What is the advantage to the new 3d camera technology that is out?


Citing something as advantageous depends on what you consider as an advantage; that said, if your goal is to generate an image that gives the viewer a sense of "being there" instead of some of the other uses to which photography can be put, then yes, there are advantages.

Right now, there are at least the following technologies regarding 3D:

  1. New 3D movie cameras

    Basically, this is a new type of 3D camera system developed by James Cameron which is a smaller in size than previous cameras used in shooting 3D movies, allowing for entire movies to be shot in 3D. These have so far been used in at least the movies Avatar and Resident Evil: Afterlife. The main advantage here is making the movie production easier, but for the viewer, the experience is a lot less jarring as well since the 3D is produced directly by the camera system and is balanced by the expertise of the camera operators.

  2. 3D Twin lens still cameras

    These are not really new. The idea existed long before digital devices, sometimes with a mirror to make a divided exposure on a single frame of film, and sometimes with middle format devices with two lenses set apart recording on 35mm film to record two images at the same time. The digital versions only offer the advantage of automatically assembling the resulting two images into a stereoscopic image in a set way. This is not necessarily an improvement though as there are ways of viewing stereoscopic images that do not necessitate the extra equipment (often a 3D tv or some special display like the back of some cameras or and external LCD frame)

  3. The Sony Nex 3 and 5 cameras

    There is something new here, as far as I know. The 3D image is produced by the panorama function on the device, and involves moving the camera in a sweeping motion while the device fires off a very rapid set of exposures. Stitching is automatic and since the number of exposures is very high, a stereoscopic image can be generated from the panorama with the help of the excess overlapping parts of the individual images. Producing 3D images with these is quick, painless and automatic and as long as you're willing to view them on 3D tvs, very impressive.

Hope this helps.


You can take 3D shots quite simply using a normal camera - just take two shots of the same subject with a small shift in position in between - not much good for moving objects, but it is a great way to start out in 3D...


With two images, you can use free software to combine them...



The now discontinued FUJiFiLM Finepix Real 3D camera is a wonderful option because of the simultaneous dual lenses and synchronized shutters. The little camera displays the resulting 3D images directly on the lenticular viewer or directly plugging into a 3D-TV set so you can enjoy the results.


There is also a "LOW TECH" option to print two side-by-side images either cross-eyed-view(for LARGE IMAGES

or parallel-view (the latter commonly can be used with a Holmes-viewer that was popular back in 1900 and similar to the style of the GAF viewmaster) , however these prints must be small and no wider that the space between your eyes.


There is pricey and AWESOME technology that produces a realistic 3D photo by taking 20 consecutive photos and overlaying the two best images, which provide a 3D image that can then be played on a 3D HDTV. The format of the 3D image is compatible with MPO, and can also be played back on other MPO-compatible televisions, digital photo frames and printers

  • @NickC sounds stupid – user4835 Apr 21 '11 at 18:48
  • @Amanda I hope you meant that in a kindly way as a commentary on the technology, not the response. Were you perhaps looking for elaboration? – whuber Apr 21 '11 at 18:55
  • 2
    @whuber - Yes, I just meant that it seems like a useless technology for what most use their basic digital cameras for. – user4835 Apr 21 '11 at 19:01
  • 2
    What is this technology called, or who makes it? Is this a hardware technology (e.g. camera) or a software technology? You say "taking 20 consecutive photos" -- are they taken from different camera positions or what? What is MPO? – coneslayer Apr 21 '11 at 19:20
  • 8
    @NickC: I think that what @coneslayer is driving at was that you should provide a more comprehensive answer than you currently have, and he was providing some additional clarifying questions with which you could update your answer... – Jay Lance Photography Apr 21 '11 at 20:29