Camera 3D (Beta) – more like an Alpha, NOT actually 3D
Aug 2, 2011 10:23 AM –
Camera 3D (Beta) is a photography tool that allows you to take multiple pictures of the same image and view them in a way that gives a 3D effect. This isn’t 3D as we know 3D, as far as the new phones or cinema experiences, rather it shows a series of your taken photos together, creating a 3D effect. While it is a bit fiddly to create a good montage you can ultimately export your creations to make a .GIF file in addition to having a gallery of your work.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Get the pictures right, and the effect looks quite good.
- Internal gallery viewing.
- Export to .GIF is a big win.
- Supports camera flash.
- Overlay helps with consistency.
- Camera seems to have pretty low resolution.
- It’s not actually 3D, which is a bit misleading.
- Counter-intuitive controls.
- Limited application.
- Unable to share the images.
Camera 3D (Beta) is a bit of a misleading name for this app. Today we think of 3D as referring to the options we have at the cinema- most visual blockbusters offer a 3D glasses experience over a 2D one. Alternatively we are beginning to see new 3D phones that can take pictures and record in three dimensions. This app relates to neither of these. What Camera 3D does is allow you take a short sequence of pictures of the same object, then flow them to create a short 3D effect. You could ultimately use it as a short stop-motion tool rather than a 3D camera.
So the idea is you take a picture through the camera, move slightly to the side, line up the previous pictures overlay, take another picture, move slightly again, take another picture and so on. Essentially then you create a moving series of shots which give a 3D effect when you view them. The overlay is essential here as it allows you to line up your shot correctly.
The camera function that comes with the app seems pretty poor to be fair, the resolution would appear to be very low and, while it does support flash there doesn’t seem to be any proper lighting options or settings. I think it’s things like this which diminishes the app, making it a novelty application rather than something people might use often.
The other downer for Camera 3D is the controls you have to view your images afterwards. You chose between moving your finger over the screen which obscures your view, or using the accelerometer which renders the effect a bit jumpy, inconsistent and awkward to watch. There really should be either a slide bar which you move manually or at least a player that ‘plays’ your series of images. As yet you cannot directly share the images you create which again is a bit limiting.
If the developer could perhaps address these issues; consider the stop-motion application for this app, allow exporting, improve viewing controls and increase the camera options, this could be a real winner. The app functions well enough and doesn’t crash, so perhaps there is a platform there to create a great little app.
Camera3D – Menu view
Camera3D – Camera view
Camera3D – Camera view 2
Camera3D – Gallery view
Camera3D – Gallery view 2
Camera3D – In-view options
Camera3D – Export to gif.
Camera3D – Instructions view
I wouldn’t call Camera 3D hugely useful, but for novelty purposes it is at least stable. If perhaps you are looking for alternative uses for your camera phone, this might be of interest to you.
Ease of Use:
The app is relatively straightforward to use and there are good instructions. The controls when you view the images feel very strange and the app lacks a visual slider or a player to play your images. This makes for jerky and inconsistent viewing which is somewhat annoying.
If, as discussed earlier, a few tweaks were made to this app, it could become quite a funky tool for creating small stop-motion movies or clever little 3D effect masterpieces, but with limited camera functions, inability to share pictures and the counter intuitive controls it requires some refinement before it reaches that stage.
The interface is stable but basic, there are far better photography tools out there. But it is stable, simple, easy to use and works as it is meant to… just not how the name implies.