First take: Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1
The W1, a large point-and-shoot, is possibly the world's first consumer 3D digital camera.
Apart from announcing the Super CCD EXR technology at the Cologne-based Photokina imaging trade show last year, Fujifilm also showcased a prototype of a 3D digital camera. In the past, you would have needed stereoscopic shooters which are typically film-based. Digital versions of such snappers require you to fix two similar cameras side-by-side and press the shutter at the same time. You then need to print the pictures and use special accessories such as 3D glasses or dedicated computer programs to view the images in 3D. All that is about to change with the FinePix Real 3D W1, possibly the world's first consumer 3D digicam.
The W1 is one large point-and-shoot, measuring 123.6 x 68 x 25.6mm. In fact, it's even bigger than the Samsung Omnia II handphone. It weighs 304g with the lithium-ion battery and SD memory media, which is about the same as the Olympus E-P1. Before you shun this camera for its physique, bear in mind that the W1 requires a lot more electrical circuitry and components than conventional shooters to meet its unique 3D imagery function.
The W1 features a front sliding lens cover which protects the two lenses when not in use. It slides open and shut with an assuring clunk. The dual-lens design is eye-catching and each optic is flanked by a microphone (for stereo audio capture). An interesting aspect of the glasses is that they are spaced approximately the same distant apart as the human eyes, so the view you see on the LCD is a good representation of the actual scene.
The camera's build is solid and probably designed to be held with two hands. The wide berth of the W1 allows the controls to be spaced far apart with the 2.8-inch screen in the center.
The controls of the W1 are reminiscent of the FinePix Z33WP. Both point-and-shoots have the same grid-like button layout and are covered with a soft, rubbery finish. The top houses the shutter button and a zoom lever which tilts left and right. There is also an infrared port which we presume is for sending pictures to other compatible Fujifilm FinePix cameras or accessories.
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