Further to our Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D w1 camera, we’ve just received our first set of printed 3D photos, which we now review – considering the printing time, their quality and overall impact and our view on whether we’d print more.
Firstly these printed 3D photos took more or less the suggested time by Fuji of 20 days once having uploaded pictures to the Fuji website.
Recall that the photos are printed by hand at FujiFilm, due initially to the availability of necessary hardware to cater for the complex 3D printing process. This situation is expected to improve as FujiFilm determines the interest and take-up of its groundbreaking technology is sufficient to expand printing locations.
The 3D photos arrived in a strong cardboard envelope and were wrapped in a couple of layers of cellophane so you should be confident your prints will arrive safe and sound wherever they are sent.
Now let’s review the 3D photos.
On first holding them you will be surprised at how substantial they feel in terms of thickness and rigidity, feeling like a quality, well produced item.
I ordered the 7×5 inch prints and they certainly look large and quite striking. However, my initial thoughts were very much one of disappointment, a feeling that grew as I inspected the prints more closely and got accustomed to the 3D look.
What hits you most about the prints is that everything aside from the main subject, on a single plane of view, is in focus. One of the pictures for example was of a couple side by side against a varying outdoors backdrop. The result was that the couple stood in focus but in sharp relief from the background – with everything aside from them looking really blurred. The effect was not unpleasant as it focussed the eye on the subject, but this is not what the picture looked like at all either in 3D or 2D on the camera screen where all elements of the picture were in sharp focus.
Another good example of the problem was having taken a picture of 3 people, each slightly in front of the other. Now there are guidelines from FujiFilm as to what the composition should look like in order to get a good 3D picture. One of the rules is that taking 3D photos of large groups of people is not good, but small groups are, so naturally 3 people I imagined would be OK. However, the result was that the middle person in the group was in focus whilst the people on either side and all of the background were not. Most odd, but it looks like the printing process can only print an object on one plane in focus.
Do I like the printed 3D photos?
Now you might think that I do not like the result. Having had the 3D photos for over a week now, I must say that overall the opposite is true. They are more engaging than a standard print and were an album to be peppered with a few such prints, the effect would be really good. They would be great as gifts for people or for taking special occasions such as christenings or weddings.
Will I print more 3D photos out?
Printing an entire album of 3D prints would at this point in time cost a fortune, but printing a selection to go in an album or the odd one, most definitely. Viewed as a completely different type of photo, then I think these prints are great.
The price needs to drop and I would probably not print at the 7×5 size next time, but as a package the option of viewing 3D photos on the camera screen, via the 3D Viewer or in 2D prints, this is great camera system with the technology which I am sure will only improve.
The next review will be on the FujiFilm 3D V1 Viewer.