in the
direction that the frame number decreases, and is referred to
as a DOWN key 7. A clear key D for clearing or deleting the
images recorded in the memory card 8 is provided on the left
of the DOWN key 7, and a shutter button 9 is provided on
the right of the UP key 6 in the rear vieW shoWn in FIG. 2.
As shoWn in FIG. 2, an LCD 10 is provided in the middle
of the left-hand side of the rear face of the camera main body
2. The LCD 10 functions as a vieW ?nder during photo
35
A card insertion slit 17 for receiving the memory card 8
and a battery cavity 18 are positioned on the bottom face of
the main body 2. The slit 17 and the battery cavity 18 are
covered With a clam-shell type cover 15. The digital camera
1 is loaded With a poWer supply source E consisting of four
AA batteries connected in series.
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the control system of the
digital camera 1.
The CCD 303 in the photographing unit 3 photoelectri
cally converts the optical image of the object focused by the
Zoom lens 301 into image signals of three color components
40
45
graphing, and as a display during the reproduction of the
recorded image. A compression rate setting slide sWitch 12
for sWitching the compression rate K of the image data to be
recorded in the memory card 8 is positioned beloW the LCD
10. The connection terminal 13 for connecting a personal
computer is positioned on the side face of the main body 2
near the photographing unit 3. A poWer sWitch PS is pro
vided on the top of the rear face of the main body 2.
50
Further, a trackball TR used as a pointing device for
55
R (red), G (green) and B (blue), and outputs the image
signals to the signal processor 313. This image signal
consists of sequence of pixel signals received by the respec
tive pixels. A timing generator 314 generates various timing
pulses for controlling and driving the CCD 303.
Since the diaphragm of the photographing unit 3 is ?xed,
the exposure of the photographing unit 3 is controlled by
adjusting the quantity of exposure of the CCD 303, that is,
the charge accumulation time of the CCD 303, Which
correspond to the shutter speed. If the brightness of the
object is too loW to select to an appropriate shutter speed, the
level of the image signal output from the CCD 303 is
adjusted in order to compensate for the insu?icient exposure.
In other Words, at a loW brightness, the exposure is con
trolled by adjusting both the shutter speed and the gain. The
level of the image signal is adjusted by controlling the gain
moving cursor displayed in the LCD 10 is provided at the
right-upper side of the LCD 10. Provided at upper side of the
LCD are function keys F1, F2 and F3 for executing a set
speci?c function. Each function key enables to select and
register the action When the key is pressed, and the regis
to the right, the reproduction mode is selected, and if shifted
to the left, the photographing mode is selected.
The PL mode setting sWitch 11, the UP key 6, the DOWN
key 7 and the shutter button 9 are composed of a push
of the AGC circuit in the signal processor 313.
The timing generator 314 generates various driving con
trol signals for the CCD 303 based on the reference clock
supplied from the timing control circuit 202. The signals
generated by the timing generator 314 includes a timing
signal for starting and ?nishing integration (i.e., exposure),
tered content is stored in a nonvolatile memory 21111 in the
and clock signals (horiZontal synchronization signals, ver
tical synchronization signals, transfer signals, etc.) for con
general controller 211.
trolling the reading timing of the light-receiving signals
60
from the respective pixels. These timing signals are supplied
The ?ash device (Which may be abbreviated as FL) of the
to the CCD 303.
digital camera 1 has an “automatic ?ash mode”, a “forcible
?ash mode”, and a “?ash prohibition mode”. In the “auto
matic ?ash mode”, the built-in ?ash device 5 automatically
emits ?ash light according to the brightness of the object. In
65
The signal processor 313 applies prescribed analogue
signal processing to the analog image signal output from the
CCD 303. The signal processor 313 has a CDS (correlation
US 7,161,618 B1
5
6
double sampling) circuit for reducing the noise of the image
signal and an AGC (automatic gain control) circuit for
card 8 is subjected to the prescribed signal processing by the
general controller 211, Which is then transferred to the
VRAM 210, and displayed on the LCD 10.
A card UP 212 is an interface for Writing and reading
image data into and from the memory card 8. A communi
cation I/F 213 is an interface, for example based on the USB
standard, Which alloWs the digital camera to be externally
adjusting the level of the image signal by controlling the
gain of this AGC circuit.
The light-quantity adjusting circuit 304 controls the light
emission of the built-in ?ash device 5 to a predetermined
level determined by the general controller 211 When the
?ash device is used during the photographing. During the
?ash photographing, the ?ash light re?ected from the object
connected to a computer.
