3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Sony’s Phone 3D Sweep Panorama Mode is a Real Disappointment

July 19th, 2012 · No Comments · General 3D News

Sony Ericsson and now only Sony has announced last year that they’ll be bringing the 3D Sweep Panorama mode on their smartphone lineup as well, a a special software function that allows the recording of stereoscopic 3D panorama photos with the use of a normal 2D camera. Previously this mode has been available on some of the company’s portable digital cameras and there it was not performing that bad actually, so I’ve had some hopes for the functionality brought to smartphones. Just as a reminder, Sony still doesn’t have a full fledged 3D-capable digital camera targeted at consumers, though the company offers 3D digital camcorders like the portable 3D Bloggie or the Sony HDR-TD10 and the newer Sony HDR-TD20V. For digital cameras and apparently smartphones as well the company remains in 2D and only offers the 3D Sweep Panorama as an extra that you can use together with a 3D HDTV if you own one.

I’ve already explained in an article how the 3D Sweep Panorama mode works on digital cameras and the principle for it on smartphones is essentially the same, though due to the smaller camera sensor you should not expect that good results as when using a Sony digital camera. I just recently took a friends Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S smartphone to do a quick test of the stereoscopic 3D capabilities that the smartphone might be offering and to see if it can actually be used in 3D for something else besides the 3D Sweep Panorama mode. You know, I was interested in the 3D Sweep Panorama when it was made available at first on the digital cameras, but my expectations from it being introduced on smartphones weren’t that big, so I was not in a hurry to try it… and apparently I was right not to.

When the 3D Sweep Panorama mode was announced that it will be made available on Sony Ericsson’s upcoming smartphone lineup I personally expected that this would mean HDMI 1.4 3D support and actually also being able to do other things in 3D with the smartphone when connected to an external 3D-capable display. Unfortunately it did not happen this way as I’ve just found out, the Xperia Arc S for example does not support HDMI 1.4 output in 3D, instead the phone outputs 3D in Over/Under mode essentially splitting the screen in two. So when you connect it to a 3D HDTV and open up a 3D panorama photo you have to manually switch the TV set into Over/Under 3D mode and that simply means that you get half of the vertical resolution of the smartphone’s screen. Yes, you’ve got that right the Xperia Arc S has a screen resolution of 854×480 pixels (in Landscape mode) and in stereoscopic 3D photo output mode you get just 854×240 per eye – pretty low quality or with other words blocky-looking image with low resolution and not very good stereoscopic 3D effect on top of that. And of course the fact that you are not being able to lets say play a 3D video from the phone on an external 3D HDTV or use it for pretty much anything else in stereoscopic 3D mode is really a big disappointment. So my advice is just not to pay any attention at all to the 3D Sweep Panorama mode you get available on Sony Ericsson and the upcoming Sony smartphones, should you consider to get such a device, just forget that it has support for something 3D in it.

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Digital Cameras With 3D Photo Mode Coming, But Not 3D Cameras

August 26th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Shooting in 3D

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but lately there are a lot of new digital cameras that are getting their 3D treatment in the form of a 3D photo mode that works much the same mode as Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama mode. Sony is the first company to add to a lot of its digital cameras this features that allows you to take 3D photos even though the camera has just one lens and sensor, by just moving the camera horizontally and taking multiple pictures out of which the camera software automatically makes a 3D photo. And now they are even bringing that feature to the latest Sony Ericsson Xperia smartphones, but that is to be expected when they already have the software developed and working quite well, so why not integrate it into more devices and say that they also have 3D features. But that is not the problem, the problem is that there are no new real 3D digital cameras coming out on the market, so it is pretty much still up to Fujifilm and their W3 camera to hold the position of the real 3D digital camera for a while more.

If you’ve been looking in the news in the last few days you’ve probably noticed that there are some new digital cameras being introduced from different companies that all have the 3D Photo mode, although they are normal 2D cameras. And I’m not talking about products from some unknown companies, but about pretty much all big names that already have or will soon have this software 3D Photo mode that should be able to automatically make 3D photos out of multiple 2D pictures taken with the camera. Aside from Sony who already have their 3D photo mode in multiple digital cameras, there is also Panasonic with a few models already on the market such as the Lumix ZS10/TZ20/FX78/FX77 and others or the latest Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. Then there is also Nikon that recently announced their Nikon S100 digital camera with 3D Photo mode as well as Olympus with their SZ-10 or the upcoming PEN E-PM1 Mini that also gets a 3D Mode. Now, the only one missing here from the top names is Canon, so is it a matter of time before they also start adding such a 3D Photo mode to their compact digital cameras or maybe they are late, because they want to have a real 3D camera on the market. So if you are looking or a real 3D digital camera at the moment, then you better go for Fujifilm Real 3D W3 instead of considering getting any of these that only have a software 3D Photo mode to make 3D photographs. Just have in mind that these 3D Photo modes are more limited and are not usable for shooting moving objects and you are not able of course to take 3D videos as you can with a real 3D digital camera that has two lenses and sensors.

You can get the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Digital Camera for about $300 USD…

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Phones to Get 3D Sweep Panorama Support

August 25th, 2011 · 3 Comments · General 3D News

Sony Ericsson has announced that it is bringing support for the 3D Sweep Panorama mode found on some of Sony’s digital cameras to their Xperia 2011 mobile phones line. The 3D Sweep Panorama mode allows you to take stereoscopic 3D photos of objects and also to make panoramic 3D photos without actually having a 3D camera by using a normal 2D one, and that is something that pretty much every smartphone has nowadays. The user only needs to sweep the camera or in this case the smartphone around for a bit and the software will do the rest, taking multiple pictures and stitching them into a 3D one, so it is an extra function that produces nice results and is quite easy to use. Of course the 3D photos produced by using this software function may not be as good in terms of depth perception as a 3D photo taken with a true 3D camera, however they still do look quite good and convincing. And aside from being able to take 3D photos with this extra functionality, the update will also add support for HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic output on these phones, meaning that you would be able to connect the device to a big screen 3D HDTV and see the photos in 3D on it…

According to Sony Ericsson the 3D Sweep Panorama mode support will arrive in October with the release of the Android 2.3.4 update for the company’s phones and it will only cover only the models released in 2011 such as Arc, Neo or Play. Also the first new model that will feature this OS version preinstalled is the new Sony Ericsson neo V that is expected to be available sometime in the fourth quarter of the year, so you will be getting it with 3D Sweep Panorama mode available out of the box. Of course the update will also bring all the extra features that are standard for that version of the Android OS as well as some Sony Ericsson specific updates besides the 3D Sweep Panorama mode and stereoscopic 3D output over the micro HDMI interface that the phones feature.

For more information about the upcoming Sony Ericsson neo V smartphone…

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