Digital Camera Patent

Digital camera capable of outputting image data to external apparatus

Digital Camera Patent Abstract

A digital camera is provided with a plurality of group specifying keys for specifying a use purpose of a photographed picture. In such an external flash memory of the digital camera that stores the photographed pictures is generated a plurality of index files that corresponds to the group specifying keys. When any one of the plurality of group specifying keys is pressed when some of the recorded pictures are displayed, file names of those pictures being displayed are sequentially described in an index file corresponding to that pressed group specifying key. When using the picture file, the personal computer reads out a plurality of picture files described in an index file which corresponds to a desired use purpose to then conduct the corresponding processes at a time based on that index file.

Digital Camera Patent Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A digital camera comprising: an imaging section for imaging a subject and outputting a plurality of pieces of image data; a specifying section for specifying a plurality of the image data pieces output from said imaging section; an index file generating section for generating an index file containing a plurality of identifiers which respectively identify the image data pieces specified by said specifying section; a first control section for storing in an image storage section the plurality of image data pieces output from the imaging section, and for storing in an index file storage section the index file generated by the index file generating section; a first transmitting section for transmitting the index file stored in the index file storage section to an external device; a first receiving section for receiving a transfer request signal transmitted from the external device, said transfer request signal requesting transferring of a plurality of the image data pieces stored in the image storage section; and a second transmitting section for successively transmitting the requested image data pieces to the external device, in response to the transfer request signal received by the first receiving section; wherein the external device comprises: a second receiving section for receiving the index file transmitted by the first transmitting section; a third transmitting section for transmitting to the digital camera the transfer request signal, said plurality of requested image data pieces comprising the image data pieces identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the index file received by the second receiving section; and a third receiving section for successively receiving the plurality of image data pieces successively transmitted by the second transmitting section.

2. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein said image storage section and said index file storage section are provided on a recording medium that is attachable to and detachable from a body of the digital camera and that is also utilizable by the external device.

3. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein said specifying section specifies the plurality of pieces of image data from among the plurality of image data pieces stored in said image storage section.

4. The digital camera according to claim 1, further comprising a display section for displaying at least a plurality of the pieces of image data stored in said image storage section, and wherein said specifying section specifies the plurality of pieces of image data from among the pieces of image data displayed on said display section.

5. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein: said specifying section further specifies a group type of the specified pieces of image data; said index file generating section generates said index file as an index file specific to the group type specified by said specifying section; said control section further stores in the index file storage section a plurality of kinds of index files generated by the index file generating section; said first transmitting section transmits the plurality of kinds of index files stored in the index file storage section to the external device; said second receiving section receives the plurality of kinds of index files transmitted by the first transmitting section; said external device further comprises a selecting section for selecting at least one of the plurality of kinds of index files received by the second receiving section; and said third transmitting section transmits to the digital camera the transfer request signal to request the image data pieces identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the at least one of the plurality of kinds of index files selected by the selecting section.

6. The digital camera according to claim 5, wherein the plurality of kinds of index files correspond to respective different group types.

7. The digital camera according to claim 5, wherein: said specifying section specifies a plurality of group types for the same specified pieces of image data; and said plurality of kinds of index files contain the same identifiers.

8. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein said index file contains a file name which specifies said file.

9. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein: said first control section stores said image data in said image storage section in a format of an image file in which an image file name is added to said image data; and said identifiers comprise image file names of the pieces of image data specified by said specifying section.

10. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein said index file is of a text format.

11. The digital camera according to claim 1, further comprising: a determining section for determining, each time one of the plurality of image data pieces is specified, whether or not the index file corresponding to the specified one of the image data pieces is stored in the index file storage section; a second control section for, when the index file is determined to be stored in the index file storage section, adding the identifier corresponding to said one of the image data pieces to the stored index file; and a third control section for, when the index file is determined not to be stored in the index file storage section, causing the index file generating section to generate the index file containing the identifier corresponding to said one of the image data pieces, and for then storing the generated index file in the index file storage section.

12. The digital camera according to claim 11, wherein: said specifying section specifies a desired kind of the specified image data pieces; said index file generating section generates the index file as an index file of the kind specified by the specifying section; said determining section determines, each time said one of the plurality of image data pieces is specified, whether or not the index file of the same kind as said one of the image data pieces is stored in the index file storage section; said second control section, when the index file of said same kind is determined to be stored in the index file storage section, adds the identifier corresponding to said one of the image data pieces to the stored index file; and said third control section, when the index file of said same kind is determined not to be stored in the index file storage section, causes the index file generating section to generate the index file of said same kind containing the identifier corresponding to said one of the image data pieces, and for then storing the generated index file in the index file storage section.

13. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein: said index file generating section generates a plurality of index files; said first control section stores the plurality of index files in the index file storage section; said first transmitting section transmits the plurality of index files stored in the index file storage section; said second receiving section receives the plurality of index files transmitted from the first transmitting section; said external device further comprises a selecting section for selecting at least one of the plurality of index files received by the second receiving section; and said third transmitting section transmits the transfer request signal for requesting transferring of the image data pieces identified by the identifiers contained in the at least one of the plurality of index files that is selected by the selecting section.

14. The digital camera according to claim 13, wherein the external device further comprises a display section for displaying in list form the plurality of index files received by the second receiving section, and the selecting section selects at least one of the displayed plurality of index files.

15. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein the external device further comprises: a selecting section for selecting a desired kind of image processing from a plurality of kinds of image processing with a manual operation; and a second control section for executing the kind of image processing selected by the selecting section on the plurality of image data pieces successively received by the third receiving section.

16. The digital camera according to claim 1, wherein: said specifying section specifies a kind of the specified image data pieces; said index file generating section generates the index file as an index file of the kind specified by the specifying section; said first control section further stores in the index file storage section a plurality of kinds of index files generated by the index file generating section; said first transmitting section transmits the plurality of kinds of index files stored in the index file storage section to the external device; said second receiving section receives the plurality of kinds of index files transmitted by the first transmitting section; said external device further comprises a retrieving section for retrieving a predetermined kind of index file from the plurality of kinds of index files received by the second receiving section, and a determining section for determining whether or not the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved; and said third transmitting section transmits to the digital camera the transfer request signal for requesting transferring of image data pieces identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the retrieved predetermined kind of index file, when the determining section determines that the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved.

17. A digital camera comprising: imaging means for imaging a subject and outputting a plurality of pieces of image data; specifying means for specifying a plurality of the image data pieces output from the imaging means; index file generating means for generating an index file containing a plurality of identifiers which respectively identify the image data pieces specified by said specifying means; control means for storing in an image storage section the plurality of image data pieces output from said imaging means and also storing in an index file storage section the index file generated by said index file generating means; first transmitting means for transmitting the index file stored in the index file storage section to an external device; first receiving means for receiving a transfer request signal transmitted from the external device, said transfer request signal requesting transferring of a plurality of the image data pieces stored in the image storage section; and second transmitting means for successively transmitting the requested image data pieces to the external device, in response to the transfer request signal received by the first receiving means; wherein the external device comprises: second receiving means for receiving the index file transmitted by the first transmitting means; third transmitting means for transmitting to the digital camera the transfer request signal, said plurality of requested image data pieces comprising the image data pieces identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the index file received by the second receiving means; and third receiving means for successively receiving the plurality of image data pieces successively transmitted by the second transmitting means.

18. An image data managing apparatus comprising: an image storage section for storing a plurality of pieces of image data; a specifying section for specifying a plurality of the pieces of image data stored in said image storage section; an index file generating section for generating an index file containing a plurality of identifiers which respectively identify the image data pieces specified by said specifying section; an index file storage section for storing the index file generated by said index file generating section; a first transmitting section for transmitting the index file stored in the index file storage section to an external device; a first receiving section for receiving a transfer request signal transmitted from the external device, said transfer request signal requesting transferring of a plurality of the image data pieces stored in the image storage section; and a second transmitting section for successively transmitting the requested image data pieces to the external device, in response to the transfer request signal received by the first receiving section; wherein the external device comprises: a second receiving section for receiving the index file transmitted by the first transmitting section; a third transmitting section for transmitting to the image data managing apparatus the transfer request signal, said plurality of requested image data pieces comprising the image data pieces identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the index file received by the second receiving section; and a third receiving section for successively receiving the plurality of image data pieces successively transmitted by the second transmitting section.

