ViewSonic 3DV5 – the super-cheap way to get started with 3D video
The Viewsonic 3DV5 pocket camcorder is a new entrant to the pocket YouTube camcorder market that has a nifty trick up its sleeve – it can shoot in 3D. Looking not unlike every other pocket camcorder that lets you shoot video and upload it easily to video sites such as YouTube, the 3DV5 not only shoots video in 3D, you can watch it in 3D on its onboard display as well – and you don’t need any glasses.
It achieves this by using an autostereoscopic display, which is similar to the Nintendo 3DS’s display. If you want to watch the 3D video you just captured on something larger than its 2.4″ screen, you can plug it straight into your 3DTV via the built-in HDMI connector.
Sharing 3D video
It gets even better, though. As well as shooting 3D video, you can share it as well, as YouTube now has a 3D video channel, which you can upload your 3DV5’s content to. You’ll need to use glasses to see the resultant 3D if you’re watching via YouTube, though, as your home monitor isn’t autostereoscopic.
The one downside to the 3DV5 – and it’s an issue that although easily solvable, is frankly ridiculous when you first see it – is the onboard storage. The 3DV5 comes with 10MB of onboard RAM. Yes, that’s MB, as in Megabytes, or about half a second of 720p 3D video!! You’ll clearly need to buy an SD card to do anything with the 3DV5, which, given their price these days, is like selling a portable gadget without batteries: very tight!
That aside, though, the 3DV5 looks like an interesting alternative to the Flip Mino and the other pocket camcorders out there. I’m not convinced that 3D’s ready for anyone other than the early adopters at the moment, at least in terms of the super-expensive 3D TVs, but at least with the 3DV5 and YouTube, you have an easy and inexpensive way of dipping your toe into the technology and seeing if it’s for you.
And with 3D video requiring a whole new different way of working to capture the best videos, if you’re a budding film maker, it’s a great way to start experimenting with different creative techniques, as it’s clearly the way all video content is going.