JP2012163588A - Imaging device - Google Patents

Imaging device Download PDF

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JP2012163588A
JP2012163588A JP2011021493A JP2011021493A JP2012163588A JP 2012163588 A JP2012163588 A JP 2012163588A JP 2011021493 A JP2011021493 A JP 2011021493A JP 2011021493 A JP2011021493 A JP 2011021493A JP 2012163588 A JP2012163588 A JP 2012163588A
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focusing
af
mode
subject
focus mode
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JP2011021493A
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JP5883564B2 (en
Inventor
Keiji Kunishige
恵二 国重
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Olympus Imaging Corp
オリンパスイメージング株式会社
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Abstract

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide an imaging device that does not cause deterioration of performance even when continuous focusing and tracking AF is performed to a subject.SOLUTION: The imaging device includes a first focusing mode in which the subject is repetitively focused (S17 Yes → S27), a second focusing mode in which the subject is focused only once in response to an AF start switch (S11 Yes → S17 → S21 → S25 → S27), and a third focusing mode in which an eye is automatically focused (S21 → S25 → S27). When the first focusing mode is selected, the third focusing mode is inhibited.

Description

  The present invention relates to an imaging apparatus, and more particularly to an imaging apparatus such as a camera that can automatically focus on the subject's eyes when the subject is photographed.

  2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, an imaging device such as a camera is equipped with an automatic focus adjustment device, and the photographing lens is automatically adjusted so that the subject is in focus. In recent years, face AF is generally performed in which a face in a subject is detected and focus adjustment is performed so that the contrast is highest at the position of the face.

  However, since this face AF focuses on the entire face, if you want to focus on the eyes, you have to cancel the face AF and adjust manually to focus on the eyes. It was. Therefore, a focus adjustment device (hereinafter referred to as eye detection AF) that automatically focuses on the eyes without releasing the face AF has been proposed (see Patent Document 1).

JP 2001-215403 A

  However, in the eye detection AF, the time of 100 ms to 150 ms is used as the time for organ detection processing for detecting eyes in addition to the conventional focusing time and the short distance determination processing for detecting the nearer eye among the left and right eyes. Cost. For this reason, in the C-AF mode in which focusing is continuously performed following the movement of the subject, if the eye detection AF is executed, the movement of the subject cannot be tracked due to the time delay, and the focusing performance is deteriorated. Resulting in.

  In addition, when the eye detection AF is used for tracking AF or C-AF that automatically tracks a moving subject, the AF frame used by the eye detection AF is very small, so even if the user slightly shakes the camera, the tracking subject If you lose sight or detect areas with no contrast, you will easily lose sight of the focus. In addition, the tracking performance of the subject deteriorates because the subject's eyes become too small due to zooming and cannot be detected.

  The present invention has been made in view of such circumstances, and an object of the present invention is to provide an imaging apparatus that does not deteriorate in performance even when a subject is continuously focused and tracking AF is performed. To do.

  In order to achieve the above object, an image pickup apparatus according to a first aspect of the present invention provides a first focusing mode execution means for executing a first focusing mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject, and once on a subject in response to an AF start switch. Second focusing mode execution means for executing the second focusing mode for focusing only, third focusing mode execution means for executing the third focusing mode for automatically focusing on the eyes, and the third focusing mode. Permission / prohibition means for permitting / prohibiting operation in the focus mode, and the permission / prohibition means prohibits the third focus mode when the first focus mode is selected.

  An image pickup apparatus according to a second aspect of the invention includes first focusing mode execution means for executing a first focusing mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject, and second focusing on the subject only once in response to an AF start switch. Permits operation of the second focus mode executing means for executing the focus mode, third focus mode executing means for executing the third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes, and operation of the first focus mode. A permission / prohibition means for prohibiting, and the permission / prohibition means prohibits the first focusing mode when the third focusing mode is selected.

  An image pickup apparatus according to a third aspect of the invention includes a first switch for starting a focusing operation, a second switch for starting still image shooting, and a first focusing for repeatedly focusing on a subject in response to the first switch. First focus mode execution means for executing the mode, second focus mode execution means for executing the second focus mode for focusing only once in response to the first switch, and automatically focusing on the eyes And a third focus mode execution means for executing a third focus mode for adjusting the first focus mode, and when the first focus mode and the third focus mode are selected, respond to the second switch. To activate the third focusing mode.

  The image pickup apparatus according to a fourth aspect of the present invention further comprises release priority setting means for prioritizing the photographing operation by the focusing operation, and the release priority is set by the release priority setting means. In this case, the third focusing mode is not activated in response to the second switch.

  An image pickup apparatus according to a fifth aspect of the invention includes first focusing mode execution means for executing a first focusing mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject, and second for focusing on the subject only once in response to an AF start switch. A second focus mode executing means for executing the focus mode, a third focus mode executing means for executing the third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes, and a face for detecting the size of the face of the subject. Size detection means, face organ detection means for detecting the facial organ of the subject, and face organ detection permission / prohibition means for permitting / prohibiting the detection of the face organ, the face organ detection permission The prohibiting means prohibits the facial organ detection when the size of the detected face is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value, and makes the predetermined value differ depending on the first focusing mode and the second focusing mode.

An imaging apparatus according to a sixth aspect of the invention includes first focusing mode execution means for executing a first focusing mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject, and second for focusing on the subject only once in response to an AF start switch. Permits operation of the second focusing mode executing means for executing the focusing mode, third focusing mode executing means for executing the third focusing mode for automatically focusing on the eyes, and operation of the third focusing mode. A permission / prohibition means for prohibiting, and a motion amount detection means for detecting the amount of motion of the subject, and the permission / prohibition means is configured to perform the third operation when the detected motion amount is a predetermined value or more. The operation in the focus mode is prohibited.
In the imaging device according to a seventh aspect based on the sixth aspect, the amount of movement is a change in position of the subject in the X, Y, and Z directions.

  According to the present invention, it is possible to provide an imaging apparatus in which the performance is not deteriorated even when the subject is continuously focused and tracking AF is performed.

It is a block diagram which shows mainly an electrical structure of the camera concerning 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is the external appearance perspective view seen from the back side of the camera concerning 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the main operation | movement of the camera concerning 1st Embodiment of this invention. 3 is a flowchart showing an operation of selecting an eye AF frame of the camera according to the first embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure which shows the display of the frame of a face at the time of detecting an eye in the camera concerning 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure which shows switching an eye AF frame in the camera concerning 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure explaining how to select an eye AF frame in the camera according to the first embodiment of the present invention. It is a flowchart which shows the modification of the main operation | movement of the camera concerning 1st Embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows operation | movement of the eye detection AF = on of the camera concerning 2nd Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure which shows the auto-focus flag and eye detection AF flag of the camera concerning 2nd Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure which shows the autofocus mode and focus mode of the camera concerning 2nd Embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the main operation | movement of the camera concerning 3rd Embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the main operation | movement of the camera concerning 4th Embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the main operation | movement of the camera concerning 5th Embodiment of this invention.

  Hereinafter, a preferred embodiment will be described using a camera to which the present invention is applied according to the drawings. A camera according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is a digital camera, and includes an imaging unit. The imaging unit converts the subject image into image data. Based on the converted image data, the subject image is converted to the main body. Live view display is performed on the display unit 115 arranged on the back surface. The photographer determines the composition and the photo opportunity by observing the live view display. At the time of the first release, when a subject is included in a subject, automatic focusing of the photographic lens is performed so that the eyes or face of the person is in focus. During the 2nd release, the image data is recorded on the recording medium (external memory 114). The image data recorded on the recording medium can be reproduced and displayed on the display unit 115 when the reproduction mode is selected.

