/ ENLARGE \
US 20100149402A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2010/0149402 A1
AOKI et al.
(54)
(43) Pub. Date:
IMAGING APPARATUS AND CAMERA BODY
Publication Classi?cation
(51)
(75) Inventors:
TAIZO AOKI, Hyogo (JP);
Int. Cl.
H04N 5/225
KIYOSHI OHGISHI, Kyoto (JP)
Jun. 17, 2010
(52)
(2006.01)
US. Cl. .......................... .. 348/333.12; 348/E05.024
(57)
Correspondence Address:
_
ABSTRACT
_
_
_
PANASONIC PATENT CENTER
fAn lmatging Iapparatus mfcludis a1: optical system ttot change a
1130 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW’ SUITE 1100
the image of the suléaject fomied by the ogptigcal systerri3 and
WASHINGTON’ DC 20036 (Us)
generate image data, an auto focus controller to control the
optical system to focus on a partial area in the image indicated
(73) Assignee;
(21) Appl. No.:
ocuss a eo anima eo asu
ec,an1ma1n um
oca
re
PANASONIC CORPORATION’
by the image data generated by the imaging unit, a manual
Osaka (JP)
focus changing unit to be operated manually by a user to
change the focus state of the optical system, a display unit to
12/637,195
display the image based on the image data generated by the
imaging unit, and a display controller to control the display
unit. When detecting that the manual focus changing unit is
Dec‘ 14’ 2009
aiitofocus 3clontroller controls the optical system to the focus
.
o erated b the user While a focus state is maintained after the
(22) Flled:
(30)
state, the display controller determines, as an enlarged area,
an area including a partial area in the focused image by the
autofocus controller and controls the display unit to display
Foreign Application Priority Data
Dec. 15, 2008
(JP) ............................... .. 2008-3 17 953
the image of the determined enlarged area.
D1
D3
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ENLARGE
AREA
_ _
INCLUDJNG
AF-AREA
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Patent Application Publication
Fig.
2
Jun. 17, 2010 Sheet 2 0f 10
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Patent Application Publication
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Fig. 3
<BODY>
POWER ON
<LENS>
SUPPLY OF POWER (SI I)
>
ON
LENS AUTHENTICATION REQUEST (S12)
AUTHENTI-
CATION
POWER
'
A
LENS AUTHENTICATION RESPONSE (813)
OK
LENS INITIALIZATION REQUEST (S14)
INITIALIZATION
(RESET OF
DIAPHRAGM,
INITIALIZATION
OK
LENS INITIALIZATION END RESPONSE (S15)
COMPLETION
OF
AQUISITION
OF
01S’
:
LENS DATA REQUEST (S16)
LENS DATA RESPONSE (817)
:
LENS DATA
PER|OD|CAL
LENS STATUS DATA REQUEST (S18)
ACQUISITION
'
OF
LENS STATUS
_
LENS STATUS DATA RESPONSE (S19)
‘
CHANGE TO
|_|\/E VIEW
CONTRAST AF DATA REQUEST (S20)
CONTRAST AF DATA RESPONSE (S21)
M
‘
Patent Application Publication
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US 2010/0149402 A1
Fig. 4
AF MODE
(MULTI-POINT AF MODE)
8 RELEAS
BUTTON
HALF
RESSED'?
NO
S30
S31
DETECT AREA TO BE
FOCUSED
NO
IS FOCUS
RiNG
OPERATED?
S33
YQ/
S34
DISPLAY ENLARGED AREA
INCLUDING FOCUS AREA
(
END
)
Patent Application Publication
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US 2010/0149402 A1
Fig. 5
AF MODE
(FACE DETECTION AF MODE)
S40
DETECT FACE AREA
—-——————>
S41
IS RELEASE
BUTTON
HALF
PRESSED?
s42
FOCUS
S43
i3 FOCUS
RING
OPERATED?
s44
DISPLAY ENLARGED AREA
INCLUDING FOCUS AREA
(
)
Patent Application Publication
Jun. 17, 2010 Sheet 6 0f 10
US 2010/0149402 A1
D5
D3
ENLARGE AREA INCLUDlG AF~REA
Patent Application Publication
Jun. 17, 2010 Sheet 7 0f 10
Q0
m(wi/zQm 02534; lmodi QmEbF (my? AHU
N/
O
.QI
N
US 2010/0149402 A1
m0
Patent Application Publication
Jun. 17, 2010 Sheet 8 0f 10
US 2010/0149402 A1
Fig. 8
@HANGE OF MAGNIFICATIO9
S50
[S FRONT
DIAL
OPERATED?
YES
CHANGE MAGNIFIOATION
Patent Application Publication
Jun. 17, 2010 Sheet 9 0f 10
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Patent Application Publication
2mm
MP9
Jun. 17, 2010 Sheet 10 0f 10
US 2010/0149402 A1
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IMAGING APPARATUS AND CAMERA BODY
focus changing unit operable to be operated manually by a
BACKGROUND
user to change the focus state of the optical system. The
camera body includes an imaging unit operable to capture the
[0001] 1. Technical Field
[0002] The technical ?eld relates to an imaging apparatus
capable of adjusting a focus position of an optical system.
