Photography and Art

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3D - It's coming

The big news of 2009 so far has been the advent of video as part of the DSLR offering. We've seen offerings from Nikon, Canon and now Panasonic that have videophiles all atwitter. Michael Reichmann, in particular, has been quite taken with this new development and he's quite an influential guy, not to be taken lightly.

However, I'm not a video guy and the whole video thing leaves me cold. I've never been an aspiring movie director and still photography consumes all my spare energy.

3D still photography, on the other hand, does turn my crank! I have great memories of playing with a viewmaster as a child and the awe of seeing a three dimensional image of somewhere interesting like the Grand Canyon or the canals of Venice. I think this is where I caught the travel bug.

Fuji just announced some significant 3D developments. It isn't the first 3D camera on the market by any means (just look here), but Fuji has announced a complete system that promises to transform the 3D market. Instead of requiring a binocular viewer that makes the viewing of 3D images a bit of a hassle, it looks like Fuji has developed a 3D viewer screen that doesn't require special eyewear as well as a print-making process that creates 3D prints that also don't require special eyewear.

The 3D viewer consists of an 8-inch LCD screen (600x400 resolution) with two channels. Each channel is aimed at one of your eyeballs to simulate parallax and fool your brain into thinking that it's looking at a 3D image. It has a modern GUI (very iphone-like) with a touch screen.

The camera is pretty cool. It has dual sensors and can record 3D stills and movies. It can also work as a 2D camera where you can take two conventional photos at the same time.

There isn't much available on the print making process yet - other than to say that you'll have to send your images to Fuji to have your prints made.

There is also no word on pricing yet, so stay tuned. If the price is right, I'm going to put one of these cameras and the viewer on my Christmas list and play around with this new/old medium.

As I was tooling around the 'net looking for 3D stuff, I came upon 3-D Review, a great blog site that seems comparable to Mike Johnston's The Online Photographer in the 2-D world.