  FIG. 1 is a block diagram mainly showing an electrical configuration of a camera 100 according to the first embodiment of the present invention. An aperture mechanism 103, a shutter 105, and an image sensor 107 are disposed on the optical axis of the photographing lens 101. The output of the image sensor 107 is connected to the A / D converter 109, and the output of the A / D converter 109 is connected to the memory 110. The memory 110 is connected to the image processing unit 111 and the system control unit 116.

  The system control unit 116 includes an imaging control unit 108, a shutter control unit 106, an aperture control unit 104, a lens control unit 102, an exposure control unit 112, an AF processing unit 113, a flash control unit 121, a nonvolatile memory 118, and an external memory 114. The display unit 115, the operation unit 117, and the power control unit 120 are connected to each other. The above-described imaging control unit 108 is connected to the imaging element 107, the shutter control unit 106 is connected to the shutter 105, the aperture control unit 104 is connected to the aperture 103, and the lens control unit 102 is the imaging lens 101. It is connected to the. The power control unit 120 is connected to the power supply unit 119, and the flash control unit 121 is connected to the flash charging unit 122 and the flash light emitting unit 123, respectively.

  The photographing lens 101 is an optical system for condensing a subject light beam on the image sensor 107 and forming a subject image. The photographing lens 101 is moved in the optical axis direction by the lens control unit 102 that operates in response to an instruction from the system control unit 116, and the focus state changes. The diaphragm mechanism 103 adjusts the incident amount of the subject light beam incident on the image sensor 107 via the photographing lens 101. The aperture amount of the aperture mechanism 103 is controlled by the aperture controller 104 that operates in accordance with an instruction from the system controller 116.

  The shutter 105 opens and closes the light flux of the subject image formed by the photographing lens 101, and includes a known lens shutter, a focal plane shutter, and the like. The shutter opening time (shutter speed value) of the shutter 105 is controlled by the shutter control unit 106 that operates in accordance with an instruction from the system control unit 116.

  The image sensor 107 is a two-dimensional solid-state image sensor such as a CMOS image sensor or a CCD image sensor. A Bayer array color filter arranged on the front surface and a photoelectric sensor such as a photodiode array corresponding to the color filter. It is composed of a conversion element. An imaging region is configured by a pixel group including each color filter and a corresponding photoelectric conversion element. The image sensor 107 receives the light collected by the photographing lens 101 by each pixel and converts it into a photocurrent, accumulates this photocurrent in a capacitor, and sends it to the A / D converter 109 as an analog voltage signal (image signal). Output. The imaging control unit 108 controls the operation of the imaging element 107 in accordance with an instruction from the system control unit 116.

  The A / D conversion unit 109 converts an analog voltage signal (image signal) output from the image sensor 107 into a digital image signal (image data). The memory 110 is a storage unit that temporarily stores various data such as image data obtained by the A / D conversion unit 109 and image data processed by the image processing unit 111. In this specification, as long as the signal is based on the image signal output from the image sensor 107, the image includes not only the signal A / D converted by the A / D converter 109 but also the image processed signal. Sometimes referred to as data.

  The image processing unit 111 reads out image data temporarily stored in the memory 110 and performs image processing such as white balance correction processing, synchronization processing, and color conversion processing on the image data. The image processing unit 111 functions as a face detection unit, and detects a face from the subject based on the image data. When a face is detected, the position and size of the face are also detected. The image processing unit 111 also functions as a face organ detection unit, and detects organs in the face such as eyes, nose, and mouth. When organs such as eyes are detected here, their positions, sizes, etc. are also detected, the face orientation is also detected based on the positions of these organs, etc., and it also functions as a face size detecting means. Further, the image processing unit 111 performs image compression when recording in the external memory 114 described later, and decompresses the compressed image data read from the external memory 114.

  The exposure control unit 112 calculates subject brightness (brightness of the scene including the subject) using the image data temporarily stored in the memory 110. Of course, the subject brightness may be calculated using a dedicated photometric sensor.

  An AF (Auto Focus) processing unit 113 extracts a high-frequency component from image data temporarily stored in the memory 110, and acquires a contrast value by integration processing. Based on the contrast value, the system control unit 116 performs drive control through the lens control unit 102 so that the photographing lens 101 is in the in-focus position. In obtaining the contrast value, the entire screen can be obtained, but the contrast value can also be obtained based on the image data corresponding to the set AF frame.

  The operation unit 117 includes a power button 117a, a release button 117b, a shooting mode dial 117c, a moving image button 117d, a function button 117e, a cross button 117f, an OK button 117g, a focus mode setting button 117h, and an autofocus setting button as shown in FIG. 117i, operation members such as menu buttons and various input keys are included. When the user operates one of the operation members of the operation unit 117, the system control unit 116 executes various sequences according to the user's operation.

  The power button 117a in the operation unit 117 is an operation member for instructing the power on / off of the camera 100. The system control unit 116 is turned on when the power button 117a is pressed, and the power is turned off when the power button 117a is pressed again. .

  The release button 117b has a two-stage switch of a 1st release switch (functioning as an AF start switch or a first switch) and a 2nd release switch (functioning as a second switch). When the release button 117b is half-pressed, the 1st release switch is turned on. When the release button 117b is further pressed halfway and fully pressed, the 2nd release switch is turned on. When the 1st release switch is turned on, the system control unit 116 executes a shooting preparation sequence such as AE processing and AF processing. When the 2nd release switch is turned on, the system control unit 116 executes a still image shooting sequence to perform shooting.

  The focus mode setting button 117h in the operation unit 117 includes single AF (S-AF), single AF and manual focus (S-AF + MF), continuous AF (C-AF), continuous AF and manual focus ( This is a setting button for setting any one of (C-AF + MF), continuous AF, tracking AF (C-AF + Tr), and manual focus. Each time the focus mode setting button 117h is operated, the mode is cyclically changed.

  Here, when single AF is set, when the release button 117b is half-pressed, automatic focusing is performed only once by the AF processing unit 113 or the like. When the continuous AF is set, the automatic focusing is repeatedly performed by the AF processing unit 113 and the like when the release button 117b is half-pressed. When tracking AF is set, the subject that is stored when the release button 117b is half-pressed is tracked, and automatic focus adjustment is performed on the tracked subject. When manual focus is set, manual focus adjustment is performed according to the amount of operation of the focus ring provided on the outer periphery of the interchangeable lens 20 (see FIG. 2).

  The autofocus setting button 117i in the operation unit 117 is one of the cross buttons 117f, but functions as an autofocus setting button when it does not function as the cross button 117f. The autofocus setting button 117i is a button for setting a target for automatic focus detection. In this embodiment, the face AF, the face + eye AF, the all target AF, and the single target AF are sequentially selected each time the operation is performed. Set to click.

  When the face AF is set, automatic focus adjustment is performed so that the face detected by the image processing unit 111 is in focus. When face + eye AF is set, automatic focus adjustment is performed so that the eye detected by the image processing unit 111 is further focused on the eyes detected by the face organ detection. When the all target AF is set, a subject, for example, a subject at a short distance is selected from the entire imaging screen, and automatic focus adjustment is performed so that the subject is in focus. When single target AF is set, automatic focus adjustment is performed so that the subject in the center of the captured image plane is in focus.

