Fujifilm has announced the development of a completely new, real image system (3D digital camera, 3D digital photo frame, 3D print) that marks a complete break from previous attempts to introduce this technology. Previous 3D systems were hampered by poor image quality and a cumbersome user experience, which often meant the need for special 3D glasses. One major benefit of the FinePix Real 3D System is that for digital camera LCD playback, display and print, you can enjoy the image just as it was originally seen with the naked eye. The new 3D image system features advanced image signal processing and micro-component technologies, with prototypes of a camera, a viewing panel and a 3D printing system developed so far.
Update: We have a gallery photos of the Fujifilm Real 3D camera and viewing panel, and we’ve also posted our initial impressions of using the Real 3D System - just click the continue link below…
As Fujifilm revealed to us today, they have taken the human eye as their starting point, devising a new binocular-camera that uses two high-quality lenses and two CCDs for three-dimensional image capture. Thus, the two photographs are shot simultaneously rather than sequentially, and are instantly blended into a single 3D image. The camera’s LCD panel can show the shots immediately after capture, similarly to “regular” digital cameras. Also part of the Real 3D system is a new type of viewer, which makes it possible to see your photos in 3D without having to wear special glasses, but can also show them in 2D when required. The technology behind this new type of viewer involves the use of a “light direction control module” in the back of the LCD that projects the light to the right and the left eye separately.
The third component of the Fujifilm Real 3D system is a brand new printing solution that allows high-quality, blur-free three-dimensional prints to be made and again enjoyed without the use of any special accessory. There are certain side benefits to using two lenses and two CCDs in a single camera. When you don’t need three-dimensional images, you can use one of the sensors to record a wide-angle photo and the other to capture a telephoto shot at the same time. Alternatively you can have both photograph the same scene at different exposures, again simultaneously. You can even have one of the CCDs capture stills while the other one records video!
Although the system exists already, Fujifilm says, “no firm plans for commercialisation” have yet been made, therefore no concrete products have been announced here at Photokina.
We’ve tried out the over-sized prototype 3D camera on Fujifilm’s stand here at Photokina, and also had a closer look at some working viewers and three-dimensional prints. Our first impressions were a little mixed. The live preview on the prototype camera did have a fairly nice 3D look to it, but in the still photographs it took, the effect was a lot less spectacular, at least when viewed on the camera’s LCD screen. We had similar impressions of the prints and the pre-recorded still images displayed on the viewers; the 3D effect was there, but in most of the cases, it was quite subtle. There were a few exceptions though, with some pictures having a much more pronounced 3D look to them, which suggests that the strength of the effect might also be dependent on the subject matter. As far as the videos are concerned, they definitely looked more three-dimensional than the stills – apparently, motion intensifies the effect.
Fujifilm UK Press Release
Make your images come alive!
Announcement Date: 22 September 2008
Newly Developed 3D Digital Real Image System
“FUJIFILM FinePix Real 3D System”
PHOTOKINA 2008, COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 23, 2008 - FUJIFILM Corporation today announces a radical departure from current imaging systems with the development of a completely new, real image system (3D digital camera, 3D digital photo frame, 3D print) that marks a complete break from previous attempts to introduce this technology.
The arrival of digital photography over a decade ago opened up so many new ways of enjoying images, not only through capture, but also through manipulation, printing and display. Sales of digital cameras, and other devices like camera phones or webcams have raced ahead of what experts had expected because of the sheer scope of what has become possible in digital imaging.
So many more consumers are enjoying photography through their cameras, PCs and prints than was the case in the heyday of film.
Fujifilm is determined to push those boundaries yet further, to produce devices which offer new ways to capture and process images, and to expand consumer enjoyment of photography in ways that had hitherto only been imagined.
Fujifilm has a strong research program currently running to improve every aspect of capture and output. This is based on the broad concept of producing images as lifelike as possible, or more simply, ‘capturing an image exactly as your eye sees it.’ The ‘Real Photo Technology’ program is determined to improve key quality metrics for each generation of camera, like ‘high resolution with low noise’, ‘expanded wide dynamic range’, ‘intelligent scene recognition’, ‘intelligent flash’, ‘face detection’ etc., culminating in the announcement this September of a new type of sensor, Fujifilm Super CCD EXR, which will take image quality to levels hitherto undreamed of.
Previous 3D systems were hampered by poor image quality, and a cumbersome user experience, which often meant the need for special 3D glasses. One major benefit of the FinePix Real 3D System is that for digital camera LCD playback, display and print, the consumer can enjoy the image just as it was originally seen with the naked eye.
The same research team is determined to use these key technologies to open up a new market with 3D imaging. The new 3D image system features advanced image signal processing and micro-component technologies, and is so far able to demonstrate a camera, a viewing panel and a 3D printing system.
The 3D camera depends heavily on a newly developed chip called the ‘RP (Real Photo) Processor 3D’ which synchronises the data passed to it by both CCD sensors, and instantaneously blends the information into a single high quality image, for both stills and movies.
‘Built-in 3D auto’ determines optimal shooting conditions from both sensors. 3D auto means that as soon as the shutter is depressed, key metrics for the image, such as focus, zoom range, exposure, etc. are synchronised. The camera is also fitted with built-in synchro control, giving 0.001-second precision for shutter control and movie synchronisation.
The processor uses the very latest technologies of high sensitivity and high resolution as the newest 2D processors.
Special identical high quality compact Fujinon lenses have been developed for the 3D system to ensure complete conformity between the left and right images.
The LCD monitor system has also been completely revised. The camera is fitted with a 2.8-inch, 230,000 pixel LCD. Thanks to a new engineering approach, screen flickering and image deterioration, thought to be difficult to overcome, are reduced to an absolute minimum to achieve beautiful, natural 3D images. The screen will also resolve 2D images as any other camera LCD.
A new 8.4-inch, “FinePix Real 3D Photo Frame” with over 920,000 pixels has also been developed. The LCD monitor on the camera and the stand alone display panel share similar technologies which solve the problem of screen flickering and image ghosting, common problems with earlier developments, giving crisp, high resolution viewing of images in glorious 3D or standard 2D. A newly developed “light direction control module” in the back of the LCD controls light to right eye and left eye direction. This light direction control system enables easy and high quality 3D viewing without special 3D glasses.
Using know-how gained through years of development of Frontier, Fujifilm has developed a 3D printing system using a fine pitch lenticular sheet giving high-precision, and fine quality multiple viewpoint 3D like never before.
Shooting with FinePix Real 3D System ( FUTURE POSSIBILITIES )
FinePix Real 3D System is also paving the way for new possibilities in 2D photo enjoyment. The heart of the system is a new concept camera fitted with dual lenses. Each lens can capture stills or movies from a slightly different position, producing the basis of the 3D image. By combining new dual lens system, new functions can be achieved, for example, image quality improvement function (Simultaneous Dual-Image Shooting: Multi-Expression). For users, this is just one possibility from a dual lens camera.
Imaging for the Future – More Than You Imagined
New dimensions in imaging mean a wealth of new possibilities which will revolutionise the way consumers enjoy imaging. Fujifilm is determined to leverage its considerable technical resources to explore 3D in everyway possible, to produce products that expand the imaging market, while at the same time, give future generations of consumers an even richer imaging experience than was conceived at the dawn of the digital age.