Review Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 - First Camera Samples
First a remark - please show mercy with my English - I am not a native English speaker and (sadly) cannot/will never be one.
This site describes a story about 4 Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3 D W3 samples I had to experience. It ended in a review.
- The fist camera worried me - it had a good alignment of the axes of the lenses but often sharpness problems at the left lens.
- The second one shocked me - it was the repaired first one and not to use.
- The third one disappointed me - it had better sharpness than the first one but problems with the axes alignment.
- The forth one - still axes alignment and sharpness problems. In addition the video recording has bad pixels.
- The fifth one - better not. I do not need one more bad experience and I have no hope to get anything else.
This review has two main parts. Further down you will see the "old" first part that covers the experience until Jan 24th, 2012 with the first 3 camera samples - including the useless repaired one. I did not change anything there and left it how it was. From the experience I have now I would see myself as naive at this time. I simply was confused by the bad quality. I thought the cameras are broken. And I asked Fujifilm if I should send them the first camera with the sharpness problem. And they answered to send it to them for a fix. The end of this first part was that Fujifilm did not want to fix the camera anymore despite warranty - you can read their emails at this first part below.
But on January 24th, 2012 I received an unexpected email from Fujifilm where they told me to send the third camera back. They might have been motivated by my review below since I sent them the link to this site. They told me that they will send me a new camera. On Feb 11th, 2012 this new FinePix REAL 3D W3 arrived. I was not very happy with it and so I continued with my review based on this last and perhaps final replacement camera.
When I extended this review I also added some additional links. I added a review about the camera video options, about night shots, handling and added my final conclusion. Under the menu More Info you can find links for the camera specifications, the camera manual and a firmware update. There are also sample video files for download. And there are links for excellent 3D freeware as well as information on how to display thumbnails for mpo files in your system. Please check out the links in the top menu of this site.
While I had to wait for the replacement cameras I created the link 3D Photos without 3D Camera (it is also in the top menu More Info). There you can find information on how to create 3D photos with a 2D camera, how you can play games in 3D without expensive equipment and there you also can find a funny 3D aquarium. This all with almost no investment. You might need to spend some Cents for very cheap red/cyan glasses - nothing else.
If there are any major updates to this site I will write it in my blog - see the link in the top menu of this site. If you set up an RSS Link at this blog page for your browser it will inform you of such major updates. In the blog you will find as oldest entry at the bottom how to set up this RSS link - at least for Firefox. There seems to be no browser standard for this.
In the first part below you can read my experience with the first 3 camera samples and the refusal of Fujifilm to fix anything anymore. The text is still the original one that I had before I received the last (and I guess final) replacement camera. At the end of the page you find the link for this last camera that I did not expect anymore. You can find this link in the top menu of this site too. But I advise you to read the "old" part first. Otherwise you might not understand the new and final part and other pages of this review.
I have to admit - I was very upset when I wrote this first part. But I hope you can enjoy the story more than I did ;-)
First Part of my Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 Camera Experience
In September 2011 I bought a Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 camera. I would like to share my sad experience with this camera as warning for other people. This is a review based on real photos and based on real emails. To sum it up - I never should have bought this Fujifilm camera.
This review covers 3 cameras. The original, the repaired original and the replacement camera. So you see here 3 camera samples and what Fujifilm calls quality. All this happened pretty much at the beginning of the warranty time.
The story is about a camera that had sharpness problems at the left lens of the two lenses. Because of this I sent it for repair to Fujifilm Thailand in the middle of November 2011. What I got back was a broken camera. The internal settings (not the ones you can set) were completely wrong and in addition to this the pin where you can fix the hand strap was missing. I sent this camera back and got a camera where the pictures are tilted (a rotational error) and the monitor has a scratch.
I did not care so much about the scratch but about the tilt since the 3D photos are useless. Fujifilm Thailand told me that this tilt is because the camera frame has a problem. They do not have the tools to fix it and I will have to wait at least for about 2 months until they get them from Japan.
Since I wanted to go on holiday and take the camera with me I asked them if it would be possible to get an earlier fix. Their response now was that the camera is according to their specifications and has no problem. There will be no repair.
The first camera had the problem that the left lens created very often photos with sharpness problems. This is not only bad for 3D but even for 2D since this left lens is used when the camera takes 2 D photos.
In the samples below you see the pictures of the left lens at the left side and right lens on the right side. When you click on the photos you will get a bigger view. You can see the sharpness problem of the left lens. This lens is the one that is used when you take 2D pictures with this camera. So you will get often pretty useless photos even with 2D only.
The next two photos below (and some others in this review) are in red/cyan so that you can see the 3D effect. Red/cyan means that the picture of one lens has a red color touch and the picture of other lens a cyan color touch. But only if you switch the display of such a photo to anaglyph (here a link to Wikipedia - a very good article about anaglyph and 3D). I used for this display the freeware Stereo Photo Maker (you can find the download link at the top menu More Info). But don't worry. For other 3D display options the colors are still okay and the file does not get changed. With the red/cyan glasses you filter the red color for one eye and the cyan color for the other one. This is a very simple and inexpensive way to display 3D. In addition it is a good way to check for alignment and parallax problems and to correct them with this excellent freeware. I also used this software to display the left and right lens pictures side-by-side as shown here at samples where you see the left and right lens picture next to each other.
