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R. I. Clayton (East Yorkshire, UK)
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Fujifilm FinePix 3D W3 Digital Camera (10.2MP, 3 x Optical Zoom, 3.5 inch LCD Screen) Bundled with HDMI 1.4 Cable
Fujifilm FinePix 3D W3 Digital Camera (10.2MP, 3 x Optical Zoom, 3.5 inch LCD Screen) Bundled with HDMI 1.4 Cable

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Love It! Meets all expectations!, 17 July 2011
We ordered the camera from Amazon, and it arrived extremely quickly using the standard free delivery. We were amazed when it was delivered just two days after ordering!

Being very impatient, I put the battery in without charging, and it had just enough charge to set the camera up, and take a handful of photos before it gave up. That said within those first few snaps, the Wife and I were blown away by the 3D effect on the camera screen. We have a 55" LG 3D Cinema TV, and LG 3D Blu-ray player, and we've been very happy with the 3D effect on the big screen, but I was sceptical that the camera display would be able to offer a real 3D experience. How wrong I was, the lenticular display is perfect, and has real depth. Of course you've got to get your eyes in the right position for it to work, but it's not difficult to see it work straight off with little effort. With regards connecting to a TV you do need a 1.4 HDMI lead with a mini plug on one end for the camera.

It was a sunny day when the camera arrived, and I was straight out into the garden with our 11 month old baby girl, and starting clicking away. Been a bit of an arty type :-) I was trying to get various elements into the photos to show the 3D off to it's best. The photos looked great on the display, but when we came to view the photos on the TV, the elements that were closest to our viewpoint were distorting, and putting strain our eyes (making us go cross-eyed), making it uncomfortable to watch. Really it's going to be a learning experience to frame things to get the best 3D effect, but equally making sure that you don't have anything too close to the camera when snapping away. I have subsequently read that you should put your objects around 2.5m away.

You also have to be very cautious about your finger position, as it is very easy to get at least one finger tip in the way... this isn't really a massive problem, and with constant use, it'll become second nature to keep those fingers out of the way.

Onto the video.. we did order a Class 10 16GB card from another online retailer, and as of today, we're still waiting for it to show up. So we've got a 16GB Class 4 in at the minute. I've read that you need at least a Class 6 for recording video. It does work with the Class 4, and whilst I'm seeing no skipping, or jerkiness, the clarity isn't fantastic on a 55" display. I'm hoping that the Class 10 arrives soon, and that we see an improvement in video performance. Don't get me wrong it isn't bad, but our 4 year old Sony standard definition camcorder looks equally clear (or unclear), and this is meant to be HD. It's not a fair review until we get the Class 10, so I'll reserve judgement until then.

The camera menu is self explanatory, and is reasonably user friendly. I had an issue with the Parallax button doing nothing during "record" mode, but having read a little online, I thought it best to update the Firmware, which I did. It wasn't the most straightforward procedure, but the update resolved the problem, and also enabled longer HD video recording than the "out of the box" firmware. On the 16GB card, the original firmware allowed us to take around 6 minutes of HD video, with the updated firmware this has been up'd to nearly 20 minutes, which is certainly more useful. The bundled CD software does have a facility to join your videos together, which I haven't used, but will be a worthwhile program to use.

Onto the bundled software, it's not fantastic, but it does have some uses. You can take a 3D MPO, and extract standard 2D jpeg images from it. This is useful, as the camera by default takes a MPO 3D image, and a 2d jpeg. This seems a bit over the top for me, and would soon fill your SD card, so I changed the settings to just take the pictures in 3D MPO only, and should I really need a 2D version of a particular photo, then I'll just extract a jpeg from it.

Now onto the battery life. After my initial playing, the battery died very quickly as you'd expect without a charge. I put the battery into the plug in charger, and left it charging away. It wasn't a quick affair, taking over two hours to fully charge. Fuji reckon that you can take 150 photos on a single charge. Perhaps this is possible if you quickly take photos, and don't view them. We tend to take photos, then spend a little while viewing what we've taken, and frankly the battery life doesn't last very long. That said we have since bought a further two batteries, KODAK branded ones (KLIK 7004) which are exactly the same size and shape. I think for a day out on our upcoming holidays, three should easily cover it. It's just worth pointing out that really you are going to need at least another battery to make the camera practical.

All in all, we are very impressed with the camera. Having 3D images really adds "life" to your family photos, and it is going to be nice capturing our family life in 3D.

As to the ever present issue of storage of digital material, we bought ourselves a 1TB external drive, on which we've already stored years of material. We're lucky in that our TV will display the 3D MPO files direct from the hard drive. Otherwise it would be a case of keeping everything on SD cards to display directly from the camera, which I feel is worth pointing out.

Well done FUJI, you've produced an excellent piece of kit, that is certainly fun to use and watch. Highly recommended!

I'm not a professional photographer, but I do appreciate that the camera is at the basic end of quality images, but our current Kodak camera is also only 10 mega pixels, so we're not losing out on quality in upgrading to 3D. I will miss out on our previous camera's 10x zoom, but physically this camera was never going to have a great zoom, but we have to be happy with the 3x zoom it does have.

Buy it, you won't be disappointed :-)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2013 10:31 PM BST


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