19. A computer-readable recording medium recording an image data managing program that is executable by a computer of a digital camera, wherein the digital camera comprises an imaging section for imaging a subject and outputting image data thereof, and a storage section for storing a plurality of pieces of image data output from the imaging section, said image data managing program being executable by the computer to cause the computer to execute: specifying a plurality of the pieces of image data stored in the storage section; generating an index file containing a plurality of identifiers which respectively identify the plurality of specified pieces of image data; storing the generated index file in the storage section; transmitting the index file stored in the storage section to an external device; receiving a transfer request signal transmitted from the external device, said transfer request signal requesting transferring of a plurality of the pieces of image data stored in the storage section; and successively transmitting the requested pieces of image data to the external device, in response to the received transfer request signal; wherein the external device comprises: a first receiving section for receiving the transmitted index file; a transmitting section for transmitting to the digital camera the transfer request signal, said plurality of requested pieces of image data comprising the pieces of image data identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the index file received by the first receiving section; and a second receiving section for successively receiving the plurality of pieces of image data successively transmitted from the digital camera.

20. An image data managing method for a digital camera, wherein the digital camera comprises an imaging section for imaging a subject and outputting image data thereof, and a storage section for storing a plurality of pieces of image data output from the imaging section, said method comprising: specifying a plurality of the image data pieces stored in the storage section; generating an index file containing a plurality of identifiers which respectively identify the plurality of specified image data pieces; storing the generated index file in the storage section; transmitting the index file stored in the storage section to an external device; receiving a transfer request signal transmitted from the external device, said transfer request signal requesting transferring of a plurality of the pieces of image data stored in the storage section; and successively transmitting the requested pieces of image data to the external device, in response to the received transfer request signal; wherein the external device comprises: a first receiving section for receiving the transmitted index file; a transmitting section for transmitting to the digital camera the transfer request signal, said plurality of requested pieces of image data comprising the pieces of image data identified by the plurality of identifiers contained in the index file received by the first receiving section; and a second receiving section for successively receiving the plurality of pieces of image data successively transmitted from the digital camera.

21. An image data managing apparatus comprising: an acquiring section for acquiring index files which are stored in an index file storage section, and which contain identifiers with which image data pieces can be identified, respectively; a determining section for determining whether or not any one of the index files acquired by said acquiring section is specified by a manual operation; a control section for executing image processing on any one of image data pieces stored in an image storage section that is identified by the identifier contained in said any one of the index files acquired by said acquiring section, which is specified by the manual operation when said determining section determines that said any one of the index files is specified; wherein: said acquiring section includes a first receiving section for receiving index files output from a digital camera; said determining section determines whether or not any one of the index files received by said first receiving section is specified by a manual operation; said control section comprises (i) an output section for outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of said any one of the image data pieces that is identified by the identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation, when said determining section determines that said any one of the index files is specified by the manual operation, and (ii) a second receiving section for receiving from the digital camera said any one of the image data pieces which is requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal output from said output section; and said control section executes the image processing on said any one of the image data pieces which is received by said second receiving section.

22. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 21, wherein said index file storage section and said image storage section are provided on a recording medium which can be attached to and detached from a body of the digital camera.

23. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 21, further comprising a display section for displaying the index files acquired by said acquiring section, and said specifying section specifying at least one of a plurality of index files displayed on said display section.

24. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 21, further comprising a selecting section for selecting any given image processing item of a plurality of types of image processing items, said selecting section being manually operated, said control section executing an image processing item selected by said selecting section on image data identified by the identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation.

25. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 21, wherein: said acquiring section can acquire a plurality of types of index files; and said control section executes image processing determined on the basis of a type of said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation, on image data identified by the identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation.

26. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 21, wherein said control section executes copy, display, or print processing on said image data.

27. An image data managing apparatus comprising: acquiring means for acquiring index files which are stored in an index file storage section and which contain identifiers with which image data pieces can be identified, respectively; determining means for determining whether or not any one of the index files acquired by said acquiring means is specified by a manual operation; and control means for executing image processing on any one of image data pieces stored in an image storage section that is identified by the identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation when said determining means determines that said any one of the index files is specified by the manual operation; wherein: said acquiring means includes first receiving means for receiving index files output from a digital camera; said determining means determines whether or not any one of the index files received by said first receiving means is specified by a manual operation; said control means comprises (i) output means for outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of said any one of the image data pieces that is identified by the identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation, when said determining means determines that said any one of the index files is specified by the manual operation, and (ii) second receiving means for receiving from the digital camera said any one of the image data pieces which is requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal output from said output means; and said control means executes the image processing on said any one of the image data pieces which is received by said second receiving means.

