Sharp Corporation has announced that it has developed a 3D camera module for mobile devices such as digital cameras and cell phones that is capable of capturing high definition 3D video images, an industry first. This will allow users to take 3D photos and videos on their mobile devices and then watch them on 3D TVs. 3D images are composed of two views taken with two cameras that simultaneously capture separate images for the right and left eyes. Sharp will start shipping samples of their 3D enabled mobile devices in July, with full production later in the year. For additional information, see Sharp's webiste.
They're not alone. Sony has also been working on incorporating 3D technology into digital cameras. For its recently launched Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5, which are compact, mirrorless interchangeable lens digital cameras, Sony will be issuing a firmware update in July which will convert the cameras' sweep panorama mode into 3D. Sony's sweep panorama mode allows you to take an extremely wide angle panoramic image merely by moving the camera with a horizontal or vertical sweeping motion. Panoramic images recorded in 3D will be able to be viewed on a 3D capable HDTV using 3D glasses. Check out our Alpha NEX-5 First Look for additional information.
Fujifilm is the only major camera company that is currently selling a 3D digital camera. In 2009, Fujifilm released its Real3D W1 camera, the first digital camera that allows you to view 3D images on its LCD screen, which can be done without using special 3D glasses. The Real3D W1 uses two lenses and two sensors to achieve a 3D effect by taking two 2D images and merging them together into a single 3D composite image. For further information about the Real3D W1, see Fuji's website.