A new camcorder lets consumers play James Cameron at home by creating their own 3-D videos.
Hammacher Schlemmer has started selling what it claims is the first camcorder to shoot 3-D video and let users see the resulting content on the device’s screen without the need for any special glasses.
With help from a 4GB SD card, the $600 camcorder can store up to four hours of video or 2,000 3-D still images.
Don’t expect high quality video though. The camcorder’s two lenses have to work with a 3-megapixel image sensor.
The videos are recorded in 640 x 480 pixel resolution as AVI files. The camcorder can also take standard (2D) movies and pictures.
With the success of films such as Avatar and Up, the 3-D format has made a big comeback this year. Major TV makers including Sony, Panasonic and Mitsubishi are offering large screen 3-D TVs, even as broadcasters such as ESPN and Discovery prepare 3-D programming.
But it’s amateur content that could be the real catalyst for 3-D’s popularity. Already, some DIYers are rigging cameras and using software tricks to produce 3-D short films, post cards and home videos. This year, Maker Faire had a section showcasing 3-D photographs and video from amateurs and professionals.
Last July, YouTube started offering a 3-D display option for videos on the site.
To create a 3-D image, you need to connect two cameras together so each shoots the same scene from a slightly different perspective. Software helps synchronize the two sets of images. With some help from 3-D glasses, the brain can be tricked into perceiving depth in these images, though, there are ways to offer 3-D capable small screens that don’t require viewing glasses.
So far, DIYers have hooked together standard Canon cameras, iPod Nanos and Flip camcorders to create a homebrewed 3-D camera.
Consumer electronics companies are now trying to step in to offer off-the-shelf gadgets. Last year, Fuji released the first 3-D point-and-shoot digital camera, a $600 gadget that, for now, is largely available in Japan.
Earlier this week, Nintendo announced the 3DS portable that allows you to take 3-D photos and play 3-D games with it.
Hammacher Schlemmer’s 3-D camcorder doesn’t require glasses, either, to watch 3-D videos. It includes a media player with a 7-inch screen, speakers and a headphone jack that can display the 3-D content off the device’s storage card.
The battery life of the camcorder, though, seems disappointing. It offers just two hours of operation from a six-hour charge.
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Photo: Hammacher Schlemmer
Fuente: Gadget Lab