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Start Gear & Galleries 3D Cameras and Lenses 3D comparison: Lumix 3D mFT lens on GH2 vs. Fujifilm Real 3D W3

3D comparison: Lumix 3D mFT lens on GH2 vs. Fujifilm Real 3D W3

After some positive experiences with the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 and first impressions of the Lumix GH2 low light quality (using the Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95) I was curious to compare results with Panasonics new 3D lens Lumix H-FT012 attached to the brandnew Lumix GH2.

3D Cams
(Pic. 1: Left: Panasonic Lumix GH2 with attached 3D Lens H-FT012, right: Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3)

First impression is that the lens is very compact and weighs only 45g. The stereo lenses have a fixed focal lenght of 12.5 mm and a fixed aperture of f12. The stereo basis (distance between the two lenses) is 1cm and each lens projects a picture of 1920x1280 (3:2) or 1920x1440 (4:3) pixels on the camera sensor. Both parts are saved seperately to a stereo JPEG using the MPO file format specification. Due to the crop factor, the 12.5 mm focal length are equivalent to a 65 mm full format lens. The minimum distance to an object is 60 cm, Panasonic recommends to keep a distance of at least 1 m.

As the camera has no 3D display, you have no control about the 3D effect that is achieved during shooting. You have the option to attach the camera via HDMI to a 3D TV. If you have not 3D display, you can use third party software like the "Stereo Photo Maker", to convert the stereo images to red/cyan anaglyphs. These can be viewed on standard monitors and TVs with red/cyan filter glasses.

Let us take a look at a first example (converted to red/cyan anaglyph):

3D sample with Panasonic H-FT012
(Click to see full resolution; please use red/cyan filter glasses - red for the left eye, cyan for the right eye)
(Link to MPO file)

The distance to the front bottle ships was approximately 1 m. Due to the fixed aperture f12 you need a lot of light (here I used three flashes). Now let us compare it to the same scene taken with the Fujifilm Real 3D W3 (converted to red/cyan anaglyph as well):

3D sample taken with Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3
(Click to see full resolution; please use red/cyan filter glasses - red for the left eye, cyan for the right eye)
(Link to MPO file)

Due to the stereo basis of the Fuji Real 3D of about 7.5 cm you should keep a distance to the objects of at least 2m to allow your brain to put them together to a 3 dimensional impression. So the zoom was used to get about the same view. The aperture was set to the available maximum of f8.

You will recognize a much more spacial impression due to the broader stereo basis. In full resolution you see much more details as each of the images is taken with a seperate 10 MP sensor.

Panasonic's first steps in the 3rd dimension already give an idea what is going to come in the next months and years but with the H-FT012 you are currently quite limited:

  • small stereo basis - gives a good 3D effect in short distances (0.6 to 1 m), 3D portrait examples can be seen in this article
  • fixed aperture (f12) - provides a wide depth of field which is very important in 3D imaging but which requires bright light sources
  • low resolution - only sufficient for FullHD displays but not for large prints
  • no video supported with current camera models (G2 and GH2)
  • no direct 3D control on the camera display
  • good color and contrast reproduction, low noise (due to the excellent sensor of the GH2)

In this area the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 beats the Micro FourThirds camera with the small 3D lens by far as it provides:

  • stereo basis of 7.5 cm (similar to the typical human eye distance of 6.5 cm) which provides a good stereo effect also in larger distances
  • both stereo images have a resolution of 10 MPixel so you can use them for larger prints as well
  • zoom lenses (35 - 105 mm full frame equivalent)
  • 3D HD video (1280 x 720 x2)
  • excellent autostereoscopic camera display for live 3D viewing
  • variable aperture allowing 3D images also at less bright lighting situations

There is only one thing I miss from the Fuji Real 3D W3: It has no mount for external flashes. As it sends a measurement flash before taking the image, it is quite difficult to remote control external flashes. You need additional equipment that is able to fire the external flashes on the second camera flash.

If you wish to see more examples from the Fuji, please take a look at Hamburg in 3D.

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