Create 3D Movies like James Cameron


James Cameron’s film, Avatar, has helped propel 3D technology into the mainstream. People flocked to theaters to see the 3D attraction and now they’re buying the Blu-ray edition in droves. I read today that
consumers have spent more than $55 million on 3D TVs and Blu-ray players in just a few months, but I'd bet the equipment that James Cameron used to produce Avatar cost even more. The average 3D enthusiast could never afford to use Cameron’s highly refined 3D camera equipment, but fortunately there’s a much more affordable alternative.


The Aiptek 3D-HD 720p Camcorder is aimed right at consumers. Priced at only $199, any working stiff can afford one of these. Looking like an owl, the camera features two 5-megapixel 1/3.2" high-definition CMOS sensors and two lenses that simultaneously record a scene from two slightly different angles. The camera overlaps those images to create a 3D effect. In addition to 3D video, the camera can also capture 5-megapixel 3D still images. The camera captures 1280 x 720p video at 30 frames per second, while still images have a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels.


The camera features a 2.4-inch stereoscopic display that doesn’t require the use of 3D glasses. Aiptek’s Parallax Barrier technology essentially embeds "3D glasses" into the screen, allowing you to view your 3D recordings without needing special glasses. The LCD screen also gives you a 3D Live View while recording.


The 3D-HD's MP4 format is compatible with most 3D TVs and computers equipped with 3D graphics cards. But you don't need a 3D TV or computer to watch your 3D videos. Software included with the camera can convert your video clips to the Anaglyph format that supports the use of those classic red and blue 3D glasses. There’s a good chance that you already have a pair of those tucked away somewhere.


The 3D glasses will enable you to watch the 3D content on any computer monitor or TV screen. An HDMI output lets you connect the 3D HD camera to any compatible display. Then your friends and family can gather around the big screen, put on those 3D glasses, and enjoy your homemade 3D videos and photos. A USB port lets you copy your 3D creations to a computer where you can burn them to disk or upload them to YouTube, where people around the world can see them. Of course, they will need 3D glasses.


The Aiptek 3D-HD 720p Camcorder has a 4x digital zoom and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. It has 128MB of internal flash memory, and an SD/SDHC slot accepts memory cards up to 32GB in capacity. The camera measures 4.6 x 2.8 x 0.9 inches, making it small enough to fit in your pocket. And there is a threaded tripod mount on the bottom of the camcorder to enable you to use a tripod or the Aiptek Bike Mount for capturing 3D adventure footage. The expression “good things come in small packages” has never been more fitting.


It should be noted that the Blu-ray of Avatar is in 2D only right now. It will be released in 3D at a later date. With that said, even the 2D version of the Blu-ray smashed pretty much every record on the books, just like the theatrical version.