on 20 June 2012
Foolproof simple point-and-shoot 3D pictures and movies
Lots of options for the enthusiast
3 x optical zoom and a decent lens
Substantial and not 'plasticky'
LCD viewfinder is difficult to see in bright sunlight. No optical viewfinder.
Needs a class-10 SD card to avoid video stutter
Needs a firmware update to store a useful amount of hi-def 3D video (20 minutes) on a 16GB card
This is an easy camera to use and produces good results in 3D and 2D both stills and movies using 'full-auto' mode. I would have loved this camera to record my children growing up (they have already grown up now!) I did see my grandchildren though the other day, and the W3 captured the day in flawless 3D stills and movies. So totally recommended as a family 3D point-and-shoot camera.
For subjects within 6-20 feet (2-5m) the default 3D settings with auto-parallax are perfect. For landscapes, where the 3D effect is less pronounced, the W3 has a neat feature whereby you can take a shot, move a bit to your right, and use the 'ghost' image of the first to line up the second shot of the stereo pair. Providing you lined up the nearest subject in the picture correctly, the W3 automagically makes a single 3D landscape picture with a great sense of depth.
Unfortunately, this and other neat features are marred by having to use the reflection-prone LCD screen, which is pretty-much unusable outdoors on a sunny day, even when 'boosted' via a button on the back. If the W3 had a supplementary optical viewfinder, it would have got the full 5-star rating here. The LCD is fine for indoor work, and displays convincing 3D photos and movies without the need to wear special glasses.
3D movies can be made in a variety of resolutions, from 640px to full HD. Note: Fuji have released a firmware update (1.2) that enables and extra '3D HD Economy mode' This gives nearly twice the runtime for a 3D HD movie. Via the mini-HDMI socket and 1.4-standard (not included) cable it will output SBS or interlaced to a 3D television. There is a mini-HDMI to normal HDMI adapter included in the box. Movies are stored in AVI format (3D) or mpeg format (2D)
I ordered this camera along with the leather carry case, 2 x 16GB class 10 SD cards and a spare battery. I would recommend doing the same to get the best from your W3.
Battery life is modest - I needed the 2nd battery and the spare SD card to cover a single day's shooting. There are economy options available, but with no optical viewfinder the large colour LCD is like an open tap gushing power away. It's possible to turn the LCD off if you are really desperate, but framing shots would be hit-and-miss.
The supplied software (FinePix) took about an hour to install on Windows XP as it kept updating and rebooting, but the wait was worth it, as there are many useful functions to complement the camera and 3D photos in general.
If you want this camera to be like a modern point-and-shoot but with the extra 3D dimension available - it is a good choice. With the lower prices (at time of review) it is actually a bargain.
If you already have an SLR for 'serious' photography, the W3 is the ideal companion for snapshots and holidays, with enough options and modes available to experiment with 3D photography, and decent 2D quality too.
on 26 November 2010
I went along to see Brian May and Elena Vidal give a talk on Stereoscopic photography, titled 'a village lost and found', (the book is available on Amazon) I found the talk absolutely fascinating, and learned that Brian May uses the Fuji Finepix W1, which is the predecessor to the W3. Since the talk I have been avidly taking 3D pictures at every opportunity and decided to treat myself to the Fuji W3. The camera has a brilliant 3.5" lenticular screen which displays 3d images so well you feel you could almost reach into the camera, however there are a few rules to observe to get the best 3d effects, I found scenic shots of distant objects did not really show much of a 3d effect, (which it does say in the manual) however if you choose your subjects carefully, such as group shots and subjects within the range of about 1m - 6m then the 3d effect is really pronounced.
The overall build quality is excellent, the camera feels very 'solid' and is quite heavy compared to some compacts, but I rather like that solid feeling - do wear the wrist strap though as the camera is easy to drop. There are too many features to list here, however the camera is a very capable piece of kit and can take 3D movies as well, plus there are a host of 2d features, the camera does not fare as well as some in the reviews, which state the image quality to be only average, however I find the image quality is reasonable, and the fact that it takes and displays 3d pictures and movies more than makes up for any slight loss of definition, although to be honest I can't say I've noticed any problems with the images. Tends to be a bit grainy in low light, but most cameras seem to suffer that way to some degree or other and it's not that bad at all in my opinion.
Overall I would recommend this camera, I really enjoy using it and the 3d effects make even a so-so image interesting. I've owned Fuji cameras in the past and been very pleased with them, and this camera is no exception. I also bought the V1 viewer as I don't have a 3d television as yet.
on 5 January 2014
well got this a few days ago and here is just a quick review , I bought this at £89.99 deal price
looking for a cheap 3d camera , so gave this a go
I have been into watching 3d films from day one and have quite a good knowledge on subject
first of all 3d is not quite here yet , another year or so away I think .
ok onto this camera , first of all 2 stills and video is very good on this camera , zoom is limited but ok for a compact
if you was looking for more I would look at a £250-£350 compact camera
as for the main thing 3d, stills are pretty good and look stunning on the 3d camera display , on a 50 inch 3d tv they are quite good
but could be better , resolution is about half of what it needs to be , so when this is sorted out by higher resolution cameras then it will be fantastic , until then we will have to wait.