  The system control unit 116 includes an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) including a CPU (Central Processing Unit) and the like, and the camera 100 such as the imaging control unit 108 and the flash control unit 121. Centrally control various sequences.

  Further, the system control unit 116 cooperates with the AF processing unit 113, the lens control unit 102, the image processing unit 111, and the like, so that the first focusing mode execution unit, the second focusing mode execution unit, and the third focusing unit. It also functions as a mode execution means. Here, the first focus mode execution means executes a first focus mode for repeatedly focusing on the subject, and the second focus mode execution means focuses on the subject only once in response to the AF start switch. The second focusing mode for matching is executed. The third focusing mode execution means executes the above-described eye detection AF, that is, the third focusing mode for automatically focusing on the eyes. The system control unit 116 also functions as a permission / prohibition unit that permits and / or prohibits the operation in the third focusing mode. In the present embodiment, when the first focusing mode is selected, execution of the third focusing mode is prohibited.

  The external memory 114 is, for example, a recording medium that can be attached to and detached from the camera body, and records the image data compressed by the image processing unit 111 and its associated data. The recorded image data is read out and reproduced and displayed on the display unit 115. The recording medium for recording image data or the like is not limited to an external memory that can be attached to and detached from the camera body, but may be a recording medium such as a hard disk built in the camera body.

  The display unit 115 includes a liquid crystal monitor 115a (see FIG. 2) disposed on the back surface of the camera body and the like, and performs live view display based on image data. In addition, the display unit 115 reproduces and displays the captured image recorded in the external memory 114, and further displays a menu screen for setting an exposure control value and the like and setting a shooting mode and the like. In addition, as long as it can display an image etc., not only a liquid crystal monitor but a display, such as organic EL, may be used.

  The nonvolatile memory 118 is an electrically rewritable nonvolatile memory, and stores various parameters necessary for the operation of the camera 100. The nonvolatile memory 118 also stores a program executed by the system control unit 116. The system control unit 116 reads parameters stored in the non-volatile memory 118 according to a program stored in the non-volatile memory 118, and executes various sequences.

  The power supply unit 119 supplies power necessary for the operation of each unit of the camera 100, and is configured by a power supply battery such as a secondary battery, for example. The power supply control unit 120 controls the power supply unit 119 such as detection of a power supply voltage and a remaining amount of a battery constituting the power supply unit 119.

  The flash control unit 121 controls the charging operation in the flash charging unit 122 and the light emitting operation in the flash light emitting unit 123 according to an instruction from the system control unit 116. The flash charging unit 122 includes a booster circuit that boosts the power supply voltage of the power supply unit 119 and a capacitor that stores energy using the boosted voltage. The flash charging unit 122 stores energy necessary for the flash light emitting unit 123 to emit light. . The flash light-emitting unit 123 includes, for example, a light-emitting tube such as a xenon (Xe) tube and a reflector, and the energy stored in the capacitor of the flash charging unit 122 when the light-emission instruction is received from the flash control unit 121. Use to emit light.

  Next, the appearance of the camera 100 according to the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 2 is an external view of the camera 100 as seen from the back side. The interchangeable lens 20 is attached to the camera body 10. On the upper surface of the camera body 10, a power button 117a, a release button 117b, and a shooting mode dial 117c are arranged.

  In addition, a liquid crystal monitor 115a is disposed on the back of the camera body 10, thereby performing various displays such as live view display of a subject image, menu screen display, and playback display of a recorded image. A moving image button 117d, a function button 117e, and a focus mode setting button 117h are arranged on the upper right side of the rear surface of the camera body 10, and a cross button 117g and an OK button 117f are arranged below these buttons. Has been. The cross button 117g moves the cursor on the menu screen or the like displayed on the liquid crystal monitor 115a, and can confirm the item selected by the cursor by pressing the OK button 117f. The left key of the cross button 117g also serves as the autofocus mode setting button 117i.

  Next, the operation of the camera 100 in the present embodiment will be described using the flowchart shown in FIG. This flow and each flow described later are executed by the system control unit 116 in accordance with a program stored in the nonvolatile memory 118. The flow shown in FIG. 3 is a main routine operation. This main routine starts executing when the power button 117a of the operation unit 117 is turned on.

  When the operation of the main routine is started, live view display is first performed (S1). In live view display, an image signal output from the image sensor 107 is subjected to image processing for live view display by the image processing unit 111, and the processed image data is displayed on the liquid crystal monitor 115 a of the display unit 115. The photographer looks at this live view display, determines the composition of the still image or moving image, and determines the shutter timing.

  If live view display is performed, then face detection is performed (S3). In this step, the image processing unit 111 uses the image data to detect whether a face is included in the subject image by various methods such as a matching method and a face color.

  If the result of determination in step S3 is that face detection can be performed, then face frame display is performed (S5). For example, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the face frame is displayed on the subject image displayed on the liquid crystal monitor 115a as to the face portions of the subject, such as the face frames 30a and 31a to 31d. This is done by superimposing a white frame. Note that the face frame is not limited to the white frame as long as it displays the face portion, and other display methods may be used.

  If the face frame is displayed in step S5 or if the result of determination in step S3 is that a face has not been detected, it is next determined whether or not a first release operation has been performed (S11). Here, it is determined whether or not the release button 117b of the operation unit 117 is half-pressed and the 1st release switch is turned on. If the result of this determination is that the first release operation has not been performed, processing returns to step S1 and live view display or the like is executed. When the first release operation is performed, tracking AF starts. The tracking AF does not appear in the flow shown in FIG. 3, but continues to focus on the tracking subject while tracking the subject selected during the first release operation.

  If the result of determination in step S11 is that the first release operation has been made, the maximum face AF frame is selected (S13). Here, the face having the maximum size is selected from the faces detected in the face detection in step S3, and the face AF frame is superimposed on the subject image. For example, as shown in FIG. 6A, when a plurality of face frames 31a to 31d are detected, the detected largest face is detected and this face is selected as a face AF frame. It may be possible to identify the face frame 31a selected as the selected face AF frame by changing the color of the frame so that the face frame 31a can be distinguished.

  If the maximum face AF frame is selected in step S13, then the focus mode is determined (S17). Since the focus mode flag is set by operating the focus mode setting button 117h, this step is determined based on the set focus mode flag.

  If the result of determination in step S17 is that the focus mode is single AF (S-AF), then face organ detection is performed (S21). In this step, based on the image data from the image sensor 107, the image processing unit 111 detects a facial organ of a person's face, that is, eyes, nose, mouth, and the like in the subject.

  If face organ detection is performed in step S21, it is next determined whether or not the size of the eyes is larger than a predetermined value (S23). Here, it is determined whether or not the largest face eye selected in step S13 is larger than a predetermined value. It may be determined whether the larger (closer) size of the left and right eyes is larger than a predetermined value. For example, the size of the eyes may be the distance between the eyes and the eyes as shown in FIG. Alternatively, the determination may be made based on the diameter of the black eye (pupil).

  As the predetermined value used for the determination in step S23, a value that increases the focus change, that is, the degree of blurring at a distance of about the depth of the face (about 10 cm) may be used as a fixed value. In addition, since the degree of defocusing varies depending on the focal length of the lens, the distance from the camera to the face, the aperture value, etc., instead of using a fixed value, it is calculated based on these values to determine a predetermined value. May be.