A ?ash control circuit 214 controls light emission of the
built-in ?ash device 5. In particular, the ?ash control circuit
214 controls the quantity of ?ash light, ?ash timing, and so
on, based on the control signal supplied from the general
controller 211. The ?ash control circuit 214 also brings the
light emission to Zero based on the ?ash stop signal STP
is received by the photo sensor 305 upon starting exposure.
When the quantity of light received by the sensor 305
reaches a predetermined level, the light-quantity adjusting
circuit 304 supplies a ?ash stop signal to the ?ash control
circuit 214 via the general controller 211. In response to the
?ash stop signal, the ?ash control circuit 214 stops the light
emission of the built-in ?ash device 5, Whereby the light
input from the light-quantity adjusting circuit 304.
emission amount of the built-in ?ash device 5 can be
regulated to the prescribed level.
The A/D converter 205 provided in the main body 2 of the
digital camera 1 converts each pixel signal (i.e., analog
signal) of the image signal sequence into a 10-bit digital
20
mode setting key 11, the compression rate setting key 12,
signal based on the A/D conversion clock supplied from the
A/D clock generator (not shoWn).
A reference clock/timing generator 314 and a timing
control circuit 202 are also provided in the main body 2. The
An RTC (Real Time Clock) 219 is a time circuit for
keeping the track of the date and time of each photograph,
Which is driven by a separate poWer source (not shoWn).
An operation unit 250 has sWitches corresponding to the
UP key 6, the DOWN key 7, the shutter button 9, the FL
25
and the photographing/reproduction mode setting sWitch 14,
and the function keys F1, F2, F3.
The general controller 211 comprises a microcomputer,
and it organically controls the driving timing of each ele
timing control circuit 202 is controlled by the general
ment in the photographing unit 3 and the main body 2 so as
controller 211, and generates a clock for the A/D converter
205.
A black level correction circuit 206 corrects the black
to generally control the photographing operation of the
level of the digitaliZed pixel signal (hereinafter referred to as
pixel data) converted by the A/D converter 205 to the
reference black level. A White balance circuit (hereinafter
referred to as WB circuit) 207 converts the level of the pixel
data of each color component of R, G or B, so that the White
balance can be adjusted after y (gamma) correction. The WB
circuit 207 converts the level of the pixel data of each color
component R, G, B using a level conversion table input from
the general controller 211. The conversion coe?icient (or the
slope of the characteristic line) for each color component in
the level conversion table is set each photographed image by
the general controller 211.
digital camera 1.
30
creates tag information (such as the frame number, exposure
value, shutter speed, compression rate K, photographing
35
date and time, ?ash ON/OFF data, scene information, image
determination result, etc), store the tag information in the
memory card 8, together With the thumb nail image created
from the image taken in the image memory 209 after the
start of the photographing operation, and the compressed
40
pression rate K.
The memory card 8 can store forty frames of images taken
by the digital camera 1 at a compression rate of 1/20. Each of
image created by a JPEG method at a predetermined com
The y correction circuit 208 corrects for the y character
istic of the pixel data. The y correction circuit 208 has, for
example, six y correction tables With different y character
istics, and uses the most appropriate y correction table
according to the photographed scene or the photographic
conditions.
An image memory 209 stores the pixel data output from
the y correction circuit 208. The memory capacity of the
image memory 209 corresponds to one frame data. Accord
ingly, if the CCD 303 has an n><m pixel matrix, the image
memory 209 has a memory capacity of n><m pixel data, and
the frames has tag information, high-resolution image data
(640x480 pixels) compressed by a JPEG method, and thumb
nail image data (80x60 pixels). Each frame may be treated
45
In the photographing preparation mode, each pixel data of
the image taken by the photographing unit 3 every 1/30
seconds is subjected to the prescribed signal processing by
FIG. 5 illustrates the overall structure of the digital
camera system.
50
manipulation devices for the computer 1000, and a printer
are also connected to the computer 1000 via USB cables.
55
reproduction mode, the image read out from the memory
The personal computer 1000 has a display 1100 Which
comprises, for example, a CRT or LCD. The display 1100
display various images in connection With the operations of
the digital camera 1. The keyboard K can function as a hub
60
of the USB interface, other than its original function. A
driver softWare for the digital camera, that is, a computer
program, is installed in the personal computer 1000 in
advance so as to enable various controls betWeen the digital
camera 1 and the personal computer 1000. The driver
softWare may be installed in the personal computer 1000 via
circuit 208, and stored in the image memory 209. This pixel
user can see the photographed object on the LCD 10. In the
A digital camera 1 is connected to a desktop type personal
computer 1000. A keyboard K and a mouse M, Which are
the sequence from the A/ D converter 205 to the y correction
data is simultaneously transferred to the VRAM 210 via the
general controller 211, and displayed on the LCD 10. The
as an image ?le of, for example, an EXIF format.
