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August 18th 2010 12:40 pm

3D pictures from a camera -- is this cool or another gimmick?

Hah, yes - I know, I know. I'm sounding like an angry old man lately, but *3D* photos? You can't even properly view them unless you're wearing funny glasses! Okay, to be fair, the camera features some stereoscopic algorithm, so it flips between the images really quickly to show pseudo 3D.

But on your computer, flickr, Facebook? It doesn't seem too practical!

That said, it does offer the ability to record 3D movies. So that might be kind of fun and cheesy if you have the proper television to view it on.

===Slightly different topic on 3D images===

A few years ago, some colleagues worked on a research project for the BLM that used 3D photography. They were tasked with coming up with a way to track erosion of a small hillside caused by dirt bike and ATV riders.

Their idea was to setup a benchmark (so they could return the same spot), use two DSLRs mounted a few feet apart on a bracket and tripod and take a series of photos, then return every few months and do the same process.

This stereoscopic pair of images created enough depth of field information that they could actually calculate small differences in where soil ended up moving and where erosion was occurring. I assume they used something like MATLAB. They were able to create a heat map of the hillside over the course of a year, showing changes.

It was pretty ingenious and relatively cheap to do. I assume one could do something similar with a swanky LIDAR setup, but those are much more expensive to obtain.

Anyway, if I can find a link to the paper, I'll post it here.

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Picked one up in a bargain bin recently. $99 so a bit too much of a bargain to walk past considering they were $599.
The 3D images are a little bit of a gimmick really just as something different but to be able to have a 720pHD 3d video of my 3 year olds birthday party is pretty awesome really.
Worth every penny.
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