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Publication numberUS20010048465 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/096,213
Publication dateDec 6, 2001
Filing dateJun 11, 1998
Priority dateJun 13, 1997
Also published asUS6377294
Publication number09096213, 096213, US 2001/0048465 A1, US 2001/048465 A1, US 20010048465 A1, US 20010048465A1, US 2001048465 A1, US 2001048465A1, US-A1-20010048465, US-A1-2001048465, US2001/0048465A1, US2001/048465A1, US20010048465 A1, US20010048465A1, US2001048465 A1, US2001048465A1
InventorsToshiyuki Toyofuku, Masafumi Yamasaki, Nobuhide Dotsubo, Toshinobu Haruki, Hideto Hayashi
Original AssigneeToshiyuki Toyofuku, Masafumi Yamasaki, Nobuhide Dotsubo, Toshinobu Haruki, Hideto Hayashi
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electronic photographing device
US 20010048465 A1
Abstract
According to this invention, an electronic photographing device in which image information corresponding to one set of images photographed by panorama photographing can be recorded on a recording medium includes: a rotating direction setting device for setting information corresponding to a rotating direction of the electronic photographing device in the panorama photographing; a rotating direction recording device for recording information corresponding to the rotating direction set by the rotating direction setting device on the recording medium; a control device for controlling an arrangement of the one set of panorama images on the basis of the information corresponding to the rotating direction recorded on the recording medium; and a display device for displaying the one set of panorama images arranged by the control device.
Images(22)
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Claims(10)
What is claimed is:
1. An electronic photographing device in which image information corresponding to one set of images photographed by panorama photographing can be recorded on a recording medium comprising:
rotating direction setting means for setting information corresponding to a rotating direction of said electronic photographing device in the panorama photographing;
rotating direction recording means for recording information corresponding to the rotating direction set by said rotating direction setting means on said recording medium;
control means for controlling an arrangement of the one set of panorama images on the basis of the information corresponding to the rotating direction recorded on said recording medium; and
display means for displaying the one set of panorama images arranged by said control means.
2. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, where an index indicating at least one of the rotating direction and the rotating angle of said electronic photographing device in panorama photographing is superimposed on said display means.
3. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, wherein information representing the rotating direction is recorded as a header of each image.
4. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, wherein said rotating direction setting means manually sets a rotating direction.
5. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, wherein said rotating direction setting means automatically sets the information corresponding to the rotating direction on the basis of an output from a rotating angle detection means for detecting a rotating direction.
6. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, wherein said rotating direction setting means is means for automatically setting a predetermined rotating direction.
7. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, wherein said display means divides a screen into a plurality of screens to display the images in a photographing order.
8. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 1
, wherein said display means divides a screen into a plurality of screens to sequentially display the screens in a rotating direction in photographing of a panorama image on the basis of information corresponding to the rotating direction recorded on said recording medium.
9. An electronic photographing device in which image information corresponding to one set of images photographed by panorama photographing can be recorded on a recording medium comprising:
rotating direction setting means for setting information corresponding to a rotating direction of said electronic photographing device in the panorama photographing;
rotating direction recording means for recording information corresponding to the rotating direction set by said rotating direction setting means on said recording medium;
control means for controlling an arrangement of the one set of panorama images on the basis of the information corresponding to the rotating direction recorded on said recording medium;
display means for dividing a screen into a plurality of screens to display the screens in a rotating direction in photographing of a panorama image on the basis of information corresponding to the rotating direction recorded on said recording medium; and
shift means for shifting the panorama image displayed by said display means in the rotating direction and a direction opposing the rotating direction.
10. An electronic photographing device according to
claim 8
or
9
, wherein said display means horizontally or perpendicularly displays the panorama image at a center portion of a screen in one line.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to an electronic photographing device being capable of panorama photographing.
  • [0003]
    2. Related Art Statement
  • [0004]
    Conventionally, a photographing device being capable of panorama photographing has been proposed. However, in a conventional panorama photographing device, information related to a rotating direction of a camera in panorama photographing is not recorded. For this reason, when one set of panorama images are displayed or printed, a cumbersome process is required to arrange the panorama images. Even if information about the arrangement is recorded, the information requires a complex operation and is not easily used.
  • [0005]
    In a prior art, the photographing device is independent of a display device for displaying a panorama image which is photographed by the photographing device, and the photographed image cannot be easily checked immediately after photographing.
  • OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    It is a first object of the invention to provide an electronic photographing device being capable of easily checking a photographed panorama image.
  • [0007]
    It is a second object of the invention to provide an electronic photographing device in which image data photographed by panorama photographing and information related to a rotating direction of a camera corresponding to the image data are recorded on a recording medium as header information, and the photographed panorama image is displayed in an appropriate arrangement and an appropriate arrangement direction on the screen of a display device arranged on the camera by using the information recorded on the recording medium.
  • [0008]
    In short, an electronic photographing device in which image information corresponding to one set of images photographed by panorama photographing can be recorded on a recording medium comprises:
  • [0009]
    a rotating direction setting device for setting information corresponding to a rotating direction of the electronic photographing device in the panorama photographing;
  • [0010]
    a rotating direction recording device for recording information corresponding to the rotating direction set by the rotating direction setting device on the recording medium;
  • [0011]
    a control device for controlling an arrangement of the one set of panorama images on the basis of the information corresponding to the rotating direction recorded on the recording medium; and
  • [0012]
    a display device for displaying the one set of panorama images arranged by the control device.
