"Three-dimensional everything" is shaping up to be the big trend of 2010 (or at least its most-prominent bastion of hype), but Fujifilm had an early jump on the 3D craze. The company introduced the 3D-shooting FinePix Real 3D WX1 all the way back in the 2D-centric days of 2009, and it will stay a generation ahead of the competition with the just announced FinePix Real 3D W3.
From the looks of it, this is the most advanced 3D-capable digital camera we've seen yet, thanks to its manual controls, 3D display adjustments, and shooting mode capabilities.
The dual-lensed, dual 10 megapixel sensor W3 has many of the same specs as last year's W1, but with a few notable changes. The two-CCD camera is capable of shooting 720p high definition 3D video through its pair of 3x-optical-zoom lenses, offers a new image processor that is capable of some innovative shooting modes, and includes an HDMI-out port for viewing 3D images and video on compatible 3D TV sets.
No glasses are needed to view images and video with a 3D effect on the camera itself. Like the W1, the W3 features a 3.5-inch, lenticular-layer-coated LCD, but Fujifilm says the version on the W3 is an improvement over the last-generation camera. With the W1, 3D images did seem to flicker at times during playback, and the screen had "sweet spots" you needed to find to view 3D content properly. Fujifilm says that the new screen is much brighter, has less of a flicker effect, and displays more vivid colours.
During playback, you're able to manually adjust the parallax controls on the display to change the camera's depth effects. There are a few interesting modes in the mix that make good use of the camera's two-lens setup for both 3D and 2D shooting purposes.
In 3D mode, the camera lets you manually capture left- and right-lens images at different times to create more eye popping depth effects for large objects in the distance, and the W3 also allows you to take 2D shots with different effects and settings for each of the camera's lenses. The camera also boasts full manual, aperture-priority, and scene-based modes.
Due in September, the FinePix Real 3D W3 will be priced at $500 (£320).