3d movie mode is not quite as good , but pretty much ok though, again higher resolution is required to get a better and clearer picture.
I hope this helps a bit in deciding if to get this camera , at the price I paid £89.99 its a great buy , in fact a must buy just for the fun of going around the house photographing things , seems to come out pretty well indoors using camera flash , out doors its much better , as daylight really helps , cant wait to try this camera on holiday.
at the current price at £135 I think , its still not a bad buy I think , well worth considering
at rrp of £439 its overpriced and i would put a bit extra and get a sony 3d camcorder If I was you.
so 5 stars at £89.99 , 4 starts at £135 and 2 stars at £429
on 29 September 2013
This camera does just what it claims it does - takes 3D photographs as easily as any other digital camera. My first shot with the camera impressed me. The view screen is far better than I expected it to be. I've been fascinated by 3D photography since I was a kid in the 1960's when I had a Viewmaster for one of my birthdays.
The camera is smaller than anticipated and it is important to make sure ones fingers don’t obscure the lens (particularly the left one corresponding to one’s left eye). I soon got used to this. There appears to be no danger of getting one’s fingers on the lens even if one forgets the caution.
One does still need to gain experience with the camera to get the best from it. Nevertheless my first ever shots with my W3 still impress me a month later. The more photos I take however the more experience I get. It seems to be that ‘experience’ is what counts with 3D photography. My results tell me that a lot of such experience has been imbued in this camera.
Output may be viewed on the W3’s own screen as you probably know. However I have worked out that I can put the SDHC card into a card reader and upload the files into my PS3 using Photo Gallery (I can’t get my PS3 to recognise my W3 connected via the supplied USB for some reason). On the PS3, Photo Gallery can be told to import all the files (2D Jpeg + 3D MPO). On the PS3 when in Photo Gallery, press the green Triangle button to call up the ‘Menu’, select 2D/3D to turn 3D on and there you have it.
For sharing the photos, one will probably need specialist software. I use ‘Stereomerge’ to convert the MPO file (not the Jpeg) saved by the W3 to JPS format (side by side and viewed by slightly crossing one’s eyes - as per stereograms) or others. I intend to save the JPS files to Facebook. The native format by the camera is fine for my PS3 and LG Cinema 3D D4323 Monitor.
In use I have discovered that the closer to the subject one gets when taking the photograph, the further away from the display screen the better for viewing the 3D image. Alternatively one can look at the background for a few seconds then look at the foreground impart of the mage directly. One’s eye seem to adjust focal length after a second or two, following which the entire image is seems to appear more natural.
Overall, I’m really pleased with my W3. It is a good idea to buy a backup battery though as the charge only lasts a couple of hours. Don’t know about those screen protector films. I’ve experienced no trouble with the screen as is for the last month or so. It appears to be oleophobic, the same as my 2009 iPod. The iPod screen is still perfect today, so I won’t be considering the protective plastic right now in case it ruins the 3D effect (no review of the plastic screen protector mentions the W3’s screen.
on 8 September 2013
I bought this having read the other reviews and it is exactly what I was looking for. The camera is a bargain at the discounted prices available. It is solid and very well built and produces very good 3D images. It has a 3 times optical zoom in 3D and a macro function which makes it possible to take good images of small animal, flowers, and insects and the like ( if that is your thing!) . The resolution is good i.e a 3584x2016 3D image, and it gives superior still image results to my other 3D camera (a Sony Bloggie). Its not too heavy on battery use considering the large size of its viewscreen but its well worth getting a spare (NP-50). It has a continuous shooting mode as well in 3D allowing you to take up to 40 sequential action shots, very useful for moving objects! Other reviews have noted that its not a brilliant camera for taking video and I agree. It uses an AVI format based on MMPG which eats up memory and requires a fast card for storage. It also does not record in full HD. The Bloggie is much better in this regard, but having said this the results from the Fuji are acceptable. Due to the lack of compression you are also limited in clip size to about 12 minutes of video at a time, so if you want a camera primarily for video look elsewhere.
But if you are after a good quality 3D still camera at a knock down price this camera is a bargain. I would also advise getting 3D editing software to manipulate and play with your images. Check out StereoPhotoMaker it will do everything you need and has the advantage of also being Freeware. you can find it at [...]
on 25 July 2012
This camera shoots 3d easily and with minimum effort on the user's part.
You do need to think about what to include/exclude in your 3d photos, but a bit of practice and experimentation soon sorts that out.
Although I've rated this 5 stars, there are a few negatives:
Battery life is short (but cheap replacements are available)
The screen is very difficult to see in strong daylight.
It's really easy to get a stray finger in the photo.
Only 3x zoom.
But, these are outweighed by the positives:
Excellent playback on the 3d screen.
