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Fujifilm introduced a whole new genre of digital camera with today’s announcement of the FinePix Real 3D W1 camera. The compact camera can snap 3D images with its dual image sensors and lenses. Fujifilm also announced a 3D photo viewer and 3D printing capabilities; these and the camera will be available in September, but pricing has not yet been determined.
The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 digital camera almost looks like a very compact set of binoculars with its two tiny 3x optical zoom lenses peeking out the front. Behind the two lenses are two image sensors that can independently select color tones and ISO settings, among other things.
The Real 3D W1 camera takes several images and combines them into a single file to create the three-dimensional effect. There is a switch on the back of the camera that moves the camera from 3D to 2D shooting mode; still images and movies are possible for recording with this digital camera. The 3D camera is designed to see like the human eye, but in some cases it seems to do more. According to the July 22 company press release, there is a “Tele+Wide Shooting” mode that makes it “possible to take a close-up photo of the subject and, at the same time, a photo with a wider span – just by changing the settings of the two lenses.” The W1 has a 2.8-inch LCD screen.
The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D V1 is a companion photo viewer with an 8-inch, 460,000-pixel LCD panel. It displays 3D images that can be seen without special 3D glasses. Images can be loaded onto the viewer either through the USB connection from the camera, via the SD card, or through infrared transmission. The V1 can show 2D or 3D slide shows, thumbnail views, and search images in its memory. A remote control comes with the Fujifilm V1 to make viewing images even easier.
As for the printing of the 3D images, Fujifilm says that it has the technology but that it doesn’t make sense to commercialize it just yet. The printing will be available as a direct service for purchasers of the 3D cameras “because of the newness and complexity of the print system,” said Adrian Clarke, director of digital imaging at Fujifilm. Once demand is established for the Real 3D W1 digital camera, Clarke said the company will “consider print production devices for the wider processing industry.”