Some odd tips for shooting #3D stills or video

I have learned all of these the hard way!

The following tips apply to shooting 3D using two cameras.

Got back from vacation 2 weeks ago and discovered that the time settings in my 2 cameras were not the same – making pairing up the video clips a little harder than I wished.

  1. Set the time and date in both cameras to the same settings! Makes it easy during edit to find matching images or video clips between the two cameras.
  2. Simpler cameras with fewer gizmos, gadgets and options generally mean you are more likely to get your 3D shot. Complex cameras have a lot of settings. The main value to shooting 3D with an advanced and complex cameras, I have found, is that you have interchangeable lenses, and its quite possible to adjust zoom lenses “close enough” on both cameras when you can physically see the lens markings as you make your adjustments. But otherwise, 3D likes wide angle and two simple cameras with nice wide angle lenses would be great for 3D.
  3. When taking still photos, you can use the auto-focus, but I recommend you use the pre-focus feature of your camera, if you have it. Most dSLRs will pre-focus the shot if you depress the shutter button part way but not all the way down. Wait for the pre-focus to complete, and then press both shutter buttons simultaneously. This can really help the two cameras fire almost simultaneously.
  4. The experts say to shoot everything in manual mode. That’s how I have been doing it, but on a modern dSLR there are a zillion manual settings that can get turned on accidentally, like programmed shooting modes, custom white balance settings, exposure override, a switch between 720p and 1080p and many more. I ran into this problem today! My thought is that for general hobby shooting, use the full AUTO mode on both cameras.
  5. Output to JPEG image files, not RAW. I shot about 60 3D photos today in RAW mode. Oops. Now I have to convert them all to JPEG before I can do the 3D processing! RAW is nice as it gives a far greater dynamic range – use it where you need it, but if you are shooting 3D, shooting RAW adds a lot of extra work steps.
  6. 3D is complicated enough – keep it simple. (I say after recently shooting 3D video with two shot gun mics, audio mixer, wide angle lens adapters …)
  7. Avoid shooting images that have railings or other items covering up part of the image. For example, the fence railings on th4e image below mess with the eyes. I encountered a similar problem with high school students behind a protective wire mesh used to shield them from some robots they were controlling. The wire mesh ruined the 3D imagery.
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