DEPTH CHARGE 3D CAMERA REVIEWS

Fuji FinePix Real 3D W3

Actually I have to admit that although I've an interest in 3D photography and film I hadn't yet experienced 3D TV's or monitors before buying this camera. I'm aware that with some of the technology you have to wear special glasses to be able to view the 3D effect.

This was my reason for opting for Fuji's Finepix Real 3D camera as it said in the specifications that you could view the 3D on the camera's screen without the need for special glasses. Of course, there was no way for me to view the effect online and I did pop down to my local camera shop to see first hand how this works, and how the camera looks and feels, but the camera store didn't stock this model and couldn't tell me when they'd be likely to stock it.

So, I took a chance and bought the camera online. I must admit I was a bit nervous waiting for it, what if the effect was a bit poor? After all it's not a cheap camera. It arrived and I was very keen to charge the battery and get to switching it on and taking my first 3D picture with it. I had trouble at first, because I couldn't find the UK adapter in the packaging, something to remember if buying online from the UK. Thankfully the adapter I found in amongst the packing material. Battery charged, camera turned on I took my first picture.

WOW!

My initial reaction was, WOW! Very far from being disappointed I was very impressed. There I am viewing a very mundane shot of my desk with a mug of tea... But it's all in 3D and without the aid of special glasses or viewing techniques.

I'm a fan of 3D images anyway but I have to say I've got the same reaction from everyone I've taken a picture of on this camera WOW! Everyone's impressed and rightly so with this rather special technology.

I'll explain a bit more about different types of 3d out there on the 3d page of this web site.

Below is my general review of the camera so far...

Fujifilm. finepix real 3D W3 Digital 3D Camera

Above: Fuji Finepix Real 3D W3 Camera. Slim sleek design, with lens cover (on/off switch) down.

Fuji Finepix Real 3D W3 Handling

fujifilm real 3d camera - Rear view of the 3D lenticular display

Firstly, it's always a bit of a nuisance getting the feel of a new camera. I'm still finding it quite awkward, it's quite a slim case at approx. 28mm. It's well made plastic casing feels to me a bit slippy to the touch and I don't yet feel confident holding it.

It's switched on by pushing the lens cover down. As the lens cover extends the length of the camera (co vering both lenses) this feels awkward, I think I would've preferred an on off button.

Then you have to deal with the functions, the usual left and right scrolling found on many a digital camera, this one however, gives you a couple of seconds to choose which format you'd like i.e. flash on, flash off, slow sync flash, auto flash etc. as you're deciding it automatically chooses for you the selection currently selected if you're not quick enough. You're not going to be quick enough as you get used to the functions and so this feature is quite annoying but I can see that I'm going to like it when I finally get used to the way it operates and am able to operate it at speed.

 

Fujifilm Real 3D Camera. As this picture shows the rear of the camera is taken up with a large lenticular display. This displays the images in 3D without the need for special glasses.

.mpo file format

Multi-Picture Object

W1

I'd researched as much as I thought necessary about the latest 3d digital cameras on the market. But with so many considerations to take into account it's not easy. For some silly reason I'd expected the file formats to be .jpg a general standard I'd thought. I'd imagined the camera provided two images of each shot (left and right) as .jpgs. Imagine my surprise to find that the 3D image was just one image a .mpo file. My surprise turned quickly to dismay because how was I going to use these files? My version of photoshop didn't recognise these files!!

Thankfully after a quick search on the internet you can find software to handle your .mpo files. Some of which, listed below.

.MPO the abbreviation of Multi-Picture Object. The MPO (Multi-Picture Object) file format was first used in the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 camera launched in July 2009.

.MPO files contain multiple JPEG images with associated thumbnails and metadata.

This format is proposed as an open standard by "CIPA" the Camera & Imaging Products Association.

It's important to remember this if considering buying a fujifilm 3D digital camera as for me it meant initially an extra level of pre-processing my 3D pictures. i.e. having to separate the two pictures from one file. If this format becomes more widely accepted, it's likely most image editing software will handle .mpo's.

I've since changed the way I present my 3D images and am using Mutyans Stereo Photo Maker

The W1, the first model of Fujifilms' Real 3D digital camera was the first stereoscopic camera from a major manufacturer.

It seems the W1 received some unfavourable reviews and a few photography experts predicted a commercial failure. As with any new technology there's always skeptics out there willing to give you their opinions.

But it seems the public like it! Better than expected sales of the product have led us to the next model the W3 with a bigger viewing screen and 3D Movies capability.

Fuji FinePix Real 3D W3

Specifications

My requirements have remained the same, I wanted a good all round digital camera to easily create images good enough to display on the web... but this time I wanted one that was a true dedicated 3D Stereoscopic device. So far so good this one meets those requirements but I have to say the autostereoscopic live view display which directs pixels of the images towards the user's left and right eyes separately is a real treat. You get a good feeling looking at these images and a great bonus if you wish to achieve great looking 3D shots! Some angles and compositions work better than others and it's great to see the results first hand on a screen in full color and without glasses... well it's just magical!

But why does Fuji use the .mpo format? I haven't found the answer yet.

Fujifilm does sell separately a digital photo frame that uses the same lenticular technique that of course accepts these .mpo files. I haven't yet purchased one of these digital photo viewers but as soon as I do I'll write a little report on it.