  • [0013]
    This objects and advantages of the present invention will become further apparent from the following detailed explanation.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 1 is a front view showing the appearance of an electronic photographing device according to the first and second embodiments of the present invention.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 2 is a side view showing the appearance of the electronic photographing device according to the first and second embodiments of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the appearance of the electronic photographing device according to the first and second embodiments when viewed from the rear surface side of the electronic photographing device.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 4 is a view showing a state wherein the electronic photographing device according to the first and second embodiments of the present invention is connected to a personal computer, a digital recorder, and a printer.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing an entire electric arrangement of the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 6 is a recording format of the image information corresponding to a one-frame image recorded on the recording medium of the electronic photographing device according to the first and second embodiments of the present invention.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 7 is a flow chart showing the flow of the entire operation of the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 8 is a flow chart showing an initial setting operation of a photographing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 9 is a flow chart showing an operation of setting the number of panorama-photographed frames of one set (the predictive number of panorama-photographed frames) in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing the flow of photographing operations of the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 11 is a flow chart showing the flow of the entire operation of an editing mode serving as a sub-mode of a panorama mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing the flow of the entire operation of an erase mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 13 is a flow chart showing the flow of the entire operation of a protect mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 14 is a flow chart showing the flow of the entire operation of a print mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 15 is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of the sub-mode of the panorama mode is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 16A is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a rotating direction of a camera in panorama photographing in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 16B is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a rotating direction of a camera in panorama photographing is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 16C is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a rotating direction of a camera in panorama photographing is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 17A is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a rotating direction of a camera in panorama photographing is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 17B is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a rotating direction of a camera in panorama photographing is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 17C is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a rotating direction of a camera is rotated in panorama photographing is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 18 is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of the number of photographed frames in panorama photographing is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIG. 19 is a view showing a display example of a liquid-crystal display unit when selection of the sub-mode of the editing mode is performed in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 20A is a view showing a display example in which a multi-divided photographed image is displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit in the erase mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 20B is a view showing a display example in which a multi-divided photographed image is displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit in the erase mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIG. 21A is a view showing an example in which only a panorama image is displayed at the central portion of the screen of the liquid-crystal display unit in the erase mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0040]
    [0040]FIG. 21B is a view showing an example in which only a panorama image is displayed at the central portion of the screen of the liquid-crystal display unit in the erase mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0041]
    [0041]FIG. 22 is a view showing a display example of the liquid-crystal display unit when selection of a sub-mode of the protect mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0042]
    [0042]FIG. 23 is a view showing an example in which an image to be printed is selected by a circular flicker display in the print mode serving as a sub-mode of the editing mode in the electronic photographing device according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0043]
    [0043]FIG. 24 is a block diagram showing an entire electric arrangement of the electronic photographing device according to the second embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0044]
    [0044]FIG. 25 is a view showing an example in which a rotating direction of a camera is displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit in panorama photographing of the electronic photographing device according to the second embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0045]
    Embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • [0046]
    A first embodiment of the present invention will be described below.
  • [0047]
    The entire arrangement and operation of an electronic photographing device (to be referred to as a “camera” hereinafter) according to this embodiment will be described below.
  • [0048]
    FIGS. 1 to 3 are views showing the appearances of the camera, in which FIG. 1 is a front view, FIG. 2 is a side view, and FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the camera when viewed from the rear surface.
  • [0049]
    [0049]FIG. 4 is a view showing a state wherein the camera is connected to a personal computer (to be referred to as a “PC” hereinafter) 44, a digital recorder 45, and a printer 46.
  • [0050]
    [0050]FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing the entire electric arrangement of the camera.
  • [0051]
    As shown in FIG. 1, a photographing lens 2 held by a lens mirror cylinder 3 is arranged on an almost-right side of the central portion on the front surface of a camera body 1 as shown in FIG. 1. An optical finder objective unit 4 is exposed to the upper side of the photographing lens 2, and distance measurement lenses 5 and 6 are arranged on the left and right sides of the optical finder objective unit 4 to be spaced apart from each other by a predetermined base length. An electric-flash device 7 for illuminating an object is arranged on the left side of the distance measurement lens 5, and a grip portion 8 for holding the camera body 1 is arranged on the left side of the electric-flash device 7. A strap fixing portion 9 is arranged on the side surface of the grip portion 8.
  • [0052]
    On the side surface of the camera body 1 opposing the grip portion 8, as shown in FIG. 2, a recording medium insertion/extraction port 15 for inserting/removing a recording medium 33 serving as a recording means (to be described later) which is detachably set. On the lower side of the recording medium insertion/extraction port 15, a video output terminal 19 for connecting the camera to a monitor television and a data input/output terminal 20 for connecting the camera to an external machine such as a printer or a PC are formed.
  • [0053]
    Referring to FIG. 3, on the upper surface of the camera body 1, a release switch 10; an increment switch 11 for updating a set numeral value such as a date to increase the value; contrary to this, a decrement switch 12 for updating a set numeral value or the like to decrease the value; a fixing switch 13 for fixing the data such as a date selected by the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12; a mode selection switch 14 for selecting a predetermined mode from various modes of the camera; and a liquid-crystal display unit 16 for displaying mode information or the like selected by the mode selection switch 14 are arranged. These various operation switches are automatic-reset switches.
  • [0054]
    On the rear surface of the camera body 1, a liquid-crystal display unit 17 for displaying information which is required for a predetermined editing operation (to be described later) performed by the camera, such as a date selected by the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12 or a photographed image is arranged. A power supply switch 18 for supplying a power to the camera is arranged on the upper right portion on the rear surface of the camera body 1.
  • [0055]
    Referring to FIG. 4, the camera body 1 is connected to the PC 44 to execute, as needed, further various types of image processing which cannot be executed by the camera itself. The camera 1 is connected to the digital recorder 45 to record a large amount of image data recorded on the recording medium 33 on the digital recorder 45. The camera 1 is also connected to the printer 46 to cause the printer 46 to print the image corresponding to the image data recorded on the recording medium 33. The printer 46 is also connected to the PC 44 to be able to print the image corresponding to the image data processed by the PC 44.
  • [0056]
    The electric arrangement of the camera according to this embodiment will be described below with reference to FIG. 5. The same reference numerals as in the arrangements described in FIGS. 1 to 3 denote the same parts in the arrangement described in FIG. 5.
  • [0057]
    The photographing lens 2 is arranged to form an object image on the photographing surface of a solid state imaging element 25 arranged behind the photographing lens 2. The photographing lens 2 is mechanically connected to a photographing lens drive unit 21. The photographing lens 2 is driven to a predetermined position such that a clear object image is always formed on the photographing surface of the solid state imaging element 25 on the basis of a distance to an object measured by a distance measurement circuit 34 (to be described later).
  • [0058]
    An aperture 22 arranged behind the photographing lens has an aperture function of adjusting a depth of field and an amount of exposure for the solid state imaging element 25 and a shutter function of determining a shutter speed. This aperture 22 is mechanically connected to an aperture drive unit 23. The aperture 22 is set to have a predetermined numeral aperture and a predetermined shutter speed on the basis of a command signal from a CPU (Center Processing Unit) 39.
  • [0059]
    An optical low-pass filter 24 for preventing reflected distortion from being generated in a video signal is arranged behind the aperture 22.
