In a surprise announcement, FujiFilm has introduced a new digital camera known as the “FinePix REAL 3D W1” which is part of the “FinePix REAL 3D System”. It’s a 10 mega-pixel camera that for all intents and purposes looks just like any other digicam except it sports twin lenses and sensors, separated by a few centimeters on the front of the camera.
Users are able to see the scene they are shooting in 3D thanks to the LCD panel on the back of the camera which uses special 2D/3D switching technology.
The camera boasts several advanced options that gives more experienced 3D photographer greater control over the 3D effects generated by the capture process, including a mode that saves the images from each lens as separate files, allowing the user to manually edit the 3D image on a PC.
The 3D W1 has 3x optical zoom and can also operate in 2D mode for standard digital photography.
Of course, taking 3D images isn’t really satisfying unless you can view the images later in 3D too. FujiFilm’s answer to this is their “REAL 3D V1 Viewer”, an 8″ LCD photo frame that contains the same 2D/3D technology that is used on the 3D W1’s preview screen.
The 3D V1 has an adjustable “parallax control” which lets users change the degree of 3D depth on 3D images. Most impressive however, is the 3D effect is achieved without the use of special glasses, something that has long been viewed as a barrier to widespread adoption of 3D technology in the home.
The viewer is also capable of displaying regular 2D images and both 2D and 3D images are displayed at a resolution of 600×400.
Although the 3D V1 can be connected to a computer via USB and has the standard card reader options installed, there is no connectivity via Wi-Fi.
Lastly, FujiFilm is introducing the ability to print the 3D images onto a special lenticular paper, which again will allow people to view 3D printed images without the need of glasses.
No word on whether this paper will be printable at home using a traditional inkjet printer, or if it will only be available at photo labs, and no word yet on pricing for any of the REAL 3D products.
Also unclear is how consumers will be able to view the 3D videos they shoot with the 3D W1, but presumably the forthcoming wave of 3D capable HDTVs will be a part of the solution.
FujiFilm expects the full line of REAL 3D products to be availble in Canada this fall.