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back to article Fujifilm readies revamped 'true' 3D camera

Fujifilm has taken the wraps off its latest two-lens, two-sensor 3D-capable compact camera. Fujifilm FinePix True 3D W3 The FinePix Real 3D W3 comes a year after the debut of Fuji's first 3D shooter - reviewed here - and, like that model, sports a pair of 10Mp sensors behind 3x optical zoom lenses placed 75mm apart. Fuji's …

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Stereovision

Not "true 3D". The latter would be a hologram or other 'solid' projection, so that movement of the observer would be handled correctly. All they are doing is implementing stereovision properly, which is an advance for that sort of camera but hardly anything new (I first saw a stereoscopic camera with two lenses when I was a kid, some 40+ years ago, and it wasn't new then).

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Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace

Indeed, nothing new really, just the fact it's digital and 3D is trendy at the moment.

There's a whole series of pictures from the Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace, taken with a stereoscopic camera, and that was in 1854!

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Headmaster

Sorry!

The Great Exhibition was 1851.

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Go

Can't wait to hear more

I love my Real 3D W1. It's just too damn chunky. The thing really feels a lot like the very first digital camera I ever owned - a 1.3 megapixel beast that was coincidentally also a Fuji FinePix camera. I picked up the W1 and got great pictures in Egypt with it - the Sphynx looks amazing in 3d. I also found that the ColorCode 3d Blue/Amber analygraphic method is great for viewing....

I want this new version - it looks like it's much more evolved than the original... Perhaps not too much smaller overall, but it does appear to be slimmer and hopefully lighter. I think I'll need to trade up if it is in fact smaller.

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"3D" screen

"Once again, the screen can show snaps in 3D without you having to don special specs."

Yeah, that's what they say, but in use what actually happens is that you have to hold the screen an exact distance from your eyes, and at an exact viewing angle. Otherwise what you get is the effect on those cheepy rulers that come in breakfast cerials where a tiger appears to move across the ruler.

However that said, once you find the 3D hotspot, the 3D effect is really there (although it has been enhanced in the sample images from Fuji).

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Boffin

I've been playing with the previous version for a while...

It's a nice idea - assuming you have some way to display 3-d images. But you *can't* use it as a point'n'push without thinking a lot about the image you're making. It has a number of disadvantages.

The sensors are further apart than people's eyes, which emphasises the 3-d effect, but which also makes it tricky if you have objects in the foreground (the general theory is that you should have nothing closer than 30* the separation distance for realistic 3-d, so about two metres is the closest you can have things). If there are close objects, they tend to resolve sufficiently different in each eye to be very distracting.

The flash is feeble. It can't light a couple of people at half-body portrait - or rather, in flash mode the effective ISO of the sensor appears to be reduced to a very low level. Possibly I have not yet found an appropriate setting in the very confusing menus, but none of the flash images I have taken have been correctly exposed.

But worst is probably that it's an ergonomic nightmare. Cameras without viewfinders - just LCD screens - are difficult to use at the best of times, since you have to hold the camera out some distance from your eye and they wave around like a tree in the breeze. In this camera, the 3-d screen on the back works *only* if you're exactly on axis to it, and it won't show a proper image at all until it has located the image centre and tweaked the centring. The camera is very heavy, and to get a good 3-d image you need to have the thing exactly level. Holding the beast out away from your face, in exactly the right place, holding it dead level, controlling camera shake, and trying to compose the picture? Oh, and making sure you don't have a finger in front of one of the lenses, which is not as obvious as you might expect... There's too much going on. Get a tripod.

On the other hand, the images produced - when the exposure is OK - seem reasonable. If you don't have a 3-d viewer, the MPO format images are recognised by Stereo Photo Maker, so you can easily turn them into other formats, say, colour anaglyph. Ubuntu Nautilus and the image viewer also recognise MPO images, though they'll only show one of the pair, and the camera automatically saves a jpeg at the same time. Stereo Photo Maker is a windows program, but is happy under Wine.

A couple of red-cyan anaglyphs:

http://stereo.nailed-barnacle.co.uk/#12.4

http://stereo.nailed-barnacle.co.uk/#12.6

Best viewed in full screen, or download. I don't like the compression that happens on that image server!

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Viewfinders...

...or lack of them has stopped me upgrading from my last camera. When the batteries are low, I can turn off the screen and get a lot more photographs before it dies.

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Z80
Troll

@Neil Barnes

How far apart are your eyes?

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What, no example photo?

(see title) Could be "interesting" for Playmobil reconstructions. ;-)

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Troll

@Z80

62-65mm is the norm. In Ye Olden Tymes they reckoned two and a quarter to two and a half inches.

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