Fujifilm Real 3D W1 Camera

November 4, 2009 | 3D | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today we got an interesting new toy in the lab, a Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1. It’s a very cute little camera which you can think of as being the modern day equivalent of the old Nimslo 3D cameras. It has two lenses, and can acquire both 3D and regular 2D images, which it displays on a built in 3D lenticular display on the back of the camera.

But that’s not that much fun, you’d have to pass the camera around, and let’s face it, the display is pretty small. Fuji is supposed to have a digital picture frame which can display these images in 3D, and is also supposedly going to have a service bureau so you can get lenticular prints made, but again, that’s not much fun, at least not today. So, instead, I decided to see what I could learn about the image formats that it uses.

For still imagery, it writes both a .JPG and a .MPO. The JPGs are just standard JPG images, and can be read by pretty much anything. The MPO files are Multi Picture Objects, which are a format that I hadn’t seen before. Digging around a bit, I found out that (with some complications) they are mostly just two concatenated JPG images. Most JPEG readers seem to open and read the first image (which I believe to be the right lens image) without any difficulty, so if you weren’t interested in the stereo image, you could pretty much just treat them like JPGS (although iPhoto doesn’t even try to notice them, and refuses to try to open them).

A little more digging revealed that there is a tool called exiftool which can be used to extract the images. After you install exiftool, you can run:

exiftool -trailer:all= input.mpo -o R.jpg
exiftool input.mpo -mpimage2 -b > L.jpg

to extract the left and right image. If you have ImageMagick installed, you can create a red/blue anaglyph with a command like:

composite -stereo L.jpg R.jpg stereo.jpg

Here’s an example that is just an image that I shot as a test:


I also did a bit of experimentation with video. It appears that it records an AVI file with two different video streams and one audio stream. I did some quick tests using mplayer to dump frames of each video stream into separate directories, combining them with composite, and then making a video back out of the resulting frames. It worked, but the example footage was terrible, and I could work on improving the results, so I’ll hold off on that example for now.

Overall, it’s a pretty neat little gadget, but I must admit you can buy a much better camera for the $600 price tag that it costs. It’s neat not just for what it can do, but because it demonstrates some of the capabilities that I think cameras of the future will have.

More about it after I play with it a bit more.

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Comment from Phil Harvey
Time 11/5/2009 at 10:03 am

Very cool. Thanks for the tips.

I can save you a step in your processing. The second exiftool command is not necessary, and this command can be used to build the stereo image:

composite -stereo L.jpg input.mpo stereo.jpg

Comment from Phil Harvey
Time 11/5/2009 at 10:04 am

Darn, no edit feature for these comments. It is the first exiftool command (not the second) that is unnecessary.

Comment from Mark Everall
Time 12/5/2009 at 9:21 am

Did you not get the software from Fuji?

You can extract the files r and L using the software that comes with the camera for both movies and stills simply by clicking on them.

You can output the stills to monitors in any format you like using the free Sterephotomaker software from Muttyan a great guy in Japan:


You can use his movie player or some of the others available on the net, it’s so easy now.

Comment from levon
Time 3/11/2010 at 6:52 pm

Hi, Mark
Thanks for your sharing. This camera looks interesting.

These day I want to study the file format about MPO and Exiftool.
I can fild the MPO format spec, but I can’t find any real sample on the net.
If you don’t mind, can I have one copy of MPO file direct captured by
Fujifilm Real 3D W1.
Any scene is ok for me. I just want to study the header.

Let me know if you have any conern

Best Regards,

Comment from Jim Hanson
Time 6/8/2011 at 5:39 pm

The new better w3 camera is down to $350 on Amazon but it needs a high speed SD card for its video capabilities ($80) and a spare battery ($30). I have used it in automatic mode to shoot over 1,000 photos and videos for my 3D tourist visual information website for Chicago. It is a wonderful camera in many ways but it has some minor flaws. Its photos can be superb but the screen size limits some closer scenes. The back screen turns totally black in direct sunlight so its point and shoot blindly then. Reds of course turn charcoal grey in anaglyph because of the red – cyan colored glasses. Black and whites will ghost a lot so stick to colorful scenes for best results.

We combine its anaglyph images (converted from its MPO format images) and Piku – Piku versions of it images (also converted from MPO but on start3d.com) to create 2 slide-shows of 3D images that may be viewed with or without glasses. We call this Poor Man’s 3D because neither version is perfect but between the 2 we cover the 3D base pretty well. And the beauty of it all is that our 3D can be seen on any flatscreen, even on 4″ phone screens. We avoid Fujifilm’s dispaly device because our stuff doesn’t need any special 3D screen upon which to be viewed.

For 3D videos – always use a tripod and pan very very slowly so that video shake does not add to the normal eyestrain that comes from anaglyph 3D. This will wear your viewers out. And if a scene involves out of screen stuff do it very very slowly so that it doesn’t just whisk in and out which is barley noticable. The w1 only projects 480p whereas the w3 projects a much better 720p. I don’t think 1080p is accessible with the w3.

Comment from Jack
Time 2/28/2013 at 7:29 am

can any one help us?
Actually we are trying to develop our own software which can convert two jpeg images (left & right image) to MPO image.We have problem in understanding the difference between the header of these images…

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