  If the result of determination in step S23 is that the eye size is greater than a predetermined value, then an eye AF frame is selected (S25). Since the eye size is larger than the predetermined value, in this step, the eye AF frame is set so that the eye portion is in focus. In practice, it is preferable to set the predetermined value so that it can be detected whether the face size is equal to or larger than the bust-up shooting so that the eye AF frame does not become too small. Further, when displaying the eye AF frame, these aspect ratios may be different so that the distinction between the eye AF frame and the face AF frame can be seen at a glance. Usually, since the face frame is shown as a square, the eye frame should be a horizontally long rectangle. The detailed operation of setting the eye AF frame will be described later with reference to FIGS.

  When the eye AF frame is selected in step S25, or the result of determination in step S17 is continuous AF (C-AF) or tracking AF, or the result of determination in step S23 is that the eye size is a predetermined value If it is smaller, contrast AF is performed (S27). Here, using the eye AF frame selected in step S25 or the image data in the maximum face AF frame selected in step 13, the AF processing unit 113 acquires a contrast value obtained by integrating the high-frequency components of the image data. . The system control unit 116 moves the photographing lens 101 through the lens control unit 102 so that the contrast value becomes a peak value, and performs focus adjustment control.

  Once contrast AF has been performed, photometry is then performed (S29). Here, the subject brightness is obtained using the image data of the portion where the eye AF frame or the maximum face AF frame is selected. Since the entire face may be desired to be properly exposed, even when the eye AF frame is selected, the image data of the face frame portion of the face with the eye AF frame selected is used as the photometric value. Thus, the subject brightness may be obtained.

  Once photometry is performed, exposure calculation is then performed (S31). Using the subject brightness obtained in step S29, the system control unit 116 calculates an exposure control value such as a shutter speed, an aperture value, and an ISO sensitivity for appropriate exposure by apex calculation or table reference.

  Once the exposure calculation has been performed, it is next determined whether or not the first release operation is continuing (S33). If the release button 117b is half-pressed in step S11, the process proceeds to step S13 and subsequent steps, but it is also determined whether the release button 117b is half-pressed at the time of determination in step S33. If the result of this determination is that the first release operation has not been continued, the process returns to step S1 because the hand has left the release button 117b.

  On the other hand, if the result of determination in step S33 is that the 1st release operation has continued, it is next determined whether or not a 2nd release operation has been performed (S35). Here, it is determined whether or not the release button 117b of the operation unit 117 is fully pressed and the 2nd release switch is turned on. If the 2nd release operation has not been performed as a result of this determination, the focus mode is determined next in the same manner as in step S17 (S37).

  If the result of determination in step S37 is that the focus mode is continuous AF (C-AF), processing returns to step S13. As a result, face detection is performed again, the maximum face AF frame is selected, face organ detection is performed, and if the eye size is larger than a predetermined value, the eye AF frame is set to the eye and the focus is adjusted by contrast AF. I do. In this way, if the focus mode is set to C-AF, the eye of the largest face is always kept in focus.

  If the result of determination in step S37 is that the focus mode is tracking AF, processing returns to step S27. The tracking AF starts from the time when the first release operation is performed in step S11, tracks the subject, and continues focusing on the tracked subject in step S27. That is, the tracking target is determined and held by selecting the maximum face AF frame in step S13.

  If the result of determination in step S37 is that the focus mode is single AF (S-AF), processing returns to step S33. Since single AF is a mode in which AF operation is performed only once, no new AF or photometry is performed.

  If the result of determination in step S35 is that a 2nd release operation has been made, still image shooting is carried out (S51). Here, image data of a still image from the image sensor 107 is acquired, and after image processing by the image processing unit 111, recording is performed in the external memory 114. When the still image shooting is completed, the process returns to step S1.

  Next, the eye AF frame selection in step S25 in the main flow shown in FIG. 3 will be described with reference to FIGS. When the eye AF frame selection flow shown in FIG. 4 is entered, first, the distance between the eyes of the left eye and the eyes is set to L (S61), and the distance between the eyes of the right eye and the eyes is set to R ( S63). Here, based on the image data, the image processing unit 111 detects the position of the eyelid and the position of the head of the eye, and obtains between the detected positions.

  Subsequently, it is determined whether L is larger than R (S65). Here, the distance L between the eyes of the left eye obtained in step S61 and the distance R between the eyes of the right eye are compared. If the result of this determination is that L is greater than R, the left-eye AF frame is selected (S67). On the other hand, if the determination result L is not greater than R, the right-eye AF frame is selected (S69).

  In the example shown in FIG. 7A, the right-eye eye-to-eye distance 201R is larger than the left-eye eye-to-eye distance 201L, so the right-eye AF frame is selected. Further, in the example shown in FIG. 7B, since the distance between the right eye's head distance 202R and the distance between the left eye's head distance 202L is substantially the same, the determination in step S105 is No, and the right eye AF frame is directed toward. Is selected.

  In the eye AF frame selection flow in the present embodiment, when both distances are substantially equal, the right eye AF frame is selected. However, since either eye is selected, there is no significant difference. May be selected. Furthermore, although not shown, it is also possible to designate a distance measuring area for both the left and right eyes and to focus on the calculation results of both areas. When the AF frame is selected in step S67 or S69, the process returns to the original flow.

  As described above, in the flow of selecting the eye AF frame in the present embodiment, the AF frame is selected by using the organ detection of the face and the distance between the eyes and the distance between the eyes. Some face detection is performed using an organ detection function in the face such as eyes, nose and mouth, although it is not common. In this case, also in this flow, since the information on the eyes and the eyes detected when the eyes are detected can be used as they are, a quick process is possible. In addition, since the eye with the longer distance between the eyes is generally on the near side, the eye on the side closer to the camera can be easily detected.

  Note that the eye AF frame selection is not limited to the use of the eyes and the distance between the eyes as shown in the present embodiment. For example, the left and right pupil diameters are detected and selected from the magnitude relationship, and the face orientation is detected. Of course, other methods such as a selection method and a selection method based on the magnitude relationship of the distance between the left and right eyes from the center of the screen may be used.

  As described above, in the first embodiment of the present invention, the first focus mode (continuous AF mode or tracking AF mode) for repeatedly focusing on the subject and the subject in response to the 1st release switch. Three focusing modes: a second focusing mode (single AF mode) that focuses only once, a third focusing mode that automatically focuses on eyes (eye detection AF, S25 → S27 in FIG. 3). When the first focusing mode is selected, the third focusing mode is prohibited (proceeds from S17 to S27 in FIG. 3 and S21 to S25 are not executed). That is, in the first embodiment, when the continuous AF mode or the tracking AF (first focus mode) is set, the eye detection AF is not executed (the third focus mode is prohibited). For this reason, even when the subject is continuously focused, the performance does not deteriorate.

  In this embodiment, when the focus mode is determined in step S17 and the first focus mode such as continuous AF or tracking AF is selected, the eye detection AF (third focus mode) is selected. Execution was prohibited. However, when selecting the focus mode, it is allowed to select both the second focus mode and the third focus mode, but when the first focus mode is selected, the third focus mode is selected. The selection may be prohibited.

