What's New In Photography? 3D! (Part 1)

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In the everchanging world of consumer electronics & photography, it's hard to keep track of all the new products that are coming out this year, and harder to separate the sure winners from the also-rans. The next few blogposts will cover the upcoming trends that we think will define the market as we go into 2011. First up is the the ability to shoot and view pictures in 3D! Sony has introduced  five new innovative 16.2-megapixel Cyber-shot cameras (models DSC-TX100V, DSC-TX10-as shown to your left, DSC-HX7V, DSC-WX10 and DSC-WX9) that are the world's first compact digital still cameras to include 3D Still Image mode for taking 3D images using only one lens and imager. Sony makes it easy to create personal 3D content that can be viewed on an HDTV with 3D home theater system. 3D images can be captured using 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode or the new 3D Still Image mode. In this mode, the camera takes two consecutive shots in different focus positions to calculate the depths, and then it creates left-eye and right-eye images to produce a 3D effect. These images can be enjoyed in 2D or stunning 3D on compatible 3D televisions  (3D-compatible HDMI™ cables and 3D glasses are also required and are sold separately). The 3D Sweep Panorama™ feature lets you take panoramic pictures in one press-and-sweep motion. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together using innovative processing techniques to automatically create detail-packed 3D panoramas. These cameras will let you view images in a whole new way. Unlike 3D Sweep Panorama mode, which lets you view your 3D images on compatible 3D television systems, Sweep Multi Angle™ lets you view images moving in simulated 3D right on the cameras' LCD screen (or OLED with touch screen using the DSC-TX100V) by tilting the camera back and forth (no glasses!). This shooting feature captures 15 images at different angles and then compiles them into one photo, creating a 3D-like effect on the display. Very Cool! We currently have one of these cameras on display, so if you want to see the effect with your very own eyes ( & no glasses), come in and ask. Sony will be using the same technology with their HD camcorders this spring as well. Sony is not the only imaging company dabbling with this new technology. While not yet offering a camera capable of 3D image capture,  Nikon is now marketing in Japan a 3D viewer — one available only to members of its new image service for converting flat two dimensional photos to 3D. The NF-300i 3D photo frame has a 7.2-inch LCD with an 800 by 600 resolution. A lenticular filter coupled with the LCD panel’s horizontal double-density pixel system delivers stereoscopic viewing without specialized 3D glasses. A lenticular filter has a multitude of convex lenses that distribute left and right images to create a stereoscopic image. The frame runs the Android operating system and can also display standard photos, a calendar, clock, and weather information.The NF-300i 3D digital photo frame will not be available for sale, but instead only loaned out to registered members of the my Picturetown 3D service. Nikon’s Picturetown 3D imaging service is an offshoot of its current Picturetown online image sharing and storage site. The launch of this service in America, with details of the distribution of the viewer is due in March, Nikon announced today. Fuji was the first to undertake 3D imaging last year, but these items may be the first to capture the full attention of photo consumers. We'll see... The next trend we'll cover is a system that seems to have just discovered it's name: Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras!  That'll be next Monday. In the meanwhile, we're having our Digital Point & Shoot Basic Class again tonight at 7, right here at the store! (Sony TX-10 image courtesy of Sony/Nikon 3D Viewer courtesy of PMAI Newsline)

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