[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art
[0004] An imaging apparatus capable of capturing an
image by automatically adjusting a focus point has been
widely used. After automatically adjusting the focus point on
a subject, a user determines whether an imaging operation can
h performed or not according to whether to take a photo or
not. In order to facilitate the determination of the user, an
imaging apparatus is known which allows an image automati
cally focused to be viewed immediately after the imaging
operation.
[0005]
Japanese Patent No. 3956861, for example, dis
image of the subject formed by the optical system and gen
erate image data, an auto focus controller operable to control
the optical system to focus on a partial area in the image
indicated by the image data generated by the imaging unit, a
display unit operable to display the image based on the image
data formed by the imaging unit, and a display controller
operable to control the display unit. When detecting that the
manual focus changing unit is operated by the user while a
focus state is maintained after the autofocus controller con
trols the optical system to the focus state, the display control
ler determines, as an enlarged area, an area including a partial
area in the focused image by the autofocus controller and
controls the display unit to display the image of the deter
mined enlarged area.
[0010]
In the imaging apparatus according to these aspects,
closes an imaging apparatus in which a focus position of an
the user can perform the manual focus operation while view
optical system is automatically adjusted based on a live
ing an enlarged image, and therefore the user can easily adjust
the focus point as desired at the imaging operation
image, and an area including the focus area is enlarged and
displayed. This imaging apparatus displays an indication rep
resenting the focus area. The user, therefore, can con?rm
which part of the image is focused after automatic focus
position adjustment.
[0006] When con?rming whether the focus point of the
image to be captured is automatically adjusted or not, it may
happen that the image is not focused at the position desired by
the user. In such a case, the user needs to repeatedly perform
the automatic focus adjusting function or manually adjust the
focus position from the beginning to achieve the desired focus
position. Therefore, even though the focus position can be
con?rmed after the imaging operation, the user inconve
niently needs to repeat the imaging operation until the desired
focus position is obtained.
[0007] In order to solve the problem described above, an
imaging apparatus is provided which can easily adjust the
focus position to obtain the focus point at the position desired
by the user.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
[0011] FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a con?guration of
an imaging apparatus according to a ?rst embodiment.
[0012] FIG. 2 is a rear view of the imaging apparatus
according to the ?rst embodiment.
[0013] FIG. 3 is a diagram for describing an preparatory
imaging operation of the imaging apparatus according to the
?rst embodiment.
[0014] FIG. 4 is a ?owchart for an enlarged display opera
tion of the imaging apparatus according to the ?rst embodi
ment (multi-point AF mode).
[0015] FIG. 5 is a ?owchart for the enlarged display opera
tion of the imaging apparatus according to the ?rst embodi
ment (face detection AF mode).
[0016] FIG. 6 is a diagram for describing an enlarged dis
play of the imaging apparatus according to the ?rst embodi
ment.
SUMMARY
[0017] FIG. 7 is a diagram for describing the enlarged dis
play of the imaging apparatus according to the ?rst embodi
[0008] In a ?rst aspect, an imaging apparatus is provided,
which includes an optical system operable to change a focus
state of an image of a subject, an imaging unit operable to
ment.
capture the image of the subject formed by the optical system
according to the ?rst embodiment.
[0019] FIG. 9 is a diagram for describing an operation to
and generate image data, an auto focus controller operable to
[0018]
FIG. 8 is a ?owchart showing an enlarged display
magni?cation change process for the imaging apparatus
control the optical system to focus on a partial area in the
change the enlarged display magni?cation for the imaging
image indicated by the image data generated by the imaging
apparatus according to the ?rst embodiment.
[0020] FIG. 10 is a diagram for describing the operation to
unit, a manual focus changing unit operable to be operated
manually by a user to change the focus state of the optical
system, a display unit operable to display the image based on
change the enlarged display magni?cation for the imaging
apparatus according to the ?rst embodiment.
the image data generated by the imaging unit, and a display
controller operable to control the display unit. When detect
ing that the manual focus changing unit is operated by the user
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED
EMBODIMENT
while a focus state is maintained after the autofocus controller
[0021] Preferred embodiments will be described in detail
below with reference to the accompanying drawings.
controls the optical system to the focus state, the display
controller determines, as an enlarged area, an area including
a partial area in the focused image by the autofocus controller
and controls the display unit to display the image of the
determined enlarged area.
[0009]
In a second aspect, a camera body to which an
interchangeable lens is mountable is provided. The inter
changeable lens includes an optical system operable to
change a focus state of an image of a subject, and a manual
First Embodiment
l. Con?guration
l-l Outline
[0022] FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing an electrical
con?guration of a camera system 1 according to a ?rst
embodiment. The camera system 1 includes a camera body 2
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US 2010/0149402 A1
and a detachable interchangeable lens 31 mountable to the
displays the image indicated by the display image data pro
camera body 2. The camera system 1 is capable of performing
cessed in the camera controller 6 similarly to the LCD moni
an autofocus operation in a contrast detection method based
on image data generated in a CCD image sensor 3.
tor 10.
1-2 Con?guration of Camera Body
[0023] The camera body 2 includes the CCD image sensor
3, a liquid-crystal device (LCD) monitor 10, an electronic
vieW?nder (EVF) 9, a camera controller 6, a body mount 17,
[0029] The images may be displayed on both or either one
of the LCD monitor 1 0 and the electronic vieW?nder (EVF) 9.
