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Customer Review

344 of 350 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting... NOT a gimmick!, September 9, 2010
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This review is from: Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Digital Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Camera)
Let me start by saying I'm not necessarily a 3d enthusiast, I wasn't all that impressed by Avatar in the theater... I'm not necessarily jumping on the 3d bandwagon because it seems to be the next big thing getting pushed by TV/display manufacturers. I am, however, a PHOTOGRAPHY enthusiast. I consider myself to be a fairly seasoned photographer -- I've got a wide variety of cameras and lenses, am members of some local photography clubs... Creative photography interests me the most. For example I have interest in things like vintage camera equipment, pinhole lenses, Lensbaby lenses, Holga cameras, etc... just all kinds of creative ways to capture things that are maybe outside of the norm.

So while I think of 3d as a gimmicky trend that has been revived by the Avatar movie, I'm also a creative photographer that was very intrigued when I heard about this camera. I bought the camera sight-unseen, basically thinking it was going to be a gimmick. However after seeing the pictures it produces I honestly, truly believe it is not a gimmick and 3d photography is going to be here to stay. It may take a while to catch on, but it's here to stay.

Once you experiment with the camera a bit you'll learn how to get the most of the 3d effect. Taking photos of things that are further away (such as landscapes, distant architecture/buildings where it's difficult to get a sense of depth), the effect is more subtle and less apparent. But taking photos of things that are reasonably close to you, and there are points of interest at different distances throughout the shot (such as a forest with trees at staggered distances away), the 3d effect is much more apparent and can be quite stunning. Either way, with a subtle 3d effect for things further away, or for a much more apparent 3d effect on things that are closer, it truly does add another dimension to your photography. You see things in the photos almost the way you do in real life.

Like all things this is just another creative tool to add to the toolkit. There are lenses for certain jobs, and there are cameras for certain jobs. The images this camera produces really have to be seen to be believed. I, as well as several others I have shown the images to, am really shocked at how well the 3d looks and am still trying to wrap my head around it and when I might want to use this new tool.

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros
---
- Reasonably compact for what it is. It's more compact than I expected. Have to keep in mind it is basically 2 cameras in 1. Most of the cameras I use (SLR's) are not nearly as compact as this so this really feels like a treat to carry around.
- Battery life in my experience has been excellent. I've seen other reviews say the battery life isn't good. I've found that not to be the case. I didn't even fully charge the battery it came with and it's lasted for hours of me messing around and testing the camera out.
- The 3d effect, when used appropriately, is really stunning.
- Camera boots up reasonably quick for a compact.
- Can easily switch between 2d/3d modes, can view 3d photos in 2d, etc.
- Can do some creative 2d photography -- having both lenses using different settings for 1 shot.

Cons
---
- You have to hold the camera in a somewhat unnatural way in order to keep fingers from getting into the shots. The lenses are both on the outer sides of the front of the camera. This is a trade-off that I completely understand as they have to have the lenses apart to get the 3d effect but also wanted to keep the camera compact.
- I've had poor results when using the Macro (close-up) functionality.
- Not a fault of the camera, but until 3d is widely adopted it will be difficult to share these photos with anyone the way they're meant to be seen.
- Prints are on the expensive side at $6.99 for a 5x7 print
- Prints are only available in 5x7. I really wish there was a larger variety of sizes available. I don't expect to get gallery-sized prints, but a little bigger than 5x7 would be nice.

So is the camera perfect? No. It's obviously a new technology and is only going to continue to get better. But for where it's at right now I am really thrilled with the camera overall and that's why I gave it 5 stars. This camera really does add a new dimension to photography that has sparked a creative bug inside of me that I haven't felt in a long time.

* UPDATE 10/4/2010 - I've got a couple observations after having spent a few weeks with the camera, taken some video, AND I just got my first order of prints.

Picture quality - I, like many other reviewers, have been "wowed" by the way the 3d pictures look on the camera's built in screen. I will agree with that 100%, however, being critical about the picture quality after reviewing it on a PC, it's really not that great. Don't get me wrong, the 3d effect is absolutely fabulous, but don't be fooled by the results you see on the camera's tiny display -- this is essentially 2 mediocre cameras stuffed in to 1 body. I can't say enough how cool the 3d effect is but the images on their own are on-par with about any other cheap point & shoot digital.

Video - very impressive. I took some video from the top of a waterfall (looking down). Stunning.

Prints - This is one area where I think a lot of other reviewers have not yet covered. I ordered 3 prints. They only come in 5x7 size. I tried to order somewhat of a variety of types of shots, just to get an idea of how they look on paper. I had no idea what to expect. Let me start by saying the prints come on a really thick paper, and it has those ridges on it -- you know, kinda like those scratchy 3d things where you can turn them to see 2 different images. Not QUITE the same, but pretty similar. Just due to the nature of the paper it is printed on a lot of the detail can be lost. So that said, I got 3 prints. Portrait - decent. Close-up shot - not good. Nature shot - awesome. The nature shot I took was from a bridge overlooking a river, with trees and such overhanging the edge of the river. The 3d effect was quite pleasing and I am excited about ordering more prints for this type of shot. Now my sample is only 3 prints, but perhaps this advice will serve someone else well. The 3d effect on the camera doesn't quite turn out the same way on a print for all types of shots.
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Comments

Tracked by 11 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 11, 2010 2:44:08 PM PDT
Erik Kenbok says:
you CAN view photos with the lenses covered... just hold the "play" button for a few seconds. and do the same thing to turn it off.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2010 4:15:15 PM PDT
sam says:
you are absolutely right! thank you for pointing this out -- i was not aware of it. i will see if i can edit the review.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2010 8:37:36 AM PDT
Thanks dude!!

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 8:53:46 PM PST
Slade Simon says:
About 15 years ago, there was a camera/photo shop that offered a disposable 3D camera. These prints sound like the prints I got from that camera except they were a smaller print size - smaller than 4x6. They had that grooved plastic on the front kinda like those Cracker Jack toys you could tilt to have the image change. I don't recall how much the prints cost but I know they weren't as much as these Fuji one were - even allowing for inflation.

Do you know about these disposable cameras and does it sound like the prints are using the same technology?

Can the images and video be converted to 2D for sharing online?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2010 5:00:02 PM PST
Soulster says:
Might it be the Nimslo 3d camera? Yes they use the same tech but this is far higher quality. Yes the images and video can be converted back into 2d. The camera default is to generated both a 3D and a 2D copy of each photo.

Posted on Jan 7, 2011 4:05:09 PM PST
Jenea Hayes says:
These kinds of prints are called "lenticular prints" (or more commonly, just "lenticular").

There are many lenticular printers out there but they tend to serve the corporate market with minimums in the hundreds or thousands.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 4:05:52 PM PST
Jenea Hayes says:
OMG thank you; I had figured out how to get it to view photos with the lenses covered but hadn't thought to press it again to turn it off, and have been sliding the lens cover up and down to turn it off. :P

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 8:51:39 AM PST
Thanks for the excellent review and update! Very much appreciated!!

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 9:19:14 AM PST
Alex Lindsay of the PixelCorps has said that this camera is excellent BUT, DON'T use the supplied software (for anything - throw it away!) He recommends "Stereo Splicer" software as a substitute.

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 7:46:54 PM PST
hands down absolutely one of the best camera reviews I've ever read, and I've read a lot. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that so clearly. Like you, I have not yet gotten swept up into the 3d tide but after reading your review I am tempted to try out this little camera. Maybe not tempted enough, yet, but defintely tempted to add it to the rest of my photographic back of tricks. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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