The first thing is of course the online store, you will want to buy online only from well known merchants like Amazon and Best Buy and such. This is true to 3D cameras as well as to any other product.
The second thing to check before you buy a 3D camera online is does it have one or two lens. In order to capture true depth in 3D the camera must have two lenses. Only camera that has 2 lenses can take a simple 3D still photo. The two lenses will capture two similar images only slightly different from each angle; those will be combined by the camera processing chip into one 3D image.
When buying a camera with one lens, you need to know that it will not be able o take 3D still photos. There is no such technology yet. The 3D cameras that have one lens like the Sony TX9 are 2D cameras (very good ones) with some 3D feature.
The one lens 3D cameras can produce only 3D movie clips and they can do that only when the camera is swayed panoramically. While the camera is turned panoramically, it collects thousands of images and stitches them together into a 3D effect. This is done because when the lens is moved it can translate the thousands of frames it captures (each in a slightly different angle) into a short 3D clip.
So if you want a real 3D camera, look for those who have two lenses instead of one lens, like the Fuji W3 3D camera, the Apitek 3D, Sony 3D Bloggie and others.
The third thing to check is whether the 3D camera has its own converting software. The software lets you convert your videos to the 3D “Anaglyph” format, which is the classic 3D technology that requires red-and-blue glasses. Once you’ve converted your videos or photos to this format using the software, simply use polarized glasses to view your 3D creations on standard HDTV or computer monitor.
The fourth thing is to see whether you get a picture editing software. Like with any digital camera, you will soon find out you have tons upon tons of images and short clips. Without a 3D editing kit most of them will not be suitable to show or publish.
The last thing to check is in which formats 3D camera output has. Look for cameras that have 3D-HD MP4 format, 1080p formats, which is compatible out of the box with most new 3D HDTVs. Other wise you will not be able to see them on the HD TV at home.
There are other features to check before buying a 3D camera. Which 3D TV do you have to watch the new 3D content, you may need 3D active glasses for childern, and blu-ray disk player.
Are you comfortable with 3D or is it too tech for you.
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