Digital Camera Patent Abstract
A protective device for a digital camera view finder of the LCD
screen type includes a frame adapted to fit around edges of the
viewfinder having connectors for connecting the frame to edges of
the viewfinder, and a window viewing portion surrounded and supported
by the frame providing unobstructed viewing of the LCD screen through
the window. A glare reduction device is connectable to the protective
device to provide glare free viewing of the LCD screen.
Digital Camera Patent Claims
What is claimed is:
1. A protective device for a digital camera view finder including
a LCD screen, the device comprising: a frame adapted to fit around
edges of the viewfinder; said frame including connectors for removably
connecting said frame to edges of the viewfinder and at least one
mount adapted to mount a glare reduction device to said frame; and
a window viewing portion surrounded and supported by said frame
providing unobstructed viewing of said LCD screen through said window
2. The protective device of claim 1 wherein said mount is a tab
adapted to connect to a feature in the glare reduction device.
3. The protective device of claim 2 including in combination a
glare reduction device adapted to mount to said frame.
4. The protective device of claim 3 wherein said glare reduction
device is of a bellows construction allowing it to be expanded from
said frame along a viewing axis for use and collapsible against
said frame in a non-use position.
5. The protective device of claim 4 wherein said glare reduction
device comprises a fabric.
6. The protective device of claim 3 wherein said glare reduction
device includes at least three rigid side members.
7. The protective device of claim 6 wherein said glare reduction
device comprises plastic material.
8. The protective device of claim 1 wherein said device comprises
9. The protective device of claim 8 wherein said window viewing
portion is scratch resistant.
10. The protective device of claim 8 wherein said window viewing
portion is Lexan.RTM. plastic.
Digital Camera Patent Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to protective devices for digital camera
LCD screens and more particularly to a device that allows viewing
of the LCD screen through the device while the device is protecting
the LCD screen. The device also provides a mount for a glare reduction
device allowing the LCD screen to be viewed easily in outdoor sunlight.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
It is known in the art relating to digital cameras to provide an
opaque cover fittable over a LCD screen to protect the LCD screen
when the camera is not in use. When the camera is being used the
cover must be removed rendering the LCD screen susceptible to damage.
Often digital cameras are used outside and at sporting events.
Professional photographers may use many cameras in their work. When
covering an event the photographer may have three or more cameras,
each with a different lens, strapped around her neck. Some photographers
leave the protective coverings off their cameras exposing the LCD
screens to damage caused by the camera bodies swinging around and
hitting the LCD screens. Other photographers deal with the task
of taking off and putting on the opaque protective coverings. Often
these protective coverings are lost in the field during camera use.
Furthermore, when these digital cameras with LCD screens are used
in bright light, the photographer often has to shield the camera
LCD screen so that the screen can be viewed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a protector accessory which mounts
over a LCD screen of a digital camera such as for example among
others the Nikon D1. The protector includes a viewing portion of
an optically clear plastic that allows the LCD screen to be viewed
through the viewing portion. The viewing portion may be scratch
resistant and preferably is clear Lexan.RTM. plastic. The protector
also includes a mounting portion having mounts for mounting the
protector about the LCD screen. The mounting portion surrounds the
viewing portion and preferably the two portions are made as one
plastic injection molded part.
When mounted about the LCD screen, the protector protects the LCD
screen while allowing simultaneous viewing thereof.
In one embodiment of the protector, the mounting portion includes
at least one connector for connecting a glare reducing device to
the protector. The connector may be a tab, flange, or other means
for connecting the glare reducing device to the protector. The glare
reducing device includes a cooperating connector. The glare reducing
device is of a tubular shape and eliminates glare associated with
outside viewing of the camera LCD screen. The glare reducing device
may be of flexible or rigid construction and may have straight walls
or be of a collapsible bellows construction.
These and other features and advantages of the invention will be
more fully understood from the following detailed description of
the invention taken together with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a digital camera having a LCD viewing
FIGS. 2A 2E are various views of a digital camera LCD screen protector
constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the digital camera of FIG. 1 having
the LCD screen protector of FIGS. 2A 2E mounted about the LCD viewing
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the digital camera of FIG. 1 having
a glare reducing device connected to the LCD screen protector of
FIGS. 2A 2E mounted about the LCD viewing screen;
FIGS. 5A 5E are various views of a glare reducing device constructed
in accordance with the present invention illustrating its connection
to the LCD screen cap; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the digital camera of FIG. 1 illustrating
a glare reduction having rigid walls mounted on the protector.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring now to the drawings in detail, a protective device according
to the invention is generally indicated by reference numeral 20
and is adapted for use with a digital camera 22 having a LCD viewfinder
24. As is hereinafter more fully described, the protective device
20 provides protection to the LCD viewfinder 24 while allowing the
LCD display to be viewed therethrough. Furthermore, the protective
device 20 provides for the mounting of various glare reducing and/or
eliminating devices on the device as is more fully hereinafter described.
In FIG. 1 there is illustrated a digital camera 22 that includes
a LCD viewfinder 24. A frame 26 of the viewfinder 24 includes a
plurality of attachment features 28. The protective device 20 is
attachable to the attachment features 28 to mount the protective
device to the viewfinder 24 as shown in FIG. 3.
FIGS. 2A through 2E illustrate an embodiment of the protective
device 20. Protective device 20 includes a frame 30 adapted to fit
around the frame 26 of the viewfinder 24. Frame 30 includes connectors
32 for connecting the frame to the viewfinder. Connectors 32 correspond
with attachment features 28 and together the connectors and attachment
features provide a snap-fit attachment that connects the frame 30
to edges of the viewfinder 24.
Protective device 20 includes a window viewing portion 34 surrounded
and supported by frame 30. Window viewing portion 34 is transparent
and may be integral with frame 30 or alternatively set into the
frame. Window viewing portion 34 is preferably made of a scratch
resistant plastic and clear Lexan.RTM. plastic has found wide acceptance
and serviceablity as a plastic of choice.
The protective device 20 also includes mounts 36 disposed on frame
30 for mounting a glare reduction device on the protective device
and thereby on the camera 22. Mounts 36 are illustrated as a pair
tabs 38 extending outwardly from frame 30 to which a glare reduction
device is adapted to be attached as hereinafter more fully described.
Referring to FIGS. 5A through 5E there is shown a glare reduction
device 40 that is adapted to fir onto the protective device 20 via
a cooperable connector 42 connecting with tabs 38. Glare reduction
device 40 is a bellows type glare reduction device having side walls
44 which are expandable to form a tubular shape and collapsible
to flatten against the frame 30. Glare reduction device 40 may be
made of any flexible material and is preferably formed from a rubberized
plastic or fabric material. As shown in FIG. 4, the glare reduction
device 40 may be fitted on a protective device 20 and the combination
of the glare reduction device and protective device may by mounted
to a digital camera 22.
Alternatively a glare reduction device 50 of a rigid construction
having at least three rigid side members 52 may be adapted for use
in combination with the protective device 20 and is shown in FIG.
Although the invention has been described by reference to specific
embodiments, it should be understood that numerous changes may be
made within the spirit and scope of the inventive concepts described.
Accordingly, it is intended that the invention not be limited to
the described embodiments, but that it have the full scope defined
by the language of the following claims.