  • [0060]
    The solid state imaging element 25 is arranged behind the optical low-pass filter 24. A drive circuit 26 is connected to the solid state imaging element 25 to store a signal from the solid state imaging element for a predetermined period of time and generate a signal for reading the stored signal at a predetermined timing. The drive circuit 26 is connected to the CPU 39 to be controlled on the basis of a signal from the CPU 39.
  • [0061]
    The output terminal of the solid state imaging element 25 is connected to the input terminal of an A/D converter 27. An analog output signal from the solid state imaging element 25 is converted into a digital signal by the A/D converter 27, and the digital signal is sent to a Digital Signal Processor 28 connected to the output terminal of the A/D converter 27. The DSP 28 is a processor for dividing the digital signal into a color-difference signal and a luminance signal to perform correction and a compression/expansion process.
  • [0062]
    The output terminal of the digital signal processor 28 is connected to a Discrete Cosine Transform (to be referred to as DCT hereinafter) circuit 29. In the DCT circuit 29, orthogonal transformation which is one process of image compression/expansion processes in accordance with the JPEG is performed. The DCT circuit 29 is connected to a Huffman Encoder/Decoder 30. In this Huffman Encoder/Decoder 30, a predetermined process which is one process of image compression in accordance with the JPEG. With the Huffman encoding/decoding process performed here, a high-efficient image compression/expansion process can be performed.
  • [0063]
    The output terminal of the Huffman encoder/decoder circuit 30 is connected to a Memory Control Circuit 31. The output terminal of this memory control circuit 31 is connected to the recording medium 33 through a connector 32. The memory control circuit 31 is to record data on the recording medium 33 or read recorded data from the recording medium 33.
  • [0064]
    A distance measurement circuit 34 is a circuit for forming a signal for measuring a distance from the camera to an object. In this camera, since the principle of triangular distance measurement, the two distance measurement lenses 5 and 6 which are spaced apart from each other by a predetermined base length are arranged such that an object image is formed on a light-receiving surface of a distance measurement sensor (not shown) constituting the distance measurement circuit 34.
  • [0065]
    The CPU 39 executes a predetermined process on the basis of an output signal from the distance measurement circuit 34 to calculate a distance to the object. On the basis of the calculation result, the CPU 39 sends a predetermined signal to the photographing lens drive unit 21. With this arrangement, the photographing lens drive unit 21 drives the photographing lens 2 to a predetermined position such that a focused object image is always formed on the photographing surface of the solid state imaging element 25.
  • [0066]
    The electric-flash circuit 35 is connected to the CPU 39. The CPU 39 is a circuit which radiates auxiliary light on the object under the condition in which the CPU 39 determines, on the basis of bright information of the object measured by a photometric circuit 38 (to be described later), that the object has low brightness or other conditions.
  • [0067]
    A calendar signal generation means 36 is connected to the CPU 39 to generate a calendar signal on the basis of a date input by a camera operator, photographing date data recorded on the recording medium 33, or the present date generated by a timer incorporated in the CPU 39. This calendar signal may be incorporated in the CPU 39.
  • [0068]
    The character signal generation circuit 37 is connected to the CPU 39 to generate a character signal consisting of fonts such as letters, numbers, and alphabets which are required for at least a calendar. The character signal may be incorporated in the CPU 39.
  • [0069]
    The liquid-crystal display units 16 and 17 are connected to the CPU 39 to be controlled by the CPU 39. The video output terminal 19 and the data input/output terminal 20 are also connected to the CPU 39, and all the various operation switches are also connected to the CPU 39. The basic functions of the various operation switches have been described above in FIGS. 1 to 3.
  • [0070]
    The photometric circuit 38 is connected to the CPU 39. The photometric circuit 38 is a circuit to measure the brightness of the object prior to a photographing operation. The value of a shutter speed is determined on the basis of information obtained by a photometric operation by the photometric circuit 38, and it is determined whether auxiliary light is illuminated through the electric-flash circuit 35, as described above.
  • [0071]
    The CPU 39 is arranged to identify information input by an operator of the camera 1 and perform various controls of the entire camera depending on the identification information.
  • [0072]
    The operation of the first embodiment will be described below.
  • [0073]
    When the mode selection switch 14 arranged on the upper surface of the camera 1 is pressed, the mode is sequentially switched to various photographing modes or various process modes. This embodiment relates to a mode for performing panorama photographing (to be referred to as a “panorama mode” hereinafter) of these various modes.
  • [0074]
    This embodiment will be described below with reference to FIG. 6 showing a recording format of image information of each frame photographed and recorded on the recording medium 33, FIGS. 7 to 14 which are flow charts showing the flows of operations of this embodiment, and FIGS. 15 to 23 which are display examples of the liquid-crystal display unit 17 corresponding to the operations of this embodiment.
  • [0075]
    [0075]FIG. 7 is a main routine showing the entire flow of the operation of this embodiment.
  • [0076]
    The mode selection switch 14 is pressed to select a panorama mode while checking the liquid-crystal display unit 16. When the panorama mode is set, as shown in FIG. 15, a menu constituted by a “photographing” mode, an “editing” mode, and “end” serving as sub-modes are displayed at the upper right portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17. Operation contents operated by a camera operator are displayed at the lower left portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17.
  • [0077]
    A display “+−” represents that one sub-mode can be selected from the menu by operating the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12. The display at the upper left portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17 is a display representing that the panorama mode is set.
  • [0078]
    When the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12 is operated, a triangle index on the left of the sub-modes moves. When the index moves to the position of a predetermined sub-mode, the fixing switch 13 is pressed, selection of the predetermined sub-mode is fixed. At the same time, a mark representing that the predetermined sub-mode is selected and fixed is displayed at the lower right portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17. It is checked whether the selected sub-mode is the “photographing” mode. In the following description, for descriptive convenience, this determination process is called [J701].
  • [0079]
    As a result of this determination process [J701], if it is determined that the “photographing mode” is set, various processes for panorama photographing (to be descried later) are executed. On the other hand, as a result of the determination process [J701], if it is determined the editing mode is set, a predetermined editing process such as an erase process is executed to a panorama image photographed in the “photographing” mode.
  • [0080]
    As a result of the determination result [J701], if the “photographing” mode is selected, a subroutine (to be referred to as “subroutine 1”) for predetermined initial setting is executed. The subroutine 1 will be described below with reference to FIG. 8.
  • [0081]
    In the subroutine 1, a change direction of a rotating angle of the camera in the panorama photographing is set.
