- Mar 22, 2009
Fujiflim launches 3D Camera
RegardsFujifilm Enters the Third Dimension - Gadgetwise Blog - NYTimes.com
October 2, 2009, 1:45 pm
Fujifilm Enters the Third Dimension
By Rik Fairlie
We are entering the third dimension.
And we’re doing so without the cheesy glasses.
Fujifilm just took the wraps off its long-awaited 3D camera and photo frame, which can capture and display 3D (and 2D) photos and video. The technology is sometimes amazing, but it seems likely to appeal primarily to a small group of stereoscopic photo enthusiasts.
I had some hands-on time with the camera and photo frame during a briefing with Fujifilm, and I thought the images were an interesting novelty, if a bit distracting. The 3D effect is cool, but it’s a special effect that emphasizes wow over reality. It’s not for everybody.
Nonetheless, the $600 FinePix Real 3D camera is an intriguing piece of hardware. The 10-megapixel model employs dual lenses and CCD sensors to capture and process two images and overlay them to create the 3D effect. It’s a solid chunk of camera, housed in a sturdy aluminum die-cast frame, but it’s also much bulkier than your average point and shoot. The camera yields photos in the MPO multiple image format and records video at 800-by-600 resolution at 30 frames per second.
The $500 FinePix Real 3D V1 viewer is an 8-inch photo frame with an SD card slot for loading images and video (it also has 512MB of built-in memory). The 3D photos look a bit rough on this LCD. You have to find the sweet spot to match up the image properly, and when you don’t, you’ll see plenty of blurriness and ghosting. It gave me a headache.
The final piece of the solution, lenticular printing, will launch later this month. Users of the FinePix Real 3D camera can order 3D prints online from Fujifilm’s SeeHere.com at a steep cost of $7 per 5-by-7 print. The photos are processed at a special lab in Tokyo and require a two-week turnaround. Fujifilm passed around some 3D photo prints and most of them looked nice and not dramatically unreal.
The company has partnered with graphics giant nVidia to create a solution that enables users to display 3D images on their PC monitor. But there are some gotchas: To view 3D images on a PC, the computer (Windows only) must have updated nVidia drivers that recognize MPO files. You’ll also need a monitor capable of running at 120 hertz and nVidia’s $199 3D Vision kit, which includes a pair of (uncheesy) glasses required to see the image in 3D. The good news is that investment extends far beyond the Fujifilm camera, since you can also view hundreds of videogames in 3D.
Fujifilm displayed a gallery of 3D images on a PC monitor, and here the effect was astounding. Photos were sharp and freakishly dimensional. Again, not realistic but this time the images were very crisply rendered.