3D digital cameras, viewers and prints demonstrated by Fujifilm
When I first heard that Fujifilm was to make an announcement about 3D digital photography here at Photokina, I subconsciously classified my expectation of the announcement to be some kind of technology teaser. So imagine my surprise when I discovered a comprehensive showcase of Fujifilm's FinePix Real 3D technologies.
Touch and try
On the stand I was able to use prototype FinePix Real 3D cameras, fitted with 3D screens, view pictures on larger 3D viewscreens, and some 3D print samples, if not any printers, were available for examination.
The FinePix Real 3D lens system works with two lenses, set apart, to produce a stereoscopic style imaging system. Fujifilm has developed an RP (Real Photo) 3D image processor chip that combines a pair of images to produce a virtual 3D effect, presumably working with the well known dual-lens attribute of parallax.
Seeing is believing
On the viewer side, FujiFilm has developed a 'light direction control module' that enables the LCD display to display alternate images to each eye, delivering a 3D experience – without having to wear special glasses.
The viewing system, both on the camera and in stand-alone monitors, works surprisingly well – as long as your gaze doesn't go too far off-axis. When this happens, the 3D effect disappears and you can even begin to see some double imaging.
It has to be said that the 3D prints that Fujifilm had on show were rather reminiscent of those novelty 3D postcards that have been available for a long time. But there is potential there. A fine pitch lenticular screen is sandwiched with two images to give a three dimensional, if rather grainy, view.
2D enhancements too
Fuji doesn't just see its dual lens FinePix Real 3D cameras shooting 3D exclusively. As the 3D cameras require a pair of lenses, in 2D mode you can use one lens for recording a telephoto view while the other is shooting wide angle, or even a movie with one lens and stills with the other.
This means you can have two different views of the same moment. Fujifilm is also suggesting combining two simultaneously shot images taken with different colour and tone settings, resulting in an enhanced hybrid image. Ultra wide panoramas, stitching two images together, is another option.
Not just a research project
Fascinating new technologies have been showcased at shows like Photokina before, only never to be seen again. This time Fujifilm seem determined to bring FinePix Real 3D to market and we could have some products by the end of next year.
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Photokina 2008: Fujifilm views a FinePix Real 3D future for photography
DPNow Photokina 2008: Fujifilm views a FinePix Real 3D future for photography
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