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3D cameras are coming, this year

More than two decades ago, Fujifilm was one of the first camera manufacturers to see the future of photography was digital. In 1988, the Japanese imaging giant developed the world’s first fully digital still camera; 10 years ago Fujifilm held 30% of the digicam market. But that dominant position proved difficult to defend against competitors such as Nikon, Olympus and Canon. Today, Fujifilm is one of the industry’s also-rans, with just a 6.7% market share.

There’s one way to get back into the game: invent new rules. That’s just what Fujifilm plans to do later this year when it unveils the world’s first 3-D digital camera for consumers. The company hopes that its groundbreaking new gadget — tentatively named the FinePix Real 3D System — will allow it to leapfrog the competition by bringing 3-D capabilities to the masses, at the same time putting a little buzz back into the business of taking snapshots.

….In the past, special viewing accessories such as 3-D glasses or stereoscopes were needed for this to work. Not so with Fujifilm’s system, which offers two viewing options. One is a 3-D digital picture frame — an eight-inch (20 cm) LCD screen that directs the dual images to the left and right eyes, creating the 3-D effect. The other option is 3-D prints, which are made with a clear plastic overlay that acts as a kind of 3-D lens. Fujifilm plans to launch an online service that will make 3-D prints for consumers.

Some additional tech details on their press site. Camera will be about $600 and the 3D prints are $5 a pop – I’m sure we’ll be able to make our own prints, use our own screens and save some $. And of course, you can make your own 3D cameras and images right now…

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