Category Archives: Still photography

Fujifilm 3D W3, Lumix 3D1, Toshiba Z100, Sony Bloggie 3D specifications

A comparison of inexpensive, consumer level 3D cameras in terms of the specifications that matter for 3D photography and video. There are other cameras besides these but these are affordable and available from many vendors. Another day I will look in to specifications of higher end cameras, such as the Sony TD10/TD20 3D video cameras.

Update: Since posting this item it appears that most of these cameras are in the process of being discontinued and you can find some great half price deals right now. It is likely that new 3D cameras will be introduced in a few weeks at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.

Fujifilm W3 Lumix 3D1 Toshiba Camileo Z100
Stereobase 6.5 cm 3.0 cm 3.0 cm
Focal length 35-105mm 35mm equivalent 25-100mm 35mm equivalent Fixed lens, 4x digital zoom in 3D, 35mm equivalent unknown
Stills 2x 10.0 MP Sensor3D Resolution
7.2 MP in 16:9 ratio
8.9 MP in 3:2 ratio
10.0 MP in 4:3 ratio

Stills recorded in full size side by side MPO format

2x 12 MP Sensor3D Resolution
6 MP @ 16:9
8 MP @ 4:3

Stills recorded as full size
Side-by-Side MPO files

2x 5 MP sensor3D Resolution
4 MP @ 16:9
(2D 5M 2592 x 1944, and an “interpolated” 16 MP 4608×3456)

Stills recorded in  full side-by-side JPEG

Video Video
MP4 encoding3D HD Resolution
two separate video streams recorded as 1280×720/24p for left
1280×720/24p for rightEncoding
3D-AVI format
in either AVCHD or MP4. Sensor is progressive but video is encoded as 1080i – end result is basically the same as 30p.
AVCHD or MP43D Resolution
960 x 1080 for left
960 x 1080 for right
MP4 encoding,3D file format is one half side-by-side formatmeaning 960×1080 for each halfFeatures external mic input plug
LCD Glasses free 3D 2D only Glasses free 3D
Image stabilization No, CCD imager Yes, CMOS imager No, CMOS
Battery user replaceable user replaceable user replaceable



Sony Bloggie 3D
Stereobase 2.0 cm
Focal length 16:9 stills and video: 47mm (35mm camera equivalent)
4:3 41mm (35mm equivalent)
Stills 2x 5.15 MP sensor
(3.1 MP @ 16:9)
(5 MP S 4:3)3D
2 MP (1920x1080x)Encoded as full size MPO side by side images
Video 1080
3D: 1080/30p onlyEncoding
MP4Encoded in half size side-by-side 3D format for 960 x 1080 resolution per side
LCD Glasses free 3D
Image stabilization Yes, CMOS imager
Battery internal, not replaceable

An interesting observation – some of these cameras have 1920×1080 image sensors but actually cut the image in half when encoded into video. The reality is they are not 1920×1080 but 960 x 1080 x 2.

In addition, the frame rate offers additional temporal resolution.

Let’s compare the image quality in terms of actual resolution, as well as resolution in time by calculating a “mega pixels per minute” rate:

  • Fujifilm W3: 1280 x 720 x 2 x 24 fps = 44.2 MP/minute
  • Lumix 3D1: 960 x 1080 x 2 x 30 fps = 62 MP / minute
  • Toshiba Z100: 960 x 1080 x 2 x 30 fps = 62 MP / minute
  • Sony Bloggie 3D: 960 x 1080 x 2 x 30 fps = 62 MP / minute
  • Generic 1280 x 720 x 30 fps = 55 MP / minute
  • Generic 1280 x 720 x 60 fps = 110 MP / minute

Interestingly, depending on many factors, your highest image quality might come from 720 x 60 fps because it delivers more potential information to your eyes over time.

Shooting 3D with my two Kodak Playsport Zx3 cameras, I think the 720/60p dual camera view looks on par with the 1080p/30p view. But that is also because after editing and 3D processing, the output of a 1080p video often ends up as a 960x1080p side by side video (as needed, for example, to upload to Youtube).

Figuring out which is best can get complicated!

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Question on how to expose for greatest dynamic range on GH2

Question on how to expose for greatest dynamic range on GH2 – Personal View Talks.

This question was posted on, the web site for micro four thirds (run by the author of the GH-1 and GH-2 hacks) and specifically the high end Lumix cameras.

Suggestion is made to consider using graduated neutral density filters or polarizing filters to help reduce the highlights in photographs. The same could be said for video, and that this tip applies not just to Lumix cameras but all kinds of still and video cameras.