  • [0082]
    When the “photographing” mode is selected, a predetermined display as shown in FIG. 16A appears on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 to overlap the image of the object. Upper and lower rectangular marks and arrows in FIG. 16A represent that the camera is rotated such that the photographing surface of the solid state imaging element 25 corresponding to the position of the upper rectangular mark moves to the position where the object in the lower rectangular mark is photographed in the next photographing operation. More specifically, in this case, the camera is rotated from the upper side to the lower side.
  • [0083]
    When the increment switch 11 is pressed, as shown in FIG. 16B, the direction of the arrows is switched. In this case, according to the same theory as described above, the camera is rotated from the lower side to the upper side.
  • [0084]
    When the increment switch 11 is pressed, as shown in FIG. 17A, rectangular marks and arrows are displayed on the left and right sides of the liquid-crystal display unit 17. In this case, according to the same theory as described above, the camera is rotated clockwise.
  • [0085]
    In addition, when the increment switch 11 is pressed, the direction of the arrows is switched as shown in FIG. 17B. In this case, according to the same theory as described above, the camera is rotated counterclockwise.
  • [0086]
    Although the display of the liquid-crystal display unit 17 is switched by pressing the increment switch 11 in the above description, the decrement switch 12 may be pressed. In this case, the display order is reversed.
  • [0087]
    When any one of the above displays representing the rotating directions of the camera appears on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 by pressing the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12, if the fixing switch 13 is pressed, the rotating direction of the camera is fixed.
  • [0088]
    As shown in FIG. 6, information representing the rotating direction of the camera is recorded on the recording medium 33 as header information in correspondence with each image.
  • [0089]
    Upon completion of setting of the rotating direction of the camera, the number of panorama-photographed frames of one set (the predictive number of panorama-photographed frames) is set. This setting will be described below with reference to subroutine 11 in FIG. 9.
  • [0090]
    In the subroutine 11, the number of photographing-capable frames (n1) which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is calculated. Selection is performed to check whether the predictive number of photographed frames (N) is equal to or larger than the predetermined number of frames.
  • [0091]
    [0091]FIG. 18 shows an example in which two selection menus representing that the predictive number of frames N is equal to or larger than the number of panorama-photographing-capable frames n1 (temporarily set as 10) that the predictive number of frames N is smaller than the number of panorama-photographing-capable frames n1 are displayed on the upper right portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17. As in the above operation, the triangle mark on the left side of the menus is moved by operating the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12.
  • [0092]
    The selected predictive number of frames to be panorama-photographed (N) is compared with the number of panorama-photographing-capable frames (n1). Here, if N>n1, a display representing “require spare recording medium” is made on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 with warning (not shown).
  • [0093]
    When the fixing switch 13 is pressed, a menu indicated by the triangle mark is fixed.
  • [0094]
    [0094]FIG. 18 is a view showing a case wherein 10 or more is selected as the predictive number of photographed frames. As described above, when a lack of capacity of the recording medium is predicted, the photographer is warned of the lack of capacity, so that inconvenience that photographing is unexpectedly stopped can be prevented.
  • [0095]
    As a result of the selection, it is checked whether N>n1 is satisfied. If N>n1 is satisfied, “1” is set in a flag (“FLG1” is set) serving as a predetermined memory in the CPU 39. On the other hand, in the above determination, if N>n1 is not satisfied, “0” is set in the FLG1. Here, FLG1=1 represents that a spare recording medium is required, and FLG1=0 represents no spare recording medium is required. Upon completion of the above flag, the control flow returns from the subroutine 11.
  • [0096]
    The number of photographed frames to be selected is not limited to the above example. More various numbers having small intervals may be selected as the number of photographed frames.
  • [0097]
    When the flow returns from the subroutine 11, the flow returns to the subroutine 1 shown in FIG. 8, and the flow returns from the subroutine 1. When the flow returns from the subroutine 1, returning to FIG. 7, the subroutine 2 representing the flow of photographing operation is executed.
  • [0098]
    The operations of the operations of the subroutine 2 will be described below with reference to FIG. 10.
  • [0099]
    It is checked whether the first frame is photographed in panorama photographing. For convenience in the following description, this determination process is called [J1001]. As the determination result, if it is determined that the first frame is photographed, it is checked whether the release switch 10 is pressed.
  • [0100]
    Here, this determination process is called [J1002]. If the release switch 10 is not pressed, the determination process [J1001] is performed again, and the above operation is repeated. As a result of the determination process [J1001], if the first frame is not photographed, i.e., if the second frame or a frame subsequent to the second frame is photographed, it is checked by the following manner whether the rotating angle of the camera falls within an allowable range.
  • [0101]
    When the camera is rotated in the direction designated in FIG. 16A, the image of a rectangular region “B” in the image of the first frame is ideally rotated to be located at a position “A” in photographing of the second frame. A correlation operation for detecting the degree of coincidence between both the images is performed between the image data of the region B in FIG. 16A recorded on the recording medium 33 after the releasing operation and the image data of the region A in FIG. 16A of image data which are photographed on real time at predetermined intervals of time and converted into a digital signal before the next release operation. As a result of the correlation operation, if the degree of coincidence falls within an allowable range, it is determined that the rotating angle of the camera is appropriate, and flickered “OK” is displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 (not shown).
  • [0102]
    It is determined in the determination process [J1002] that the release switch 10 is pressed, it is checked again whether the first frame is panorama-photographed. This determination process is called [J1003]. If it is determined in the determination process that the first frame is panorama-photographed, distance measurement for measuring the distance from the camera to the object is performed to drive the photographing lens 2 to a predetermined position. A photometric operation for determining a numeral aperture and a shutter speed is performed. The photometric information is stored in an internal memory of the CPU 39. White balance information is also stored in the memory. Exposure is performed on the bases of the photometric information.
  • [0103]
    If it is determined in the determination process [J1003] that the first frame is not photographed, the distance measurement and the photometric operation are not performed, but exposure is performed under the same conditions as those in photographing of the first frame. This is because photographing of the second frame or a frame subsequent to the second frame is performed on the basis of the same distance measurement information, photometric information, and white balance information as those of the first frame. In this manner, the images of frames obtained by panorama photographing are synthesized with each other, a panorama image having an exposure, a focusing state, and white balance which are similar to those of a panorama image obtained by performing panorama photographing once can be obtained.
