With the recent advancements in television, cinema and gaming into the third dimension, its no surprise that digital photography is moving into the 3D phenomenon too... and the first to introduce itself to the market is the Fuji FinePix Real 3D W1.
First, a little about the camera - like traditional analogue stereoscope cameras, the Fuji FinePix Real 3D camera has two 10 megapixel lenses that capture two images which overlap to create the 3D image. Unlike past cameras though, the digital 3D camera works with sensors and screens where you can immediately view your photos.
However, as exciting as that all sounds, the real issue with this camera isn't the specification or the quality. Having done some research - the quality of the images seems to be great, which you would expect, the specifications are decent for a handheld camera and the capabilities outside the 3D - including videos and panoramics are intriguing. The premise of a 3D digital camera has potential. But my initial feeling with this product, as with other 3D products is that it is limited - almost gimmicky. You can't view the 3D images outside of the camera or an additional viewer which you have to invest in, the images aren't easily shared and that is the one of the best parts of photography and one reason why cameras on phones are so popular. If you wanted to share your photos from this camera you would have to share the 2D images and that really defeats the point of this camera.
3D technology is being pushed as the future and 'new technology' yet most of the design of this camera is based on old ideas that have been updated to fit new advancements and you wonder if these original ideas create more limitations for modern 3D results than potential as you still have to use certain equipment, whether its red and green 3D glasses or an advanced screen to view the images.
Despite its limitations and my worries, this is a first generation product and I still think that the potential for 3D imaging in a digital capacity is very exciting... with the current results being dynamic and fun, if exclusive to the right equipment. It will be interesting to see if 3D will be more integrated into technology and our everyday lives and if it does, this camera could be the very beginning...