Do not use red/cyan glasses for the red/cyan sample photos shown here. Otherwise you cannot see the 3D alignment problems. The red/cyan picture shift (offset) should be left/right (in some cases depending on the focus the other way round) but never up/down if you held the camera horizontally. Your eyes are not up/down but only left/right - on the left and right side of your head at the same level. In addition you will see at some photos rotational errors. It is a kind of tilt that occurs if the axes of the lenses are not aligned horizontally. In both cases - up/down shift and tilt you will get a not natural looking 3D result. The brain will try to correct such errors to a certain extend but you might have a strange unpleasant feeling when you look at such photos.
The camera that I got back from Fujifilm as repaired was completely broken. 3D was not possible anymore. Below you can see sample photos of this "repaired" camera. The first photo is from the camera before the repair. The 3D effect is okay. The second photo is from the repaired camera. The 3D effect is completely broken. The horizontal left/right shift (the parallax) is too big and in addition to this you have a severe up/down shift. To make the matter worse sometimes the left and sometimes the right picture was not sharp now - at the original camera only the left lens had a sharpness problem.
Below the completely destorted 3D photo of the "repaired" camera.
The picture of the right lens is not sharp too now as shown below.
On top of all this of the pin for the strap was gone. I could not fix the hand strap anymore. Especially at the beginning it might not be easy to hold the camera in a way so that you do not cover any of the two lenses with your fingers. You will need the hand strap - if you do not want to risk dropping it. So the camera with the very severe alignment problems, now even more severe sharpness problems and the missing pin for the hand strap left Fujifilm Thailand as repaired camera.
Next thing was to send this camera back to Fujifilm Thailand (again). Fujifilm Thailand told me that they cannot fix the camera in Thailand. My "repaired" camera must have been now in a state beyond further repair options - at least in respect of a repair by Fujifilm Thailand.
First I got this:
Dear Mr. xxxx,
First of all, we were so regret to know our repairing to your 3D Camera is so poor.
I'm discussing with those technicians who were fixing your 3D by now.
However if be possible, could you please send your 3D to us again for re-checking.
Thank you & Best Regards
and then this:
Dear Mr. xxxx,
By refer to your 3D, due to we do need some more Repairing Jigs/Tools for the PC adjustment for fixing your 3D, which should be ordered from Tokyo, and be taken time.
So, we have replaced your 3D to be a new one, and will be sent to you tomorrow to your P.O. Box xxx as we've ever sent recently.
For your early information.
Thank you & Best Regards
Honestly - when I read this about the replacement camera I had a bad feeling already. I wanted to have 1 single problem at my camera fixed and not a whole new experience.
The camera that I received now as replacement (you can see from the emails that the orignal one was in such a bad state that it could not be fixed anymore) had a scratched display - but this was not the only problem. Oh, I forgot to mention that the first camera had several big dead pixels on the monitor. Dead pixel is not really correct. There where big areas without any pixel. It was on the left side of the monitor. But I do not care about the monitor much since I use the computer for watching the photos. So I did not regard this as problem even if it was a strange experience with the question how this camera could have passed the quality control.
In addition to the scratched monitor this replacement camera has tilted pictures now (rotational errors). The overall 3D result is worse than at the original camera I sent to them for repair. The pictures of the left and the right lens are not aligned horizontally anymore because they are tilted. I sent them many samples. It took them very long to understand the problem and it took many emails from my side. I had the feeling - customer we sent you a camera back and now leave us please alone. But first I did not get an answer at all.
Below is the photo of a menu to avoid any 3D effect. You can see on the right side the problem.
Now look at the white building below. It is from the same position and should look the same. But since the chips are not correct it is on the right side completely distorted as shown on the photo after this one.
Below you can see the same building from the same position just put to the right side of the photo. The photo is completely distorted because of the tilt. It should look the same like the one before - only look at the left side of the photo before since the right side is wrong too because of this tilt. You can see that the red and cyan fields have this up/down shift.
But finally I got this response below. This email is from January 17 th 2012 (just to give you a feeling - I sent the camera for repair on November 22, 2011 - I can prove it since I sent it registered and still have the confirmation).
Dear Mr. xxxx,
For the tilt problem of your 3D, we do need to adjust the Camera Main Frame, means do need some more adjustment jigs/tools from Tokyo, which be estimated to be arrived us around end of Feb-2012.
Possibility that you will send your 3D camera to us again for the adjustment around end-Feb?
Thank you & Best Regards
Since I want to go on holiday in March and take the camera with me I asked them if I could get an earlier fix. Now I got as response:
As for your MPO data, the tilt level is within our spec.