28. A computer-readable recording medium recording an image data managing program that is executable by a computer of an image data managing apparatus for processing image data to cause the computer to execute: receiving index files that are output from a digital camera and that contain identifiers which can specify image data; determining whether or not any one of the received index files is specified by a manual operation; outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of image data that is identified by the at least one identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation, when it is determined that said any one of the index files is specified by the manual operation; receiving image data which is output from the digital camera in response to the output transfer request signal; and executing image processing on the received image data.

29. An image data managing method comprising: receiving index files that are output from a digital camera and that contain identifiers which can specify image data; determining whether or not any one of the received index files is specified by a manual operation; outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of image data that is identified by the at least one identifier contained in said any one of the index files which is specified by the manual operation; receiving image data which is output from the digital camera in response to the output transfer request signal; and executing image processing on the received image data.

30. An image data managing apparatus comprising: an acquiring section for acquiring an index file which is stored in an index file storage section, and which contains an identifier with which an image data piece can be identified among image data pieces stored in an image storage section; a determining section for determining whether or not a desired kind of image processing for the index file stored in the index file storage section is selected by a manual operation from a plurality of kinds of image processing; a control section for executing the kind of image processing selected by the manual operation on the image data piece that is identified by the identifier contained in the index file acquired by said acquiring section, when said determining section determines that the desired kind of the image processing for the stored index file is selected; wherein: said acquiring section includes a first receiving section for receiving an index file output from the digital camera; said control section comprises (i) an output section for outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of an image data piece identified by an identifier contained in the index file received by said first receiving section, and (ii) a second receiving section for receiving from the digital camera the image data piece requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal output from said output section; and said control section executes the selected kind of image processing on the image data piece received by said second receiving section.

31. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 30, further comprising a display section for displaying contents of the plurality of kinds of image processing, and wherein said determining section determines whether or not any one of the contents of the plurality of kinds of image processing is selected by a manual operation.

32. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 30, wherein said index file storage section and said image storage section are formed on a recording medium removably provided in a main body of the digital camera.

33. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 30, wherein the kinds of image processing comprise copy processing, display processing and print processing.

34. An image data managing apparatus comprising: an acquiring section for acquiring a plurality of kinds of index files which are stored in an index file storage section, and which contain identifiers with which image data pieces can be identified, respectively; a retrieving section for retrieving a predetermined kind of index file from the plurality of kinds of index files acquired by said acquiring section; a determining section for determining whether or not the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved by said retrieving section; and a control section for executing a predetermined kind of image processing on an image data piece included in image data pieces stored in an image storage section that is identified by the identifier contained in the index file retrieved by said retrieving section, when said determining section determines that the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved; wherein: said acquiring section includes a first receiving section for receiving a plurality of kinds of index files output from the digital camera; said control section includes (i) an output section for outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of the image data piece identified by the identifier contained in the predetermined kind of index file retrieved by the retrieving section, when said determining section determines that the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved, and (ii) a second receiving section for receiving from the digital camera the image data piece requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal output from said output section; and said control section executes the predetermined kind of image processing on the image data piece received by said second receiving section.

35. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 34, further comprising a setting and registering section for selecting one of the plurality of kinds of image processing, and setting and registering said one of the plurality of kinds of image processing, and wherein said retrieving section retrieves a predetermined kind of index file set and registered by said setting and registering section, from the plurality of kinds of index files acquired by said acquiring section.

36. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 34, wherein said index file storage section and said image storage section are formed on a recording medium removably provided in a main body of the digital camera.

37. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 34, wherein the predetermined kind of image processing is copy processing, display processing or print processing.

38. An image data managing apparatus comprising: a first receiving section for receiving index files which are sent from a digital camera, and each of which contains a plurality of identifiers with which image data pieces can be identified, respectively; a specifying section for specifying at least one of the index files received by said first receiving section; a sending section for sending to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of the image data pieces which are identified by the identifiers contained in said at least one of the index files which is specified by said specifying section; and a second receiving section for successively receiving from the digital camera the image data pieces requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal sent from said sending section to the digital camera.

39. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 38, which further comprises a control section for executing a predetermined image processing on the plurality of image data pieces successively received by said second receiving section.

40. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 38, wherein each said index file has a text format.

41. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 38, further comprising a requesting section for making a request for requesting the digital camera to send the index file, and wherein said first receiving section receives the index file which is sent from the digital camera in response to the request made by said requesting section.