<Overall Structure of the Digital Camera System>
each pixel data is stored in the corresponding pixel position
in the memory.
A VRAM 210 is a buffer memory for storing the image
data Which is to be reproduced and displayed on the LCD 10.
The memory capacity of the VRAM 210 corresponds to the
number of pixels of the LCD 10.
If in the photographing mode the shutter button 9 is
pressed to start photographing, the general controller 211
65
a recording medium, such as a CD-ROM. The driver soft
Ware can be transferred from the server to the computer 1000
via the netWork, and installed in the computer 1000. The
driver softWare includes those supplied form as compressed,
US 7,161,618 B1
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8
combined, or divided ?les from the media or the server. The
relationship between the operation switches (manipulation
driver software also includes those modi?ed to executable
forms during or after the installation in the computer 1000.
When the digital camera 1 is connected to the USB port
of the key board K in a state where the personal computer
devices) of the digital camera and the manipulation devices
of the personal computer is shown in Table 1. As is apparent
from the Table 1, it is possible for the user not only to move
the mouse cursor but to operate the personal computer by
operating the switch of the digital camera 1 corresponding to
1000 is activated, the icon “Ci” representing the digital
camera 1 is displayed on the screen 1001 of the personal
computer 1000 as shown in FIG. 7(a). Also displayed on the
screen 1001 are data or application icons “Icon”, folder
the manipulation device of the personal computer 1000.
TABLE 1
icons “Folder”, the icon “cC” representing the personal
computer 1000 itself, and an opened window 1003. Since
the digital camera 1 is connected to the personal computer
1000, a cable connecting the icon “Ci” representing the
digital camera 1 and the icon “cC” representing the personal
computer 1000 is also displayed on the screen of the
personal computer 1000.
FIG. 6 shows a screen transition diagram of the system. In
Switches of the digital
Manipulation devices of the
camera
personal computer
Trackball TR
DOWN key 7
Mouse M
Left button L of the mouse
UP key 6
Shutter button 9
FL mode setting switch 11
Enter key ENTER
Right button R of the mouse
Escape key ESC
FIG. 6, the personal computer 1000 is abbreviated to “PC”.
In a case where the digital camera 1 is not connected to
the personal computer 1000, it is possible for the user to
select a preferable mode between the reproduction mode and
20
the photographing mode by operating the mode setting
switch 14. In the reproduction mode, the photographed
the personal computer 1000. When the function key F2 is
pressed, the contents registered in the memory 21111 is called
image is displayed on the screen (D1), and in the photo
graphing mode, a live-image is displayed (D2).
25
In either state D1, D2, when the digital camera 1 is
connected to the personal computer 1000, the driver soft
ware pre-installed in the personal computer 1000 detects the
connection of the digital camera 1, and transmits the screen
display data of the personal computer 1000 to the digital
30
35
40
45
by thinning out the image data. Qi, Y) and (x, y) in the
drawings denote X-Y coordinates of the display of the
personal computer 1000 and that of the digital camera 1,
respectively, and the unit of each coordinate is a pixel. This
50
If the mouse cursor displayed on the display 1001 of the
personal computer 1000 is also reduced to be displayed on
the LCD 10 of the digital camera 1, the mouse cursor is
displayed as an arrow marked “Mouse 2” shown in FIG.
55
personal computer 1000 by using the mouse thereof. The
9(a). At the same time, as shown in FIG. 9(b), the same
dialog is displayed on the LCD 10 of the digital camera 1.
This dialog includes an upper progress bar showing the
current transferring frame number and its current state and
a lower progress bar showing the total number of frames to
be transferred and its current state. By clicking the transfer
stop button, it is possible for the user to interrupt the
transferring. After the completion or the interruption of the
personal computer’s screen in a whole display screen D10,
60
by pressing the function key F3 twice, the display magni
?cation rate is changed to 50%. The “50%” means that the
digital camera 1, not only the mouse cursor on the screen of
the personal computer 1000 but the mouse cursor on the
LCD of the digital camera 1 move in a synchronized manner.
This allows the user to click buttons on the window or to
drag the icon, for example, by operating the mouse cursor on
9(a) and 9(b). In the function key F1, a function for
executing a transfer of the photographed data of the digital
camera 1 to the personal computer is previously registered.
When the function key F1 is pressed, a dialog showing that
the photographed data is being transferred is displayed on
the display of the personal computer 1000, as shown in FIG.
transfer, the screen returns to D10.
