Extra dimension

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: July 2012

VU 3D HD VIDEO CAMERA
PRICE:
Rs 19,900
SPECS: 1/3.2-INCH 5M CMOS SENSOR X2; 5 MP, F3.2, F=5.1MM, 1/15 ~ 1/2000; 128MB FLASH MEMORY EXPANDABLE TO 32GB (SDHC CLASS 6); 1080P 30FPS FOR 3D & 2D; STILLS IN 2M, 5M, 16M (FIRMWARE INTERPOLATION); 3.2-INCH LCD.

With so little 3D content around, 3D televisions seem only a fun idea. As a company which has been making 3D televisions, Vu Technologies seems to have realised the need to produce appropriate content for these devices. So, the company has come up with a solution: India's first 3D HD video camera. As with any technology that is spanking new, we too had no reference points while reviewing the 3D handycam. So we decided to start from scratch.

CAMERA
This camera can also take good HD video without any trouble. But there was some noise at the far end of the zoom. The 5 MP (with an enhanced 16 MP output) still camera can also take 3D images. Switch off the 3D and you have a regular digital camera. We use the word regular deliberately as there is nothing special here. This is a 3D camera and that is what this device is good at. So we suggest you stick to the third dimension if you use this one.

THE DEVICE
This camcorder looks like any other handycam in the market…that is till you read the 3D written in bold on the device. The dual lens appears vertical at first, but to start shooting you have to flip it around into a horizontal position-a bit like a hammerhead shark. When you switch on the device (by flipping the 3.2-inch LCD screen open) you see the 3D screen and that too without the need for special glasses. The screen is good at showing 3D with considerable depth though the screen size is small. There are quite a few buttons to control the camera, among them a button that lets you switch off the 3D while recording just HD video. There is also a Photo button to click stills, but not while you are recording video. The record button is a bit awkward, located as it is towards the right of where your thumb will sit. Where the record button should ideally have been is a toggle that switches on the LED flash as well as lets you flip through the menu and saved files. The menu is very basic, almost devoid of text and with just icons for everything.

3D
The 3D is what really sets this camcorder apart from others in the market. The 3D is very good on the LCD, good enough to appreciate the depth even on the 3.2-inch screen. Though the zoom is not very smooth when the 3D is on, the images are clear and definitely of HD quality. Since the video is being recorded in HD, and that too 3D, it is advisable that you use an SD card with a fast write speed. We used a SanDisk Extreme 32 GB card of Speed Class 10 to make sure we didn't have any issues-we ran into file errors with older cards of slower speeds.

VERDICT
This camera brings a new dimension to home videos with good 3D footage for your TV. If the camera becomes popular, it won't be long before you see wedding and other family videos in 3D. For anyone who has a 3D TV at home, this camera gives the option of getting content which can exploit the special features of their expensive TV set. However, getting a 3D video cam does not make sense for those who don't own a 3D TV, projector or monitor as it is very difficult to play stereoscopic content on other devices. Bottom line: for those who can spent extra for a 3D TV this is a good buy now.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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