Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 Review

October 1, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


It's not very often that we review a camera that offers a completely new approach to photography, but that's certainly the case with the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1. As its name would suggest, the Fujifilm W1 is the world's first camera that allows you to view 3D images, and it does so without the need to wear any special 3D glasses. The Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 uses two lenses and two 10 megapixel sensors to achieve a stereoscopic 3D effect, simultaneously taking and layering together two 2D images into a single 3D composite, with both 3D still images and video with stereo sound on offer.

Fujifilm's new FinePix Real 3D System also includes an 8-inch 3D picture viewer, called the FinePix Real 3D V1, and a 3D printing service (direct from Fujifilm). It's important to note that you can only view the images in 3D in one of these three ways - on the camera's 3D/2D LCD screen, the viewer or as a lenticular print - otherwise they appear as regular 2D images. The Fujifilm W1 can also be used as a regular 2D camera at any time, with the Dual Capture shooting mode letting you simultaneously take two shots at different settings.

Priced at around £430 / $600 for the W1 camera and £360 / $500 for the V1 viewer, taking part in Fujifilm's 3D future is certainly not cheap, so carry on reading to find out if it's worth it...

Ease of Use

With two lenses and two sensors, the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 is rather inevitably a large camera, measuring 123.6 (W) x 68 (H) x 25.6 (D) mm and weighing 260g, so its best stored safely away inside a small camera bag. Despite its bulky proportions, the Fujifilm W1 is quite pleasing on the eye, with a glossy piano black and silver colour scheme (which unfortunately quickly shows up fingerprints), bright blue illuminated controls, sliding lens cover and a large 2.8 inch LCD screen. Thankfully, despite the smooth all-plastic body, the camera is not too slippy when gripping it, feeling well-balanced in your hands. The overall build quality is up to Fujifilm's usual high standards.

You turn the Fujifilm W1 on by sliding down the lens cover, revealing the camera's twin 3x optical zoom lenses, built-in flash unit and stereo microphones. The 35-105mm effective focal range is unremarkable on a modern 2D compact camera, but is something of a significant achievement in 3D photography where it's difficult enough to produce a 3D image from a fixed focal length lens. The zoom lever and shutter button are located on top of the camera, along with an infra-red port that allows you to send or receive images (but not movies) to another Fujifilm camera or device with high-speed IR capability. Transmission distance is 5-20cm within a 20 degree angle. Note that the camera compresses the image so that it doesn't take too long to transmit. Located in the bottom of the camera is the battery and memory card compartment and an almost central plastic tripod socket.

As mentioned in the introduction, there are currently only 3 ways to view the Fujifilm W1's 3D images, and as Fujifilm only supplied us with the camera, we can only comment on the effectiveness of the W1's LCD screen. Suffice to say that everyone I showed it to was instantly wowed by the 3D effect, which is clearly visible even on what is a small display. It's important to note that the 3D effect is not true 3D, where you can navigate all the way around an object, but is in fact a stereoscopic image, creating the illusion of depth in a 2D image by presenting a slightly different image to each eye, hence the use of two lenses with different angles of view (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereoscopy for further information on stereoscopic images). The Fujifilm W1 records a 3D image in the MPO format, with the option to record a JPEG at the same time (obviously in 2D, and using the left-hand lens).

Taking a 3D image is largely a point and shoot affair, but there are a few options to help fine-tune your 3D pictures. The Parallax Control buttons on the rear of the camera can be used to manually adjust the 3D images, either during shooting or while viewing the images on the LCD monitor, so that you don't get two mis-aligned subjects appearing. If you don't want to tinker too much, the Auto Parallax Control option, which is on by default, gets things right most of the time. The Interval Shooting mode takes two shots using the left-hand lens from different viewpoints continuously while the photographer is moving, useful for 3D shots of landscapes, while the Individual Shutter mode combines two shots taken at the same time from each individual lens, useful for telephoto shots where a 3D image is difficult to achieve.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Rear

Fujifilm have also taken advantage of the W1's dual-lenses to include some interesting 2D shooting modes. There are 3 different options in the Advanced 2D Mode. The Tele/Wide two-shot function takes the second shot after taking the first shot, rather than both at the same time, and saves a single double-exposure composite image. 2-Color mode takes two shots at the same time with different colour settings, for example Chrome and Black & White, and 2-sensitivity takes two shots at the same time with different ISO sensitivities, useful for achieving different effects in panned shots or for night scenes.

The Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 has relatively few external controls, just 8 in total, although it does offer a much wider range of photographic options than that number would initially suggest. All the external controls are clearly labeled using industry-standard symbols and terminology, with only the 3D specific buttons requiring reference to the user guide. The W1 uses a rather unconventional control system on the rear, with the LCD screen flanked on either side by a vertical column containing 3 buttons, which are then further sub-divided via a central channel into 2, effectively giving a total of 6 buttons on each side. Dividing the main buttons in this way adds to the futuristic looks of the camera, but also makes it more tricky to operate than it really should be - I all too frequently ended up pressing the "wrong" side of the button.

On the left side of the LCD, you can set the camera mode, the scene mode, parallax correction and whether you want to record in 2D or 3D. On the right side, you can access the main menu system, playback images, set the flash, macro, self-timer and brightness options, choose the Display mode and open the F-Mode menu. Depending on which shooting mode is selected, this allows you to set the ISO speed, image size and quality, white balance, shutter speed/aperture and the colour mode. All of these are also replicated in the main menu. Due to the 2.8 inch LCD screen, the various options and icons are perfectly easy to read.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Front

The Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1's Mode button allows you to quickly change the camera's shooting mode. The 7 modes are Auto, Natural Light & Flash, Manual, Aperture Priority, Program, Advanced 2D and Advanced 3D. There are three f-stops available in aperture-priority, wide-open f/3.7 and stopped-down f/9 (depending upon the zoom setting). There's also a Manual mode which lets you set both the shutter speed and the aperture, although again there's only the same three aperture settings to choose from. The aperture is set by pressing up and down on the navigation pad, and the shutter speed by pressing left and right. A simple horizontal line in the bottom-right of the LCD screen helps you to set the correct exposure. Note that there is no dedicated shutter-priority mode. In the Natural Light and Flash the camera instantly takes 2 photos, one with flash, one without, giving you the option of which one to choose later (both are saved by the camera).

The LCD screen on the rear of the camera is a 2.8 inch model which only has an adequate 230,000 dots. The LCD monitor has a glossy finish which tends to show fingerprints, and it's also slightly raised. There is no optical viewfinder on the Finepix Real 3D W1, leading to a few moments of frustration in very bright sunlight when it can be difficult to see the image on the monitor clearly.

The Face Detection function is accessed via an option in the Main menu system. This feature is a welcome one that works well in the right situations. It's really best for posed group shots where your subject(s) is standing still at a moderate distance, but it also works if the subject is moving quickly or has their head turned sideways or even upside down. Movement tracking keeps the camera 'locked on' to its subjects until they move out of the picture. Face Detection 3 detects up to 10 faces and is faster and more accurate than the previous iteration, especially with subjects that aren't looking directly at the camera, and also has the added benefit of also offering red-eye reduction if you require it.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

If you have never used a 3D digital camera before (and how many of us have?!!), or you're upgrading from a more basic model, reading the comprehensive and fairly easy-to-follow manual before you start is a good idea. Unfortunately Fujifilm have chosen to cut costs and only supply the full manual as a PDF on a CD, rather than in printed format (there's just a short printed guide to the camera's basic features). Not much use if you're taking pictures and need to find out what a particular option does. The Real 3D W1's battery-life is adequate, with the camera managing around 250 shots using the supplied NP-95 Li-ion battery.

The start-up time from turning the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 on to being ready to take a photo is slow at around 4 seconds, and it takes about the same time to zoom from the widest focal length to the longest. Focusing is quick in good light and the camera achieves focus most of the time indoors or in low-light situations, although there's no focus-assist lamp. In the normal shooting mode it takes a snappy 0.5 second to store an image, with a very brief LCD blackout during which you can't take another picture. In Continuous mode the camera takes 1 frame per second at the highest image quality for up to 40 frames in either 2D or 3D, not particularly quick. There is a faster mode that allows you to take up to 40 frames at 3fps in 2D mode and 2fps in 3D, but only at the Small JPEG resolution.

