Remember those days when you'd sit back bespectacled with your 3D red and blue glasses to watch the latest in visual spectaculars? No? Well, we weren't all children of the sci-fi heyday in the 1950s, but most of us will certainly remember the joy with which we experienced our first foray into the third dimension, in image or in film. We already had Olympus touting its 1959-inspired E-P1, and now the 3D camera from Fujifilm makes another attempt to win our hearts with its retro-inspired tech.
We're guessing this is what the final production model will look like. (Credit: CBSi)
After wowing the crowds back at Photokina last year, Fujifilm chose PMA in Sydney to showcase a working prototype of its new FinePix Real 3D camera. The camera works by using two lenses to take two 6-megapixel images using CCD sensors. It then blends them together to create the three-dimensional image — or a three-dimensional movie.
The camera automatically determines the correct exposure, focus and zoom range in order to synchronise the images together. Fujifilm claims that the concept behind the camera is to create an image just as the eye would see it. When we played with the camera and reviewed images on the 2.8-inch LCD screen, we found it was a little disorienting at first (and no, you don't need 3D glasses to see it either). Think of it almost in the same way as you'd look at one of those Magic Eye puzzles — focus on one area of the frame and the rest starts to pop out.
The file format that the camera creates is completely proprietary, so only Fujifilm products are able to decode the image, whether that's on the camera LCD itself, on the 8.4-inch photo frame developed by the company, or printed on special equipment.
The concept itself is also a tad gimmicky — we can't really see an audience for this camera apart from those who see the quirky (and expensive) side of consumer technology. That said, we love that this concept made it past the drawing board and into a fully fledged prototype. We just hope that the interface and usability is improved in the final production version.
This isn't just all a pipe dream. The camera should be available in Australia in October this year. As for the actual design, well, don't expect it to look like the boxy number in the main picture at the top of the page — we got a sneak peek at what we assume (and a Fuji representative told us) will be the final design; see the box inset above.