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TVB Tech Alert: Sony’s Single Lens 3D Technology

TOKYO: Sony today announced the development of a single-lens 3D camera technology that the manufacturer says is capable of recording “natural and smooth 3D images of even fast-moving subject matter such as sports, at 240 frames per second.” The technology comprises a new optical system that captures left and right images simultaneously, with existing high frame-rate recording technology to realize 240 fps 3D filming.

From Sony’s release on its new 3D development: “In existing half-mirror 3D camera systems with separate lenses for the left and right eyes, the parallax range is adjustable, enabling the depth of the 3D images to be modified.

“However, when operating the zoom and focus functions of such systems, the sensitivity of the human eye” [is such] that complex technology has been required to ensure that each camera lens is closely coordinated, and there are no discrepancies in the optical axis, image size, and focus.”

The single-lens system is said to solve such issues.

“Furthermore, by using mirrors in place of shutters, incoming light can now be simultaneously separated into left and right images and recorded as it reaches the parallel light area... The separated left and right images are then processed and recorded with the respective left and right image sensors.

“As there is no difference in time between when the left- and right-eye images are captured, it is possible for natural and smooth 3D images to be captured, even of scenes involving rapid movement.”

Sony said it plans to demo a prototype single-lens 3D model at CEATAC Japan 2009 in Chiba Oct. 6.

More on Sony’s 3D efforts:
September 2, 2009: “Sony Announces 3D Home Initiative”
Sony announced this week that it plans to introduce a consumer-ready 3D TV set next year, as well as build 3D capability into many of its consumer electronics, encompassing music, movies and video games.

December 17, 2008: “BCS Championship Game Coming in 3D”
The college football BCS National Championship Game is bursting into 3D this season, in a special presentation in Las Vegas during the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, as well as to some 80 theaters across the country.