Tips on Choosing 3D Cameras
It seems like every Hollywood blockbuster is being shown in 3D – by donning the trademark glasses, you can become immersed in the cinematic world of the silver screen. But what if you could bring this technology home? Within the last year, camera manufacturers are developing digital cameras that are able to produce 3D photographs easily and cheaply. Here are some details about the cameras, as well as some suggestions on the best brands and models.
How Does 3D Technology Work?
3D digital cameras have two lenses instead of the standard one – each capturing a slightly different image, much like each of your eyes would do. These two images are then combined, creating stunning depth and realistic perspective.
Thanks to the design of the LCD screen, the resulting 3D image can be viewed without the need for any special glasses. FujiFilm (as well as Kodak) have announced plans to build 3D print kiosks that will allow users to print images directly. For now, it’s possible to order 3D prints directly from the company.
What Makes a Good 3D Camera?
3D cameras should be versatile – they should be able to function both as point-and-shoot (2D) cameras as well as taking 3D photos. You’ll want to make sure to consider image quality – the camera should have at least 16.2 megapixels and an aperture range of at least F3.5 for wide-angle and F5.5 for telephoto. The camera should feature a large LCD touchscreen and an easy-to-use interface for adjusting picture settings. Many 3D cameras allow the user to edit – crop, resize, rotate, etc. – directly on the camera.
Which Camera Should I Choose?
So, how to decide? The Panasonic Lumix is priced at $489, and includes 3D video capability along with a huge amount of internal memory (70MB). The camera has gotten high ratings across the board. One of the only drawbacks is its underwhelming optical zoom, maxing out at 4x.
The Sony HX10 is cheaper at $268, but unfortunately doesn’t have a 3D-enabled LCD screen, meaning that 3D images cannot be previewed.
The FujiFilm FinePix is priced in the middle at $399.95, and does include 3D preview on the camera. One shortcoming of the FujiFilm is its 10 megapixels resolution, which lags behind the image quality standard of its competitors.
As more and more 3D products hit the market, there will be a greater variety of digital cameras available. For now, these three options are your best bets. Happy photographing!
Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. She helps her readers find the best deals by assessing the value of everything from the latest gadgets to term life insurance versus whole life insurance.