Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Third Dimension

The Fuji W1 with lenses uncovered (the ON mode)

Picked up the Fuji finepix real 3D w1 today.

The following is a quick run down of features that I thought were neat as a stereoscopic enthusiast...

  1. Shoots photos and takes video in both 2D and 3D.
  2. In 2D photos are saved as JPEG
  3. In 3D photos are saved in MPO format (software comes with the camera that allows you to separate the MPO files into two JPEG files - right eye, left eye photos)
  4. Video is saved as an AVI. Again the stereo AVI file can be converted into two 2D files using the Fuji software.
  5. You can adjust the overlap of the right and left photos (resulting in making the stereo photo narrower)
  6. supports SDHC memory cards
  7. has a manual shooting mode for shutter speed and aperture (very limited and the controls are layered within the interface)
  8. lenticular viewing screen (preview 3D without glasses!! wowee!!)
  9. 100 - 1600 ASA settings including AUTO
  10. museum mode - a really neat, easily accessible feature that turns off the camera's sound and flash.
  11. buttons light up.
  12. 3D photos can also be taken using a single lens (read below for more details)
  1. Battery can be inserted upside down while this doesn't cause any known problems other than the camera not powering up this isn't great design.
  2. FUJI film NP-95 battery made in Japan/China that comes with camera fits fine. Extra FUJI film battery that I bought which was made in Taiwan is a bit fat and needs to be forced into camera battery slot.
  3. Focus in low lighting takes a while and doesn't work very well (mind you I'm used to shooting with an SLR). Photos are blurry. Photos taken in the daytime are fine.
  4. memory card not included.

The back monitor is lenticular (3D without needing glasses!)

Overall as a geek toy I'm quite happy with the W1. It has a nice weight to it. As mentioned above the camera can also take photos using a single lens. There are two modes.

1. Interval 3D shooting

This mode is good if say you're on a train and you want to take photos of the mountains you're passing by. Using the standard shooting mode with the two lenses the distance between the two photos isn't enough for you to get really good depth. By placing the camera next to the window hopefully on something sturdy you can program the camera to take two photos X seconds apart.
Duration between photos can be set to one of these settings - minimum, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, 5.0, 10.0 seconds

What if I'm going in the opposite direction or am sitting on the wrong side of the train?
use the TURN feature (this is a poor word choice) to shoot the two photos in opposite order.

2. Individual shutter 3D shooting

This mode is good if you're shooting a still object and it's too small or too large for the standard two lens approach. You first shoot the left image, you then move the camera to shoot the right image. To help you along, the first image that you take is superimposed onto the live feed so you can line up the camera for the second image.

Good for photographing using the cha cha method.

The top of the W1 showing the zoom control and shutter button

The camera also shoots 2D photos and has a bunch of features like macro mode, face recognition, and being able to shoot in 2D with both lenses at the same time. One might be zoomed in while the other shoots wide. There are other features but being as I bought the camera for 3D won't go into those modes (unless you really want me to - send an email and I'll make add on to this post).

From top to bottom. Place to attach the camera strap, Audio Video out, port for external power.

Bottom. Battery and memory card hatch. Also standard camera screw hole for tripods.

Taiwan battery versus the Japan/China battery

Close up of the back, left side.

Close up of the back, right side.

The camera goes for about $700.00 CAN. The battery (NP-95) is about $45. I highly recommend looking for the battery that is made in Japan/China. Also, I invested in an external charger so I don't have to use the camera to charge the batteries.

I haven't had a lot of time to play around with this to really figure out the optimum distance for shooting and getting good depth results. My film based Realist gives better results based on my preliminary tests. I'll photograph with the camera under more conditions and do a follow up in a later blog post.

Oh, yeah. There's an "underwater" white balance setting but the camera isn't water proof. I suppose it's good if you're at the zoo looking through that glass wall of a water tank photographing polar bears or fish.


Andrew Murchie said...

I'm loving my Fuji W1 that Santa brought for my Christmas. I have a slideshow of images (converted to anaglyph) that were taken using the W1 that give a good idea of typical results taken on automatic settings - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8lDixOnIAI

Rick Dolishny said...

This is amazing. Can we see some video? Do I need red-blue glasses or something else?