Gadget Watch: Samsung lens flips from 2-D to 3-D

Jan 07, 2013 by Peter Svensson
This product image provided by Samsung shows Samsung Electronics's new lens that can go from 2D to 3D mode with the flip of a switch. The lens is being reveled during the week of Jan. 7, 2013 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The lens is for Samsung's new NX300 camera, also launching soon. (AP Photo/Samsung)

Cameras that can record in 3-D are usually pretty complicated, sporting two lenses instead of one, to mimic human binocular vision. Samsung says it has a more elegant solution: a single lens that can go from 2-D to 3-D mode with the flip of a switch.

. is showing off the new at the International CES show in Las Vegas, where showcase their latest smartphones, and other consumer-electronic devices.

ABOUT THE PRODUCT: The lens is an optional accessory for Samsung's new NX300 , the latest in the company's NX line of compact cameras with interchangeable lenses. Think of the line as a scaled-down equivalent of the digital single-lens reflex camera, or DSLR, which are more versatile and more expensive than point-and-shoot cameras.

The camera will record video, including 3-D video, on its 20-megapixel sensor. Any 3-D TV can play back the 3-D movies.

HOW THE LENS WORKS: A switch on the lens flips an extra shutter into the path of the light through the lens. The shutter has two sides, allowing the single lens to act as if it were two, offset from each other by a short distance.

When you snap a shot in 3-D, the camera looks quickly through one side of the front lens and records an image. It then switches quickly to the other side to record another exposure of the same subject from a slightly different angle.

LIMITATIONS: The lens is no bigger than a regular one, which limits the 3-D effect. Normally, the two lenses that form a 3-D camera's "eyes" are a few inches apart. In this case, the "eyes" are less than an inch apart, so it doesn't create a strong 3-D effect with subjects that are farther away than about 6 feet.

It's not a zoom lens. The focal length is fixed at 45 millimeters, making it a short telephoto lens suitable for portraits. The maximum aperture in 2-D mode is 1.8, which means the lens can create strong background blur and make the subject stand out from the background. The blur effect is weaker in 3-D mode, but the 3-D effect in itself makes the subject jump out.

AVAILABILITY: The NX300 camera will go on sale in March for $750 and will include a standard zoom lens. The 3-D lens will be sold separately for $500 and will be available at the same time.

Explore further: Giant tablets aimed at families

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanowire lens can reconfigure its imaging properties

Oct 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- By taking advantage of the unique optical properties of nanoscale materials, researchers have designed a lens made of nanowires that can reconfigure its imaging properties without any electronic ...

Engineers give industry a moth's eye view

Nov 26, 2007

When moths fly at night, their eyes need to capture all the light available. To do this, certain species have evolved nanoscopic structures on the surface of their eyes which allow almost no light to reflect off the surface ...

Nikon DSLRs can give eye-opening results

Feb 27, 2009

I am no camera buff. I bought my first digital camera only three years ago, and I often prefer to use the 2-megapixel camera in my iPhone than carry around another gadget.

Recommended for you

Giant tablets aimed at families

Aug 20, 2014

Costing a little more than an iPad but standing more than twice as tall, a new pair of giant tablets wants families to share cozier group experiences with technology.

Myo armband and smartglasses set for deskless workplace

Aug 20, 2014

Thalmic Labs, Canada-based makers of the Myo armband, has announced the integration of Myo with smartglasses, with the partnership help of a number of companies pairing the Myo with their products. The gesture-control ...

Sharp Aquos Crystal phone: Where's the bezel?

Aug 18, 2014

Just when you thought a fashionable gadget must be somewhat thin, Sharp is going to charm the smartphone fashion-conscious with a crazily thin phone, and it is arriving in the US quite soon. Gorgeous. Cool. ...

User comments : 0