Inside Story

Reducing drive noise

Another topic in mechanism design was to "reduce the sound when the shutter-release button was halfway depressed." When the subject is found and the shutter-release button pressed down halfway, the camera focuses on the subject, so the lenses operate to adjust the focal point. When this happens, they unavoidably make noise, but users had requested that this "noise be reduced".

"I myself have tried to take pictures at a friend's wedding and have been bothered by sound in such a solemn moment, so I wanted to reduce the sound of the shutter. We were able to silence it by changing the motor's drive system and searching for the best control parameters," tells Suzuki.

The painstaking incorporation of an electronic level

Atsushi Matsutani
"It was the first time we tried to incorporate
an electronic level, so it was a continuous
process of trial and error." (Atsushi Matsutani)

A new feature introduced with the GR DIGITAL II is a "function for detecting level". The mechanism incorporates a sensor for measuring level, processes the signals from the sensor and includes means for displaying results on the LCD and acoustical notification. Looking back, Atsushi Matsutani, who was in charge of basic overall design and software design, said, "Measuring level was much harder than I thought." He racked his brain with the system configuration trying to figure out how to process signals from the sensor and ensure accurate leveling. "It came out pretty accurate and I'm satisfied with it," he concluded.

"When the CCD is level, the camera must be indicated as level. Matching the CCD and sensor output was an issue in the production process." The problem was solved by adjusting each camera one by one on the production line. "We incorporated an electronic level because the depth when taking pictures of buildings can change depending on whether the camera is level or not. The result was a camera that can take pictures instantly after the user takes it from his/her pocket," says Matsutani.

Electronic Level

Since the GR DIGITAL II is carefully adjusted one by one in the production process, it is semi-handmade. It will be interesting to see what users think of this camera that embodies the perfection sought by planning, design and production teams.

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