  Next, a modification of the main flow of the first embodiment will be described with reference to FIG. In the first embodiment, when continuous AF (C-AF) or tracking AF is set, the eye detection AF is performed once during the first release operation (half-press of the release button 117b). Never did. On the other hand, in the modified example of the first embodiment, the first detection AF is performed only for the first time during the first release operation.

  Compared with the main flow in the first embodiment shown in FIG. 3, in the modification of the first embodiment, step S17 is omitted, and in step S37, when the focus mode is C-AF, The difference is that the maximum face AF frame is selected in step S39 and the process returns to step S27, and the other processes are the same. Therefore, this difference will be mainly described.

  When the main flow shown in FIG. 8 is entered and the result of determination in step S11 is that the first release is on, the maximum face AF frame is selected (S13), face organ detection is performed (S21), and the size of the eye Is larger than a predetermined value (S23), if it is larger, an eye AF frame is selected (S25), and contrast AF is performed (S25). That is, when the first release operation is performed and the eye size is larger than the predetermined value, the eye detection AF is executed at least once regardless of the set focus mode.

  If the result of determination in step S33 is that the 1st release is on, it is determined whether or not the 2nd release is on (S35). If the 2nd release is not on, the focus mode is determined (S37). If the result of this determination is that single AF (S-AF) has been set, processing returns to step S33 and AF operation is not performed.

  If the result of determination in step S37 is that continuous AF (C-AF) has been set, the maximum face AF frame is selected (S39), as in step S13, and processing proceeds to step S27. That is, when the continuous AF mode is set, the eye detection AF is executed only once during the first release operation (see S11 → S25 → S27). From the next time onward, when the first release operation is continued (S33 → S35 → S37), the process proceeds from step S37 to step S27, so that the eye detection AF is not executed.

  If the result of determination in step S37 is that tracking AF has been set, processing returns to step S27 and contrast AF is executed. As described above, in step S11, tracking AF is started from the time when it is detected that the first release operation is performed, and the focusing operation is repeatedly performed on the tracking target object detected at the time of the first release. In this case, if the subject's eyes are the tracking target during the first release operation, the subject's eyes are tracked and focusing is repeated. Although face organ detection is not performed, the eye part of the subject can be tracked by pattern detection of image data. Here, as the pattern area for tracking, the eye frame area itself may be used, but in order to ensure more pattern detection accuracy, an area that includes the eye, is larger than the eye AF frame, and does not become much larger than the face AF frame is used as the tracking pattern. It is desirable to memorize.

  As described above, in the modification of the first embodiment of the present invention, when the first focusing mode such as continuous AF or tracking AF is set, the eye is only once at the first release operation. Detection AF is being executed. In order to perform the eye detection AF, it is necessary to perform face organ detection. For this reason, the processing time becomes long, and the time for focusing when the AF operation such as continuous AF is repeatedly performed becomes long. End up. However, in the modified example, since it is only once at the time of the first release operation, it is possible to shorten the time required for the AF operation while focusing on the subject's eyes.

  Next, a second embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. In the first embodiment of the present invention, when the continuous AF mode or the tracking AF (first focusing mode) for repeatedly focusing on the subject is selected, the eye detection AF mode (third focusing mode) is selected. Was prohibited. In contrast, in the second embodiment, when the eye detection AF mode (third focusing mode) is selected, the continuous AF mode or the tracking AF mode (first focusing mode) is selected. Is prohibited.

  The configuration in this embodiment is the same as the block diagram shown in FIG. 1 according to the first embodiment. As in the case of the first embodiment, the system control unit 116 cooperates with the AF processing unit 113, the lens control unit 102, the image processing unit 111, and the like to perform the first focusing mode execution unit and the second focusing mode. It also functions as a focus mode execution means and a third focus mode execution means. The system control unit 116 also functions as a permission / prohibition unit that permits and / or prohibits the operation in the first focusing mode. In the present embodiment, when the third focusing mode is selected, execution of the first focusing mode is prohibited.

In the present embodiment, when the third focus mode is selected, the first focus mode is prohibited in the flowchart shown in FIG. 9 when setting the focus mode. The focus mode is displayed on the display unit 115 by operating the focus mode setting button 117h. When the eye detection AF (eye-AF) is selected on the menu screen, the flowchart shown in FIG. 9 starts. When the eye detection AF is selected, as shown in FIG. 10B, as an eye detection AF flag (eye-AF) flag,
When “1” is set and the eye detection AF is not selected, “0” is set as the eye detection flag.

  Further, the autofocus mode is set by operating the autofocus setting button 117i. The autofocus mode sets a target for focusing. In this embodiment, on the screen of the display unit 115 shown in FIG. 11A, the icon 115b indicating the face AF to be focused on the face of the subject, the icon 115c indicating the face + eye detection AF, and focusing on the subject on the entire screen. An icon 115d indicating the all target AF for performing the focusing and an icon 115e indicating the single target AF for performing focusing on the subject at the center of the screen are illustrated. In the example shown in FIG. 11A, the icon 115c indicating the face + eye detection AF is displayed in a different display form from the other icons, indicating that the face + eye detection AF is selected.

  The focus mode sets the number of times of focusing, such as single AF, continuous AF, and tracking AF, and also sets automatic focus adjustment (AF) and manual focus adjustment (MF). In the present embodiment, on the screen of the display unit 115 shown in FIG. 11B, an icon 115f indicating single AF (S-AF), an icon 115g indicating a combination of single AF and manual focus (S-AF + MF), An icon 115h indicating a numeric AF (C-AF), an icon 115i indicating a combination of continuous AF and manual focus (C-AF + MF), an icon 115j indicating a combination of continuous AF and tracking AF, and a manual focus An icon 115k is displayed. In the example shown in FIG. 11B, the icon 115f indicating single AF is displayed in a different display form from the other icons, indicating that single AF is selected.

  When the eye detection AF is selected as the autofocus mode, the focus mode flag is read (S81). The focus mode flag is composed of 6 bits as shown in FIG. That is, in the case of the single AF (S-AF) mode flag, it is “100000”, and in the case of the single AF + manual focus (S-AF + MF) mode, it is “010000”, and the continuous AF (C− In the case of the (AF) mode, “001000” is set. Further, in the continuous AF + manual focus (C-AF + MF) mode, “000100”, and in the continuous AF + tracking AF (C-AF + Tr) mode, “000010”, manual focus. In the case of (MF), it is “000001”.

  Once the focus mode flag has been read, it is next determined whether or not the C-AF flag is 1 (S83). Here, the determination is made based on whether or not the focus mode flag is “001000”. If the result of this determination is that the C-AF flag is 1, the C-AF flag is set to “0” (S85), and the S-AF flag is set to “1” (S86). That is, as the focus mode flag, the setting of the continuous AF mode is canceled and “100000” indicating the single AF mode (S-AF) mode is set.

  If the result of determination in step S83 is that the C-AF flag is not “1”, it is next determined whether or not the C-AF + MF flag is “1” (S89). Here, the determination is made based on whether or not the focus mode flag is “000100”. As a result of this determination, if the C-AF + MF flag is 1, the C-AF + MF flag is set to “0” (S91), and the S-AF + MF flag is set to “1” (S93). That is, as the focus mode flag, the setting of the continuous AF + MF mode is canceled and “010000” indicating the single AF + MF mode (S−AF) mode is set.