If the images are displayed at the same time on both the LCD
monitor 1 0 and the electronic vieW?nder 9, the images may be
identical or different.
[0030]
A ?ash memory 8 functions as an internal memory
a front dial 14, a release button 13, a poWer supply 16 and a
card slot 11.
[0024] The camera controller 6 controls the Whole camera
to store the image data, and the like. The ?ash memory 8 also
stores programs and parameters used for the control operation
system 1 including the elements such as the CCD image
[0031] The card slot 11 is a connection unit capable of
attaching the memory card 12. The card slot 11 can connect
of the camera controller 6.
sensor 3 in response to a command from an operating member
such as the release button 13. The camera controller 6 trans
the memory card 12 electrically and mechanically. The card
mits a vertical synchroniZing signal to a timing generator
(TG) 4. In parallel to this operation, the camera controller 6
generates an exposure synchroniZing signal based on the
vertical synchronizing signal. The camera controller 6 trans
mits the exposure synchroniZing signal thus generated to a
lens controller 23 periodically through a body mount 17 and
slot 11 may have a function of controlling the memory card
12.
[0032] The memory card 12 is an external memory includ
ing a memory device such as a ?ash memory. The memory
card 12 can store data such as the image data processed by the
camera controller 6. The memory card 12 can also output data
a lens mount 18. The camera controller 6 uses a DRAM 7 as
such as the image data stored therein. The image data output
ted from the memory card 12 is processed by the camera
controller 6, and displayed on, for example, the LCD monitor
10 or the like. According to the present embodiment, the
a Work memory during the control operation or the image
processing operation. The camera controller 6 may be con
?gured by a hardWare-Wired electronic circuit or a microcom
puter using a program. Moreover, the image processing unit
and the Work memory may be con?gured on the same semi
conductor chip or on different semiconductor chips.
[0025] The CCD image sensor 3 captures an image of a
subject incident through the interchangeable lens 31 to gen
erate image data. The generated image data is converted to a
digital data form from an analog data form by an A/D con
verter 5. The image data digitiZed by the A/D converter 5 is
subjected to various kinds of image processing by the camera
controller 6. The various kinds of image processing as
referred to herein include, but not limited thereto, a gamma
correction process, a White balance correction process, a ?aW
correction process, a YC conversion process, an electronic
memory card 12 is shoWn as an example of the external
memory. Nevertheless, the external memory is not limited to
the memory card 12, and may be con?gured by a storage
medium such as an optical disk.
[0033] The poWer supply 16 supplies poWer to be con
sumed by the camera system 1. The poWer supply 16 may be
a dry cell or a rechargeable battery. Moreover, the poWer
supply 16 may supply the camera system 1 With poWer from
an external source through a poWer cord.
[0034] The release button 13 is arranged on the top of the
camera body 2. A user can perform the operation of capturing
a still image, and the like by pressing the release button 13.
The operation of pressing the release button 13 includes tWo
Zoom process and a JPEG compression process. In addition,
steps of operation, i.e., a half-press operation and a full-press
the CCD image sensor 3 may be replaced With another imag
operation.
ing device such as a CMOS image sensor or an NMOS image
sensor.
[0026]
[0035]
The front dial 14 is arranged, for example, on the
front of the camera body 2. The user can change various
The CCD image sensor 3 operates at the timing
parameters by operating the front dial 14. The various param
controlled by the timing generator (TG) 4. The operation of
eters include an aperture value, a shutter speed and an expo
the CCD image sensor 3 controlled by the timing generator 4
includes an operation of capturing a still image, an operation
of capturing a through image, a data transfer operation, an
electronic shutter operation, and so on. The through image is
mainly a moving image; and is displayed on the LCD monitor
sure correction value. In addition, it may be con?gured that
functions corresponding to those by right and left buttons in a
operation With the front dial 14. Further, it may be con?gured
that the magni?cation of the enlarged image data displayed on
10 or the electronic vieW?nder (EVF) 9 to alloW a user to
the LCD monitor 10 or the electronic vieW?nder 9 may be
determine a composition for capturing a still image.
[0027] The LCD monitor 10 is arranged on the rear surface
of the camera body 2 and displays the image indicated by the
display image data processed in the camera controller 6. The
LCD monitor 10 can selectively display a moving image or a
still image. In addition to the images, conditions for setting
changed by user’s operation With the front dial 14.
[0036] The face detector 15 detects the face of the subject
cursor button 45 described later may be achieved by user’s
contained in the captured image. Various methods are knoWn
to detect a human face from the captured image. For example,
there is a method to extract skin color information from the
the camera system 1 as a Whole can also be displayed. Accord
original image and regard an image area of a skin color as the
“face”. In another method, an average human face may be
ing to the present embodiment, the LCD monitor 10 is shoWn
as an example of a display unit. Nevertheless, the display unit
is not limited to the LCD monitor 10, but an organic EL
image area of Which a correlation value at each position
display, for example, may be employed alternatively.
