[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 18, No. 1 (2011) 55-59]
© 2011 The Japan Society of Applied Physics

Development of Ultrawide-Angle Compact Camera Using Free-Form Optics


Future Creation Laboratory, Olympus Corporation, 2-3 Kuboyamacho, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-8512, Japan

(Received June 2, 2010; Accepted September 22, 2010)

Digital imaging enables us to easily obtain, store, process and display images as digital data, and it is used not only for digital cameras but also for surveillance and in-vehicle cameras, measuring devices, and so on. On the basis of our studies, a free-form optic is not suitable for a high-definition zooming capability; however, it makes optical devices smaller, thinner and lighter. Therefore, it is worth considering the applications of free-form optics other than camera modules for cellular phones. We have investigated the possibilities of miniaturization, which is the most significant feature of free-form optics, and developed a practical application. In this paper, we describe the results of design, prototyping, and evaluation of our ultrawide-angle compact imaging system using free-form optics.

Key words: free-form optics, in-vehicle camera, digital camera, telecentricity, distortion