Superb playback on 3d TV
Pocketable (this camera is NOT big and bulky, although some reviews suggest it is.)
Video quality is very good and in 3d. It's 720p video in HD - and this adds a whole new dimension to your videos. I've also used a Panasonic SD90 with a 3d lens attached, and in my opinion this small camera works much better in 3d.)
Comes with battery charger (not all digital cameras do)
It's genuine 3d - two lenses and so mimicking the human eye.
It's cheap (this camera was originally much dearer)
It gives you something to do with that expensive 3d telly, because let's face it there's not much 3d content out there!
It makes you look at your photos and videos in a whole new way. Even dull pictures become interesting in 3d.
I'd say go for it, if you have a 3d TV and like 3d images. Yes, it's a bit of a novelty, but it is so much fun seeing your pics and videos in 3d.
on 29 February 2012
Have had the camera now for over a year so am able to give a fairly well tested review. It certainly is a great gadget and has never failed to stun people around me when they first see the 3d screen on the back. The quality of the images is not fantastic but then it is only a compact camera with two lenses at the end of the day. That said the images are pin sharp on an HD television and as it is unlikely you will be using this camera for 2d enlargements then its quality suits its purpose. A couple of reviews claim you need to link the camera up to see any pictures on the screen - this isn't the case but you do need software that can read the native MPO files from the camera and store them as a movie/slide show that your TV can recognise. I currently use Magix 17 which is excellent for this purpose but I understand there are some free packages out there that will do similar. With the software you can either store the images/movies in a left/right format which 3D tvs can convert or you can author a 3D movie straight onto Blu ray (haven't done this personally but enough resources on the net show how to do it).
The screen itself, although having wow factor also suffers terribly from glare such that in bright sunlight you will be guessing what you're taking. Parallex can be an issue with close ups, particularly when translated to the TV and you can find yourself working your eyes to see images in too far front of the 3D window (parallex can be adjusted both on the camera and in software afterwards). The shape of the camera, although not overly ergonomic and can result in occasional finger over lens, does fit neatly in a pocket which isn't bad for a twin lens camera with eye-distance seperation. Originally my father bought this camera and he has been taking stereoscopic photographs for over forty years and it impressed both of us enough that I bought one for myself.
All in all, a great camera, especially for £200ish.
on 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 :-)
on 26 January 2014
I decided to look into a 3d camera for an up coming trip skiing in the alps, and Im so glad I did.
I cant compare this camera to others, but i would recommend it to everyone. the Pictures taken on the mountains are the first Ive ever seen that really convey the actual views you see when up on the mountains.
First there are a number of limitations,
Pointing the camera at objects far away causes it to choose 2D mode as it can't easily 3d focus on an object. you can easily get over this by pointing the camera at a close object first and half pressing the shutter button, this is the same for video mode. its a little bit of a shame but easily overcome.
As stated in other reviews the battery doesnt last all that long, especially when looking through photos, but half of the problem is the photos look so good you cant help looking through them 20 times on the awesome built in 3d display. and then everyone wants to look through them, I had the camera passed around a table of 30, while people exclaimed how awesome everything looked, I wasn't sure I was going to get it back, everyone was amazed at the cost thinking it would be much more.
The usb cable is proprietary and not micro usb which is a pain.
Also as other reviews have stated, it's easy to get you finger in the way of the right hand lense and you dont always notice while taking a photo or video, however you can usually salvage the 2d version of the photo anyway, but generally I take multiple photos so i can pick the best one. so its not a big issue for me.
putting those issues aside which is easily done.
the camera takes excellent photos, very sharp, so much more sharp than my mobile phone which had replaced my digital camera for some time now, it also takes great video and bothe are great in low light conditions.
its fast to respond, and doesnt take that long to come on when opening the shutter (quciker than i could unlock my phone and get the camera app going)
all in all i would fully recommend one to everyone, you photos are going to look amazing on any of your 3d capable devices, such as your tv, computer screen or photoframe.
on 6 February 2012
Wow! This camera is quite superb. I have used it for family photos over christmas and some general views. You can see some of the results here
-[...] Hopefully the link will work. The camera is easy to use and the results when viewed on my Samsung 3D TV are amazing. The TV can process the cameras MPO files directly.
You will sometimes need to adjust the parallax of the photos to get the best results but 90% of the time the camera sets the parallax well without any editing. Colour balance is good with good saturation.
For those that are happy to get a little more technical. For viewing on the TV I convert the images to horizontally suppressed side-by-side jpg images. I convert them to jpg files because they load faster using the TV's Smart Hub facility. Search for Stereo photo maker if you want to edit photos. It's a great free editing tool. It can write out the resulting photos as mpo files or as side by side .jpg files. As I said above, mostly you don't need to edit the photos but you can improve them somewhat by using this program to adjust parallax, tweak colours, crop etc. Though these can also be done on the camera.
To conclude, the camera is VERY easy to use, the results are great and it is well worth every penny if you have a 3D TV to view the images on. If not, get one! The 3D images are just so much more meaningful than 2D photos.