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3D in your pockets

Priyanka Joshi  |  Mumbai 

Never have more Indians donned the silly-looking 3D glasses simultaneously. So, if has brought back in vogue, it makes perfect sense to pocket a 3D camera this year.

The Fujifilm Real 3D W1 digital camera uses two lenses, spaced out like human eyes, to capture two simultaneous images of the same scene from slightly different angles. The company has managed to give the coolest 3D images, with each lens having its own dedicated 10-megapixel CCD sensor, which are merged into one final image for viewing on the 3D screen on the back. Fuji has also designed output options that include a or special 3D prints.

Fujifilm has designed a chubby device that weighs 250 grams and is bigger than your average compact cameras, but that’s expected since it houses two lenses and two sensors. Taking pictures on this 3D camera is no different from any standard digital camera. The starts up in 3D mode; slide the screen that covers the lenses and you are ready to click 3D images. It requires no settings to capture standard images. There are two microphones next to the lenses for stereo audio when you want to film a video, which can also be done in 3D.

The can also be used as a 2D camera, with the dual capture shooting mode letting you take two shots simultaneously at different settings. The usual features of a digital compact such as an optical zoom, macro mode and self-timer, are bundled in, too.

During our review, we captured pictures of objects on a table, but they didn’t seem to jump out when viewed on the 3D viewer screen. We found that pictures were prone to parallax error (where the image starts to split into two) when the object is too close to the lens. The background needs to be distant enough in shot for the full 3D effect.

You can only view the images in 3D on the camera’s 3D/2D LCD screen, the Fujifilm V1 viewer (an 8-inch 3D picture viewer, costs extra), or as a lenticular print (3D printing technique). Otherwise, images will appear as regular 2D images. During review, we had to find the screen’s ‘sweet spot’ (which entails bobbing your head back and forth) for images and video to pop like 3D.

The battery support is decent. The W1, which costs nearly Rs 39,999, manages upwards of 200 shots using the supplied NP-95 Li-ion battery.

First Published: Mon, February 01 2010. 00:30 IST