While most of us would assume that 3D still cameras are in their infancy you may be surprised the learn the Fujifilm’s W3 3D camera is not its first attempt at stereoscopic photography – but rather its second.
Fujifilm claim that its FinePix Real 3D W1 was the first compact 3D camera in the world, and that the W3 is a refinement of this. It sports a larger and better quality 3.5in display on the rear, is smaller and, at 230g, is lighter than the first model. It’s also cheaper, as while the original retailed at £570 – the RRP on this one is just £399.
The camera features two distinct 10-megapixel CCDs and two Fujinon lenses (3x optical zoom) to create the 3D effect. In a neat trick, if you stick to 2D you can use one for taking a close up and one for a wide angle image – of the same subject at the same time, or you can go for different colour balances or ISO sensitivity.
Back in 3D mode, the camera can take both stills and video in 3D at 720p resolution. You can view content without glasses directly on the display on the rear, or hook up to a 3D TV and see it loom large on the big screen, using the TV's compatible glasses. Fujifilm claims that thanks to a “parallax control function”, the crosstalk effects that plague some 3D TVs, particularly LCD based ones, will be reduced.
Additionally, there’s an optional 8in digital photo frame viewer that lets you view the images in 3D – also without glasses - which sounds a little like a 3D tablet.
What’s more, images from the camera can also be printed in 3D – or rather leticular prints of up to 9in x 6in, via a printing process that Fujifilm will be available soon in the UK. Lentiuclar prints are generally only effective when viewing from a sweet spot, so we’d be interested to see how effective these are.
Fujifilm said the FinePix Real 3D W3 will be available in major department stores from early September.