42. An image data managing system comprising a digital camera and an image data managing apparatus, wherein said digital camera comprises (i) an imaging section for imaging a subject, and outputting a plurality of image data pieces, (ii) a specifying section for specifying at least one of the plurality of image data pieces output from said imaging section, (iii) an index file generating section for generating an index file containing a plurality of identifiers with which the image data pieces can be identified, respectively, (iv) a control section for storing the plurality of image data pieces output from said imaging section, and storing in an index file storage section the index file generated by said index file generating section, and (v) a first sending section for sending the index file stored in the index file storage section to the image data managing apparatus, wherein the image data managing apparatus comprises (i) a first receiving section for receiving the index file sent from said first sending section, and (ii) a second sending section for sending to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of the image data pieces specified with the identifiers contained in the index file received by said first receiving section, wherein the digital camera further comprises (vi) a second receiving section for receiving the transfer request signal sent from said second sending section, and (vii) a third sending section for successively sending to the image data managing apparatus the plurality of image data pieces which are stored in the image storage section, and which are identified by the transfer request signal received by said second receiving section, respectively, and wherein the image data managing apparatus further comprises a third receiving section for successively receiving the plurality of image data pieces successively sent from said third sending section.

43. The image data managing apparatus according to claim 42, wherein: the image data managing apparatus further comprises a requesting section for making a request for requesting the digital camera to send the index file; the digital camera includes a determining section for determining whether or not the request is made by the requesting section; and the first sending section sends the index file stored in the index file storage section to the image data managing apparatus, when said determining section determines that the request is made by the requesting section.

44. An image data managing apparatus comprising: acquiring means for acquiring an index file which is stored in an index file storage section, and which contains an identifier with which an image data piece can be identified among image data pieces stored in an image storage section; determining means for determining whether or not a desired kind of image processing for the index file stored in the index file storage section is selected from a plurality of kinds of image processing by a manual operation; control means for executing the kind of image processing selected by the manual operation on the image data piece that is identified by the identifier contained in the index file acquired by said acquiring means, when said determining means determines that the desired kind of the image processing for the stored index file is selected; wherein: said acquiring means includes first receiving means for receiving an index file output from the digital camera; said control means comprises (i) output means for outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of an image data piece identified by an identifier contained in the index file received by said first receiving means, and (ii) second receiving means for receiving from the digital camera the image data piece requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal output from said output means; and said control means executes the image processing the kind of which is selected by the manual operation, on the image data piece received by said second receiving means.

45. A computer-readable recording medium recording an image data managing program that is executable by a computer of an image data managing apparatus for processing image data to cause the computer to execute: receiving an index file which is output from a digital camera, and which contains an identifier with which an image data piece can be identified; outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of the image data piece specified with the identifier contained in the received index file; receiving from the digital camera the image data piece requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal; determining whether or not a desired kind of image processing is selected from a plurality of kinds of image processing by a manual operation; and executing the selected kind of image processing on the received image data piece, when it is determined that the desired kind of the image processing is selected.

46. An image data managing method comprising the steps of: receiving an index file which is output from a digital camera, and which contains an identifier with which an image data piece can be identified; outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of the image data piece specified with the identifier contained in the received index file; receiving from the digital camera the image data piece requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal; determining whether or not a desired kind of image processing is selected from a plurality of kinds of image processing by a manual operation; and executing the selected image processing on the received image data piece when it is determined that the desired kind of the image processing is selected.

47. An image data managing apparatus comprising: acquiring means for acquiring a plurality of kinds of index files which are stored in an index file storage section, and which contain identifiers with which image data pieces can be identified, respectively; retrieving means for retrieving a predetermined kind of index file from the plurality of kinds of index files acquired by said acquiring means; determining means for determining whether or not the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved by said retrieving means; and control means for executing a predetermined kind of image processing on an image data piece included in image data pieces stored in an image storage section that is identified by the identifier contained in the index file retrieved by said retrieving means, when said determining means determines that the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved; wherein: said acquiring means includes first receiving means for receiving a plurality of kinds of index files output from the digital camera; said control means includes (i) output means for outputting to the digital camera a transfer request signal for requesting transferring of an image data piece identified by the identifier contained in the predetermined kind of index file retrieved by the retrieving means, when said determining means determines that the predetermined kind of index file is retrieved, and (ii) second receiving means for receiving from the digital camera the image data piece requested to be transferred by the transfer request signal output from said output means; and said control means executes the predetermined kind of image processing on the image data piece received by said second receiving means.

48. A computer-readable recording medium recording an image data managing program that is executable by a computer of an image data managing apparatus for processing image data to cause the computer to execute: receiving a plurality of kinds of index files which ar