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!