So, you can't repair this W-3.
Pls explain to customer that it have no problem for 3D view display.(3DW3, 3DV3)
So, use this W-3 as this condition.
Dear Mr. xxxx,
We have just received the inspection result from Tokyo of those MPO Data you're sending to us recently as above.
Could you please try to use this 3D Camera normally?
Thank you & Best Regards
If you read this last email response where they write that this chaos is within their specifications you will see that they write "have no problem for 3D view display. (3DW3, 3DV3)" - this is from Fujifilm Japan. What this means is that there is no problem on the small display of these units. 3DW3 is the camera and 3DV3 is their display frame. So they expect you to not use anything else - not even their software on the computer. You just should watch the photos on the tiny display of the camera or on their small display unit and for this the quality is within their specifications. This is what they want and this is how it is. Now imagine you have a camera where you are only allowed to watch the photos on the display of the camera - because otherwise the quality is not good enough as you can see on my sample photos. This statement you get from the headquarter of the company. This seems to be very unrealistic. It is so hard to believe but it is true as you can see. It is the statement of the headquarter Fujifilm Japan.
The story is finished for Fujifilm Thailand and the headquarter Fujifilm Japan as you can see. I will NEVER get a fix even if the camera has many months of warranty left.
Here some samples of completely wrong 3D photos from this camera. The photo below shows a wrong parallax. The shown stereo separation is far too big. More information about parallax you can find here at Wikipedia topic parallax.
Below you can see how the photo should look like. I corrected it by hand on the computer. But you still have the tilt problem. Just look at the up/down shift at the letters at the sign "Madras Darbar" on the right side. The sign "THITI WAT CLINC" on the left side is correct. Or just look at the balconies on the right side. The further right you look the more the picture shows this shift because of the tilt/rotational error.
Below just one more 3D chaos. The parallax is completely wrong again.
I did not fix this anymore. Somehow you cannot really fix it anyway. Whenever you save the fixed photo you will lose quality. Okay - here is no quality anyway so it does not matter. But it is some work to fix it. And in the end you fix the photos of a not working camera.
I could post endless other problem photos. This 3D problem seems to be a design problem since the first camera had it too. I asked them about this but never got an answer. Or perhaps the answer was that this is according to their specifications - this email should have had the answer for this and the for me more severe tilt problem.
I think it should be clear now what you will get when you buy this camera. On top of it a Warranty that is good for nothing. Theoretically there are still 9 months warranty left now. But since they refuse to fix the camera what is it good for?
I sent this whole case to Fujifilm Japan. I do not expect any response. But if I ever get one I will post it here. I am writing this on January 20, 2012 - just to give you an orientation.
I always used Fuji color slides for my photos before because the quality was very good. And I was so happy that Fujifilm provides a 3D camera. All my videos I take with my Sony video camera have real Dolby Surround with a very expensive four channel microphone for this purpose and now I was happy to have a photo camera with 3D. I like to capture reality as far as possible even if it is not cheap.
It is hard for me to understand that Fujifilm lets this great 3D camera idea end in such a poor quality and with such poor customer service. I still hope that they improve this and provide better quality. There are not many 3D options on the market. But as of now I can not recommend this camera with a good feeling. I will not even sell my problem camera that I will not use anymore to anyone else because of the quality problems. But Fujifilm sadly still does sell such cameras and even refuses to fix them.
You might think my case is just a single bad case. Just search the Internet more carefully. But anyhow - you have the statement of Fujifilm Japan in my review and for my problem case. And you have the statement from this headquarter what qualitiy means to them. Not the camera is the problem but the customer who does not only use the tiny camera display or their small (expensive) display unit to watch the photos of this camera. To sum it up - I am a problem customer not meeting their specifications because I use a computer monitor as display unit and not their small displays. And for this the quality cannot be assured anymore. They remind me with "Could you please try to use this 3D Camera normally?". But they provide a software for the display on the computer monitor with their camera. And worse - look at picture of the camera box at the top of this page - there you even see a monitor/TV. So this statement confuses me somehow. Does not fit to their statement - I know. But I am a problem customer outside of the Fujifilm specifications - not meeting their specification "normally" whatever (bad thing) this might mean in the end.
Please continue with this link below to get to the new part of the story - the final replacement camera. It is FINAL because I am tired to hope for a working fix. It is the camera that I got as last fix for all my problems from Fujifilm. This camera that I received as response from Fujifilm to an already unhappy customer has it all - wrong axis alignment, sharpness problems and on top of it pixel errors at video recording (see video section). You really cannot ask for more. Thank you Fujifilm. Below is the link to this new part of the story. At the beginning you will see rotational errors again. Scroll down to get an idea about sharpness. The samples pictures are without any magnification. They show the real quality at this size. I never had a camera with such a poor picture quality in my life.
You can continue here with the review of the last (I guess final) replacement camera
Review Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 - 02/2012
Last update 10/2012
Last update 10/2012