In what may be the first detailed review by a major mainstream media outlet, USA Today's Personal Tech columnist, Edward C. Baig praises Fuji for pushing the technological envelope and concedes that 3D enthusiasts may be thrilled with the Fuji W1.
But he cautions this is not a camera for the masses and notes how little promotion Fuji has done to market their breakthrough. Officially released in September 2009 in the US, Fuji is only now sending out review units to the tech press.
I found it amusing and perhaps a little condescending that a tech "writer" like Baig puts "quotation" marks around words like "stereo" and "stereoscopic" in his "review."
On the whole this is a well-balanced take on the Fuji W1. The menus are complicated and not nearly as intuitive as they could be, post-processing of the images is certainly an issue and if you consider 3D a novelty the initial enthusiasm can wear thin quickly.
However, I would also note that the similarly priced Canon Rebel XSi digital SLR (retail $649) is not a camera for the masses, has a bewildering array of menu options and is likely to appeal only to high end photography enthusiasts. In the same way that Baig concludes about the W1, I can't recommend the Canon Rebel for most users either.
The reflects, I believe, a subtle bias against the tech here. No one dings the Canon Rebel because it's capabilities are beyond the needs or abilities of the average point and shoot user.
Still the "review" ends on a "hopeful" note: "I can't recommend the W1 for most users in its current iteration. But given the promise of 3D and Fuji's head start, I'm hoping they give it another shot."
I just wish Baig had given Fuji more credit for bringing the first twin-lensed digital camera with an autostereoscopic rear display to market.
Like my grandfather said "I can't recommend the horseless carriage for most users in its current iteration. But given the promise of automobiles and Henry Ford's head start, I'm hoping he gives it another shot."
Read the entire review here.