Saturday, February 11, 2012

3D Camera v2.0 Saga: Part 1-Do the Cameras Actually Work?

Above is a quick rig I built out of scrap pieces of basswood and the switch from my first 3D camera to see if the cameras can sync correctly since I'm using larger SD cards...

I learned a lot about the first 3D rig I built out of two cameras (look for posts tagged 3D Camera Saga for the story on v1.0 rig).  From the experience I set out some requirements for a new 3D rig:

1)  Use cameras that can take larger SD cards:  The maximum card size the old rig could take was 2GB.  Do you know how hard it is to find cards that small that are cheaper than 4GB SDHC cards these days?!?!

2)  Use cameras that can take standard size batteries (AA, AAA, etc.).  I want to be able to get batteries anywhere when I'm traveling.

3)  Build the rig so that I use the same size batteries in the switch as batteries I would normally carry (My Nikon Coolpix L120 uses AA, my iGo quick charger, which I bought after AX realizing that I may need recharge my cell phone when an outlet isn't available) so I don't have to worry about fiddling around with different sized batteries.

4)  Make the rig more compact/look cool.  I now use a small shoulder bag to carry 3D rig v1.0.  If I was willing to disassemble the cameras themselves, I could make it look like this (At least I'm not alone in my hobby of making stereo photography equipment out of old cameras).

The first 3 design changes are easily achieved by finding better cameras on two 10MP Canon A1000IS cameras that can take SDHC cards.  However, I'm limiting it to using 4GB cards for now since I really don't take that many pics.

Before I continue with the design and construction of a new switch and bracket to hold the cameras, I wanted to see if the Canon Hack Development Kit firmware will work on these new cameras.  Since they are a different model, the firmware is different than what I used in v1.0.  So I got a couple class 4 4GB cards on clearance and took some pics of my manga bookshelf to see if the cameras can sync up.  There seems to be more lag from autofocus to actually having the shutters click than v1.0, but it could be because I was taking pics indoors with less lighting when almost all my anaglyph pics were taken outdoors.  They do sync perfectly more reliably than v1.0, could be because these cameras were in much better shape than those used in v1.0 (one of the v1.0 was purchased with a cracked LCD...couldn't complain because I got it cheap, and the seller mentioned it up front).

The 3D would probably look better if I followed the 1/30 rule (lens separation is 1/30th the distance from the camera to the near point of the scene)...

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