Fuji Finepix Real 3D W1 Tested, Declared "Coolest Camera of the Year"S

Just before everyone got completely tired of just talking about how weird-looking Fuji's grin-faced, two-eyed 3D point-and-shoot is, some news: It does work, and it's extremely cool. This according to the Brits at Stuff, who've actually got one.

After briefly making fun of its looks and girth (it's fatty fat, like and EP-1, apparently), the reviewer dives straight into hyperbole, saying he's "just handled the future," and that the device is the "odds-on coolest camera of the year." This sounds like a little much, until you read what it can do:

[T]he amazing bit, the bit that you'll want to show all your friends, is that you can see the photos popping out of the rear LCD in proper 3D, without any need to wear stupid glasses. That is the wonder of a lenticular screen...And I turned it off and on again. And again. A 3D logo kept popping up on (or out of) the LCD and I had to keep doing it to persuade myself that it wasn't my imagination.

Yeah, ok, this sounds pretty fantastic. Fuji's using this same lenticular glasses-less tech across the Real 3D line, so you'll get the same results on the 8-inch V1 digital frame, or on Fuji's special-order paper prints, which Stuff says look like the "free 3D pictures you used to get with packets of cereal, with dinosaurs and things on them," just "much better."

It's not all wonder and whimsy and OH MY GOD, and it's easy to pick out a few early annoyances that could grow into full-fledged problems: the effect isn't as spectacular when the photos don't have seriously pronounced depth of field, and the dual lens system doesn't really work in macro mode, necessitating and awkward workaround. And what about video? Stuff is suspiciously mum on this.

The takeaway? With release set for September and a price expected to fall at around $600, this bifocal beast—which, don't forget, is a regular point-and-shoot and video camera underneath it all—isn't just a one-trick gimmick. [Stuff]