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06-29-2015, 10:09 AM   #1
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Let's talk about patents: US5485242 and US5382997 (Hyper-Program)

There are a surprising number of patents covering the devices we use every day—and digital cameras are no exception. This thread is part of a series discussing patents covering various technologies in Pentax and Ricoh cameras. You might be surprised about the technologies covered.

The patent I'll be discussing in this thread covers the Hyper-Program control system introduced in the Pentax Z-1 35mm film SLR. This feature is present in essentially every Pentax SLR camera with two control dials since, and is a cornerstone of the Pentax user experience today.

The relevant patent is US5485242, Exposure control apparatus of camera. Among other things, it covers a light metering system coupled to a means of setting the shutter speed and aperture (including electronic dials), with the exposure mode automatically changing to Tv or Av when the shutter speed or aperture is adjusted, respectively, and a means of returning to program mode, such as by pressing a button (the familiar Green button). It also covers exposure compensation and a means of resetting the exposure compensation to 0 within the Hyper-Program framework (claims 15 to 28) and associated indicators for the current exposure mode (claims 29 to 42). A related, earlier patent also covering Hyper-Program, albeit less comprehensively, is US5382997.

These patents are now expired, but it's interesting to see the patents describing Hyper-Program in the first place.

Questions, thoughts, or comments?


Last edited by bwDraco; 06-29-2015 at 11:19 AM.
06-29-2015, 11:29 PM   #2
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One has to wonder why since they have expired that other mfg have not implemented this functionality which is often commented on in camera reviews as being such a great feature ?

For various reasons a bought another brand for a specific job and was surprised how I initially missed that button

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