Fujifilm Shuffles Out Two New Technologies

The familiar green is on display at Photokina this year. Fujifilm is introducing new technology rather than a host of new products. While 3D has been shown at other times and by other companies, Fujifilm showed a system using twin lenses (binocular shooting). This technology demo (no products are announced nor could be confirmed to be in the pipeline) showcased a complete system including camera, display and printing.

The displays shown did not require glasses, but the other three displays did require you to be standing in the right sweet spot. The printing technology employs a lenticular printing system that requires some true print engineering know how.

Of course there are those who might think 3D is a gimmick (James Cameron be damned) but there are some interesting possibilities with this camera that are not in the 3D realm. Imagine being able to take those two separate lenses (and imaging systems) and operate them differently. Shoot wide and telephoto at the same time, or how about two exposure settings? Imagine doing HDR photography when handholding the camera. Or maybe shoot stills and movies at the same time?

Very interesting application, but lets see whether this technology demo moves forward.

The second new introduction of technology was Super CCD EXR. This is a new “switchable” sensor with an improved pixel layout and the ability to use pixels in different ways. At this point I would have to cue up a Powerpoint presentation so let me just get to the core of it.

The pixels are laid out in pairs (red pairs, green pairs, blue pairs) that can be combined into one pixel (at a reduction in resolution) to increase the light gathering capability of the sensor.

There is a higher sensitivity mode that uses the pixels in a different way that cuts the resolution but increases the sensitivity. They call this “Pixel Fusion Technology”.

A second mode in the sensor allows the pixels to be controlled so that half the pixel set is at low sensitivity and half at high. This allows for simultaneous capture at both sensitivities, sort of like auto HDR, to improve dynamic range. They call this “Dual Capture Technology”.

Lastly, the sensor can operate “normally” and offer high resolution at 12-megapixels.

Across from all this new technology was a an actual product launch that reminds us that it is not just about cameras… Fujifilm is introducing a digital printing service for the Nintendo Wii. Not for printing out your highest Guitar Hero score, but for sending your images to lab for prints, photobooks or other print items.