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12-25-2015, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Ricoh patent: Sensor AF using subpixel pattern

This patent appeared today on a Japanese website. Following on from a few other patents, it's a further indication that Ricoh is looking at alternative AF systems for their cameras. There isn't much description here, but it looks like if has something to do with splitting each pixel, perhaps similarly to what Canon is doing with they dual pixel AF.

Here's the Japanese original
Ricoh ?????AF?????????????So-net???

And the page Google translated
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://egami.blog.so-ne...25&prev=search

12-25-2015, 12:05 PM   #2
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Does this mean... video AF will finally improve to halfway decent? Wow!
12-25-2015, 03:20 PM   #3
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After reading the english version, I understand that they are designing a new Bayer pattern... They discuss about peripheric color problems, saying that it should be OK thanks to the telecentric properties of SLR lenses (I think that the peripheric problems here are both coloured vignetting and crosstalk due to important chief ray angle). I don't really see anything clear about autofocus...

Another interesting thing is that they are discussing of a 80years milestone camera... From the translated english it seems that a new camera is coming, is there any japanese speaker to give us a confirmation ?
12-25-2015, 08:10 PM   #4
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I agree that it doesn't mention in the text how this helps with AF specifically, but the title translates as "Patent of image surface phase difference AF", so I guess that is the main objective of this patent.

I think the comments about it being possible that it will be included in the upcoming FF camera, and that Ricoh plans something to celebrate their 80th anniversary are just speculation on the part of the blogger and not any kind of inside information.

Clearly an obstacle to doing this is that it would require a custom sensor to be made for them. Its not impossible, but a big departure from what either Ricoh or Pentax have done in the past. However, when you think about it, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica and Fujifilm all have custom sensors made for their high-end models, and on-sensor PDAF is now used by most manufacturers on some of their models - mostly mirrorless, but Canon does on some DSLRs. So in fact, commissioning custom sensors is fairly normal practice in the industry.

12-29-2015, 06:09 PM   #5
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The patent text is available.
"By the present invention, even if it does not provide separately a pixel an object for imaging, and for phase difference detection, a picture signal for imaging and a picture signal for phase difference detection are acquired, and moreover, a photoelectric conversion part in a picture element unit comprises several different filters.
Therefore, even if it does not perform a complicated image processing in particular, reduction of color moire is possible."

"The proposal of the image sensor which mounts a micro lens for every repeating unit of the color filter of a Bayer array is made as a method of reducing color moire, without using for a Patent document 3 the optical low pass filter in the image sensor which has a color filter of a Bayer array. "

"An object of the present invention is to provide the imaging device and image sensor which can reduce color moire, while outputting both the picture signal for imaging, and the picture signal for phase difference detection in view of the above-mentioned problem using the image sensor for imaging an object. "

https://www4.j-platpat.inpit.go.jp/eng/translation/2015122921584202325093284...AAF0D079292379
12-30-2015, 02:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The patent text is available.
"By the present invention, even if it does not provide separately a pixel an object for imaging, and for phase difference detection, a picture signal for imaging and a picture signal for phase difference detection are acquired, and moreover, a photoelectric conversion part in a picture element unit comprises several different filters.
Therefore, even if it does not perform a complicated image processing in particular, reduction of color moire is possible."

"The proposal of the image sensor which mounts a micro lens for every repeating unit of the color filter of a Bayer array is made as a method of reducing color moire, without using for a Patent document 3 the optical low pass filter in the image sensor which has a color filter of a Bayer array. "

"An object of the present invention is to provide the imaging device and image sensor which can reduce color moire, while outputting both the picture signal for imaging, and the picture signal for phase difference detection in view of the above-mentioned problem using the image sensor for imaging an object. "

https://www4.j-platpat.inpit.go.jp/eng/translation/2015122921584202325093284...AAF0D079292379
Sounds like a mirrorless sensor, but could also be used in a dslr.
Brian
12-30-2015, 10:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianL Quote
Sounds like a mirrorless sensor, but could also be used in a dslr.
Technology which is good for MILC is also good for DSLR, because it avoids the silly front/back focus issues.
12-30-2015, 10:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Technology which is good for MILC is also good for DSLR, because it avoids the silly front/back focus issues.
It will help for slow moving objects, not sure it helps with high speed motion.
Brian

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