Sony unveils new single-lens 3D camera
Friday, October 2 2009

Sony has unveiled a new single-lens camera capable of recording 3D images, which could drive forward adoption of the emerging technology.

At present, most 3D production equipment uses a two-lens setup to record images for the left and right eye in order to create the required depth of field.

Instead, Sony's new camera takes a single image and then uses mirrors to record it on two sensors to capture the 3D picture. According to the firm, the device can record "smooth" 3D images at 240 frames per second for even fast-moving subjects such as sports.

A prototype of the camera will be demonstrated at the Ceatec electronics show next week in Tokyo, Japan. Viewers will need polarised glasses to watch the 3D images, but can still watch the normal 2D picture without them.

In an official statement, Sony said: "Within the growing 3D cinema industry, Sony has supported and driven the expansion of 3D by providing a wide variety of professional equipment for the shooting, production and screening of movies in 3D.

"In addition to 3D movies, Sony's range of professional 3D products and technology is also driving the growth of 3D production and distribution across a range of entertainment industries, from theatre and music performances to sport and beyond. Furthermore, Sony is also aiming to continue to lead the way in delivering new 3D viewing experiences by bringing 3D to the home in 2010."

Last month, Sony chief executive Sir Howard Stringer confirmed that the Japanese firm is also keen to capitalise on the growing potential of 3D in consumer electronics.

Sir Howard announced that 3D technology will be widely incorporated into Sony's Bravia TV sets, PS3 consoles, Blu-ray players and laptops by the close of next year.

Hollywood movie-makers have already fully embraced the technology, but Sony hopes that its new camera will encourage more TV broadcasters to take the plunge.

Sky recently announced plans to launch a 3D channel in 2010 to broadcast over its existing high definition infrastructure.

In turn, the BBC is considering screening part of its London 2012 Olympic Games coverage in 3D as an experiment in the emerging broadcast technology.

BBC London 2012 director Roger Mosey said: "Nobody would expect the games of 2012 to be comprehensively in 3D because the technology will be nothing like widespread enough; but it would be a shame not to have any images of London that were part of an experiment with what will be one of the next big waves of change.

"The Olympic stadium may only exist in its full 80,000+ capacity for a relatively short period. Not to have that at all in 3D would be, at the very least, a major gap in the archive."

Speaking to BBC News, Sony Professional general manager of R&D John Stone said that the technology to display 3D images is in place but is a long way from becoming commonplace.

"I'm not sure we're quite at the stage now where we're going to have 3D Match of the Day," he said. "But I'm hoping that there's going to be live events televised in 3D from 2010, and that can be edited down into shorter 3D highlights."

(Source: digitalspy )