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September 22, 2008

New Fuji Real 3D system is announced (with dual lens design)

Fuji managed to create a splash in today's sea of news with their new and exciting promise of 3D technology. But it has more than just 3D benefits (see bottom of page)! Although no actual camera was announced, the press release talks of "the camera", which means it's somewhere in between an R&D announcement and a development notice, a "concept camera" of sorts.

The "3D camera" uses two identical Fujinon lenses for "true 3D" effect, with a special 2.8" (230K) LCD that helps with the 3D-ness of the images. This setup is powered by the "Real Photoprocessor 3D" which blends the two images of the two CCDs and synchronizes the two sub-camera systems.

Fuji promises 0.001 second precision for shutter control and movies. Because 0.001 second sounds strange, it is the equivalent of 1 ms (millisecond), which sounds mightily impressive.

And two groups of "accessories" will become available to aid in this, an 8.4" 3D digital picture frame with a light direction control system that would allow viewing 3D without special glasses, and special printing technology for 3D prints.

Traditional Photography Benefits (not 3D)
But if you are not particularly interested in 3D, don't stop reading! Because this camera system can have other benefits for the 2D photographers:

  • dual image shooting at different focal lengths using the two identical lenses
  • shooting the same image but with different settings (HDR anyone?)
  • ultra-wide panoramic shooting
  • shoot films and stills at the same time


More details from Fuji itself.

As some readers may recall, Kodak tried their hand at the dual-lens compact cameras a few years ago, but despite the cool designs, the cameras never caught on because of less-than-stellar implementations - oh we are so nice and gentle today ;-)

The Fuji development notice above sounds impressive, and not just the 3D part. Consider the above traditional photography (2D) possibilities of essentially having two cameras in one body. HDR photography, wide/tele shots of the same scene, movies + stills of the same scene, and panoramas made easier.

So while all these sound exciting, we should not get too excited until we see actual products released, tested, reviewed and in the hands of photographers.

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