In a case where it is too small for the user to recogniZe the
mouse cursor is not reduced to be displayed on the LCD 10
of the digital camera 1 as an arrow marked “Mouse 1”
the LCD of the digital camera as if the user operates the
personal computer in which the photographed data is to be
stored can be speci?ed by the digital camera 1.
Next, if the function key F1 is pressed, the screen transits
to the photographed data transit screen D13 shown in FIGS.
dots, for example. Therefore, the LCD 10 of the digital
shown in FIG. 7(b).
In accordance with the operation of the trackball TR of the
trackball TR, and then the DOWN key 7 is pressed), the
screen D12 returns to the screen D10. Thus, a folder of the
camera 1 has a resolution of 240x320 dots, and the display
of the personal computer 1000 has a resolution of 600x800
7(b), which is very hard to be recogniZed on the LCD 10 of
the digital camera 1. To avoid this disadvantage, only the
the folder is framed. In this state, if the OK button is clicked
(the mouse cursor is moved onto the OK button by using the
dialog is closed in a state that the folder is selected. And the
personal computer 1000. However, the LCD 10 of the digital
directly corresponds to the address of VRAM (Video RAM).
specifying a folder to store the photographed data on the
screen 1001 of the personal computer 1000. At the same
time, as shown in FIG. 8(b), the same dialog is displayed on
the LCD 10 of the digital camera 1.
As shown in FIGS. 8(a) and 8(b), if the folder
\XXX\YY3\ZZ2, for example, is selected and then clicked,
D10 shown in FIGS. 7(a) and 7(b), respectively. On the
camera 1 displays the whole screen of the personal computer
via the generals controller 211. Based on the contents, the
personal computer 1000 is activated to display the dialog for
camera 1. On the other hand, the digital camera 1 receives
the data to display them on the LDC 10. Each screen of the
personal computer 1000 and the digital camera 1 transits to
other hand, when the digital camera 1 is disconnected from
the personal computer 1000, the screen D10 returns to the
original screen (D1 or D2).
In the screen D10 as shown in FIGS. 7(a) and 7(b)
respectively, the screen of the display 10 of the digital
camera 1 coincides with that of the display 1001 of the
If the function key F2 is pressed, the screen transits to the
folder specify screen D12 as shown in FIGS. 8(a) and 8(b).
The function key F2 is used to specify a folder when the
photographed data of the digital camera 1 is transferred to
thinning out rate of the displayed data is 50%, in other
words, among the whole screen of the personal computer
(600x800 dots), the area of 480x640 dots is displayed on the
65
liquid display 10 of the digital camera 1 (240x320 dots).
That is, the image data of 480x640 dots is thinned out by
50% in both the horizontal and vertical directions, and is
US 7,161,618 B1
9
10
displayed as the image data of 240x320 dots. In the screen
D11, a preferable display area is selected.
If the function key F3 is pressed in the screen D10, the
and 13(b). When the capacity became insuf?cient, a Warning
dialog is displayed on the center portion of the screen of the
personal computer 1000, as shoWn in FIG. 13(a). On the
other hand, displayed on the LCD 10 of the digital camera
1 is a Warning message only as shoWn in FIG. 13(1)). The
reason that the Warning screen of the personal computer and
screen D10 transits to a display area change screen D11 in
accordance With the display magni?cation rate change at the
digital camera 1. Though the display change area screen D11
shoWn in FIG. 10 is displayed on the LCD of the digital
camera, the screen of the personal computer remains D10. In
that of the digital camera are different is as folloWs.
In a case Where a Warning dialog is to be displayed, it is
the screen of the digital camera 1, a broken-line frame is
displayed at the left side of the screen D10, and the mouse
cursor is changed into a moving cursor. The broken-line
required to convey some messages to the user. However, as
frame shoWs a display area When the display magni?cation
rate is set 50%, and can be horizontally moved by operating
the LCD 10 of the digital camera 1 may not be able to
the trackball TR. By pressing the function key F3 again after
ent resolution of the display of the digital camera 1 and that
the broken-line frame is moved to a desired position, the
of the personal computer 1000. Accordingly, although the
mentioned above, even if the display 1001 of the personal
computer 1000 can appropriately display a Warning dialog,
appropriately display the same dialog because of the differ
screen transits to the 50% display screen D20 as shoWn in
screen of the digital camera and that of the personal com
FIG. 11(a). In the screen D20, the display magni?cation rate
is different, but the relationship betWeen the operation
members of the digital camera and the personal computer is
puter are synchroniZed in a normal state, in a case Where a
the same as in the screen D10. Since only a portion of the
Warning dialog is to be displayed, the Warning message is
surely conveyed to the user by displaying in a different
20
screen of the personal computer is displayed, vertical and
manner betWeen the digital camera and the personal com
puter.
horizontal scroll bars are displayed.
