Last year, Fujifilm broke new ground with its FinePix W1, which had everything you needed to capture 3D video in a point-and-shoot camera. The follow-up model, the just-announced FinePix W3, upgrades the experience to HD, while also providing an easy way to watch your 3D flicks on a big screen.
The FinePix W3 uses the same dual 10-megapixel image sensors of the previous version, but this time there's a new processor capable of rendering 3D videos in 720p. Both lenses work in sync to capture simultaneous images to produce the 3D effect, a system inherently superior to Sony's single-lens 3D point-and-shoots.
The camera's 3D Auto mode will automatically fine-tune the sense of depth (the "parallax"), though you can go manual if you want. Want to go back to 2D? Hit one button and you're flat — even while recording.
When Fuji's previous 3D camera came out, there weren't any 3D TVs that you could watch your 3D videos on. Now there are several, so the camera provides a Mini HDMI port for easy viewing on a big screen. Of course, you can always see them on the autosteroscopic widescreen rear LCD (with no glasses required!), but the 3.5-inch display can only show so much.
While we remain skeptical whether people really want 3D everything, if it's going to have a hope in hell of catching on, there need to be more affordable, easy products like the Fuji and fewer expensive, difficult products like this. The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 goes on sale in September for $500.