You don’t have to be James Cameron to make a 3D movie
Film director James Cameron reportedly spent more than $200m on Avatar, but thanks to the Aiptek i2 you can film your own 3D film for a fraction of that.
In many ways the i2 is similar to other pocket camcorders such as the popular Flip series (see our video of the Flip HD here). It can record ordinary 2D video in the high-definition resolution of 720p and takes five-megapixel still photos. A USB connector in the bottom connects it to the computer and there’s a slot for an SD memory card (not supplied).
The i2 is a little fatter than the Flip as it has two lenses which allow it to record two separate images and merge them together to form a 3D image. A simple button switches the camera between 2D and 3D modes, and you can even preview your video clips in 3D as the 2.4in preview screen can display a kind of pseudo-3D effect – a bit like the 3D holograms popular in the 1980s.
If you’re lucky enough to have a 3D television set at home you can use the i2’s built-in HDMI socket to plug it in and watch 3D videos straight away. Few of us have 3D TVs, though, so the i2 also includes some special software that can be installed on a PC and which converts your 3D videos into the red-and-blue ‘anaglyph’ format that can then be played on any display. A set of 3D glasses with red and blue lenses are included.
The 3D images are reasonably effective, although it’s best when filming objects moving straight at the camera. The software that comes with it also allows users to upload video to Youtube or Facebook (both of which can handle 3D video) so you can easily share your epic with the world.
Ultimately, of course, the 3D feature is a bit of a gimmick, and you can get a conventional 2D camcorder of similar quality for about £50 less.
However, it’s fun to play with and might make a neat present for people who like to put their home videos on Youtube.
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A slightly gimmicky but fun way for home movie buffs to experiment with 3D Good points Easy to use; works in both 2D and 3D modes; includes 3D glasses Bad points More expensive than 2D camcorder; need 3D TV to make most of it; memory card not included
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