3D or not 3D that is the ques­tion

Unless you have been on Mars for the past few years it is unlike­ly that you will have missed the build-up to what may be the next big cam­era rev­o­lu­tion. Just when 2D cam­eras, such as the full frame HD DSLR’s, are get­ting excit­ing to shoot with giv­en the film-like images they pro­duce, along comes 2D’s big­ger broth­er 3D. What should one do? Stay with 2D or go 3D. It may be fash­ion­able to talk 3D and dream of shoot­ing 3D, but at the end of the day, will it make the sto­ry you are try­ing to tell any bet­ter? Big block­buster films that are short on sto­ry­telling and big on thrills and spills will, no doubt, ben­e­fit, but what of the sto­ry you are try­ing to tell? I doubt it will make any dif­fer­ence; in fact, it will most like­ly be a dis­trac­tion. What­ev­er one thinks, one thing is cer­tain, 3D is here to stay. The sud­den flur­ry into 3D films may have start­ed with James Cameron’s ground brak­ing movie ‘Avatar,’ but the truth is 3D has been around for a long time and is only now get­ting the atten­tion it has longed for with the tech­nol­o­gy com­ing of age. Hol­ly­wood, of course, sees 3D as the next big mon­ey spin­ner and a way of get­ting peo­ple back to the big screen, as DVD’s and the Inter­net have been erod­ing it’s decades long rule. How­ev­er, dig­i­tal cin­e­mas have been slow in arriv­ing part­ly due to the huge cost of chang­ing from con­ven­tion­al film pro­jec­tion to dig­i­tal. In the Amer­i­can mar­ket for exam­ple, only 12.5% of screens are dig­i­tal out of a total of around 40,000 screens. As the demand for these films increas­es this per­cent­age will increase year on year, as it will in oth­er parts of the world. Despite more 3D films being giv­en the green light for pro­duc­tion not all film­mak­ers are hap­py with the direc­tion 3D films are tak­ing them and a num­ber of Hol­ly­wood direc­tors are voic­ing their con­cern. This arti­cle from the New York Times arti­cle takes up the sto­ry. Hollywood’s excite­ment over 3D has now inevitably spilled over into the con­sumer mar­ket that is look­ing for the next big thing in cam­era tech­nol­o­gy. Many of the big cam­era mak­ers, such as Sony, have already launched 3D video cam­eras for the pro and pro­sumer mar­kets but none have come up with a 3D cam­era aimed sole­ly at the con­sumer until now. Pana­son­ic has done just that and has launched what they say is the world’s first con­sumer-tar­get­ed 3D cam­corder, which will be avail­able in Octo­ber for around US$1,400. I won’t go into any details here, instead you can go to an arti­cle in videography.com where you will get all the infor­ma­tion. Excit­ing times, yes. But don’’t sell your 2D cam­era gear yet!