Once you have captured a photo, the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 has a good range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 100 on the same screen!), zoom in and out, sort images by date, view slideshows with lots of different settings, delete, protect, trim, and rotate an image. You can also add a sound clip to an image, remove red-eye, resize for blogging, and set the print order and the transfer order. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture/shutter speed. Disappointingly there is no histogram available either in shooting or playback mode.

In summary the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 is the first generation of what is a rather brave step into the world of 3D photography, with the added bonus of a perfectly functional 2D camera.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

The Fujifilm W1 records a 3D image in the MPO format which can only be viewed on the W1's screen or the V1 photo viewer. Therefore we used 2D / JPEG images for all of our image quality tests, so that you can at least see what its "normal" quality is like.

The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 produced 2D images of above average quality during the review period. The 10 megapixel sensor produces noise-free images at ISO 100, but there's some limited noise starting to appear at ISO 200. ISO 400 exhibits fairly visible noise and loss of fine detail but is still very usable, while ISO 800 and 1600 get progressively noisier. The Real 3D W1 didn't suffer too badly from aberrations, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The pop-up flash worked quite well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure, but the 8cms macro mode isn't anything to shout about. The night photograph was OK, with the maximum shutter speed of 3 seconds just allowing you to capture enough light in most situations. The images were a little soft straight out of the camera and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, as you can't change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results.


There are 5 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1's 3x zoom lens offers a rather restricted focal range, as illustrated by these examples:




Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 handled chromatic aberrations quite well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situation, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 8cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


The flash settings on the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 are Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash and Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (35mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (35mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (105mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (105mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction Auto

Red-eye Reduction Auto (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1's maximum shutter speed is 3 seconds in the Night (Tripod) mode, which is not very good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/2 second at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 camera, which were all taken using the 10 megapixel Fine setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 640x480 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 33.6Mb in size.

Product Images

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Front of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Front of the Camera / Lens Cover Opened

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Isometric View

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Isometric View

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Rear of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Rear of the Camera / Shooting Menu

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Rear of the Camera / F-Mode Menu

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed


Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Top of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Bottom of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Side of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Side of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Front of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Front of the Camera

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1

Memory Card Slot

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1
Battery Compartment


Reviewing the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 has proved both an enjoyable and frustrating experience. Enjoyable in the sense that this a truly remarkable first-generation product, capable of creating convincing 3D photos at the push of a button, but frustrating in that they can only be viewed (currently) on the camera's LCD screen or the optional V1 photo viewer. You'll just have to take my word for it about how good the 3D images look, or try one out for yourself at your local store, as the MPO files can't be viewed in any other way.

Deciding on an appropriate rating for the Fujifilm W1 is also somewhat problematic, as it relies almost entirely on your personal interest in 3D imagery. As a conventional 2D camera, the W1 is merely competent, with noisy images at slow ISO speeds, average operational speeds and a rather restrictive 3x zoom lens. As a 3D device, though, it obviously makes a lot more sense, replacing the need for two cameras and greatly implying the process of recording and making a 3D image, with several advanced in-camera options for further refining the effects that can be achieved. If you've got any interest in stereoscopic photography, then you'll probably have already placed a pre-order for the W1.

Which leaves the rest of us - family snappers, prosumers, even professionals - can the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 convince us to pay the rather sizeable cost of entry? I'm afraid the jury's still out on that one. While the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1 definitely achieves its 3D ambitions with utterly convincing images, the high price, bulky size and limited 2D capabilities mean that it will probably remain something of a niche product. We're already looking forward to the hopefully smaller and cheaper W2...

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 from around the web.

pocket-lint.com »

We first saw Fujifilm's 3D concept camera at Photokina 2008 and struggled to take it seriously. There are so many questions and seemingly so few answers. Now the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 has come to fruition. But can we now take the first 3D production camera seriously, or is it still just a little too niche?
Read the full review »

ephotozine.com »

Making it's début in July 2009, the Fujifilm W1 3D camera breaks new ground by producing the most realistic 3D images to date. Fujifilm have managed to give the coolest 3D images by using two lenses to take pictures with. Each lens has it's own dedicated 10Mp CCD sensor which are then merged into one final image in the camera for viewing on the 3D screen on the back.
Read the full review »


