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Multiple-lens cameras in 3D lenticular technology

Dear Friend,
From time to time I have been receiving the letters where the people ask me about multiple-lens cameras and as far as they are useful for making 3D lenticular pictures. Today I would like to present you an article about it. I want to let know beforehand that it is not a detailed research, that is just my thoughts about using these kind of cameras.

The multiple-lens cameras are the film cameras with two and more objectives on one camera. When you push on the shutter release all objectives will be opened and the film will be exposed by the light. In such a way you will get the several frames (depends on how many lenses has your camera) located on the film one after another. Then you have to develop the film and then you can use the film as you need, print, scan or somehow else.

There are several multiple-lens cameras in the world. Most known cameras are Nimslo (picture 1) and Nishika (picture 2).


Picture 1


Picture 2

More information about these cameras you can read and even buy them on the very informative web-site www.StereoPhotoWorld.com. Just go to:

If you decide to buy these cameras or some devices for them, like Flash, for example, you could buy them much cheaper on eBay, just search using the key words "Nimslo" or "Nishika" or click on the links below:

The advantages and disadvantages of using these cameras are evident. They are the same as inherent to all film cameras, but since they are 3D cameras they have the special features. Let's examine them briefly

Advantages

1. The multiple-lens cameras can shoot several frames at once.

2. The multiple-lens cameras can shoot several frames simultaneously. That feature lets to shoot the moving objects, like birds, ocean waves, sport scenes and so on. That is the biggest advantage of these cameras! Moreover that is the real way to shoot portraits! The photographers know that the human faces are very changeable and sometimes you need to shoot tens pictures to get just one good portrait. But imagine if you want to shoot 3D portrait using the Tripod Add-on and you have to shoot the several frames. Often it needs about 1-2 minutes. During this period of time the people must be absolutely motionless. It is not easy for most of them.

3. The simple process of shooting, just point and shoot.

4. Light weight and easy to carry. You will be able to have these cameras with you at any time as any ordinary camera.

Disadvantages

1. You have to develop the film and then scan the frames.

2. There are just four frames. :-(
Yes, you will be able to make 3D lenticular pictures with just 4 frames, but if you will have 6 and more frames you will be able to make the lenticular pictures with better quality. However if you are going to make small lenticular pictures, up to size 6" x 8" (15 x 20 cm), perhaps that choice will be not too bad.

3. The stereo base (the distance between first and last lenses) is always the same and not big. When I use the Tripod Add-on usually I use the stereo base from 10 up to 40 centimeters and sometimes even longer. Hence these cameras are good for shooting the close scenes, the object has to be not far away than 10 meters from camera.

4. The objectives are plastic with low aperture ratio.

5. You will not be able to use the filters on lenses.

In that way I can not recommend you definitely to use the multiple-lens cameras in all cases. However in some cases that could be the right and sometimes only one decision. So, you have to know when you can use these cameras and before using them in your business to decide what scenes you are going to shoot. Moreover perhaps it is a good idea to use such cheap camera with the "StereoMorpher PLUS" software. This software can generate any amount of additional frames for making 3D lenticular pictures, and this frames could be both the in-between and outer. That means that you will be able to create the views that could be received as if you would use the bigger stereo base.

Besides "Nimslo" and "Nishika" there are several other multiple-lens cameras in the world. For example, David Burder from United Kingdom makes the 12-lens camera from three "Nimslo" camera. He called his camera "Burdlo" (picture 3). If you are interested in ordering that camera you can write to him by email Burder3D@aol.com


Picture 3

And I would like to present you one more multiple-view image capture system. That is the Foto3D-7C made by i-Art Corporation from Taiwan. That system consists of seven digital cameras and device for cameras synchronizing (picture 4).


Picture 4

Probably it is the best choice today for professional 3D portrait studios. The price on that system is more than twenty thousand US dollars.

I hope this review will help you to make a decision of what camera, system and / or software you need for your 3D lenticular business.

Sincerely yours,
Igor Kurchavov