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Testing Fujifilm Real 3D W1 Camera in Different Light Conditions

October 9th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Shooting in 3D

By now you should all know that shooting in 3D requires more light for good results, the light is needed to bring up more details and darkness is a total enemy of the 3D, because when it is dark you loose detail and get noise instead. So one thing I was not happy about the Fujifilm Real 3D W1 camera I have and use for a few months was the fact that it produces quite a lot of noise (maybe I’m too spoiled from using DSLR), especially when there is not enough light – for example when shooting in 3D indoors. And I’ve been meaning to do some more testing in order to see how the level of the ambient light affects the quality of the 3D photos you can take with the camera. So I finally did a controller test with different light intensity, shooting some photos in 3D with the W1 3D camera and under different settings from the camera menu – both in automatic and manual modes and with and without the use of the built-in flash. The photos were taken indoors with the traditional office lightning using fluorescent lamps as well as additional photographic lights that were used to bring up the level of the light for the purposes of the test…

All the test photos were of two 1.5V batteries (bigger and smaller) next to each other on a seamless white background which is not the best idea for getting good and easily distinguishable 3D effect, but the focus were the batteries in the center and the level of detail we get with each shot under different conditions. It is important to note that all the photos were taken at 10 megapixel resolution, which is the maximum for the sensor used in the W1 camera with the highest level of quality in order for the image compression to bring as little as possible additional quality loss. The use of higher resolution for the original image gives you some advantage, because you can resize and crop them after that to 1920×1080 resolution which is pretty much the highest widely available resolution for 3D displays. And this way you will be able to lessen the negative impact of noise over the photos, but it might not always help that much. But lets start with the photos shot in different conditions. Have in mind that the photos below are cropped to show just the center part of the original images where the two batteries are, but there is just cropping and no resizing/resampling done on them.

Fujifilm W1 on Auto, without flash

1. With light intensity of 100 lux – 1/85 sec, F4, ISO 800
2. With light intensity of 1000 lux – 1/110 sec, F4, ISO 200
3. With light intensity of 1800 lux – 1/85 sec, F4, ISO 100
4. With light intensity of 2600 lux – 1/125 sec, F4, ISO 100
5. With light intensity of 3300 lux – 1/160 sec, F4, ISO 100

Fujifilm W1 on Auto, with forced flash

6. With light intensity of 3300 lux – 1/300 sec, F4, ISO 200
7. With light intensity of 2600 lux – 1/220 sec, F4, ISO 200
8. With light intensity of 1800 lux – 1/150 sec, F4, ISO 200
9. With light intensity of 1000 lux – 1/90 sec, F4, ISO 200
10. With light intensity of 100 lux – 1/60 sec, F4, ISO 400

Fujifilm W1 on Manual, F4, no flash, 100 lux

11. Set at ISO 100 – 1/13 sec
12. Set at ISO 200 – 1/25 sec
13. Set at ISO 400 – 1/52 sec
14. Set at ISO 800 – 1/100 sec
15. Set at ISO 1600 – 1/150 sec

Fujifilm W1 on Manual, F4, no flash, 3300 lux

16. Set at ISO 100 – 1/150 sec
17. Set at ISO 200 – 1/320 sec
18. Set at ISO 400 – 1/500 sec
19. Set at ISO 800 – 1/500 sec*
20. Set at ISO 1600 – 1/500 sec*

* The camera did not go to over 1/500 sec exposure, so the photos were overexposed

Fujifilm W1 on Manual, F4, with forced flash, 100 lux

21. Set at ISO 100 – 1/60 sec
32. Set at ISO 200 – 1/60 sec
43. Set at ISO 400 – 1/60 sec
54. Set at ISO 800 – 1/90 sec
25. Set at ISO 1600 – 1/200 sec

And just as a reference 3300 lux light intensity is roughly equivalent to a bright day with some light clouds covering the sun, with no direct sunlight. And from all the testing I can conclude that the best visual results seem to be achieved with ISO 100, F4 and 1/60-1/90 sec exposure provided that you have enough light for these conditions. Unfortunately having higher ambient light intensity does not mean that the level of noise even at the lowest ISO 100 setting gets reduced, you can say that the level of noise remains pretty much constant as a minimum even at best possible conditions… it is just that the camera is not capable of better results. I do hope that the new Fuji W3 camera will provide better results and will have less noise in the 3D photos it produces as well as the video, although I do not have much higher expectations. The only more attractive feature that the W3 provides is the 720p 3D video mode as compared to the 640×480 resolution currently available on the W1, but that is currently not that big of a reason for me to upgrade.

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