With only a handful of 3-D channels and titles available, the task of filling the growing number of 3-D TV screens falls to snap-happy vacationers and amateur auteurs. They finally get their choice of 3-D cameras this fall, but the images they produce are not all created equal.
Good: Shoot Stills
Normally a camera needs two lenses (one for each eye) to produce a 3-D image, but Sony's Cyber-shot has the speed and software smarts to get the effect from only one. In 3-D mode, the camera snaps a burst of up to 100 images as you move it slowly from side to side. Once that's done, its onboard software merges frames from the burst into a single eye-popping image, which you can view on a 3-D ready HDTV.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9; $400; sonystyle.com
Better: Shoot 720P Video With Stereo Sound
Shoot right out of the box: Fuji's W3 captures 3-D stills and video at the push of a button. Each of two lenses is backed by a 10-megapixel sensor that records separate, continuous video streams for the right and left eye. The camera's internal processor then combines both pictures into a single movie file, which it can send to a 3-D-capable HDTV via HDMI.
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3; $500; fujifilmsusa.com
Best: Shoot 1080i Video With 5.1 Surround Sound
A screw-on lens accessory turns Panasonic's top-tier high-def camcorder into a 3-D power player - while still maintaining a full 1080 lines of horizontal resolution. The lens splits video into two right and left streams, and a sensor in the camcorder body saves these streams side by side in a movie file that's viewable on a 3-D HDTV (via HDMI) in near Blu-ray quality, complete with five-channel surround sound.
Panasonic HDC-SDT750; $1400; panasonic.com
Wait, what about the Aiptek 3D camcorder? Why isn't that up there? :(
Science is awesome. :)
anyone having the ability to be able to make their own 3D movie is so awesome. it would make home videos all the more great. 3D has gotten pretty popular so what a great idea for more people to be able to get more experienced with it
Making 3D cameras available to the everyday consumer is maybe one of the best ideas for the filming idustry. The best of the best 3D cameras are wicked expensive and would most likely only be afforadable by wealthy expirenced film makers, but by bringing those 3D abilies to the everyday film maker, at a very reasonable price will allow for the media industry to grow significantly.
The distance between the two lenses of 3D cameras MUST be comparable with human eye separation as parallax cannot be synthesised, and should be perfectly synchronised.
Multiplexing the channels will add distortions for rapidly moving scenes.
A 3D camera should also have two microphones positioned where the ears would be. In fact, the best 3D camera would be a latex model of a human head with microphones in the ears. This would be able to record and broadcast a frighteningly realistic first-person experience.
I've been waiting 30 years for a real 3d camera. I did it using one camera taking two pics from different positions, and then viewing the results by crossing eyes and force refocussing to avoid using mirrors or 'readers'.
I've also experiemented with holophonic audio, and the manufacturers still don't even seem to be aware of its potential.
If I could run left and right video streams to two different monitors, then I could watch in 3D without using glasses or suffering flicker/lag. Why doesn't anyone provide the ability to view the separate images side by side for this method of viewing?
It would also be nice if the lens separation could be adjustable - distant objects could be differentiated and perceived more clearly if the lens separation was around a metre. I guess an elephant should have a really good depth of field perception by having its eyes so far apart.
So, SONY, FUJITSU, CANON, PENTAX, KODAK etc... please listen to this and make a camera that can faithfully record a first-person situation and environment!
Doesn't look to a general usability,
I think it to be the next beta max...