CES 2011: Here Come the 3-D Camcorders
Aiptek 3DHD camcorder.
After you've gotten used to watching your television shows and movies in 3-D, how can you go back to watching home movies in the dull flatness of 2-D? Thanks to some of the cameras jostling for attention at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), you won't have to. This second generation of 3-D camcorders eschews the high cost and large size of last year's models, introducing an ease-of-use and portability more akin to the ultraportable Flip camera.
Viewsonic and Aiptek both have 3-D camcorders hitting the market in time for CES 2011. Both cameras use dual embedded lenses to shoot 3-D without any adapter , and retail for the consumer-friendly price of around $200. The Viewsonic 3DV5 only weights a pound, while the Aiptek 3D-HD weighs around two pounds. Incidentally, the two cameras also look almost identical.
Both cameras also contain a 3-D screen within the body of the device, so users can preview their footage without the need of a 3-D TV. The Aiptek camera screen appears as 3-D without glasses , as opposed to the Viewsonic camera, which requires shutter glasses.
To fix that problem, the Viewsonic camera comes with software that converts videos and photos into 1950s-style red and blue 3-D for those of us who don't have modern 3-D glasses. But who would buy a 3-D camera and not buy the new glasses? Maybe we'll find out at CES 2011.
For comparisons sake, at the 2010 CES, Panasonic introduced the first totally integrated 3-D video camera. It cost $21,000 and weighed 6.6 pounds. Not exactly practical for recording a child's birthday party or a high school football game. By this July, Panasonic managed to get the price for their 3-D camcorder down to $1,400 and reduced the weight to five pounds, otherwise known as "still too expensive and too heavy."