  If the result of determination in step S89 is that the C-AF + MF flag is not “1”, it is next determined whether or not the C-AF + Tr flag is “1” (S95). Here, the determination is based on whether or not the focus mode flag is “000010”. If the result of this determination is that the C-AF + Tr flag is 1, the C-AF + Tr flag is set to “0” (S97), and the S-AF flag is set to “1” (S99). That is, as the focus mode flag, the setting of the continuous AF + Tr mode is canceled and “010000” indicating the single AF mode (S−AF) mode is set.

  As described above, in the second embodiment of the present invention, the first focus mode (continuous AF mode or tracking AF mode) for repeatedly focusing on the subject and the subject in response to the 1st release switch. There are three focusing modes: a second focusing mode (single AF mode) that focuses only once, a third focusing mode that automatically focuses on eyes, and an (eye detection AF mode). When the in-focus mode is selected, the first in-focus mode is prohibited. That is, in the second embodiment, when the eye detection AF (third focusing mode) is selected, the continuous AF and tracking AF (first focusing mode) are canceled and the first focusing mode is canceled. Is prohibited (procedure proceeds to S83 → S85, S87 in FIG. 9 to cancel C-AF, etc.). For this reason, even when the setting for continuously focusing on the subject is made, since the optimum setting for the eye detection AF is automatically made, both the performances do not deteriorate.

  Next, a third embodiment of the present invention will be described using the flowchart shown in FIG. In the first embodiment of the present invention, when the eye detection AF is set, the eye detection AF is performed when the first release operation is performed. On the other hand, in the third embodiment, the eye detection AF is executed when the 2nd release operation is performed.

  The configuration in this embodiment is the same as the block diagram shown in FIG. 1 according to the first embodiment. The 1st release switch that is turned on in response to the half-pressing operation of the release button 117b in the operation unit 117 functions as a first switch for starting the focusing operation, and in response to the full-pressing operation of the release button 117b. The 2nd release switch that is turned on functions as a second switch that starts still image shooting.

  As in the case of the first embodiment, the system control unit 116 cooperates with the AF processing unit 113, the lens control unit 102, the image processing unit 111, and the like to perform the first focusing mode execution unit and the second focusing mode. It also functions as execution means and third focus mode execution means. Here, the first focusing mode execution means repeatedly focuses on the subject in response to the first switch. The second focusing mode execution means focuses only once in response to the first switch. In the present embodiment, when the first focusing mode and the third focusing mode are selected, the third focusing mode is activated in response to the second switch.

  Compared with the main flow in the first embodiment shown in FIG. 3, in the third embodiment, when 2nd release is made as a result of the determination in step S <b> 35, steps S <b> 41 to S <b> 50 are processed, and then in step S <b> 51. The difference is that still image shooting is performed, and the other processes are the same. Therefore, this difference will be mainly described.

  The main flow shown in FIG. 12 is entered, live view display is performed, a face is detected, and a face frame is displayed (S1 to S5). When the release button is pressed halfway, an AF frame is selected for the largest face, and if the focus mode is single AF and the eye is larger than a predetermined value, eye detection AF or the like is performed (S13 to S31). On the other hand, when the release button is half-pressed and the focus mode is continuous AF or tracking AF, eye detection AF is prohibited (S17 → No → S27).

  Subsequently, it is determined again whether the release button has been half-pressed. If the half-press operation has continued, it is determined whether the release button has been fully pressed (S35). If the result of this determination is that the release button has not been fully pressed, the focus mode is determined (S37), and processing according to the determination result is performed. Since this process is the same as that in the first embodiment, a description thereof will be omitted.

  On the other hand, if the result of determination in step S35 is that the release button has been fully pressed (when 2nd release is on), the focus mode is determined in the same manner as in step S37 (S41).

  If the result of determination in step S41 is that the focus mode is continuous AF or tracking AF, it is next determined whether or not release priority is given (S43). Since the release priority is set on the menu screen, this step is determined based on whether or not the release priority is set.

  If the result of determination in step S43 is not release priority, then face organ detection is performed as in step S21 (S45). Here, the image processing unit 111 detects a facial organ of a person's face, that is, eyes, nose, mouth, and the like in the subject.

  Once face organ detection has been carried out, next, as in step S23, it is determined whether or not the size of the eyes is larger than a predetermined value (S47). Here, it is determined whether or not the eye detected in step S45 is larger than a predetermined value for the maximum face selected in step S13.

  If the result of determination in step S47 is that the eye is larger than the predetermined value, then an eye AF frame is selected as in step S25 (S49). Here, the eye AF frame is set so that the eye is in focus.

  Once the eye AF frame has been selected, contrast AF is performed similarly to step S27 (S50). Here, the photographing lens 101 is focused using the image data in the eye AF frame selected in step S49.

  If contrast AF is performed in step S50, or if the focus mode is single AF as a result of determination in step S41, or if the result of determination in step S43 is release priority, or the result of determination in step S47, If the eye size is smaller than the predetermined value, still image shooting is performed (S51). Here, as in the case of the first embodiment, image data of a still image is acquired from the image sensor 107, processed by the image processing unit 111, and then recorded in the external memory 114. When the still image shooting is completed, the process returns to step S1.

  The reason why the eye detection AF is not performed when the focus mode is the single AF is that the eye detection AF is already performed when the release button is half-pressed (steps S17 → Yes → S21 to S27). The reason why the eye detection AF is not performed when the release priority is given is that it takes time to detect the facial organs when performing the eye detection AF, and prevents the release time lag from becoming long. The reason why the eye detection AF is not performed when the eye size is smaller than a predetermined value is to prevent the AF accuracy from being lowered.

  As described above, in the third embodiment of the present invention, the first switch for starting the focusing operation and the second switch for starting still image shooting are provided, and the subject in response to the first switch A first focusing mode (continuous AF mode or tracking AF mode) for repeatedly focusing on the subject, a second focusing mode (single AF mode) for focusing on the subject only once in response to the first switch, When there are three focusing modes of the third focusing mode (eye detection AF) that automatically focuses on the eyes, and the first focusing mode and the third focusing mode are selected, the second switch In response, the third focusing mode is activated. That is, in the third embodiment, when the continuous AF mode or the tracking AF (first focus mode) is set, the eye detection AF (third focus) is responded to the second switch (2nd release). Focusing mode) is executed (S35 Yes → S41 to S50 in FIG. 12). For this reason, even when the subject is continuously focused, the performance does not deteriorate.

  Next, a fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described using the flowchart shown in FIG. In the first embodiment of the present invention, eye detection AF is prohibited when a focus mode in which the subject is repeatedly focused, such as continuous AF or tracking AF, is selected as the focus mode. On the other hand, in the fourth embodiment, the face size is detected, and when the face size is larger than a predetermined value, eye detection AF is performed. That is, the priority of the eye detection AF can be adjusted according to the focus mode.

  The configuration in this embodiment is the same as the block diagram shown in FIG. 1 according to the first embodiment. As in the case of the first embodiment, the system control unit 116 cooperates with the AF processing unit 113, the lens control unit 102, the image processing unit 111, and the like to perform the first focusing mode execution unit and the second focusing mode. It also functions as execution means and third focus mode execution means. Further, the image processing unit 111 functions as a face size detection unit that detects the size of the face of the subject based on the image data, and also functions as a face organ detection unit that detects the organ of the face of the subject. In the present embodiment, the system control unit 116 prohibits facial organ detection when the size of the detected face is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value. The predetermined value differs depending on the first focusing mode and the second focusing mode.