  • [0104]
    Upon completion of the exposure, an analog output signal from the solid state imaging element 25 is converted into a digital signal by the A/D converter 27. The digital signal is subjected to various signal processing such as image compression by the digital signal processor 28, the DCT circuit 29, and the Huffman encoder/decoder 30. The image data subjected to the predetermined signal processing is recorded on the recording medium 33 under the control of the memory control circuit 31.
  • [0105]
    As shown in FIG. 6, in correspondence with the image data of the respective frames, shared file names of frames constituting panorama images, panorama numbers serving as data added to panorama images in a photographing order, and frame numbers serving as data representing the photographing order of all images are recorded as header information. As the header information, in addition to the above information, a rotating direction which is described above and represents a rotating direction of the camera in panorama photographing, a photographing date, and a protect code (to be described later) are recorded.
  • [0106]
    Upon completion of photographing, the menus of the same sub-modes as shown in FIG. 15 are displayed at the upper right portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17, and selection is performed to check whether panorama photographing continues. As in the above selection of a sub-mode, a predetermined sub-mode is selected from the menu by operating the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12, and the selected sub-mode is fixed by the fixing switch 13.
  • [0107]
    In this embodiment, as described above, the above selection for checking whether panorama photographing continues is performed every panorama photographing of one frame. However, the invention is not limited to this embodiment, following methods may be used. For example, an interrupt function is given to a predetermined switch during panorama photographing, and the panorama photographing is ended when the predetermined switch is pressed. In addition, the number of panorama-photographed frames is input in advance, the panorama photographing may continue until photographing of the frames corresponding to the input number of panorama-photographed frames is completed. In this manner, the selection, performed each time photographing of one frame is ended, for checking whether panorama photographing continues is not necessary.
  • [0108]
    It is checked whether the fixed sub-mode is a “photographing” mode. Here, this determination process is called [J1004].
  • [0109]
    If the “photographing” mode is selected in the determination process, it is checked whether the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is smaller than the predetermined number of frames (n2). This determination process is called [J1005]. As a result of the determination process, if the number of remaining recordable frames is smaller than n2, the flow branches off to the determination process [J1001] to repeat the above operations.
  • [0110]
    If it is determined in the determination process [J1004] that “end” is selected, the flow returns from the subroutine 2 to end panorama photographing.
  • [0111]
    If the “photographing” mode is selected in the determination process [J1004], and if it is determined in the determination process [J1005] that the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is smaller than n2, the determination results are displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 with warning (not shown). With this arrangement, a photographer can prepare for an exchange of recording media 33.
  • [0112]
    It is checked whether the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is “0”. This determination process is called [J1006]. If it is determined in the determination process that the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is not “0”, the flow branches off to the determination process [J1001] to repeat the operations described above.
  • [0113]
    If it is determined in the determination process [J1006] that the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is “0”, the determination result is displayed with warning.
  • [0114]
    This warning display will be described below with reference to FIGS. 16C and 17C.
  • [0115]
    [0115]FIG. 16C shows a case wherein the rotating direction of the camera is set to be a direction in which the camera is rotated from the upper side to the lower side (FIG. 16A). FIG. 16 shows the following case. That is, when the capacity of the recording medium 33 becomes zero in the middle of panorama photographing of several frames, the rectangular mark and the arrow on the lower side of the screen are cleared and only the upper mark is displayed to warn a photographer that the capacity becomes zero. In this case, a panorama mark at the upper left portion of the screen, a mark “+−” at the lower left portion of the screen, and a mode display are cleared. This is because it is apparent that panorama photographing is performed, and such displays are not necessary.
  • [0116]
    [0116]FIG. 17C shows a case wherein the rotating direction of the camera is set to be right (FIG. 17A). FIG. 17C shows the following state. That is, when the capacity of the recording medium 33 becomes zero in the middle of panorama photographing of several frames, the rectangular mark and the arrow on the right side of the screen are cleared and only the left mark is displayed to display that the capacity becomes zero. In this case, for the same reason as described above, a panorama mark at the upper left portion of the screen, a mark “+−” at the lower left portion of the screen, and a mode display are cleared.
  • [0117]
    As described above, when one of the rectangular marks is cleared, it is sensuously apparent that the capacity of the recording medium 33 becomes zero, and a panorama photographing device which can be used in human engineering can be provided.
  • [0118]
    When the warning display is made, then it is checked whether the FLG1 is “0”. This determination process is called [J1007]. Although the FLG1 is described in the explanation of the subroutine 11 shown in FIG. 9, FLG1=1 represents that the number of panorama-photographed frames is so large that a spare recording medium is required as the recording medium 33, and FLG1=0 represents that the spare recording medium is not necessary.
  • [0119]
    If FLG1=1 is satisfied in the determination process [J1007], a display representing that recording media must be exchanged is made on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 with warning (not shown).
  • [0120]
    If FLG1=1 is not satisfied in the determination process [J1007], the flow returns from the subroutine 2 to end panorama photographing of one set of frames. More specifically, in this case, the determination process [J1007] serves as an inhibition means for inhibiting panorama photographing when the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is determined as “0” in the determination process [J1006].
  • [0121]
    When the photographer does not want to continue panorama photographing, if the number of remaining frames which can be recorded on the recording medium 33 is determined as “0”, the panorama photographing is forcibly inhibited, so that waste operations such as mode switching can be omitted.
  • [0122]
    It is checked whether the recording media 33 are exchanged. If it is determined that the recording media 33 are exchanged, the flow goes to the determination process [J1001] again to repeat the above operations. Predetermined identification codes respectively recorded on recording media 33 are checked to check whether the recording media 33 are exchanged. Here, when the recording media 33 are exchanged, the same file names as in the panorama photographing before the exchange, and series panorama numbers are added to the image data of frames of the next panorama photographing. In this manner, searching and editing operations for one set of panorama images after photographing can be easily performed.
  • [0123]
    If FLG1=1 is not satisfied in the determination process [J1007], the flow returns from the subroutine 2. When the flow returns from the subroutine 2, the flow returns to the main routine in FIG. 7 to end the panorama mode.
  • [0124]
    The editing mode will be described below.
  • [0125]
    If it is determined in the determination process [J701] in FIG. 7 that the “photographing” mode is not set, then it is checked whether the “editing” mode is set. This determination process is called [J702]. As a result of the determination process, if it is determined that the “editing” mode is set, the flow branches off to subroutine (subroutine 3) for performing editing.
  • [0126]
    The operation of the subroutine 3 will be described below with reference to FIGS. 11 to 14.