[0028]
The electronic vieW?nder (EVF) 9 is arranged on
the upper part of the rear surface of the camera body 2, and
stored as a monochromatic image in a digital camera, and an
obtained by comparing the monochromatic image With the
captured image is not less than a preset threshold value is
determined as the “face”. Once the face of the subject is
detected by the face detector 15 from the image data, the LCD
Jun. 17, 2010
US 2010/0149402 A1
monitor 10 or the electronic vieW?nder 9 may display a frame
[0042]
de?ning the face of the subject detected in the image.
lens 31 as a Whole. The lens controller 23 may be con?gured
by a hardWare-Wired electronic circuit or a microcomputer
using a program.
[0043] A DRAM 29 is used as a Work memory for the
control operation of the lens controller 23 . A ?ash memory 30
[0037] The body mount 17 can be connected mechanically
or electrically With the lens mount 18 of the interchangeable
lens 31. The body mount 17 can transmit/receive data
betWeen the camera body 2 and the interchangeable lens 31.
The body mount 17 sends exposure synchronizing signals
and other control signals received from the camera controller
6 to the lens controller 23 through the lens mount 18. The
body mount 17 also sends the signal received from the lens
The lens controller 23 controls the interchangeable
stores programs and parameters used for the control operation
of the lens controller 23.
l-4 Con?guration of Rear Surface of Camera Body
controller 23 through the lens mount 18 to the camera con
[0044]
troller 6. Further, the body mount 17 supplies poWer received
buttons 42, 43, . . . are arranged on the rear and upper surfaces
from the poWer supply 16 to the interchangeable lens 31 as a
Whole through the lens mount 18.
of the camera body 2. The LCD monitor 10 and the electronic
vieW?nder (EVF) 9 are also arranged on the rear surface of the
camera body 2. Each of components on the rear surface of the
camera body 2 is described in detail beloW. The release button
l-3 Con?guration of Interchangeable Lens
[0038] The interchangeable lens 31 includes an optical sys
tem, the lens controller 23 and the lens mount 18. The optical
system includes a Zoom lens 20, an OIS lens 24 and a focus
lens 27.
[0039] The Zoom lens 20 is a lens for changing the magni
?cation of the subject image formed by the optical system of
the interchangeable lens 31. The Zoom lens 20 may have any
number of lenses or lens groups. A Zoom ring 19 is arranged
outside the interchangeable lens 31. The Zoom ring 19 trans
mits a user operation to the Zoom lens 20. This operation
moves the Zoom lens 20 along the optical axis of the optical
FIG. 2 is a rear vieW ofthe camera body 2. Various
13, the electronic vieW?nder (EVF) 9 and the LCD monitor
10 are as described above.
[0045] A poWer sWitch 41 is a slide sWitch for turning
on/ off the poWer of the camera body 2. When the camera body
2 is turned on, the interchangeable lens 31 is also supplied
With poWer through the body mount 17.
[0046] An imaging mode dial 40 is a dial for setting the
camera system 1 in any one of various imaging modes. The
imaging modes include a manual mode, an aperture priority
mode, a shutter speed priority mode, a portrait imaging mode,
a landscape imaging mode and a macro imaging mode.
[0047] A focus mode dial 47 is a dial for setting the focus
mode of the camera system 1. The focus mode includes an
system. A Zoom lens detector 21 detects an amount of move
ment of the Zoom lens 20. The lens controller 23 can grasp the
autofocus mode to focus the subject image automatically and
Zoom magni?cation of the optical system by acquiring a
magni?cation grasped by the lens controller 23 is sent to the
point manually. The autofocus mode includes an AFS (Auto
Focus Single) mode to focus the image by the half-press
operation of the release button 13 and an AFC (Auto Focus
camera controller 6 through the lens mount 18.
[0040] The OIS lens 24 is a lens for correcting the shake of
the motion of the subject.
result of detection of the Zoom lens detector 21. The Zoom
a manual focus mode in Which the user can adjust a focus
Continuous) mode to continuously focus the image folloWing
the subject image formed in the optical system of the inter
[0048]
changeable lens 31. The OIS lens 24 may include any number
of lenses or lens groups. The OIS lens 24 reduces the shake of
right button, a loWer button and a left button. Upon depression
the subject image on the CCD image sensor 3 by moving in
displayed on the LCD monitor 10. Depression of the right
such a direction as to offset the shake of the camera system 1.
The OIS lens 24 is driven by an OIS drive unit 25 based on the
result of detection by a shake detector (not shoWn) such as a
gyro sensor. The OIS drive unit 25 obtains the detection result
of the shake detector from the lens controller 23. Moreover,
the OIS drive unit 25 transmits a signal indicating the ongoing
process of optical image shake correction to the lens control
ler 23. The lens controller 23 transmits the received signal
indicating the ongoing process of optical image shake correc
tion to the camera controller 6 through the lens mount 18.
[0041]
The focus lens 27 is a lens for changing the focus
state of the subject image incident from the optical system and
formed on the CCD image sensor 3. The focus lens 27 may
include any number of lenses or lens groups. The focus lens
drive unit 28 drives the focus lens 27 back and forth along the
optical axis of the optical system under the control of the lens
controller 23. A focus ring 26 is arranged outside the inter
changeable lens 31. The focus ring 26 drives the focus lens 27
in accordance With the operation of the user. When the focus
ring 27 is operated by the user, an operation signal is output
ted to the lens controller 23. The lens controller 23 drives the
focus lens drive unit 28 in accordance With the operation
signal inputted thereto.