  Compared with the main flow in the first embodiment shown in FIG. 3, in the fourth embodiment, the determination in steps S18 and S19 is added between the determination of the focus mode in step S17 and the facial organ detection in step S21. Moreover, it is different in that the determination in step S23 is omitted, and the other processes are the same. Therefore, this difference will be mainly described.

  The main flow shown in FIG. 13 is entered, live view display is performed, a face is detected, and a face frame is displayed (S1 to S5). When the release button is pressed halfway, an AF frame is selected for the maximum face (S13), and the focus mode is determined (S17).

  If the result of determination in step S17 is single AF, it is next determined whether or not the face size is greater than a predetermined value 1 (S18). On the other hand, if the focus mode is continuous AF or tracking AF, it is determined whether or not the face size is larger than a predetermined value 2 (S19). If the result of determination in step S18 or S19 is that the face size is larger than the predetermined value 1 or 2, face organ detection is performed (S21), an eye AF frame is selected (S25), and contrast AF is performed. Perform (S27).

  On the other hand, if the result of determination in step S18 or S19 is that the face size is smaller than the predetermined value 1 or the predetermined value 2, contrast AF is performed without selecting a face organ detection and an eye AF frame (S27). .

  As described above, when the face size is sufficiently large in the screen, eye detection AF is executed (S18 Yes, S19 Yes, S21 to S27). On the other hand, when the face size is small, the eye detection is performed. AF is not executed (S18 No, S19 No, S27). Accordingly, since the eye detection AF is not performed except when the size of the face is sufficiently large in the screen, the followability is not impaired.

  Further, by maintaining the relationship of the predetermined value 2> the predetermined value 1, the priority of the eye detection AF can be adjusted according to the focus mode. That is, by maintaining the relationship of predetermined value 2> predetermined value 1, it is possible to increase the number of cases of eye detection AF in single AF compared to continuous AF or the like. By appropriately determining the predetermined value 1 and the predetermined value 2, the priority of the eye detection AF can be changed.

  If the predetermined value is set sufficiently large, for example, if the face size is set to 1/3 or more of the screen, the amount of movement of the subject is often small in such a shooting situation, and it is somewhat difficult to detect the facial organs. Even if the following delay occurs, there is no practical problem.

  If contrast AF is performed in step S27, step S29 and subsequent steps are executed as in the first embodiment.

  As described above, in the fourth embodiment of the present invention, the face size detecting means for detecting the face size of the subject and the face organ detecting means for detecting the organ of the face of the subject are provided. The first focus mode (continuous AF mode or tracking AF mode) that focuses repeatedly on the subject, the second focus mode (single AF mode) that focuses on the subject only once, and the focus automatically There are three in-focus modes of the third in-focus mode (eye detection AF) to be combined, and face organ detection is prohibited when the size of the detected face is a predetermined value or less. For this reason, eye detection AF is prohibited when the face size is small, and eye detection AF is allowed only when the face size is large. Therefore, when focusing or tracking AF is continuously performed on the subject Even so, the performance does not deteriorate.

  Further, in the present embodiment, the predetermined value is different depending on the first focusing mode and the second focusing mode. For this reason, the priority of the eye detection AF can be made different between the first focusing mode and the second focusing mode. In particular, in the first focusing mode, the followability deteriorates when eye detection AF is repeated, but the effect is small when the face is large. For this reason, it is possible to perform the eye detection AF even in the first focusing mode by appropriately setting the predetermined value.

  In the present embodiment, the face size is determined even in the case of single AF as a result of the determination in step S17. However, this is omitted and eye detection is performed in the case of single AF. AF may always be executed. This is because the single AF is performed only once when the release button is half-pressed, so that the delay due to organ detection can be ignored.

  Next, a fifth embodiment of the present invention will be described using the flowchart shown in FIG. In the first embodiment of the present invention, eye detection AF is prohibited when a focus mode in which the subject is repeatedly focused, such as continuous AF or tracking AF, is selected as the focus mode. On the other hand, in the fifth embodiment, the amount of movement of the subject is detected, and when the change in the amount of movement is large, the eye detection AF is prohibited.

  The configuration in this embodiment is the same as the block diagram shown in FIG. 1 according to the first embodiment. As in the case of the first embodiment, the system control unit 116 cooperates with the AF processing unit 113, the lens control unit 102, the image processing unit 111, and the like to perform the first focusing mode execution unit and the second focusing mode. It also functions as execution means and third focus mode execution means. In addition, the image processing unit 111 and the system control unit 116 function as a motion amount detection unit that detects a motion amount of the subject. Specifically, a change in the amount of movement of the face frame and a change in the size of the face frame are calculated based on the face detected by the image processing unit 111. In the present embodiment, the system control unit 116 prohibits the operation in the second focusing mode when the detected amount of motion is equal to or greater than a predetermined value. The predetermined value differs depending on the first focusing mode and the third focusing mode.

  Compared to the main flow in the fourth embodiment shown in FIG. 13, in the fifth embodiment, after the face frame display in step S5, steps S7 to S9 are added and executed, and the maximum face AF in step S13 is executed. The difference is that the determinations of steps S15 and S16 are additionally executed after the selection of the frame, and the other processes are the same. Therefore, this difference will be mainly described.

  The main flow shown in FIG. 14 is entered, live view display is performed, a face is detected, and a face frame is displayed (S1 to S5). Once the face frame is displayed, next, the maximum face AF frame is selected as in step S13 (S7). Here, the largest face is selected from the faces detected in the face detection in step S3.

  Once the maximum face AF frame is selected, the face frame movement amount Δm is detected (S8). The movement amount of the face frame is obtained by integrating the absolute value (Δm) of the change amount of the center coordinate of the face frame a predetermined number of times, that is, ΔM = Σ | Δm | is calculated. This calculated value is taken as an evaluation value (ΔM) of the motion amount in the X and Y directions. Here, the X and Y directions are directions orthogonal to each other in a plane perpendicular to the optical axis direction of the photographing lens 101.

  When the face frame movement amount is detected, the face frame size change amount Δs is then detected (S9). The absolute value of the change amount (Δs) of the face frame size is integrated a predetermined number of times, that is, ΔS = Σ | Δs | is calculated. This calculated value is used as an evaluation value of the amount of motion in the Z direction. Here, the Z direction is the optical axis direction of the taking lens 101.

  Once the face frame size change amount Δs is detected and the integrated value ΔS is calculated, it is next determined whether or not the release button has been half-pressed. A frame is selected (S13).

  Once the maximum face AF frame is selected, it is next determined whether or not the integrated value ΔM of the face frame movement amount is larger than a predetermined value (S15). Here, the determination is made based on a comparison between the integrated value ΔM calculated in step S8 and a predetermined value. If the integrated value ΔM is larger than the predetermined value as a result of this determination, then it is determined whether or not the integrated value ΔS of the face frame size change amount is larger than the predetermined value (S16). Here, the determination is made based on a comparison between the integrated value ΔS calculated in step S9 and a predetermined value.

  If the result of determination in step S16 is that the integrated value ΔS is smaller than the predetermined value, focus mode determination is performed (S17). Step S17 and subsequent steps are the same as the flow of the fourth embodiment shown in FIG. 13, and thus detailed description thereof is omitted. However, eye detection AF is permitted or prohibited according to the focus mode and the face size. The

  On the other hand, if the integrated value ΔM is larger than the predetermined value as a result of the determination in step S15, or if the integrated value ΔS is larger than the predetermined value, contrast AF is performed (S27). Here, contrast AF is performed based on the image data of the maximum face AF frame selected in the most recent step S13.

