Learning Basic 3D With Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 and StereoPhoto Maker

This weekend I had a chance to play with Fuji’s Finepix Real W1 3D Camera and its associated V1 Digital 3D Viewer. It wasn’t much of a weekend in Toronto to go outside and shoot –it was windy with heavy rains– but I did manage to pop into Allan Gardens (indoors and out of the rain) to at least shoot some experimental images with the camera and shoot a few 3D movies as well.

There are plenty of reviews on-line about this camera and many of them not very complementary. Primarily the ergonomics of the camera, along with its built in 3D viewfinder screen make this not a great camera when compared to other digital camera’s. Because it was a dull day when I was shooting I actually had no issues with the viewfinder. I did however have plenty of shots where part of my finger got in the way of one of the lenses. There is something to the reports however I have to admit that after shooting a 100 shots or so I really like the look of the 3D images on the viewer.

They say that the future of 3D television will ultimately be glasses free and that will probably mean advances in Autostereoscopy and lenticular displays. So the V1 digital viewer may very well be a prelude to the future one of the first consumer devices available to show 3D images without the need for glasses. While I find the images pleasing to the eye I wouldn’t want to look at them for long periods of time as they feel some strain on my eyes.

An MPO file consists of the left and right eye arranged side by side as a jpg

Still images (both left and right eye images) are stored to standard jpg files and  something called an MPO file that displays them in 3D. You can actually rename a .mpo file to .jpg and it’ll display in as a single standard jpg. Once the images were shot I could transfer the MPO files to the V1 viewer to watch them as a slide show. Editing of these images appears at this time to be limited. However after searching around on the web I discovered that the MPO file format is supported by the popular free stereo photo editing program Stereo Photo Maker. The program is no Photoshop but what it does rotation, some basic sharpening and effects.

After playing with the program for a short period of time I discovered a whole new world of 3D photography and having the camera and viewer helped put some of it in perspective for me. The real power of Stereo Photo Maker is that it converts images taken on the Finepix Real 3D W1 to other 3D formats. In addition  I found I could download stereoscopic images from Flickr and convert them to MPO’s and view them in 3D on the V1 3D viewer.

I also came across a program called shareware program called Stereomerger that by description has features similar to StereoPhoto Maker.

So much to learn…. And so little time….


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