The cursor button 45 includes an upper button, a
of the upper button, the camera controller 6 moves up a cursor
button results in an operation for instructing the cursor to
move rightWard. Depression of the loWer button results in an
operation for instructing the cursor to move doWnWard.
Depression of the left button results in an operation for
instructing the cursor to move leftWard.
[0049] A set button 44 is a button to be pressed for deter
mining a selection item displayed on the LCD monitor 10. A
play button 42 is a button to be pressed for reproducing and
displaying the image data stored in the ?ash memory 8 or the
memory card 12. A delete button 46 is a push button for
deleting the image data from the ?ash memory 8 or the
memory card 12. A screen button 43 is a button to be pressed
for changing the display method of the LCD monitor 10. In
accordance With the depression of the screen button 43, the
LCD monitor 10 displays or stops displaying a guideline on
the screen.
l-5 Correspondence of Terms
[0050]
The CCD image sensor 3 is an example of an imag
ing unit. The camera controller 6 is an example of a focus state
detector, an autofocus controller and a display controller. The
con?guration including the focus ring 26 and the focus lens
drive unit 28 is an example of a manual focus changing unit.
Jun. 17, 2010
US 2010/0149402 A1
The LCD monitor 10 is an example of the display unit. The
con?guration including the front dial 14 and the camera con
troller 6 is an example of a magni?cation changing unit. The
camera system 1 is an example of an imaging apparatus.
sensor 3, and therefore the autofocus operation can be easily
performed according to the contrast detection method using
the image data continuously generated.
[0057]
In performing the autofocus operation according to
the contrast detection method, the camera controller 6
2. Operation
2-l Preparatory Imaging Operation
[0051] The operation of the camera system 1 in preparation
for the imaging operation Will be described. FIG. 3 is a dia
gram shoWing signal transmission and reception in the pre
paratory imaging operation of the camera system 1.
[0052]
When the user turns on the camera body 2 With the
interchangeable lens 31 mounted to the camera body 2, the
poWer supply 16 supplies poWer to the interchangeable lens
31 through the body mount 17 and the lens mount 18 (S11).
Next, the camera controller 6 requests authentication infor
mation for the interchangeable lens 31 from the lens control
ler 23 (S12). In this case, the authentication information for
requests contrast AF data from the lens controller 23 (S20).
The contrast AF data is data required for the autofocus opera
tion according to the contrast detection method and include
focus drive speed, focus shift amount, image magni?cation
and information on availability of contrast AF.
2-2 Enlarged Image Display Operation
[0058] The camera system 1 according to the present
embodiment can enlarge and display an image area including
the focus position upon receiving the user’s operation on the
focus ring 26 after the subject is focused by the autofocus
operation. With reference to ?oWcharts of FIGS. 4 and 5, the
enlarged image display operation of the camera system 1
according to the present embodiment Will be described.
the interchangeable lens 31 contains information as to
Whether the interchangeable lens 31 is mounted or not and
(hereinafter referred to “AP mode”) in the imaging operation,
information as to Whether accessories are attached or not. The
the camera system 1 automatically detects one or more can
lens controller 23 responds to the lens authentication request
of the camera controller 6 (S13).
[0053] Next, the camera controller 6 requests the lens con
troller 23 to perform an initialiZe operation (S14). In response
to this request, the lens controller 23 performs the initialiZe
operation such as resetting of a diaphragm and the OIS lens
24. Then, the lens controller 23 sends a response indicating
didate focus positions of the subject. The AP mode includes a
single-point AF mode, a multi-point AF mode and a face
detection AF mode.
completion of the lens initialiZe operation to the camera con
troller 6 (S15).
[0054] Next, the camera controller 6 requests lens data
from the lens controller 23 (S16). The lens data is stored in the
?ash memory 30. The lens controller 23 reads the lens data
from the ?ash memory 30 and returns the data to the camera
controller 6 (S17). In this case, the lens data is characteristic
values speci?c to the interchangeable lens 31 such as a lens
name, an F number and a focal length.
[0055] When the camera controller 6 obtains the lens data
of the interchangeable lens 31 mounted to the camera body 2,
the camera system 1 enters a state ready for taking a photo. In
this state, the camera controller 6 periodically requests the
lens status data indicating the status of the interchangeable
lens 31 from the lens controller 23 (S18). The lens status data
[0059]
If the camera system 1 is set in autofocus mode
2-2-1 Determination of Focus Area
[0060] Upon the half-press operation of the release button
13 being performed by the user With a candidate focus posi
tion(s) detected in AF mode, the camera system 1 focuses the
image at the particular detected position(s) (if there are plural
candidates, one of them is selected). The operations of focus
position detection in multi-point AF mode and face detection
AF mode Will be speci?cally described beloW. FIG. 4 is a
?owchart of the camera system 1 in multi-point AF mode and
FIG. 5 a ?oWchart in face detection AF mode.
