3D cameras and camcorders: The first wave

Up until 2010, there were nearly no off-the-shelf cameras for consumers to create digital 3D photos and movies; it was pretty much a hobbyist or professional thing to do. But with people hungry for content to view on their 3D-enabled TVs or computers, manufacturers started trickling out cameras and camcorders this year that just about anyone can use for shooting 3D.

The cameras don't all create 3D in the same way, though. Panasonic, for example, is currently relying on add-on lenses that feed stereo images to a single sensor. Fujifilm, DXG, and others, however, are using dual lenses and sensors, which is the more traditional way--and some might argue the best way--of creating stereoscopic images.

Sony skips both of these methods by using a single lens and high-speed shooting and processing to simultaneously capture left and right images that are stitched together in camera. (I expect the remaining manufacturers that don't have 3D cameras to go this last route, as it's likely the least expensive option to implement.)

Plus, there's software to take the 2D content you already have and convert it to 3D, which saves you the trouble of buying a new camera or camcorder altogether. (You could always go back to film or DIY, too.)… Read more

Aiptek 3D camcorder: Three guesses what it does

Visitors to IT show Computex are treating their eyes to the first affordable 3D camcorder. It's made by Taiwanese company Aiptek and it shoots 3D. It's the imaginatively named Aiptek 3D!

The 3D is a budget, USB mini-camcorder--like the Flip Mino and its ilk--but with an extra dimension. The Aiptek sees double with two lenses and two 5-megapixel CMOS sensors, both recording high-definition 720p footage.

The 2.4-inch 3D panel shows your 3D video with no need for glasses. Red and cyan glasses are included in the box so you can get the benefit of 3D playback on … Read more

My next HD video camera?

This is only a quick post because I just walked past the Aiptek booth and saw their tiny but feature-packed 1080p video camera that will be available in the U.S. later this year--at a very attractive price point. Its memory allows for approximately two hours of 1080p HD video using a 4GB memory card. This one promises to be a "must have" gadget for next year.

Phil Hester is senior vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) at AMD, responsible for setting the architectural and product strategies and plans for AMD's microprocessor business.