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3D Stereoscopic Production & Delivery
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Old January 19th, 2020, 11:54 AM   #1
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3D with Z-Cam E2

I am thinking about getting two Z-Cam E2 cameras and place them next to each other to shoot 3D. The E2 is about 10 cm wide, so presumably that would be the distance between the centers of the two lenses (well, technically it is 9.12 cm wide, I am just not sure it is possible to let two of them touch with no intervening space). And it is the only Z-Cam camera that allows a complete synchronization of two (or even more) such cameras.

Would this work? Has anyone here tried it?

Of course my problem is old age and a related disability (I can barely walk anymore). Is it worth for someone in my condition to spend more than $4,000 and then have hard time taking it to places? I am actually planning on getting one of them first. Here is a link to that camera on the manufacturer’s web site:

http://www.z-cam.com/e2/

It only shoots in 4:2:2, but it is in 4k, which may (or may not, I don’t know) make up for the loss. Any input will be appreciated.
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Old January 22nd, 2020, 01:46 AM   #2
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

Have you identified a customer or customers who would want a 3D product produced, and do they know how they are going to specifically take advantage of the 3Dness of it?

Andrew
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Old January 22nd, 2020, 05:49 AM   #3
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

That sounds like an expensive way of recording 3d video, when any pairs of video cameras would be easy to set up as a twin rig for far less cost. As an example, I use two of my Panasonic FZ1000 cameras side by side triggered by a wireless shutter control. A pair of 4k GoPros or clones would also do the trick and I have used 2x Yi 4k sports cams before now which are excellent GoPro clones.

Roger
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Old January 22nd, 2020, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

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Have you identified a customer or customers who would want a 3D product produced, and do they know how they are going to specifically take advantage of the 3Dness of it?

Andrew
No, no customers. I am too old for that. I just do it for the fun of it anymore.
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Old January 22nd, 2020, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

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That sounds like an expensive way of recording 3d video, when any pairs of video cameras would be easy to set up as a twin rig for far less cost. As an example, I use two of my Panasonic FZ1000 cameras side by side triggered by a wireless shutter control. A pair of 4k GoPros or clones would also do the trick and I have used 2x Yi 4k sports cams before now which are excellent GoPro clones.

Roger
Thank you. Yes, it is somewhat expensive but most cinema cameras are expensive. I watched many reviews of the Z-Cam and it seems to be a great cinema camera (not as great as Arri, but that is a totally different class of cinema cameras). It, too, can be triggered wirelessly (via an iOS app). Additionally, it can be controlled by an external Portkeys BM5 monitor (which I have) as well as by a LANC controller, though neither of those is wireless.

At any rate I am planning to get one of them in a month or two and will play with it. Another, unrelated, thing is I have to figure out how to mount it all to a walker or a wheel chair. I am using the walker most of the time, the wheel chair occasionally. If I can get it all working, I am hoping to get a second one of them and use them for 3D.

The Panasonic FZ 1000 is 137.2 mm wide, more than twice the mean human pupillary distance (64 mm in males, 61.7 mm in females, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupill...ance#Databases says). The mean PD is the main reason I am wondering about the Z-Cam E2, which is 91.2 mm wide, still more than the mean PD. The GoPro Hero 8 is 6.2 cm wide, which would make it ideal for 3D if it had interchangeable lenses. It is an action camera, not a cinema camera. The only less expensive alternative in the same class as the Z-Cam E2 is the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K but it is 177.8 mm wide.
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Old January 23rd, 2020, 05:39 AM   #6
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

Yes you are correct about the size of the FZ1000, although the PD is less relevant the further from the subject you are. The PD has more relevance up to 30-50ft but beyond that it is quite normal to increase the separation considerably. In 3d video or stills where I have no close objects in the stereo window, I frequently use separations up to several feet, particularly where landscapes are concerned.

If you are using PD or less for 3d, then there will be little depth in anything more than the 30-50ft that I mentioned. The human eye and brain uses many other references to establish distance and size in the real world, but when capturing 3d images, you sometimes have to increase the cues that your eyes and brain will interpret. Of course if you are using a greater separation on close objects, then there will be all sorts of problems with viewing the image. One of my mounts is a sliding one, which enables me to vary the interocular spacing and the convergence of the lenses according to the subject matter.

These days though, most of my fun 3d work is either with video on my JVC GS-TD1 which I edit in my usual video edito, or stills with the Fuji Finepix W3. Both of those give excellent results and I also often use a single camera for 3d stills by taking left and right pics manually, then aligning in Stereo Photo Maker.