  • [0127]
    In the subroutine 3 shown in FIG. 11, as shown in FIG. 19, menus “erase”, “protect”, “download”, “print”, and “end” which are sub-modes of the “editing” mode which are sequentially ordered from the upper side are displayed at the upper right portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17. The “erase” is a mode for erasing predetermined image data.
  • [0128]
    The “protect” is a mode for writing information for inhibiting the predetermined image data from being written and read. The “download” is a mode for storing image information stored in the recording medium 33 in an external memory device such as the digital recorder 45. The “print” is a mode for printing the image corresponding to the image data recorded on the recording medium 33. The “end” is a mode for ending an editing operation to cause the flow to return to the main routine.
  • [0129]
    As in the above sub-mode selection, the increment switch 11 or the decrement switch 12 is operated to select a predetermined sub-mode from the sub-modes. After the predetermined sub-mode is selected, when the fixing switch 13 is pressed, the sub-mode is fixed.
  • [0130]
    It is checked whether the fixed sub-mode is the “erase” mode. This determination process is called [J301]. As a result of the determination process, if the “erase” mode is set, subroutine (subroutine 31) in this mode is executed.
  • [0131]
    The operation of the subroutine 31 will be described below with reference to the flow chart in FIG. 12.
  • [0132]
    When the “erase” mode is selected, as shown in FIG. 20A, the multi-divided image corresponding to image data recorded on the recording medium 33 is displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit 17. In FIG. 20A, the same alphabets denote one set of panorama images. The screen is divided into nine (33) small screens, and the small screens are sequentially repeatedly displayed such that, in a photographing order, the three screens of the uppermost horizontal row of the entire screen are arranged from the left, and the three screens of the second horizontal row of the entire screen are arranged from the left. The arrangement of the small screens is called a screen sequential arrangement.
  • [0133]
    Selection of the erased screen is performed. On one of the multi-divided small screens, a circular point is flickered as shown in FIG. 20A. This flickered display represents the screen corresponding to image data to be erased. When the increment switch 11 is pressed, the flickered display moves horizontally in units of small screens. In a state wherein the flickered display is located in the small screen on the right end, when the increment switch 11 is pressed, the flickered display moves to the small screen on the left end of the next row. The same operations as described above are repeated. When the decrement switch 12, the flickered display moves in the direction opposing the direction when the increment switch 11 is pressed.
  • [0134]
    The increment switch 11 is pressed, and, as shown in FIG. 20A, the flickered display is located in the small display on the right end of the lowermost row. In this case, when the increment switch 11 is pressed, as shown in FIG. 20B, the small screen shifts in the right direction. In this manner, even if an image cannot be displayed on the screen at once, the entire image recorded on the recording medium can be easily confirmed.
  • [0135]
    When a protect code (see FIG. 6) is added to the image data corresponding to the small screen selected as described above, the protect code is displayed with warning as a code representing an inhibition of erasing (not shown). In this case, if the small screen corresponding to the image data to be erased is selected, the fixing switch 13 is invalid, and the image data is forcibly inhibited from being erased.
  • [0136]
    When the screen corresponding to image data to which a protect code is not added is selected, and the image corresponding to the fixed screen partially constitutes a panorama image, warning about that the image partially constitutes a panorama image is made (not shown). The check whether the image partially constitutes a panorama image is made by identify panorama numbers (shown in FIG. 6) serving as data added to panorama images in the photographing order. The warning is made when the image is a one frame partially constituting a panorama image because the panorama image has higher relativity to another frame than that of a single image.
  • [0137]
    When the fixing switch 13 is pressed, the image corresponding to the selected small screen is erased. If the fixing switch is not pressed, the operations following the selection on the erased screen are repeated.
  • [0138]
    When the fixing switch 13 is pressed to erase the image data corresponding to the selected small screen, if the erased image data is data partially constituting a panorama image, of header information added to the image data shown in FIG. 6, the file name, panorama number, and frame number of one separated panorama image are updated.
  • [0139]
    When the number of frames constituting a panorama image separated by erasing the image data is only one, the image is not a panorama image. The panorama number is updated to a code corresponding to an ordinarily photographed frame. In this manner, a panorama image can be prevented from being erroneously recognized.
  • [0140]
    Upon completion of the above operation, the flow returns from the memory control circuit 31, and, in FIG. 11, returning to the selection of sub-mode in the “editing” mode, the same operations as described above are repeated.
  • [0141]
    In the explanation of the “erase” mode, a display having a screen sequential arrangement is used as a multi-divided display. However, the display is not limited to the display having the screen sequential arrangement. More specifically, when the image corresponding to image data recorded on the recording medium 33 is a panorama image, if the panorama image is horizontally rotated to be photographed, the panorama image is horizontally displayed at the center of the screen as shown in FIG. 21A. The direction and order of the arrangement of images constituting the panorama image are determined on the basis of the panorama number and the rotating direction which are header information shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0142]
    [0142]FIG. 21B shows a state in which the panorama image is shifted to the right by one frame by pressing the increment switch 11. When the display is made as described above, the same image as an object actually photographed is displayed. For this reason, a checking operation and an editing operation for the photographed panorama image can be easily performed advantageously.
  • [0143]
    In the above description, the case wherein in addition to the panorama image, ordinarily photographed images are displayed at once is explained. The present invention is not limited to the description, and only the panorama image may be selectively displayed.
  • [0144]
    In the subroutine 3 representing the operations in the “editing” mode, if it is determined in the determination process [J301] that the “erase” mode is not set, then it is checked whether the “protect” mode is set. This determination process is called [J302]. As a result of the determination process, if the “protect” mode is set, subroutine (subroutine 32) in this mode is executed.
  • [0145]
    This protect mode will be described below with reference to the flow chart shown in FIG. 13. In the subroutine 32 shown in FIG. 13, selection of a sub-modes is performed. The sub-modes are constituted by “setting” representing setting of the protect mode, “cancel” representing cancel of the protect mode, and “end” representing the setting/cancel of the protect mode. The selection of the sub-mode is performed by the same manner as described in the explanations of the several operations such that one of the menus displayed at the upper right portion of the liquid-crystal display unit 17 is selected as shown in FIG. 22.
