The year 2010 could be considered a 3D year, beginning with the release of the 3D blockbuster movie, Avatar, followed by the release of 3D HDTV with prices that are rapidly falling. The 3D craze has now, it seems, spilled over to the digital camera arena.
Sony 3D Digital Cameras
Sony offers two 3D digital camera models – DSC-TX9 and DSC-WX5. At the time of writing, these are the smallest 3D cameras available in the market.
The 3D technology employed by the cameras is the 3D Sweep Panorama. The technology allows you to snap an image in panorama mode in a single press-and-sweep motion.
The frames captured in high speed are then stitched to form a 3D image. You can view the images in 2D over your computer or output to a 3D TV via a 3D-compatible HDMI cable. 3D glasses would also be required to view the images, though.
If you don’t have a 3D TV, you can shoot in the Sweep Multi Angle mode, whereby you tilt the camera front and back while the camera captures up to 15 images. These images are then combined to give you the illusion of a 3D photo. You can then view the photo over the camera screen.
At the time of writing, the recommended retail prices for TX9 and WX5 are USD 399 and USD 298 respectively.
Fujifilm FinePix W1
This model is popularly known as the world’s first 3D digital imaging system. This double-lens 3D camera comes with a pair of 10MP image sensors. One plus point about this model, is it allows you to view your 3D images over its screen without the need for 3D glasses.
If you’re planning to view your 3D images over a large screen TV, you would be disappointed. FinePix W1 has no HDMI output for connection to a 3D TV. However, you can save your 3D images to a SD card and insert it into your TV or 3D Blu-ray player if it comes with an SD slot.
If you don’t have a 3D TV or don’t fancy using 3D glasses to view your images, you can purchase the FujiFilm Real 3D Viewer, an 8-inch LCD display which doesn’t require you to wear special glasses to view your 3D images. There’s also a print service which delivers 3D photos to your doorstep, if you don’t mind paying $6.99 per print.
FinePix W1 retails for $999.00 at Amazon.
3D cameras may not have yet achieved the level of sophistication a photography buff would desire. However, if the 3D craze continues to capture the imagination of the public, camera manufacturers will surely work hard to push the limits of what 3D cameras can do.
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