Thanks to its twin lens and sensor arrangement, Fujifilm’s FinePix REAL 3D W1 makes taking 3D images easier than ever before, so perhaps it is time to capture the third dimension
Build and handling
Fuji’s W1 is considerably smaller and neater than 35mm 3D offerings such as this Kodak Stereo Camera, which captures 23x24mm images.
As it is effectively two cameras in one, it is hardly surprising that the FinePix REAL 3D W1 is a little bulkier than some other ten-million-pixel digital compact cameras. It can be slipped into a coat pocket, but care is needed to ensure that the lens cover, which slides down to power-up the camera, remains over the optics.
The back of the W1 looks and feels more like a portable games console than a camera. Its buttons are of the rounded, rocker-switch type and they take a little getting used to, with some double-pressing being necessary during the first few minutes of using the camera.
There are also a few handling quirks that I would like to see resolved. Adjusting the exposure in manual or aperture priority mode, for example, involves pressing the Function (F) button to bring up the function menu and then selecting the bottom option before exposure settings can be changed using the navigation controls. It seems a rather lengthy process for such a basic function. The menu system could also be better organised by associating set-up sections more closely with the shooting menu.
My main bugbear with the W1’s handling is that its screen suffers badly from reflections, and when shooting outside, even in overcast conditions, it can be hard to see the subject. In bright light the screen becomes an effective mirror. Although it is usually possible to compose an image, manual parallax adjustment is impossible as it relies on being able to align two faint pictures on the screen.