The successor to the Real 3D W1 boasts 3D HD shooting in its arsenal. But is it the future?
In the digital 3D photography race, Fujifilm was first over the line by a country mile with its Real 3D W1, and the W3 is its 3DHD-video-shooting successor.
Obviously the big news is that where the W1 could only manage 3D VGA video, the W3 boasts 720p 3D and a mini HDMI output for hooking up to a 3DTV.
Gone is the high-gloss finish that gave the W1 a My First Camera feel and in its place is a swankier anti-glare black on a sleeker body. Also out is the W1's meagre 2.8in LCD and in its place is a 3.5in widescreen display, using the same technology – no glasses needed for previewing those images in 3D.
Due to the distance between the lenses, the W3 is still as wide, but it's neither as tall nor thick as the W1, so more pocketable.
Control-wise, the parallax adjustment is now on the top, the Mode button has been replaced by a more sensible dial… Actually, it's nearly all changed (for the better).
The W1 clocked in at £550 when it launched – hardly an impulse buy. The W3 has knocked plenty off that at £400, which is a bit more like it.
Okay, so that's the sibling rivalry out of the way, but how does it perform?
Well, for its prime concern – 3D photography – it's bloody brilliant. You need time to adjust to getting the best out of the layering effect of subjects and scenery, but it's amazing fun.
As with the W1, the W3 still has issues with moving quickly towards or away from an object – the parallax doesn't correct fast enough, so the 3D-ness gets ruined. Also, because the twin lenses are so far apart, macro close-ups are only achievable via the Advanced 3D options, which involve taking multiple shots.
The parallax adjustment controls how far apart the lenses shoot, so you can fine tune the depth of the 3D effect. What's sweet is that you can adjust the parallax on a shot you've already taken if it didn't come out right.
Photo quality is indistinguishable from the W1's – in other words, 3D aside, no better than many sub-£200 compacts but better than most sub-£100s. When you're shooting in 3D, a 2D JPEG is still stored, which is handy.
A mini HDMI port can be found hiding under a flap on the side, along with the charging socket. The 720p 3D video looks okay on a 3DTV, but don't expect your filming to rival Avatar.
So, it's not perfect, and 3D won't be everyone's cup of tea, but this is easily the best 3D stills camera you can buy right now.
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 review
Superb 3D images and now easily hooked up to your shiny new 3DTV
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