Review Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 - My Conclusion
In the end Fujifilm decided what I can write here, it was not up to me. And I think with four samples of this REAL 3D W3 they had enough opportunity to give me a good experience.
I bought and paid and hoped and prayed and suffered ;-) I just can tell you what I have experienced with my Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 samples. I really thought that the cameras are broken and did not know that this seems to be the highest possible Fujifilm quality standard. And I am not joking when I write these words. In the end this is what I had to understand and to accept. I expect a certain minimum quality standard but that is for sure not the case for everyone. So this camera might be great or good enough for many people - perhaps just not for me. Let's continue to sum up my experience. But let me explain first why I created this review.
I read many reviews about this camera on the internet before I bought it. But most reviews just checked 2D. Some even gave me the feeling they did not check anything at all and just tried to lure me there for paid clicks. Then I read a lot of customer opinions. Here I thought mostly the ones with bad experience will write - so forget them. But there are many positive fake comments too. You will find them mostly at sites where they try to sell this camera or have Fujifilm advertisement. If you post there something negative it will disappear as soon as detected. The same is true for some forums. There are many sellers who want to promote the camera and do not like not positive comments there. And in such forums there are people who do not like you if you don't admire their toy. So not always an easy world.
This is why in the end I created this extended review site with my experience without any paid advertisement or any other payment - there is only the Weebly ad on this site (Weebly enables this website here for free). I want to share my experience not just with some words but with some more information like photos and videos. In addition I had the (bad) luck to have 4 camera samples in my hands and not only one - so I had more samples to look at. In addition to the experience with my cameras I checked MANY reviews and output samples of this camera type that I could find on the internet before I came to my conclusion. But back to this - my conclusion.
The sold cameras seem to have a wide quality fluctuation. So it is more or less a lucky draw what one might get - at least this was my feeling. The quality control at the production line seems to be weak. What Fujifilm accepts as their quality standard is a wide range. For my taste a bit too wide. On top of it they are not able to fix a camera because they do not have the tools for it and sent me even back a completely useless camera with the status repaired - do they check anything? On top of it they refused to fix a camera and say somehow "that was it for us - leave us alone". On top of it they sent me as final camera a camera with in the end pretty much the same tilt problem - this was the problem that should have been fixed. The sharpness is still a problem too and now it even has bad pixel at video recording. With some (basic) quality control at the production plant these problems should not exist - at least this is what I think. It was not hard to see the problems. It was only hard to ignore them - at least for me.
I see this camera as a camera for people who are willing to accept the Fujifilm quality standards. This was not easy for me and it was a huge effort to get to the point where I am now - even if the result is still very far from perfect. It is even worse. I think now I have the worst camera of all FinePix REAL 3D W3 samples. But they all were not good. Fujifilm had enough opportunity to send me a working camera but as shown here they never did. In this sense - what is the warranty good for?
Because of all the problems I hardly ever use the camera. I got tired of this hit or miss photo quality were the hits are the exception. And here the biggest problem is the sharpness of the lenses. With software and some work you can correct alignment problems (to a certain extend) but not sharpness problems. So I ended up to take shots with the Fujifilm 3D camera and in addition with my 2D camera from the same scene - just to have a good photo for sure. But this two camera approach was annoying and so I ended up to leave the 3D camera more and more often at home. This poor sharpness did not get better in all the months and with all the REAL 3D W3 cameras I had. I think I really tried every possible camera setting and shooting mode but it did not change anything.
I did not write about the software that comes with the camera - for good reason. I got errors from the coding and crashes. The situation was the same on my WinXP and on my Win7/32 because they were internal software problems of this program and so not OS related. I cannot tell you if it works for others. I guess the software has for instance problems with some region settings. This seems to be not programmed correctly. But I did not spend too much time with it and took it from my system. You will have to check it on your system and perhaps it works. Whatever the outcome will be - you do not need this software. There is great freeware on the internet. Just read about the freeware Stereo Photo Maker at the following link 3D Photos without 3D Camera.
I did not care much about the nice 3D monitor of the camera even if it is an interesting experience. But today we have 3D monitors and 3D TVs and 3D needs a bigger display size. And how should you handle many photos of your collection with this camera and this small display? In addition flicker and the sharpness adjustment lag of some seconds for every shown photo were things I did not really like.
If Fujifilm could fix at least the problems in respect of the photo quality it could be a great 3D camera. I don't know why it is so hard to align axes and I do not know why it is so hard to get the correct sharpness with both lenses or to see bad pixel. Why is it so hard to filter out problem cameras with a simple quality control before they go to the market? For instance it just takes 1 shot of a cross to check for alignment problems. A computer could do this. And bad pixel...
If Fujifilm can overcome these problems and could increase their overall quality standard including the one for the service I really would rate it as great idea and a great product without almost any compromise. I really hope they want and can because there are not many 3D camera options on the market.
If you want to get more information about the old FinePix REAL 3D W1 and how it came to the new W3 camera version check out the link below - it is not on my site so expect ads there. Don't forget to click on the link "to dismal reviews" in the text to see the story about the W1 and the response of Fujifilm to the bad reviews:
Fujifilm introduces Finepix Real 3D W3 camera, we go hands-on
Finally & The End of this Review
If something is missing what you would like to know that I did not cover then please use the contact link at this site to let me know it. Or just let me know what you think in general. In the end I created this site for YOU. I will have to live with the camera I got to meet the Fujifilm customer specifications. Sadly there seems to be no other option and I tried very hard to get a camera that meets at least somehow my specifications - just acceptable sharpness, correct alignment and no bad pixel - nothing special I think.
If there is any change to this story I will update my blog at this site. Perhaps Fujifilm brings out a new 3D camera and is brave enough to send it to me for a review :-))
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Review Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 - 02/2012
Last update 10/2012
Last update 10/2012