  • [0146]
    In the selection of the sub-menu, if “setting” or “cancel” is selected, then setting of a protect code or selection of an image to be canceled is performed. This image selection is performed by displaying the image photographed by the liquid-crystal display unit 17 in a multi-division state in the same manner as that of the selection of an erased screen. In this case, unlike the selecting operation of the erased screen, when an image subjected to setting or cancel of the protect code is to be selected, it is checked whether a protect code is added to the selected image or whether the selected image is included in one set of panorama images, but warning is not performed.
  • [0147]
    Upon completion of the selection of the image subject to the setting or cancel of the protect code, it is checked whether the selected image is an image included in one set of panorama images. This determination process is called [J3201]. As a result of the determination process, if it is determined that the selected image is one image included in one set of panorama image, then it is checked whether the protect code is set. This determination process is called [J3202].
  • [0148]
    As a result of the determination process, if it is determined that setting of the protect code is performed, the protect codes are set to all of one set of panorama images as the header information of the image data as shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0149]
    As described above, protect modes are added to all of the panorama images when it is determined that the selected image is an image of one set of panorama images because the panorama images are processed as a whole at high probability. As a matter of course, the invention is not limited to the above description, a protect code may be singly added to even an image included in the panorama images.
  • [0150]
    As a result of the determination process [J3202], if it is determined that setting of the protect code is not performed, i.e., if it is determined that cancel of the protect code is performed, the protect codes of all of one of the panorama images are canceled. Upon completion of the above operation, the flow shifts to the selection of a sub-mode again to repeat the above operations.
  • [0151]
    If it is determined in the determination process [J3201] that the selected image is not an image of one set of panorama images, i.e., if it is determined that the selected image is an image photographed by ordinary photographing, then it is checked whether setting of a protect code is performed. This determination process is called [J3203]. As a result of the determination process, if it is determined that setting of a protect code is performed, a protect code is set to the selected image.
  • [0152]
    As a result of the determination process [J3203], if setting of the protect code is not performed, i.e., if the protect code is canceled, the protect code of the selected image is canceled. Upon completion of the above operations, the flow shifts to the selection of a sub-mode again to repeat the above operations.
  • [0153]
    If “end” is selected in the selection of a sub-mode, the flow returns from the subroutine 32.
  • [0154]
    As shown in FIG. 11, if it is determined in the determination process [J302] that the “protect” mode is not set, then it is checked whether a “download” mode is set. This determination process is celled [J303]. As a result of the determination process, if it is determined that the “download” mode is set, image information recorded on the recording medium 33 is stored in the digital recorder 45 serving as an external memory device. Upon completion of the above operations, the flow shifts to the selection of a sub-mode again to repeat the above operations.
  • [0155]
    If it is determined in the determination process [J303] that the “download” mode is not set, then it is checked whether a “print” mode is set. This determination process is called [J304]. As a result of the determination process, if it is determined that the “print” mode is set, subroutine (subroutine 33) in this mode is executed. The subroutine 33 will be described below with reference to FIG. 14.
  • [0156]
    When the flow branches off to the subroutine 33, a print image is selected. As in the “erase” mode, a photographed image is displayed in a multi-division state. As in the selection of an erased image in the “erase” mode, a print image to be printed is selected.
  • [0157]
    [0157]FIG. 23 shows a case wherein an image A2 serving as one frame of panorama images is selected. Here, if the selected image is the image of one frame of a panorama image, it is displayed that the selected image is one frame of the panorama image. In an example in FIG. 23, for this purpose, a panorama mark at the upper left of the screen is flickered.
  • [0158]
    It is checked whether the fixing switch 13 is pressed. If the fixing switch 13 is not pressed, the operation for selecting the print image is repeated. On the other hand, if the fixing switch 13 is pressed, then it is checked again whether the image is the image of one frame of the panorama image. This determination process is called [J3301]. Here, if the selected image is the image of one frame constituting the panorama image, after all of one of panorama images to which the frame belongs are printed, the flow returns from the recording medium 33.
  • [0159]
    As a result of the determination process [J3301], if it is determined the selected image is not the image of one frame of the panorama image, after the image of one selected frame is printed, the flow returns from the subroutine 33.
  • [0160]
    As described above, a predetermined image selected by the camera is printed on the basis of a command signal output from the camera. For this reason, the system can be reduced in size and cost.
  • [0161]
    As shown in FIG. 11, it is determined in the determination process [J304] that the “print” mode is not set, it is understood that “end” is set, and the flow returns from the subroutine 3.
  • [0162]
    When the flow returns from the subroutine 3, in FIG. 7, the flow shifts to the selection of a sub-mode again to repeat the above operations.
  • [0163]
    In the determination process [J702], if it is determined that the “editing mode” is not set, it is understood that “end” is set, and all executions of the panorama mode are ended.
  • [0164]
    The second embodiment of the present invention will be described below. In the following description, only arrangements and operations which are different from those of the first embodiment of the present invention will be explained.
  • [0165]
    In the first embodiment, when data corresponding to a rotating direction of the camera when panorama photographing is performed is to be recorded on the recording medium 33 as header information for each photographed image, the rotating direction of the camera is manually selected. However, in the second embodiment, as a means for setting information corresponding to the rotating direction of the camera, a means for automatically setting the information on the basis of an output signal from an angular velocity sensor for detecting the rotating angle and rotating direction of the camera body 1 is used.
  • [0166]
    The appearances of a camera serving as an electronic photographing device according to the second embodiment are the same as those in FIGS. 1 to 3. A view showing a connection state between the camera and a PC 44 in the second embodiment is the same as that shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0167]
    [0167]FIG. 24 is a block diagram showing the entire electric arrangement of the camera according to the second embodiment. The arrangement and operation of the camera will be described below.
  • [0168]
    The output terminal of an angular velocity sensor 40 is connected to the input terminal of an A/D converter 42. The output terminal of the A/D converter 42 is connected to a CPU 39.
  • [0169]
    The angular velocity sensor 40 is to detect an angular velocity obtained when the camera is rotated about an X-axis direction which is a left-right direction when the camera is viewed from an object. An analog signal representing the angular velocity detected by the angular velocity sensor 40 is converted into a digital signal at a predetermined interval of time by the A/D converter 42, and the converted digital signal is subjected to time quadrature by the CPU 39. The digital signal subjected to time quadrature corresponds to an amount of rotation of the camera body 1 about the X axis. The rotating direction is determined by checking the polarity of the analog output signal from the angular velocity sensor 40.
  • [0170]
    The output terminal of the digital recorder 41 is connected to the input terminal of an A/D converter 43. The output terminal of the A/D converter 43 is connected to the CPU 39.