  In steps S8 and S9, the amount of movement of the face frame and the amount of change in the size of the face frame related to the amount of movement of the subject are calculated. Based on the calculation results, it is determined whether or not eye detection AF is performed in steps S15 and S16. It is carried out.

  As described above, in the fifth embodiment of the present invention, the first focus mode (continuous AF mode or Tracking AF mode), the second focusing mode that focuses on the subject only once (single AF mode is supported), and the third focusing mode that automatically focuses on the eyes. If the detected amount of motion is greater than or equal to a predetermined value, the operation in the third focusing mode is prohibited. That is, when the amount of motion of the subject is equal to or greater than a predetermined value (as a result of the determination in S15 or S16 in FIG. 14, the eye detection AF (S21, S25) is prohibited. For this reason, even when the subject is continuously focused and tracking AF is performed, the performance does not deteriorate.

  In this embodiment, the X, Y, and Z directions are detected as the amount of movement of the subject. For this reason, the amount of movement according to the movement of the subject can be evaluated. The predetermined value in steps S15 and S16 may be an appropriate value according to each direction.

  In the present embodiment, the face size is determined in steps S18 and S19. However, as in the first embodiment, in the case of continuous AF or the like, eye detection AF is prohibited and single AF is performed. In this case, it may be combined with other embodiments such as permitting eye detection AF. Further, both the face frame movement amount ΔM and the face frame size change amount ΔS are obtained as the amount of motion of the subject, but only one of them may be used as long as it is sufficient for detecting the amount of motion of the subject. Further, the amount of motion of the subject may be another method such as detection of a motion vector.

  As described above, in each of the embodiments and modifications of the present invention, the first focusing mode in which the subject is repeatedly focused, the second focusing mode in which the subject is focused once, the eye is automatically focused. In the imaging apparatus capable of setting the third focusing mode for matching the other modes, other modes are permitted or prohibited depending on the set mode. For this reason, even when the subject is continuously focused and tracking AF is performed, the performance does not deteriorate. That is, since the eye detection AF can focus on the subject's eyes, it is possible to perform a natural feeling focus on the subject intended by the photographer. However, it takes time to detect a facial organ for performing eye detection AF, and the follow-up performance is deteriorated. In each embodiment and modification of the present invention, the timing for performing eye detection AF is permitted or prohibited according to the focusing mode, and deterioration in follow-up performance can be prevented.

  In each embodiment and modification of the present invention, continuous AF and tracking AF are given as the first focusing mode for repeatedly focusing on the subject. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and focusing on the subject repeatedly is possible. If it is the focus mode, the first focus mode can be set. In the second focusing mode in which the subject is focused only once, it responds to the half-press operation or full-press operation of the release button, but other operation switches may be used besides the release button. .

  In each embodiment and modification of the present invention, a digital camera has been described as an apparatus for photographing. However, a digital single-lens reflex camera or a compact digital camera may be used as a camera, and a video camera or movie camera may be used. It may be a camera for moving images such as a mobile phone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a game machine, or the like.

  The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiments as they are, and can be embodied by modifying the constituent elements without departing from the scope of the invention in the implementation stage. In addition, various inventions can be formed by appropriately combining a plurality of components disclosed in the embodiment. For example, you may delete some components of all the components shown by embodiment. Furthermore, constituent elements over different embodiments may be appropriately combined.

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 10 ... Camera body, 20 ... Interchangeable lens, 30a ... Face frame, 31a-31d ... Face frame, 100 ... Digital camera, 101 ... Shooting lens, 102 ... Lens control , 103 ... Aperture mechanism, 104 ... Aperture control unit, 105 ... Shutter, 106 ... Shutter control unit, 107 ... Image sensor, 108 ... Imaging control unit, 109 ... A / D conversion unit, 110 ... memory, 111 ... image processing unit, 112 ... exposure control unit, 113 ... AF processing unit, 114 ... external memory, 115 ... display unit, 115a, LCD monitor, 115b to 115k, icon, 116, system control unit, 117, operation unit, 117a, power button, 117b, release button, 117c, shooting mode Dial, 117 ... Movie button, 117e ... Function button, 117f ... Cross button, 117g ... OK button, 117h ... Focus mode setting button, 117i ... Auto focus setting button, 118 ... Non-volatile Memory, 119... Power supply unit, 120... Power supply control unit, 121... Flash control unit, 122... Flash charging unit, 123. 201R: Distance between the eyes of the right eye, 202L: Distance between the eyes of the left eye, 202R: Distance between the eyes of the right eye

Claims (7)

  1. First focus mode execution means for executing a first focus mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject;
    Second focus mode execution means for executing a second focus mode for focusing the subject only once in response to the AF start switch;
    Third focus mode execution means for executing a third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes;
    Permission / prohibition means for permitting / prohibiting the operation of the third focusing mode;
    Have
    The image pickup apparatus, wherein the permission / prohibition means prohibits the third focusing mode when the first focusing mode is selected.
  2. First focus mode execution means for executing a first focus mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject;
    Second focus mode execution means for executing a second focus mode for focusing the subject only once in response to the AF start switch;
    Third focus mode execution means for executing a third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes;
    Permission / prohibition means for permitting / prohibiting the operation of the first focusing mode;
    Have
    The image pickup apparatus, wherein the permission / prohibition means prohibits the first focusing mode when the third focusing mode is selected.
  3. A first switch for starting a focusing operation;
    A second switch for starting still image shooting;
    First focus mode execution means for executing a first focus mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject in response to the first switch;
    Second focusing mode execution means for executing a second focusing mode for focusing only once in response to the first switch;
    Third focus mode execution means for executing a third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes;
    Have
    An imaging apparatus, wherein when the first focusing mode and the third focusing mode are selected, the third focusing mode is activated in response to the second switch.
  4. Furthermore, it has a release priority setting unit that prioritizes shooting operation by focusing operation,
    4. The image pickup apparatus according to claim 3, wherein when the release priority is set by the release priority setting means, the third focusing mode is not activated in response to the second switch.
  5. First focus mode execution means for executing a first focus mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject;
    Second focus mode execution means for executing a second focus mode for focusing the subject only once in response to the AF start switch;
    Third focus mode execution means for executing a third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes;
    Face size detection means for detecting the size of the face of the subject;
    Facial organ detection means for detecting the facial organ of the subject;
    A facial organ detection permission / prohibition means for permitting / prohibiting the facial organ detection operation;
    Have
    The facial organ detection permission / inhibition means prohibits the facial organ detection when the size of the detected face is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value, and the predetermined value indicates the first focusing mode and the second focusing. An imaging device characterized by being made different depending on a mode.
  6. First focus mode execution means for executing a first focus mode for repeatedly focusing on a subject;
    Second focus mode execution means for executing a second focus mode for focusing the subject only once in response to the AF start switch;
    Third focus mode execution means for executing a third focus mode for automatically focusing on the eyes;
    Permission / prohibition means for permitting / prohibiting the operation of the third focusing mode;
    A movement amount detecting means for detecting a movement amount of the subject;
    Have
    The image pickup apparatus, wherein the permission / prohibition means prohibits the operation in the third focusing mode when the detected amount of motion is a predetermined value or more.
  7.   The imaging apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the amount of movement is a change in position of the subject in the X, Y, and Z directions.
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