[Follow-up] Fujifilm: Backlight Holds Key to 3D Camera

Sep 26, 2008
Tomohiro Otsuki, Nikkei Electronics
[Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image]
A demonstration assuming the 3D display on the digital photo frame. An in-wall LCD monitor was actually used instead of the digital photo frame.
A demonstration assuming the 3D display on the digital photo frame. An in-wall LCD monitor was actually used instead of the digital photo frame.
[Click to enlarge image]
The back of the dgital photo frame
The back of the dgital photo frame
[Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image]

Fujifilm Corp introduced the "FinePix Real 3D System," composed of a compact camera, a 3D digital photo frame and a 3D printing system at photokina, a trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries (See related article).

The compact camera is the world's first camera that can take still images and movies in 3D and allows the user to see them with the naked eye. The 3D digital photo frame can be viewed with the naked eye, too. The company intends to commercialize the system in 2009.

The outline of the components:

Digital Camera (an operable prototype)

- Images are shot simultaneously by dual lenses and imaging elements. The lenses are located at the distance of 6 to 7cm from each other, which is equivalent to the distance between human eyes. If the user doesn't want 3D images, 2D images can be shot by adjusting ranges of zoom and exposure, or generate a panoramic image from two 2D images.

- The right-eye image and the left-eye image are processed respectively for better quality and integrated into one image. A relatively simple image processing is carried out during this integration process so as to enhance the stereovision effect. The integration of two images into one image relieves the user from the burden of image management.

- The LSI for camera image processing that Fujifilm normally uses was partially modified for use in the new system to enable synchronization of the shutter timing. As far as the prototype is concerned, there seems to be no increase in waiting time until 3D still images and video are displayed after pressing the shutter button.

- The LCD monitor on the back is a 2.8-inch QVGA. The fineness of displayed images on a QVGA tends to be compromised with the use of a parallax barrier or a lenticular lens. However, this problem was resolved in the new system. Fujifilm has not disclosed the details of the method, but the direction of the light from the backlight is controlled, according to the company.

- When the viewer moves his/her head from side to side, the eyes are usually strained because of the inverted vision phenomenon. This camera, however, is free from this phenomenon and shows 2D images properly. The 3D viewing could be compromised sometimes, but it was designed so that the consumers can continue to use the camera comfortably for a long time.

- The menus on the LCD monitor are also displayed in 3D. It is easier for the user to see because the selected item stands out. I felt that it needs some adjustment, however. The difference in colors between the selected item and other items was unnecessarily large, because existing 2D menus are used without any major modifications.

- Some of the visitors said the female product presenters in the video were appealing and impressive in particular.

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