By pressing the function key F3 in the screen D20, the
screen D20 transits to a display area change screen D21 as
shoWn in FIG. 11(b) in accordance With the display magni
?cation rate change. Though the display magni?cation rate
25
and the siZe of the broken-line frame are different from those
of the screen D11, the operation is the same as in the screen
D11.
By pressing the function key F3 again, the screen transits
to the 100% display screen D30 shoWn in FIG. 12. The
100% display screen means that the image data of the screen
of the personal computer 1000 is displayed on the screen of
the digital camera 1 of 240x320 dots Without thinning out.
Only the area of 240x320 dots among the Whole screen of
as folloWs With reference to the ?owchart of FIG. 14.
1. In a case Where an event is occurred in the personal
computer.
30
35
the position of the mouse of the personal computer, is
noticed to the digital camera in S1302, and the result of the
event is displayed on the screen of the personal computer in
screen returns to the screen D10.
As explained above, in a case Where the displayed content
40
enlarge it by changing the display magni?cation rate. Fur
ther, When the display magni?cation rate is changed, since
the display con?rmation frame for con?rming the display
S1303. Thus, the VRAM (video RAM) data of the personal
computer is updated. Thereafter, the personal computer
transmits the VRAM data to the digital camera in S1304.
In Step 131, if the digital camera 1 receives an event
45
The magni?cation rates are not limited to tWo ?xed rates
of 50% and 100%. The magni?cation rate may be only to
one rate, three or more rates, or continuously changeable
rates.
The data transferring display screen D23, D33, to Which
the screen D20, D30 transits by pressing the function key F 1,
that an event, for example, the digital camera is connected
to the personal computer, the key board or the mouse is
operated, an error occurs, or an interrupt signal is received,
occurs. If such an event is detected (YES in S1301), the fact
that an event occurs and the content of the event as Well as
shoWn in FIG. 12. By pressing the function key F3, the
area is displayed on the LCD 10 of the digital camera 1, the
most appropriate display magni?cation rate can be set.
In step S1301 (hereinafter referred to as ‘S1301’ or the
similar), it is determined if the personal computer detected
the personal computer 1000 of 600x800 dots is displayed as
on the LCD 10 of the digital camera 1 is small, the user can
<SynchroniZed Control of the Screens of the Digital Camera
and the Personal Computer>
The synchroniZed control of the screen of the digital
camera and that of the personal computer Will be explained
50
signal from the personal computer 1000, the digital camera
1 analyZes it to determine if a Warning is concerned With an
error in S132. If NO in S132, the digital camera 1 Waits to
receive a VRAM data from the personal computer 1000 in
S133.
If the digital camera 1 receives the VRAM data from the
personal computer (YES in S133), a coordinate transforma
is the same as the screen D13 shoWn FIGS. 9(a) and 9(b),
tion is conducted in S134. This transformation is to allocate
except that the display magni?cation rates are different and
the coordinate (X, Y) of the VRAM data transmitted from
the personal computer 1000 into the coordinate (x, y) of the
the scroll bars are displayed on the screen of the digital
camera 1. The folder specifying screen D22, D32, to Which
55
the screen D20, D30 transits by pressing the function key F2,
VRAM of the digital camera 1. The process dilfers depend
ing on the current screen mode of the personal computer
is the same as the screen D12 shoWn in FIGS. 8(a) and 8(b),
1000 or the digital camera 1. Provided that the screen of the
except that the display magni?cation rates are different and
personal computer 1000 has 600x800 dots, the screen of the
the scroll bars are displayed on the screen of the digital
camera 1.
60
digital camera 1 has 240x320 dots and that the screen of
D10, D12 or D13 in Which the Whole screen of the personal
computer is displayed is displayed, x and y Will be allocated
Next, the Warning screen D40 Will be explained. In a case
Where some Warning is required as a system in Which the
to x:320/800~X, y:240/600-Y, respectively.
digital camera 1 is connected to the personal computer 1000,
After transforming the coordinate, in S135, the received
the screen transits to the Warning screen D40. The folloWing
is an example of a Warning When the capacity of the hard
data are allocated on the VRAM address (x, y) of the digital
disc drive of the personal computer became insufficient
during the data transferring, With reference to FIGS. 13(a)
65
camera 1. Thus, the screen of the digital camera 1 coincides
With the screen of the personal computer 1000. Further, in
S135, only the data of the mouse cursor are formed by the
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