Review Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 - Handling
Handling & Other Impressions
This camera is heavier and bigger than other cameras. But it has to be bigger. There has to be a certain distance between the lenses for the 3D effect. Because of this it is not so easy to carry it around like other smaller cameras. But this is more a limitation of 3D and not of the camera. For a good realistic 3D effect the lenses need to be that far apart - about the distance of your eyes. Everything else is just a somehow 3D.
It was hard to hold it correctly at the beginning. Often I ended up covering one of the lenses a bit with a finger. But I got used to this very quickly and now I do not even think of this problem anymore. I even like to hold the camera like this. But I always use the hand strap with this camera for good reason.
The lens cover was confusing at the beginning but great afterwards. You have to move it down before you can take a photo or if you want to switch the camera on. After I while I had no problems at all anymore with this. I even like it since it is not one of those fragile automatic solutions that block very often.
The build quality outside gave a very solid impression. Even from the design I like it.
Battery life was reasonable for me with about 100 to 140 shots at the highest quality settings. But you have to understand that I just use the 2D monitor display (you can switch at the power management settings between 2D or 3D) and never use the monitor to watch photos after the shot. The power management settings are 2D monitor, 3D monitor and 3D monitor combined with quick auto focus. They work only for the time before you press the shutter button. When you press the shutter button the scene is shown in 3D and also the photo you took is shown in 3D afterwards. I found this good. From people displaying photos in 3D on the camera monitor I heart complaints about a short battery live. I cannot confirm this since I always use my computer to display the photos. Charging the battery took me around two and a half hours.
The start-up time was quick enough for me. I measured about three to four seconds.
What I did not like so much was this wheel for the settings on the upper right side. Often I switched to a different setting by accident. The wheel is a great idea but it is too easy to change the settings by accident.
It would have been nice if I could set the internal clock to 24 hours display.
The 3D monitor looks interesting. It measures 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) and has about 1.15 million color dots. But honestly I did not use it to watch anything in 3D. For me it is simply too small. 3D needs display size. There is some flicker at this monitor. But what really annoyed me was that the shown photo gets sharp only after shown for about three, four seconds. So the camera seems to need this time to adjust the output. Because of this my eyes looked first for a while at a not really sharp photo and this was not a nice feeling.
Shooting in 3D is a bit different from 2D. You need a scene that is good for 3D and you always have to keep a certain distance. But here training helps and to learn this was perhaps the most fun for me with this camera. The focus range for 2D macro photos is from 8 cm to 80 cm (0.3 ft to 2.6 ft) and at 3D shooting mode from 38 cm to 70 cm (1.2 ft to 2.3 ft). The by Fujifilm recommended minimum shooting distance for 3D with the normal wide setting is 1.3 m (4.3 ft) and for macro 48 cm (1.6 ft). One thing you will have to learn too is that in 3D you cannot shoot in portrait mode but only in landscape mode. For some scenes this is a real handicap. But this is a general 3D recording problem. On the other hand even at 2D video recording you have this portrait mode problem with every camera - so nothing really new. You will just have to get used to it when taking 3D shots.
You have special shooting modes because of the two lenses. Besides the typical scene modes found in most modern digital cameras like sunset, sports, beach, night (13 in total) the Fujifilm has some unique modes because of its dual lens design. They all work only in 2D. One is Tele/Wide were you can shoot with one lens zoomed and at the same time with the other in normal wide mode. A 2-Sensitivity mode allows you to capture two images at different ISO settings simultaneously and a 2-Color mode allows you to shoot two photos with the color setting F-Standard and F-Chrome (has more vibrant colors) at the same time. Besides these 2 lens modes, settings like interval shooting, face detection (2D only) are also available.
Image storage size at the highest quality settings is not small. The two 10-Megapixel CCD of the REAL 3D W3 create a lot of data. I need about 10 MB for the 3D MPO file and about 5 MB for the additional (optional) 2D JPG file at a 3,648 x 2,736 (4:3) resolution. This is the highest possible resolution. So you will not get very far with the internal memory of about 34 MB. But much data need much space. I have about 8 TB disk space on my computer. So no problem for me. But you can reduce the quality and resolution settings. Many people reported that you do not see much quality loss. And you do not need to save a 2D photo at the same time when you take a 3D photo. With freeware you can extract it afterwards out of the MPO file. At this occasion a hint. You will not see thumbnails for the mpo files for instance in the explorer of Windows 7. At the page Fujifilm & Other Download Links at this site you can find information where you can download a fix for WinXP, Vista and Win7 - use it at your own risk. It worked for me on Win7 32 Bit without any problems. I did not check the other OS.
Video storage size at the highest quality setting HD1280 is about 4 GB for 10 minutes. That is a lot of space. With the firmware version 2.0 you can use an Economy Mode to reduce this size. But in my view the video quality suffers too much then. More information about the needed memory space at different recording settings you can find at specifications that you can download at the page Fujifilm & Other Download Links at this site. There you also find download links to my sample video files.
You can get here to the next and final part of the review Conclusion.
Review Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 - 02/2012
Last update 10/2012
Last update 10/2012