1) Multi-Point AF Mode
[0061] Referring to FIG. 4, When the camera system 1 is set
in multi-point AF mode, the camera controller 6 monitors
Whether the release button 13 is half-pressed or not (S30). In
the case Where the release button 13 is half-pressed, the cam
era controller 6 detects the focus state at each of plural (can
includes Zoom magni?cation information of the Zoom lens
didate) points in the image indicated by the image data gen
20, position information of the focus lens 27 and aperture
erated by the CCD image sensor 3. Thereafter, the camera
controller 6 determines one of the plural points as a focus
position based on the result of the focus state detection at each
point (S31), and instructs the lens controller 23 to focus the
value information. In response to this request, the lens con
troller 23 returns the requested lens status data to the camera
controller 6 (S19).
[0056]
Moreover, in this state, the camera system 1 can
operate in the control mode in Which the image represented by
the image data generated by the CCD image sensor 3 is
displayed as a through image on the LCD monitor 10. This
control mode is called “live vieW mode”. In the live vieW
mode, a through image is displayed as a moving image on the
LCD monitor 10, and therefore, the user can determine the
composition to take a still image While Watching the LCD
monitor 10. The user can determine Whether or not to select
the live vieW mode. In addition to the live vieW mode, the user
can select a control mode to lead a subject image from the
interchangeable lens 31 to the electronic vieW?nder (EVF) 9.
image at the particular focus position. The lens controller 23
controls the focus lens drive unit 28 to drive the focus lens 27
to the focus position (S32). In order to determine a point in the
image used as a focus position, a method is available, Which
selects an image area containing a subject nearest from the
camera system 1 or Which selects an image area containing a
subject largest in siZe. Various other methods of determining
the focus position are available, and the method is not limited
to the aforementioned method.
2) Face Detection AF Mode
The contrast detection method is suitable for the autofocus
[0062] Referring to FIG. 5, When the camera system 1 is set
in face detectionAF mode, if the face image is included in the
operation in the live vieW mode. In the live vieW mode, the
image indicated by the image data generated by the CCD
image data are continuously generated by the CCD image
image sensor 3, the face detector 15 detects that image area
Jun. 17, 2010
US 2010/0149402 A1
(S40). Then, the camera controller 6 monitors Whether the
release button 13 is half-pressed or not (S41). When the
release button 13 is half-pressed, the camera controller 6
determines the face area, as a focus position, if the face
detector 15 detects the face area, and instructs the lens con
troller 23 to focus the image at the focus position. The lens
controller 23 controls the focus lens drive unit 28 to drive the
focus lens 27 to the focus position (S42). In the case Where no
face is detected in the image upon the half-press operation of
the release button 13, the camera controller 6 changes the AF
displaying the enlarged image area including the focus area in
this manner, the user can operate the focus ring 26 While
Watching the enlarged image of the area in the vicinity of the
focus position, and thus can accurately adjust the focus point
at the desired position.
[0068] FIG. 7 is a diagram for describing the enlarged
image displayed in the vicinity of the AF area in the face
detection AF mode. A frame D11 shoWs the Whole image
captured by the camera system 1. A dashed frame D12 shoWs
mode to another AF mode such as the single-point AF or the
multi-point AF mode. In the case Where plural persons are
an image area containing the detected face area. A frame D13
included in the image, the camera system 1 may detect plural
range of this enlarged image area on display includes the face
face areas. In such a case, the image is focused on the face area
determined as that of the mo st important person at the time of
area focused in the camera system 1 but the range is not
limited to an area including the area de?ned by the dashed
half-press operation of the release button 13 by the user. An
example of the face of the most important person is the face of
frame D12. For example, the enlarged image area on display
may not only include the area de?ned by the dashed frame
D12 but also range beyond the de?ned area. By displaying the
enlarged image in this manner, the user can manipulate the
the person nearest to the camera system 1 or the face occu
shoWs the enlarged and displayed image area. It is enough that
pying the largest area in the image. As another alternative, a
frequency at Which the face of each person is imaged may be
stored in the camera system 1, and the face of the most
important person may be determined based on this informa
ity of the face area as a focus position, thereby making it
possible to adjust the focus point at the desired position more
tion. In addition, a face for Which face authentication-related
information is registered in the camera system 1 in advance
may be determined as the face of the most important person.
the area of the Whole image captured by the camera system 1
Nevertheless, the method of determining the face of the most
important person is not limited to those described above.
and the enlarged image area displayed may be displayed in
the enlarged screen displayed on the liquid crystal monitor
2-2-2 Manual Focus (MF) Operation After Autofocus (AF)
10. Speci?cally, as shoWn in FIGS. 6 and 7, a frame D4
indicating the Whole image area D1 or D11 and a dashed
Operation
frame D5 indicating the position of the enlarged display area
[0063] The operation of the camera system 1 Will be
described in the case Where the image is focused once by the
autofocus operation (S30 to S32, S40 to S42) and then the
manual focus operation is made While holding the focus state.