  • [0171]
    When the upper-lower direction of the camera is set to be a Y-axis direction, the digital recorder 41 is to detect an angular velocity obtained when the camera is rotated about the Y-axis direction. An analog signal representing the angular velocity detected by the angular velocity sensor 41 is converted into a digital signal at a predetermined interval of time by the A/D converter 43, and the converted digital signal is subjected to time quadrature by the CPU 39. The digital signal subjected to time quadrature corresponds to an amount of rotation of the camera body 1 about the Y axis. The rotating direction is determined by checking the polarity of the analog output signal from the angular velocity sensor 41.
  • [0172]
    The operation of the camera according to the second embodiment will be described below.
  • [0173]
    As described above, the second embodiment is different from the first embodiment in only a means for recording information related to the rotating direction of the camera in the “photographing” mode on the recording medium 33. Therefore, only the different portion will be explained below in a description of the operations of the second embodiment.
  • [0174]
    In the second embodiment, in the subroutine 1 shown in FIG. 8, any operation for manually setting a direction in which the rotating angle of the camera is changed is not required. In the subroutine 1, upon completion of execution of the subroutine 11 for setting the number of panorama-photographed frames, the subroutine 2 shown in FIG. 10 is executed.
  • [0175]
    In the subroutine 2 shown in FIG. 10, as in the first embodiment, it is checked whether the first frame is photographed in panorama photographing. This determination process is called [J1001].
  • [0176]
    As a result of the determination process, if it is checked whether the release switch 10 is pressed. Here, the determination process is called [J1002].
  • [0177]
    If the release switch 10 is pressed, as in the first embodiment, predetermined photographing operations such as a photometric operation and an exposure operation are performed. However, in the second embodiment, in addition to the operations performed in the first embodiment, the time quadrature is executed to the angular velocity sensors 40 and 41 immediately after the exposure operation. On the basis of the time quadrature, the rotating angle and rotating direction of the camera after photographing (exposure) of the first frame are calculated.
  • [0178]
    As a result of the determination process [J1001], if it is determined that the first frame is photographed, i.e., if the second frame or a frame subsequent to the second frame is photographed, the rotating angle of the camera after the photographing (exposure) operation performed immediately before the photographing of the second frame or a frame subsequent to the second frame falls within an allowable range. More specifically, the rotating angle of the camera is determined on the basis of the rotating angle of the camera calculated on the basis of the result obtained by performing time quadrature to the output signal from the angular velocity sensors 40 and 41, and information such as a focal length of the photographing lens 2.
  • [0179]
    At the same time, the rotating direction is recorded as header information shown in FIG. 6. While the camera is rotated, an arrow indicating the rotating direction of the camera is flickered and displayed at the lower right portion of a liquid-crystal display unit.
  • [0180]
    [0180]FIG. 25 shows an example wherein the camera is rotated clockwise. As a result of checking whether the rotating angle of the camera falls within an allowable range, if it is determined that the rotating angle of the camera falls within the allowable range, “OK” is flickered and displayed on the liquid-crystal display unit 17 (not shown). When this flickered display is confirmed, a release operation is performed again, and the next frame is panorama-photographed in the same manner as described above.
  • [0181]
    In the second embodiment, whether the rotating angle of the camera falls within the allowable range is checked by directly calculating the rotating angle on the basis of the time quadrature of the output signals from the angular velocity sensors 40 and 41. However, the present invention is not limited to this method, and, as in the first embodiment, the rotating angle may be calculated by performing a correlation operation between the image data of photographed frames after and before the exposure operation.
  • [0182]
    In the second embodiment, an angular velocity sensor is used as a sensor for detecting the rotating direction and rotating angle of the camera. For example, as the sensor, not only the angular velocity sensor, but also an acceleration sensor may be used.
  • [0183]
    The angular velocity sensor used in the second embodiment and a sensor for detecting blurring of the camera to prevent the camera from blurring are used, so that a cost/performance ratio may be increased.
  • [0184]
    According to the second embodiment of the present invention described above, information related to a rotating direction of panorama photographing can be recorded on the recording medium 33 with a simple operation. In addition, since the rotating angle of the camera can be correctly known, everybody can easily perform panorama photographing with a simple operation.
  • [0185]
    In each of the first and second embodiments, when the data corresponding to the rotating direction of the camera in panorama photographing is to be recorded on the recording medium 33 as header information for each photographed image, information related to the rotating direction is manually set or automatically an angular velocity sensor. The rotating direction is not limited to the above-described direction, and the rotating direction may be set to be a predetermined direction, e.g., a closing direction of a tripod screw for fixing the camera.
  • [0186]
    As has been described above according to the embodiments of the present invention, on a display screen arranged on the same camera as that used in panorama photographing, the photographed panorama image can be easily reproduced in an appropriate arrangement and an appropriate arrangement direction.
  • [0187]
    In this invention, it is apparent that working modes different in a wide range can be formed on this basis of this invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. This invention is not restricted by any specific embodiment expect being limited by the appended claims.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US7639300 *Dec 29, 2009Panasonic CorporationImaging device, display controller, and display apparatus
US7961242Jun 14, 2011Panasonic CorporationImaging device, display controller, and display apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification348/36
International ClassificationG03B19/02, H04N5/225, G03B17/24, H04N1/21, G03B17/18
Cooperative ClassificationH04N2201/3277, H04N1/2125, H04N1/0044, H04N2201/3226, H04N2201/3253, H04N1/2112, H04N2201/218, H04N2201/3252, H04N1/215, H04N1/00453, H04N2201/3247, H04N2201/3254, H04N2101/00, H04N2201/3214, H04N1/00442, H04N1/32128
European ClassificationH04N1/00D3D4M, H04N1/00D3D4M2, H04N1/00D3D4, H04N1/21B3D, H04N1/21B3G, H04N1/21B3, H04N1/32C17
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 11, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: OLYMPUS OPTICAL CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TOYOFUKU, TOSHIYUKI;YAMASAKI, MASAFUMI;DOTSUBO, NOBUHIDE;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:009247/0093
Effective date: 19980527
Owner name: SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TOYOFUKU, TOSHIYUKI;YAMASAKI, MASAFUMI;DOTSUBO, NOBUHIDE;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:009247/0093
Effective date: 19980527
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Mar 18, 2014ASAssignment
Owner name: XACTI CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD.;REEL/FRAME:032462/0232
Effective date: 20140305