Number of effective pixels *1 10.0 million pixels
CCD sensor 1/2.3-inch CCD x2
Storage media
  • Internal memory (Approx. 42MB)
  • SD memory card
  • SDHC memory card *2
File format
3D Still image:
MPO+JPEG, MPO (Multi Picture Format compatible)
2D Still image:
JPEG (Exif Ver 2.2 *3)
(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)
Number of recorded pixels L: 4:3 3,648 x 2,736 / L: 3:2 3,648 x 2,432 / M: 4:3 2,592 x 1,944 / S: 4:3 2,048 x 1,536 pixels
Lens Fujinon 3x optical zoom lens, F3.7(W) - F4.2(T)
Lens focal length f=6.3 - 18.9mm, equivalent to 35.0 - 105.0mm on a 35mm camera
up to 3.8x (Combined optical and digital zoom)
up to 17.1x (Combined optical 3x zoom and digital 5.7x zoom)
Aperture Wide: F3.7 / F5 / F8, Telephoto: F4.2 / F5.6 / F9
Focus distance (from lens surface)
  • Approx. 60cm / 2ft. to infinity
Macro (2D only):
  • Wide: Approx. 8cm - 80cm / 0.3ft. - 2.6ft.
  • Telephoto: Approx. 60cm - 3m / 2.0ft. - 9.8ft.
Quick AF:
  • Approx. 1m / 3.3ft. to infinity
Sensitivity Auto / Equivalent to 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
Exposure control TTL 256-zones metering, MULTI, SPOT, AVERAGE
Exposure mode Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual
Shooting modes
SP mode:
Natural light, Natural light and with Flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Party, Anti-Blur
Interval 3D shooting, Individual shutter 3D shooting
Tele/Wide simultaneous shooting, 2-Color simultaneous shooting, 2-Sensitivity simultaneous shooting
Shutter speed
  • 1/8sec. - 1/500sec.
Night (Tripod):
  • 3sec. - 1/500sec.
  • 1/2sec. - 1/1000sec.
All other modes including AUTO:
  • 1/4sec. - 1/1000sec.
Continuous shooting
  • Top-40 (max. 2 frames/sec. "S" only)
  • Top-40 (max. 1 frame/sec.)
  • High speed Top-40 (max. 3 frames/sec., "S" only)
  • Single AF
AF mode:
  • 3D: Center
  • 2D: Center, Multi (for Face Detection off only)
White balance Automatic scene recognition
Preset: Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm white), Fluorescent light (Cool white), Incandescent light, Underwater lighting
Self-timer Approx. 10sec. / 2sec. delay
Flash Auto flash Effective range: (ISO AUTO):
  • Wide: Approx. 60cm - 3.7m / 2ft. - 12.1ft.
  • Telephoto: Approx. 60cm - 3.3m / 2ft. - 10.8ft.
Macro (2D only)
  • Wide Approx. 30cm - 80cm / 1ft. - 2.6ft.
  • Telephoto: Approx. 60cm - 1.6m / 2ft. - 5.2ft.
Flash modes
  • Red-eye removal OFF: Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
  • Red-eye removal ON: Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
LCD monitor 2.8-inch, Approx. 230,000 dots color LCD monitor with Light Direction Control, Approx. 100% coverage
Movie recording 640 x 480 pixels / 320 x 240 pixels (30 frames/sec.) with stereo sound
* Zoom function cannot be used during movie recording.
Photography functions
Auto parallax control, Power management, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory
Face Detection (with Red-eye removal), Power management, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory
Playback functions
Parallax adjustment, Multi-frame playback (with Micro thumbnail), Cropping, Resize, Sorting by date, Slideshow
Face Detection (with Red-eye removal), Multi-frame playback (with Micro thumbnail), Sorting by date, Cropping, Resize, Slideshow, Image rotate
Video output NTSC / PAL selectable
Digital interface USB 2.0 High-speed
Power supply NP-95 Li-ion battery (included), AC power adapter AC-5VC (included)
Dimensions Approx. 123.6 (W) x 68 (H) x 25.6 (D) mm / 4.9 (W) x 2.7 (H) x 1.0 (D) in. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
Weight Approx. 260g / 9.2oz (excluding accessories, batteries and memory)

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