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I have a 3DS. It can take stereoscopic photos, albeit with a low-res and noisy sensor. I'm not expecting great photos, however, I am seeing one issue I can't explain simply by cheap sensors. In some lighting conditions, when I take a picture, one of the pictures turns out much darker than the other. It's not predictable whether it's the left or right camera, but it's often one of them.

The only thing I can think of is that it it's related to fluorescent lighting - that it takes the photos serially and one of them takes place just late enough that the bulb has done a half-cycle, resulting it in being either lighter or darker, and then it doesn't do separate color-correction. In my test cases it has never happened under incandescents or the sun, but happens regularly - but not always - under fluorescents. (However, the sample size is biased because we only have one incandescent light in our apartment.)

But I know jack about cameras and lighting. Does this explanation sound reasonable? Has anyone else run into similar problems taking stereoscopic photos? Since the camera is useless except for quick spur-of-the-moment shots, can I do anything to compensate for it?

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    There's a basis for your hypothesis: see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4115/… for examples and a discussion. Do you also see color shifts towards yellow or green? – whuber Apr 13 '11 at 2:43
  • There's color shifts towards orange and blue (which are basically identical to what the non-stereoscopic camera does for lighting correction), I haven't seen one towards green. – user4696 Apr 13 '11 at 5:53
  • It would help a lot if you are able somehow to post each of these pictures in an unedited manner, specifically the meta data. I don't know if you can pull them off of a 3DS, but it would make our lives easier. – PearsonArtPhoto Apr 13 '11 at 15:00
  • I know that with many cameras you can specify whether you are in a 50Hz or a 60Hz powered country. Does the 3DS have this setting? (A quick Google search failed to find anything - maybe with the user manual you will have more luck?) – nchpmn Apr 18 '11 at 8:52
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Along with your current theory I'd like to point out that flourescents often have a bluer wavelength than other lights. It could be that they simply don't put out enough red colors while the sun and incandescents put out a healthy range of light in general.

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