[0064] As long as the half-pressed state of the release but
D2 or D12 in the Whole area D1 or D11 may be displayed in
D12 can be ?nely adjusted in four directions of up, doWn, left
ton 13 is maintained by the user, the focus state of the camera
system 1 is held. Once the user releases the button 13, hoW
ever, the focus state of the camera system 1 is canceled.
and right. As a result, the user can adjust the focus point as the
user desires by user’s operating the focus ring 26 While con
?rming the position of the focus area of the system camera 1
[0065] Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, While the user maintains
the half-pressed state of the release button 13, i.e., the focus
relative to the Whole image.
[0071] The user can change the magni?cation of the
state is held after the autofocus operation, the camera system
1 determines Whether the focus ring 26 is operated or not by
the user (S33, S43). Upon detection that the focus ring 26 is
operated by the user (YES in S33, S43), the camera controller
6 determines an enlarged area of the image displayed on the
LCD monitor 10 based on the position of the area focused by
the autofocus control operation, and controls the LCD moni
tor 10 to enlarge the image in accordance With the determi
nation (S34, S44).
[0066]
In this manner, When the focus ring 26 is operated by
the user (manual focus operation) With the focus state held
(With the release button 13 maintained in half-pressed state)
after autofocus operation, the area including the focus area is
enlarged and displayed on the LCD monitor 10.
[0067] FIG. 6 is a diagram for describing the enlarged
image displayed in the vicinity of the focus area With the
focus ring 26 While Watching the enlarged image in the vicin
accurately.
[0069]
Moreover, an image indicating relative positions of
superposed on the frame D3 or D13, respectively.
[0070]
It may be con?gured that by user operation of the
cursor button 45 the position of the enlarged image area D2 or
enlarged display by operating the front dial 14. Speci?cally,
in the case Where the manual focus adjustment is carried out
after the autofocus control, the camera controller 6 can
change the magni?cation of the enlarged image displayed on
the LCD monitor 10.
[0072] FIG. 8 is a ?owchart shoWing a process of changing
the magni?cation of the enlarged display. This process is
performed in the case Where the focus area is enlarged and
displayed on the LCD monitor 10. While the camera system
1 displays the focus area in enlarged form on the LCD moni
tor 10, the camera system 1 accepts the user operation on the
front dial 14 (S50). The camera system 1, upon acceptance of
the user operation of the front dial 14, changes the magni?
cation in accordance With the operation of the front dial 14
(S51). When the magni?cation of the enlarged image on
display is changed, the image is enlarged and displayed With
camera system 1 set in multi-point AF mode. A frame D1
indicates the Whole image captured by the camera system 1 . A
dashed frame D2 indicates the image area including the focus
area. A frame D3 indicates the image area Which is enlarged
a neW magni?cation after the change. In this manner, the user
can cause the image to be enlarged With a different magni?
and displayed. The range of the image Which is enlarged and
displayed is required to include only the area focused by the
camera system 1 and not limited to the enlarged display area
multi-point AF mode and face detection AF mode, respec
tively. The user can thus change the magni?cation of the
enlarged image as required to facilitate the adjustment of the
including only the image area in the dashed frame D2. By
focus point.
cation by operating the front dial 14. FIGS. 9 and 10 shoW
change in the displayed images With the magni?cation in
Jun. 17, 2010
US 2010/0149402 A1
[0073] In the camera system 1 according to the present
embodiment, the user can ?nely adjust the focus position by
the manual operation of the focus lens 26 While Watching the
enlarged image in the area including the focus position after
the autofocus adjustment. As a result, the user can easily
capture a suitable image as desired.
[0074] Particularly, in the face detection AF mode, the
impression of the face obtained from the completed image is
varied depending on the focus position of the face area. For
example, the impression appearing in the completed image
greatly differs betWeen a case in Which the nose is in focus and
a case in Which the eyes are in focus. In the camera system
according to the present embodiment, the focus position can
be adjusted by the user operation of the focus lens 26 imme
diately after focusing the image on the face area of the subject
by the face detection AF. Therefore, the image desired by the
user can be suitably captured With ease.
Other Embodiments
[0075] According to the ?rst embodiment, the con?gura
for maintaining the focus state after the autofocus control is
provided so that the focus state can be maintained When the
dedicated button is pressed.
[0080]
The ?rst embodiment illustrates a camera system
Which performs the autofocus operation according to the
contrast detection method. Nevertheless, the autofocus
operation is not limited to the contrast detection method. For
example, the concept of the ?rst embodiment is applicable
also to a camera system Which performs the autofocus opera
tion according to the phase difference detection method using
a phase difference sensor. More speci?cally, the phase differ
ence sensor can detect the focus state (the defocus amount in
this case) at each of plural points in the subject image formed
by the optical system. The camera controller 6, based on the
result of detection by the phase difference sensor, controls the
optical system in such a manner as to focus the image at any
one of the plural points. In the case Where the manual focus is
changed after the autofocus control operation, the camera
controller 6 determines the area of the image to be enlarged in
accordance With the point focused by the autofocus control
part, and subsequently the LCD monitor 10 is controlled to
display an enlarged image.
tion having the Zoom lens 20 and the OIS lens 24 is illustrated.
Nevertheless, this con?guration is not essential. The concept
of the ?rst embodiment is also applicable to a camera system
to Which an interchangeable lens having no shake correction
function is mounted.
