ReviewGist Report for Fuji REAL 3D W3
Fuji released the FinePix Real 3D W3 in August 2010 and is touted as an able follower in the 3D series - (recall that Fuji launched the world's first 3D camera, the W1 in September 2009). The W3's highlight is that it is the world's first camera to offer 3D video.
In this report we take a deeper look at the newer features that Fuji has launched with the W3. We further analyze around 18 expert reviews, including some of the best reviews from sites like Imaging Resource, Cnet, CrunchGear and DigitalCameraHQ, and look at their findings as they check out the W3's features threadbare. Finally we present you some buying advice on the FinePix Real 3D W3.
What the Manufacturer Says
According to the company, the FinePix Real 3D W3 is a 10 Megapixel, 3D Point and Shoot Camera with a 3.5 in. LCD Screen, 3x Optical Zoom, and with video capability, weighing just over half a pound. The ergonomically-designed camera made of durable stainless steel includes a horizontal lens cover with wave detail, which serves as the on/off switch, says Fuji's press release. Fujifilm's technology claims to allow true 3D images, stunning 3D HD movies and direct connection to any 3D TV. The camera is said to achieve this by replicating the human visual system by combining two high quality lens and two CCDs in one chassis. The user has the option of viewing 3D images and video either with or without special glasses.
Fuji further calls the W3 a rather special 2D Camera - since the FinePix W3 effectively becomes two cameras in one body. The powerful, proprietary processor lets the user take two different photos at the same time. For example, photographers can select to shoot such combinations as close-up and wide angle versions of a photo, or two alternative colour balances, besides other pairs of settings.
The W3 comes out with some other interesting features. Notable among them are the following:
- Direct Connection via HDMI high-speed 1.4(Type A-Type C) cable to any branded 3D HDTV
- 3D RP(Real Photo) HD processor
- Compact and light-weight 230g body (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
- 2D Special effects using Simultaneous Shooting functions
- smaller and lighter than earlier model.
What the Reviews Say
Nearly all reviewers bear out the manufacturer's claims on image quality. The W3 does deliver good reproduction of color, realistic, accurate and clear 3D images.The brightness of images is quite superior in normal conditions, with the option of boosting it for a while to get views in better light, says NeoCamera. There are notable exceptions in the reviewers views - PCMagazine is not quite happy with the 3D image results, neither is DigitalCameraHQ. DigitalTrends faults the camera for the absense of image stabilization.
Of the reviewers who have commented on the video capability, quite a few commend the 2D shooting performance and the high quality movies.Both the 2D and 3D auto functions enable capture of high resolution movies, including stereo sound, says EnGadget. PCMagazine feels however that a few videos show up considerable ghosting.
Happily for Fuji, most reviewers find that the W3 does indeed offer good focus and excellent exposure. A few reviewers like DCRP and EnGadget nearly go gaga over the super intelligent flash that performs so well with regard to flash output and timing in the entire range.
The W3's interface features unfortunately do not find much favor among camera critics, who term this product as bulky and clunky, and the menu system as clumsy and old fashioned. One saving grace is the 3.5 inch LCD monitor, that is highly appreciated by all the camera testers. Users will like the auto-stereoscopic display that is larger and offers higher resolution than the earlier model.
This appears to be yet another undesirable feature of the W3. The rechargeable Li-ion battery life is quoted at 150 shots per charge, which is somewhat low but understandable, because it powers 2 CCDs, 2 lenses and one 3.5" LCD.
FujiFilm's claims of pioneering 3D imagery is somewhat validated by most reviewers. Combining excellent 2D and 3D image quality, decent video and unusual optics, the W3 is certainly a great point and shoot, despite its bulk of 250g. The FujiFilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 is quite the right tool for users interested in getting quality 3D still photos and video. The company's second 3D camera makes up for features sorely missed in the W1. While retaining the daring looks, the newer features have resulted in a very capable product. There are a few hard-to-digest facts - missing image stabilization, somewhat low memory, and the Li-ion battery that will need a dedicated charger and power source if you run out of power.
Since there is no real competitor in the 3D camera market yet, the W3 seen as stand-alone 3D Point and Shoot Compact does stand alone. But bear in mind that you can get a Micro Four-Thirds cameras with a 3D fixed-focal fixed-aperture lens that can also serve the purpose of producing stereoscopic images. The camera is priced at about $650, this price rather reflects the camera's exclusive status rather than the worth of what it can deliver. Therefore it is likely that only tech-savvy pros will cast their lot with the W3, not novices or average users.