Olympus Patent Shows Variable Exposure Times for Different Parts of an Image


Earlier this week, Egami came across an Olympus patent that (as far as we can tell) is truly one-of-a-kind, utilizing a unique feature that would allow you to get the best exposure possible in any scenario.

The patent is for technology that would let you set different exposure times for different areas in a photograph. For example, when you have a dark foreground and a bright background, rather than blowing out the background or rendering the foreground a silhouette, it would expose the foreground longer, making for an evenly exposed image.


Although not part of this patent, another possibility I see in the future – which makes more sense than exposure time – is for the camera to adjust its sensors ISO settings in the same manner, allowing for a more evenly exposed image. Imagine your sensor being able to recognize the need for the sky to be exposed at 200 ISO while the person standing in front of you needs 1600 ISO.

Ultimately, these technologies would lead to an HDR-like image as a result, not something everyone is aiming for, but there are definitely some practical applications for this technology. We have no idea whether or not Olympus will put this patent to use, but seeing companies start to get this stuff down on paper is always exciting.

What are your thoughts on the patent? Useless tech that is already covered by HDR photography (albeit in a more cumbersome fashion), or science-fiction come-to-life?

(via Egami via 4/3 Rumors)