21st Century 3D Introduces Stereoscopic Camera

The company 21st Century 3D announced the introduction of the 3DVX3. This newly developed 3D camera-recorder features numerous evolutionary advances over previous models, while maintaining the compact form factor and self contained design that has been a distinctive feature since the first generation.

Foregoing tape, a unique direct to disk recording system captures RAW CCD data in 4:4:4 RGB color space at 10 bits per channel, producing remarkably vivid 3D images at up to 1280×720 per eye, 24fps progressive.

The genlock synchronized system features two entirely discreet image channels simultaneously captured by 6 CCDs, two on board CPUs running Mac OS X with over 2.8ghz of processing power, 2gb of RAM, 8gb of flash memory and a maximum record time of one hour per eye on paired sets of 100gb removable 7200 RPM drives.

 As in previous 3DVX cameras, the Panasonic AG-DVX100A serves as the core of the camera section. The 3DVX3 bypasses resolution and color limitations imposed by miniDV and takes full advantage of the higher resolution and 36 bit color quality the CCDs provide. Data is taken directly from the analog to digital converters and sent over USB 2.0, providing 600% more information than would be recorded to digital tape. An advanced demosaic algorithm is employed to achieved 1280x720p resolution.


The built in recorder of the 3DVX3 is comprised of two extensively modified Apple Mac Mini computers. Flash memory modules replace hard drives in the Mac Minis for fast booting and reduced operating temperature.

The all-new binocular electronic viewfinder utilizes high quality optics and the latest LCOS technology to provide a 800×600 (per eye) SVGA display under 10x magnification. The uncompressed output can be monitored via the BEVF or the built in left and right analog VGA ports. Analog composite, S-video and digital IEEE1394 ports are also available for standard definition monitoring or additional output options. An external S-video multiplexer allows for high quality field sequential output and even casino games more flexibility in terms of previewing 3D images in real time.

 Focus settings for both optical blocks are now controlled via a synchronized optoelectric mechanism that allows precise control over left and right eye focus with one knob. This method reduces weight as compared to previous designs, improves accuracy and eliminates the backlash associated with a geared stereo focus system. Zoom functions are also now electronically linked.

Left and right eye lens apertures are now synchronized by a dual channel galvanometric system that ensures matched exposure to both CCD arrays ?????? ????????? with just one user operated dial. Interaxial spacing has been reduced to 2.75” (69.85mm) for a more natural simulation of human vision. An all new carbon fiber and aluminum matte box with two stage filter holder allows a wide range of industry standard 4”x5.6” filters to be employed.

Because of its advanced design the 3DVX3 has unusually high power requirements. To meet these demands, 21st Century 3D turned to Anton/Bauer company. Their state of the art Dionic 160 offered the best balance between power output and weight. This battery is  constructed with specialized lithium ion cells, originally designed for high rate military applications, with a total output of up to 10 amps allowing the 3DVX3 to run for up to 2 hour of continuous operating time. An AC power supply based on a modified Anton/Bauer Titan 70 has also been developed.

This advanced battery technology contributes in part to the camera’s overall weight of just 24 pounds making the 3DVX3 the industry’s smallest and lightest high definition stereoscopic camcorder. Car mounts, steadicam and hand held operation are complex challenges with other systems, but easy options with the 3DVX3. Other high definition 3D camera systems can weigh three times as much as the 3DVX3 or more, and often require separate recording hardware and large support crews. Directors and cinematographers can now concentrate on producing high quality 3D content without the cumbersome delays and exorbitant expense associated with traditional 3D shoots.