The Cheapskate's Guide to 3D Videography

Started Mar 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Markr041
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The Cheapskate's Guide to 3D Videography
Mar 25, 2012

This is for someone who does not want to spend a fortune taking 3D videos, wants to see them in full color, wants to share them with friends without forcing them to purchase or borrow from you expensive equipment or put on glasses, and has some quality standards. You have to spend money (this is not the Poor Man's Guide), but you will not be wasting it.

I am not talking about viewing bluray 3D's. This is for someone who wants to take one's own 3D videos and 3D pictures. And I am ruling out anaglyph, with cheap paper red/cyan glasses. Anaglyph darkens exteremely and absolutely kills color, and ultimately kills interest in 3D (which is why it probably died in the 1950's).

The most efficient cheapskate strategy is a hedge: get equipment that is useful if you decide to abandon 3D. So, it is cost-effective if the equipment is good for things you do anyway - like 2D pictures and video.

So, here are my recommendations, given the criteria above:

1. Get the Panasonic 3D1. It is a very good, small P&S 2D stills and video camera - 12 megapixels, AVCHD 108060i ("Full HD") video with stereo sound. But, it has two lenses and takes excellent 3D videos and pictures, both of which conform to 3D standards (put the sd card in a Panasonic 3D TV or bluray player and the 3D photos and 3D videos show in 3D). Pocketable, portable, optical stabilization and zoom in 3D and 2D. Again, if you give up on 3D, you have a perfectly good 2D picture-taker and video camera (it also takes advantage of the two lenses in 2D - take simultaneously a wide-angle and telephoto shot, take pictures while shooting video even at a different zoom without sacrificing video or stills quality). Big 3.5" LCD. $459

Also considered: Sony 3D Bloggie (inferior quaility all way around, 2D and 3D), Fuji W3 (fail in video), 3D lens attachment to Panasonic X900 (bulky and expensive).

2. The 3D1 3D videos are just standard 108060i AVCHD videos, so any editor that can handle AVCHD videos will work fine - you do not need an editor with 3D capability. You can trim and combine with any editor. To see the 3D in the editor, you will need a 3D-capable editor. The cheap ones include Sony Vegas Movie Studio 11 ($89) or Magix Movie Edit Pro 17 Plus HD ($25). Of course, these editors are perfectly good for 2D video editing.

3. For your computer, get the LG D2342P monitor - it's a 23" 1080p monitor in 2D. Perfectly fine for all of your regular computer tasks. You do not need to purchase a special video card, just one that can output regular 1080 (which all the built-in Intel chips do on current computers) via HDMI. But, with software that comes with the monitor, you can view your 3D photos in full color 3D with passive glasses - no batteries. The same kind you get free in the movie house (Real3D). Two pairs come with the monitor. And with the free Steroscopic Player (software), you can play your 3D1 videos, full screen, full color in 3D (put on the glasses). Again, if you give up on 3D, you still have a fine regular monitor. $239

4. OK, so how do you show your friends and family your 3D videos or pictures? They do not want to put on glasses. They want to see 3D and full color. Here's the best part: the Nintendo 3DS. Just recently, the Nintendo 3Ds got the capability to display 3D videos on its wide screen in stereo (two speakers, one on each side of the screen). It always was able to show 3D photos - you just rename the 3D photos (no conversion) from the Panasonic 3D1. But with free dedicated software you can easily convert your 3D video into one that plays in 3D, full color, NO GLASSES, on the 3DS screen. It's a small screen and the quality is not as good as a plasma 3D HDTV, but it passes the Wow! test - when anyone sees the 3D videos they actually say wow. Light, portable and cheap. And if you give up 3D, you can watch Netflix movies on it, in stereo sound, and you get free wifi access at all AT&T hotspots and it has a browser! There is a limitation - the videos can be no longer than 10 minutes. But guess what - no one wants to watch your videos for more than that. Comes in aqua, pink, red or black (the latter color makes it look professional). $169.

 Markr041's gear list:Markr041's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Canon EOS M Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 +1 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1 Pentax X90
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