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Old January 23rd, 2020, 05:46 AM   #7
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

Purely as an afterthought, why do you want a cinema camera just for your own fun 3d. I can see that if you are looking to do commercial projects, but just for home viewing it seems to be a little bit overkill?

My own 3d viewing is on a 55" 3d tv and to me the images look very sharp and clear, even if I am viewing from over/under HD 3d.

Roger
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Old January 23rd, 2020, 10:15 AM   #8
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

I just like cinema cameras. As of today I am three months shy of seventy. When I was growing up, everything was film based (except television of course, but that was not something a kid could do on his own back then). I was 14 when I bought a 2x8 mm motion picture camera and was in seventh heaven with it. I may be five times as old now, but that is the kind of things I like to do. Photography and cinema.

I am physically disabled now, so I do not get out as much as I would like. Right now I am just taking pictures of snow outside my window with my Canon 5D Mk II, which was the first digital camera I got, though I would still prefer shooting on film (but there is no film lab anywhere near me anymore).

And yes, 3D often requires much bigger distance than PD, but for many of the things I do, the closer I can get those lenses to each other, the better.
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Old January 23rd, 2020, 11:28 AM   #9
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

Well I'm 3 years ahead of you Adam at 73, but have luckily managed to keep reasonable health and fitness.

My love of 3d though came from free stereo cards and a viewer that came with Weetabix cereal back in the early 1950s. I was absolutely fascinated and when digital cameras became affordable I started experimenting with pairs of cameras for video and stills. I still enjoy playing around with 3d and my wife wants to ease me out of our video and photography business so that I can concentrate more on the fun side of life including 3d.

You might be interested in the 3d photography forum which I have always found to be a mine of useful information on everything 3d. 3D Photography Forum Community - Index

Roger
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Old January 23rd, 2020, 03:19 PM   #10
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

Hi Adam,

Maybe you could settle for this sort of 3D? :-)

Andrew
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Old January 24th, 2020, 06:50 AM   #11
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

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Hi Adam,

Maybe you could settle for this sort of 3D? :-)

Andrew
Haah! The original stereoscopic cards and viewer, nice :-)

He might have a job using 3d video with that approach though :-(

Roger
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Old January 24th, 2020, 06:17 PM   #12
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

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Hi Adam,

Maybe you could settle for this sort of 3D? :-)

Andrew
Yeah, that reminds me that I have been scouring the web to see if anyone makes an on-camera monitor with two HDMI or SDI inputs and a 3D output, even if just an anaglyph, to make sure the left and right cameras are placed properly, but so far have found nothing.
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Old January 25th, 2020, 05:34 AM   #13
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

The trouble is that you are about 8 years too late. Nobody wants 3d any more except a few high end 3d film makers. The result is that there aren't enough potential sales to justify making 3d monitors. Your best chance is to look at second hand gear, probably from broadcast companies as quite a few invested in 3d then scrapped the service when nobody wanted it.

You might also find some low mileage 3d cams with onboard 3d monitors. Panasonic made some for broadcast and small film companies as did Sony. My JVC TD1 has a 3d monitor and manual divergance controls, but is more a serious consumer camera than a professional one.

Purely out of interest, what 3d editing software are you using?

Roger
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Old January 25th, 2020, 11:47 AM   #14
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

I use Vegas Pro. Years ago, before they added 3D editing to it, I wrote a Vegas plug-in for 3D, and then was quite annoyed at Sony (who owned Vegas Pro at the time) for advertising their software as 3D capable with my plug-in. My plug-in was free to use and they were making money off my work. And did not even bother to ask me if I was OK with it.

But eventually, they added 3D directly to Vegas Pro. And they sold it to Magix.

Given I live in the middle of nowhere, there is no way for me to see if studios are getting rid of their old 3D hardware. I am doing all of this just for the fun of it. I will have to read the specs of HDMI and see if I can just make a cable that would combine the red channel of the left input and the green and blue channels of the right input into the output. Then use my red/cyan glasses.

Alternately, but this would be much harder for me to handle physically, I could use two separate viewfinders, such as the OEYE-3G by Portkeys, and then just get the exact 3D view of the two cameras. Though I’d rather spend money on the cameras than on the viewfinders.

We’ll see. :)
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Old January 25th, 2020, 07:43 PM   #15
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Re: 3D with Z-Cam E2

Funny you should say about the two viewfinders, as I used to use a pair of small Panasonic handicams side by side and used the two viewfinders as a stereo binocular monitor. It worked really well :-)

I also thought this company looked interesting MOPIC

Roger
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