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Fujifilm starts shipping 3D imaging system

Oct 1, 2009 at 09:00 GMT

Fujifilm has announced the US price and availability of its 3D imaging system including the W1 digital camera, V1 picture viewer and 3D prints. The W1, is now available for a retail price of US $599.95 and the digital viewer is available for US $499.95. 3D prints will be made available from mid-October, through the company's printing website SeeHere.com for approximately US $6.99 per print.

Press Release:

FUJIFILM BRINGS FINEPIX REAL 3D SYSTEM TO U.S. MARKET

VALHALLA, N.Y., September 30, 2009 FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. announced that the much-anticipated FinePix REAL 3D system will become available in the U.S. today. Introduced globally by FUJIFILM Corporation this summer, the FinePix REAL 3D system is the world’s first three dimensional (3D) digital imaging system that captures realistic 3D still photographs and movies*1; providing 3D images that users can enjoy without special 3D glasses.

“The FinePix REAL 3D system is unlike any other digital imaging product on the market today, and the first real, complete solution for 3D digital photography, putting Fujifilm at the forefront of imaging technology,” said Go Miyazaki, division president, Electronic Imaging Division, Fujifilm U.S.A., Inc. “With the FinePix REAL 3D system, Fujifilm is offering users a totally new experience in both still pictures and movies to capture precious moments just as their eyes see them.”

Also today, Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer for NVIDIA® Corporation, declared the FinePix REAL 3D camera “NVIDIA 3D Vision™-Ready” during the company’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. NVIDIA 3D Vision is a combination of high-tech wireless glasses and advanced software that allows users to view 3D pictures and movies in full HD on a PC, as well as automatically transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D.

Phil Eisler, general manager of 3D Vision at NVIDIA said, “3D is transforming the entertainment and consumer electronics industries. Until now, consumers had no practical way to create and enjoy their own 3D content. The combination of Fujifilm’s amazing new point-and-shoot camera and NVIDIA’s 3D Vision system will ignite a whole new world of creative self expression.”

“Our joint effort with NVIDIA is a great example of how Fujifilm is already working together with other companies to expand solutions for 3D imaging,” added Miyazaki.

The FinePix REAL 3D system consists of the 3D digital camera, FinePix REAL 3D W1, a 3D digital viewer, FinePix REAL 3D V1, and 3D prints.

FinePix REAL 3D W1 Digital Camera
Featuring the newly developed “FinePix REAL 3D Lens System,” the W1 has dual Fujinon lenses that layer together two images. An aluminum die-cast frame protects the 3X optical zoom lenses from vibration and impact for ultimate accuracy. The “RP (Real Photo) Processor 3D” synchronizes data passed to it by the two lenses and two CCD sensors, to determine shooting conditions such as focus, brightness and tonality to instantaneously blend this information into a single symmetrical image for both still photos and movies. The 3D/2D LCD monitor features Fujifilm’s own LCD panel, exclusively made for the display of the 3D/2D images on digital cameras, allowing users to see beautiful, natural 3D images with the naked eye. As the camera performs a series of image processing steps automatically, anyone can take 3D photos and movies by just pointing the camera and pressing the shutter button.

Using an “Advanced 3D Mode,” the FinePix W1 digital camera also allows the user to adjust the settings to suit the scene being photographed. When using the “Individual Shutter 3D Shooting Mode,” the camera shifts to take the second shot after taking the first shot, and saves a single 3D image in the camera manually. This allows the user to edit the 3D images, which is particularly useful for landscape photography, or macro shots, where the 3D effect can be too strong. “Interval 3D Shooting” mode allows further flexibility, making it possible to take two shots from different viewpoints continuously while the photographer is moving, for example by train, airplane, or car…etc., to achieve 3D images of long-distance views.

The FinePix W1 also shoots conventional two-dimensional images. The "Advanced 2D Mode" lets users take two different shots simultaneously by pressing the shutter once. With "Tele/Wide Simultaneous Shooting," it’s possible to take a close-up photo of the subject and, at the same time, a photo with a wider span - just by changing the settings of the two lenses. With "2-Color Simultaneous Shooting" mode, users can take photos of the same scene with different color tonalities, like "Standard" or "Fujichrome," just by changing the processing signals on the two sensors.

FinePix Real 3D V1 Digital Viewer
The "FinePix REAL 3D V1," a digital 3D viewer, features Fujifilm's newly developed 3D/2D display 8.0-inch LCD panel. This allows users to enjoy and playback 3D images without the need for special 3D glasses. With various playback functions, users can enjoy 3D and 2D slideshows, as well as a Micro Thumbnail View, and an easy-to-use "Image Search" feature. With the included adjustable stand, users can change the angle for better 3D viewing, and enjoy easy use with the intuitive remote control included. The viewer can read and display image data stored on memory cards, and it can also receive image data via high-speed infra-red communication. The viewer can also directly connect to a personal computer via USB, and transfer stored images to the viewer for display.

FinePix Prints from SeeHere.com
Fujifilm has integrated high precision prints with lenticular sheets, resulting in the ability to produce high resolution 3D images. The process involves the 3D image data being integrated using highly advanced technology, and projected through a lenticular sheet lens to produce an image with binocular disparity. This then creates a very special 3D print with incredible detail.

Prints will only be available through SeeHere.com, Fujifilm’s photo printing, gifting and sharing web site.

A History of 3D Photography
3D photography has a history of more than 100 years, and stereoscopy even longer. In 1838, a 3D viewer (called a stereoscope) proved that properly drawn left and right eye views of an object would look 3D when viewed in the 3D viewer. Shortly after the birth of photography, the same principles and viewer were used for making and viewing 3D photographs. In 1947, the Stereo Realist camera introduced 35mm color 3D photography to the amateur photo market, and by 1955, over 40 models of 3D cameras were available. However, special 3D slide mounting, and the necessity of a 3D viewer, or a special 3D projector requiring a silver screen and 3D glasses, never caught on to a mass market. By 1960, 3D photography was relegated to a relatively small, but dedicated, group of enthusiasts who have continued to develop homemade 3D twin-camera rigs, including twin digital 3D cameras. Now in 2009, Fujifilm takes 3D photography to a new level with the introduction of the FinePix REAL 3D W1 digital camera, and its companion, the FinePix REAL 3D V1 viewer. The dream of point-and-shoot 3D photography, and instant 3D playback, is realized.*2

“I think that it was bold and innovative of Fujifilm to produce a digital 3D camera, and for a first effort, they have done an incredible job. I never would have expected Auto Parallax along with the focusing, and a camera display that actually shows the 3D image without any viewing aids,” says 3D enthusiast David Starkman, contributing editor, Stereo World Magazine and co-founder, Reel 3-D Enterprises, Inc. “Best of all, it's the first 3D camera I've ever had that really does fit in a shirt or jacket pocket. It gives the 3D photographer almost the same convenience that 2D photographers now have with their compact digital cameras.”

Availability
Effective today, September 30, 2009, the FinePix REAL 3D W1 Digital Camera and REAL 3D V1 Digital Viewer are available through www.ShopFujifilm.com. The camera is also available through the Gear Store on www.NVIDIA.com/Shop. The camera retails for $599.95, and the viewer sells for $499.95. Prints will also be available, starting mid-October, through SeeHere.com, Fujifilm’s photo printing, gifting and sharing web site, for $6.99.

*1 As of June 2009, Fujifilm research.
*2 Source: David Starkman, contributing editor, Stereo World Magazine; Past President, Stereo Club of Southern California; co-founder, Reel 3-D Enterprises, Inc.