 

  • Brand: Fuji
  • Resolution: 10.0 million pixels
  • CCD: 1/2.3-inch CCD x2
  • Internal memory: Approx. 34MB
  • Memory: SD memory card / SDHC memory card (For HD video recording SDHC Class 10 media cards are recommended)
  • File formats: 3D Still image: MPO+JPEG, MPO (Multi Picture Format compatible)
  • 2D Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver 2.2 * (Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)
  • 3D Movie: 3D-AVI (Stereo AVI format with 2 image channels)
  • 2D Movie: AVI format (Motion JPEG with sound)
  • Lens: Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens, F3.7(Wide) - F4.2(Telephoto)
  • Lens focal length: f=6.3 - 18.9mm, equivalent to 35 - 105 mm on a 35mm camera
  • Focus:  3D: Center  2D: Center, Multi (for Face Detection off only)
  • Focus distance: Approx. 60cm / 2ft. to infinity
  • Macro(3D) Wide: Approx. 38cm -70cm / 1.2ft -2.3 ft.
  • Telephoto: Approx.1.1m - 2.3m /3.6ft. -7.5ft.
  • Macro (2D) Wide: Approx. 8cm - 80cm / 0.3ft. - 2.6ft. Telephoto: Approx. 60cm - 3m / 2.0ft. - 9.8ft.
  • Shutter speeds
  • Night: 1/8sec. - 1/500sec.
  • Night (Tripod): 3sec. - 1/500sec.
  • Manual: 1/2sec. - 1/1000sec.
  • All other modes including AUTO: 1/4sec. - 1/1000sec.
  • Aperture: Wide: F3.7-F8.0, Telephoto: F4.2- F9.0
  • Sensitivity: AUTO(400) / AUTO(800) / AUTO(1600) / Equivalent to ISO 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
  • Exposure modes: Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual
  • White balance: Automatic scene recognition Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm white), Fluorescent light (Cool white), Incandescent light, Underwater lighting
  • LCD Monitor: 3.5-inch, Approx. 1,150,000 dots color LCD monitor with Lenticular type, Approx. 100% coverage
  • Self-timer: 10sec. or 2sec. delay
  • Video Output: HDMI: HDMI 1.4 - 3D compliant, HDMI mini-terminal
    Normal: NTSC / PAL selectable
  • Digital Interface: USB 2.0 High-speed
  • Power source: NP-50 Li-ion battery (included)
  • Dimensions: Approx. 124.0 (W) x 65.9(H) x 27.8 (D) mm / 4.9 (W) x 2.6 (H) x 1.1 (D) in.
  • Weight: Approx. 230 g / 8.1oz (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
  • Shooting modes: SP mode: Natural light, Natural light and with Flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Party, Anti-Blur ADV
  • 3D: Interval 3D shooting, Individual shutter 3D shooting ADV
  • 2D: Tele/Wide simultaneous shooting, 2-Color simultaneous shooting, 2-Sensitivity simultaneous shooting
  • Movie recording: 640 x 480 pixels / 320 x 240 pixels (30 frames/sec.) with stereo sound * Zoom function cannot be used during movie recording.

Finepix Real 3D Pros and Cons

Pros

Currently for a 3D enthusiast the Pros far outweigh the cons. I can very highly recommend the Fuji finepix real 3D W3 camera.

Often it can be quite difficult to get people to pose and take part in your photographs. But show them the 3D on the display and many more are keen to be part of a 3D photograph.

 

Cons

Battery Life - A problem with a lot of digital cameras but this one is particularly thirsty with them. You'll end up buying back up batteries.

Shooting speed - The delay in taking consecutive pictures or indeed one off pictures is quite noticeable and can be more than frustrating. It's all to do with the size of files being processed before you can take the next picture. You can speed it up by shooting at lower resolutions and speeding up the auto focus but it's still very slow at the highest resolutions.

.mpo file format - not yet widely recognised and therefore compatibility issues. (This should change over time).

Finger over the lens - I've operated many cameras before but this is the first one I've had trouble with keeping my fingers out of the way of the lenses. This is of course because there are two, one each side of the camera. I feel it might be something also to do with the slim build of the camera.

 

Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3

Well that's me talking about my camera but the most important thing is the image quality. All the photographs taken on this web site have been taken with this camera.

Remember that they've been reduced (scaled down) in dimensions. Most of them would have been sharpened or otherwise color manipulated.
The camera is capable of resolutions at up to 3584 x 2016 pixels. See Below.

Photograph taken on the Fujifilm finepix real 3D W3 Camera

Above: Fuji Finepix Real 3D W3 Camera. An example of an image straight from this camera with no image manipulation, color adjustment or sharpening. Click on this example to see it in it's original highest resolution state of 3584 x 2016 pixels.

 

 

Fujifilm finepix Real 3D Camera

Webmaster depthcharge3d.com

There are few technical gadgets that have brought me as much pleasure. Any fan of 3D will not fail to love this camera. Fuji has to be commended for bringing such a camera to the mass market. You can't help getting more involved in the composition of your photographs with the extra dimension of depth.

It's quite wonderful to witness peoples reaction when viewing the real 3D display.

It's Pro quality resolution make it something a lot more than just a gimmicky toy!

I can't praise this camera enough!

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