I shot something recently, on video, using a Canon camera, where the subjects were in the shade but enough else was in direct sunlight. There was nothing I could do but allow the highlights to blow out on the limited dynamic range of 4:2:0 HDV video. But the suggestion to use a graduated ND is a good one that I thought worth sharing with others.

A Micro Four Thirds mount camera with CCD sensors

Which means no jello in videos: No joke: SVS-Vistek makes a MFT mount camera with global shutter! | 43 Rumors.

As I understand them, CCDs read/write a frame at a time, unlike the line at a time used in lower powered CMOS sensors. Both can take great photos, but when it comes to video, CMOS results in the “jello effect” seen in handheld smart phone and even high end dSLR cameras using CMOS sensors. HOWEVER, I do not know from the story whether these sensors and cameras would be used for shooting video.

And you may be surprised at who designs and manufactures the image sensors.

Various new cameras to feature WiFi, Android OS and links to smart phones

At CES last January, camera makers demo’d product concept cameras that linked via Wi-Fi to apps running on smart phones. Features included the ability to route real time video from the camera to the remote smart phone, as well as remote control of the camera from the phone. Others provided ways to upload photos from the camera to online social media web sites.

A couple of camera makers will apparently soon announce cameras that have Android running inside – and enable the installation of apps from the Android app market. That also means that software developers may be able to write applications that add new features to the cameras! Yay!

Finally, there’s this item that the rumored Panasonic Lumix GH-3 will include Wi-Fi and smart phone remote capabilities, plus a new 70 Mbps video encoding mode for high quality compression.  FT5 Panasonic GH3 has WiFi and remote control applications! | 43 Rumors.

#3D images using normal and very wide interaxial lens spacing

When shooting 3D images, the distance between the left and right lenses matters as it impacts both the useful depth of the image and how close your camera can be to primary objects without the objects appear to “pop out” in front of the screen.

The following photos are 3d “red/cyan” stereoscopic anaglyph images. The photos were taken using dual Lumix GH-2 cameras and processed in Stereomaker. The original 5k pixel wide images were uploaded to my video blog; click on the image to see larger image. Use your red/cyan 3D glasses to view these images.

First photo is of playground equipment using my standard 5 1/4″ interaxial spacing – that is the closest I can get the cameras together, and the lens was set to 42mm (on a micro four thirds camera that is the same as an 84mm lens on a full frame camera).

Notice that the line of trees well behind the playground equipment is all “in the distance” at the same plane. Not much 3D going on back there. This is due to the closer lens spacing.

For the following images, I used my “sliding rail” mount which is a home made mount that enables me to separate the lenses by more than 2 feet.

The effect of a wider lens separation is to create a sense of stereoscopic depth much deeper into the scene than is possible with a narrow lens separation. Think of it like this – suppose your two camera lenses (or your eyes) were on top of each other, in the exact same spot. You would not see any 3D effect as you’d have a 2D image. But move your lenses (or eyes) apart by a millimeter or two. Now you would begin to see some depth but only for objects very close to you. Distant objects would not be sufficiently different in the left and right views to give a 3D sense to them.

Now move the lenses (or your eyes) several inches or even a foot apart. The difference in the images, even at far distances, will now be noticeable.

A “normal” 3D camera might have lens spacing in the 1 and 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches range (similar to your eyes). This camera will produce useful depth at up to perhaps 200 feet. Beyond that, objects will tend to appear on a distant plane.

By increasing the interaxial base, we extend the depth into the distance. In these photos, with a long stereo baseline between the lenses, depth is extended out to easily 800 to 1,000 feet.

Why don’t we then just always use a wide lens separation? Because a wide separation has impacts on objects appearing closer to the camera. As a rough rule, the closest subjects in your scene should be about 30 times the distance between the lenses. For a 2 foot lens separation, that means the nearest objects should be at least 60 feet away.

By comparison, my normal 5 1/4″ separation enables objects down to less than 14 feet from the cameras. Consequently, lens width matters! For my Canon HF M301 video camera set up, lens spacing is 2 5/8″ and enables taking 3D images down to within about 7 feet of the subject.

In these images (some shot at 42mm m4/3ds) we still see depth at what is probably 800 to 1,000 feet. But note that I carefully avoided having anything, like a tree, appear in the foreground – it would have hurt your eyes with this lens spacing!



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Clever way to program a DSLR – by putting the code outside the camera

Inexpensive dongle interfaces between iPhone and certain Olympus and Panasonic DSLR cameras. A software app on the iPhone adds new features including time lapse, motion detection, high dynamic range controls, and other capabilities.

Does it work? E-M5 iPhone controller… | 43 Rumors.

Which camera company will be first to offer their own software development kit for a camera?