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Another DIY 3D Beam Splitter Camera Rig for Panasonic GH1 Cameras

November 26th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Shooting in 3D

Here is something interesting coming from Bastien Francois, a commercial and music video director and a reader of the blog, who has designed a small beam splitter rig to accommodate two hacked Panasonic GH1 DSLR cameras with the GH13 firmware. The idea behind the custom beam splitter rig was of course to make a more affordable solution that what is commercially available, but also to make a 3D camera rig that is lighter and smaller and that can be used not only on a tripod, but also hand-held as it weights around 4 kilograms or about 8.8 pounds.

Bastien is using a dual remote shutter for the GH1s made by a Japanese company called Inouek3D, which according to the company gets the time discrepancy between cameras down to 4 ms when shooting 50p mode. It is also interesting to note that his rig is not done with a top and back camera design, but uses a below and back camera mounting as opposed to most other professional 3D rigs. The reason for mounting the second camera on top and not at the bottom is that this gives you more flexibility to do low shots as using a high-end camcorder usually means it is also quite big in size. But with a smaller GH1 camera it is not a problem to mount it at the bottom and mounting on the bottom also helps in not getting so much light reflected in the splitter mirror as well as makes it harder for dust and other unwanted particles to stick on it.

On his blog, Bastien has some early design photos of the DIY 3D rig as well as some more recent shots with some upgrades as well as additional information about the rig. There are also two sample videos that show how well the rig is working, so you should also take a look at these. They are available on YouTube 3D, with the first one being in 720p resolution and the second one in 1080p.

And if you are interested in the rig, then you are welcome to ask questions…

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Max // Nov 26, 2010 at 15:55

    can youtube swap the left-right order?
    because i have to swap my glasses now :)

  • 2 Bloody // Nov 26, 2010 at 16:12

    Yes, it has that option in the 3D menu of the player.

  • 3 jimmyjrj // Nov 27, 2010 at 10:41

    Almost every S3D feature uses the below back configuration on AT LEAST one of their rigs. This makes the center of gravity of the rig much lower and therefore opens it up for steadicam. This is how we shot a lot of Pirates 4.

  • 4 ComPH8 // Nov 27, 2010 at 10:43

    I don’t quite understand the comment about the 4ms sync. Bastien actually specifically mentions in his blog that he doesn’t have sync method. Inoutek3D is in Japan, so he would be working with 60p, not 50p. In the case of 6op, free running, one should be able to easily align the skew between L/R to half a frame worst case in post, so that would be 4ms and a change. So what is it that Inouek3D has to sync the cameras? Is there a reference somewhere?

    Mounting the vertical cameras on the bottom causes interference limitation when tilting the rig down on a tripod. That is why many rigs place the vertical camera on the top, above the mirror.

  • 5 ComPH8 // Nov 27, 2010 at 12:09

    I found the reference to the Inouek3D remote shutter. Thank you. Please disregard my previous entry.

  • 6 David Cole // Nov 28, 2010 at 21:35

    The sync/shutter controller described here (http://beampath3d.com/home/gh1-stereoscopic-rig-project/) has proven to provide excellent sync and it can be built for a few dollars in parts.

  • 7 3deyes // Dec 31, 2010 at 12:32

    Here NEW DIY 3D RIG

    This 3D beam-splitter based rig is DIY production, so you can adjust what you want with tuning up by your self. This min-sized ultra-light 3D rig is the world’s most affordable beam-splitter 3D rig system. This 3D rig can help you create amazing 3D images, while maintaining viewer comfort.

    – Top-grade 50/50 beam-splitter glass
    – Manually adjust convergence by guide screw
    – DSLR cameras, as wall as, compact HD cameras & camcorders
    – X Y Z axis adjustable plate.


    priced at only $1,480 + S&H

  • 8 Robert Blumenthal // Jan 31, 2011 at 07:30

    I tried contacting this guy/company months ago and never got a response. Do they even exist?

  • 9 Art4Med // Feb 18, 2011 at 23:55

    3Deyes rig: Pricey; heavy?
    Isn’t the Horiz/Up config the better re: dust?
    [New here, but GH-X devotee.]

    Wanted to do this since seeing the GH-1, and I have yet to read how the Project is handling max data flow: 2 MacMinis?

  • 10 wholesale ipad 2 // Mar 24, 2011 at 05:23

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