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Nikon D3 and D300 DSLR Scene Recognition System Interview



Nikon Corporation has provided a behind the scenes interview with Mr. Hiroshi Takeuchi, the developer of their new Scene Recognition System (SRS) technology, which is incorporated in the latest Nikon D3 and D300 digital cameras.

Profile: Joining Nikon in 1995, Hiroshi Takeuchi was first engaged in developing light metering technology for film cameras. He then became involved in the development of metering for digital SLR's and TTL flash control technology.

Mr. Takeuchi is the primary force behind the development of the Scene Recognition System incorporated in the D3 and D300.

Before shooting a scene, a professional photographer adjusts focus, exposure and white balance based on his or her experience. Nikon’s Scene Recognition System represents a completely new concept whereby the camera makes this series of judgments as if it were the photographer’s brain.

Nikon's new Scene Recognition System furthers the use of Nikon’s 1,005-segment RGB metering sensor (first introduced in the Nikon F5) to recognize colors and light patterns that help the new cameras (currently the D300 and D3) determine the subject and the type of scene being photographed, before a picture is taken.

Leveraging the data provided by their 1,005-pixel RGB Matrix Meter, Nikon’s new SRS provides more precise subject identification, optimizing autofocus, exposure and white balance detection.

Nikon D3 and D300 Scene Recognition System

Auto Focus: The system uses data from the 1,005-segment RGB sensor to track a moving subject along the plane of direction within the frame. Complementing the AF sensor data with the subject tracking data calculated from the RGB sensor makes it possible for the D300 and D3 to select focus with great speed and precision.

Improved subject identification performance: information from the 1,005-segment RGB sensor is used to identify the background and any human subjects, and contributes to sharp focus by detecting where the subject's face is positioned. Human subjects are given higher priority when using Auto Area A.

Enhanced Color Matrix Metering II algorithms: metering data from the 1,005-segment RGB sensor is used to detect the areas of highlights. The range of brightness to be reproduced is calculated from the results of highlight analysis and more precise exposure control can be acheived.

Light source inference uses subject distance information and integrated pattern recognition to optimize auto white balance.

Nikon Scene Recognition System Interview

According to Mr. Hiroshi Takeuchi, "To achieve an even better technology was a challenge the Scene Recognition System absolutely had to overcome.

There were plenty of difficulties just to do that. First of all, since the development process required us to undertake simulations showing how certain types of image data we photographed could produce certain types of output, we had to start by taking huge volumes of sample photos to be used in the simulations."

To learn more about Nikon's new Scene Recognition System see the entire 'Behind The Scenes' interview with Mr. Takeuchi here.

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