[0076]
Although the ?rst embodiment illustrates the cam
era body having no movable mirror, the structure of the cam
era body is not limited thereto. For example, a movable mirror
or a prism to split the subject image may be arranged in the
INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
[0081] The concept of the embodiments described above is
suitably applicable to an imaging apparatus such as a digital
camera, and further, to any other devices for capturing an
image, such as a digital movie camera and a mobile phone
having a camera function.
camera body. A movable mirror may be incorporated in an
What is claimed is:
adaptor instead of in the camera body.
[0077] According to the ?rst embodiment, the camera sys
an optical system operable to change a focus state of an
tem to Which an interchangeable lens is mountable is illus
trated. Nevertheless, the structure of the camera body is not
limited thereto. The concept of the ?rst embodiment is appli
cable also to a camera having the camera body and the lenses
integrated With each other. In short, any camera having both
the autofocus function and the manual focus function can be
implemented by the concept of the ?rst embodiment.
[0078] According to the ?rst embodiment, the AF mode is
described to include the multi-point AF mode and the face
detection AF mode. Nevertheless, the AF mode is not limited
thereto, and any other mode in Which the image of the subject
is focused automatically is covered by the concept of the ?rst
embodiment.
[0079]
According to the ?rst embodiment, an enlarged
image is displayed in the case Where the manual focus opera
tion is performed With the release button 13 half-pressed in
AF mode. Nevertheless, the embodiment is not limited to this
arrangement. For example, an alternative method is available
in Which the focus area determined by the half-press opera
tion of the release button 13 may be stored in the camera
1. An imaging apparatus comprising:
image of a subject;
an imaging unit operable to capture the image of the subject
formed by the optical system and generate image data;
an auto focus controller operable to control the optical
system to focus on a partial area in the image indicated
by the image data generated by the imaging unit;
a manual focus changing unit operable to be operated
manually by a user to change the focus state of the
optical system;
a display unit operable to display the image based on the
image data generated by the imaging unit; and
a display controller operable to control the display unit;
Wherein When detecting that the manual focus changing
unit is operated by the user While a focus state is main
tained after the autofocus controller controls the optical
system to the focus state, the display controller deter
mines, as an enlarged area, an area including a partial
area in the focused image by the autofocus controller
and controls the display unit to display the image of the
determined enlarged area.
system 1. In this method, the manual focus operation can be
2. The imaging apparatus according to claim 1, further
accepted based on the stored focus area even after the button
13 is released from the half-pressed state. In short, once a
particular image area is determined as a focus area by the
comprising a focus state detector operable to detect the focus
state in each of a plurality of areas in the image indicated by
autofocus operation, the image can be enlarged and displayed
at any timing by the manual focus operation of the camera
system 1. Although in the ?rst embodiment the focus state
after the autofocus control is maintained by holding half
press of the release button 13, the operation is not limited to
this. For example, it may be con?gured that a dedicated button
the image data generated by the imaging unit,
Wherein the autofocus controller controls the optical sys
tem to focus the image on any of the plurality of the areas
based on a result of detection by the focus state detector.
3. The imaging apparatus according to claim 1, further
comprising a face detector operable to detect a face area in the
image of the subject formed by the optical system,
Jun. 17, 2010
US 2010/0149402 A1
wherein the autofocus controller controls the optical sys
tem to focus the image on the face area detected by the
face detector.
4. The imaging apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
display unit displays information indicating relative positions
of a Whole area of the image and the enlarged area together
With the enlarged image.
5. The imaging apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
autofocus controller further includes a magni?cation chang
ing unit operable to change a magni?cation of the enlarged
image displayed on the display unit.
6. A camera body to Which an interchangeable lens is
mountable, the interchangeable lens including an optical sys
system to the focus state, the display controller deter
mines, as an enlarged area, an area including a partial
area in the focused image by the autofocus controller
and controls the display unit to display the image of the
determined enlarged area.
7. The camera body according to claim 6, further compris
ing a focus state detector operable to detect the focus state in
each of a plurality of areas in the image indicated by the image
data generated by the imaging unit,
Wherein the autofocus controller controls the optical sys
tem to focus the image on any of the plurality of the areas
based on a result of detection by the focus state detector.
8. The camera body according to claim 6, further compris
tem operable to change a focus state of an image of a subject
ing a face detector operable to detect a face area in the image
and a manual focus changing unit operable to be operated
manually by a user to change the focus state of the optical
of the subject formed by the optical system,
system, the camera body comprising:
an imaging unit operable to capture the image of the subject
Wherein the autofocus controller controls the optical sys
tem to focus the image on the face area detected by the
face detector.
formed by the optical system and generate image data;
9. The camera body according to claim 6, Wherein the
an auto focus controller operable to control the optical
system to focus on a partial area in the image indicated
display unit displays information indicating relative positions
by the image data generated by the imaging unit;
a display unit operable to display the image based on the
image data generated by the imaging unit; and
a display controller operable to control the display unit;
Wherein When detecting that the manual focus changing
of a Whole area of the image and the enlarged area together
With the enlarged image.
10. The camera body according to claim 6, Wherein the
autofocus controller further includes a magni?cation chang
ing unit operable to change a magni?cation of the enlarged
image displayed on the display unit.
unit is operated by the user While a focus state is main
tained after the autofocus controller controls the optical
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