The new technology combines an optical system for single lens 3D camera which captures the left and right images simultaneously, together with existing high frame rate (HFR) recording technology to realize 240fps 3D filming.
In existing half mirror 3D camera systems with separate lenses for the left and right eyes, the parallax range is adjustable, enabling the depth of the 3D images to be modified.
However, when operating the zoom and focus functions of such systems, the sensitivity of the human eye, in particular to differences in the size and rotational movement of dual images, as well as any vertical misalignment or difference in image quality has meant that complex technology has been required to ensure that each camera lens is closely coordinated, and there are no discrepancies in the optical axis, image size, and focus.
According to Sony, the introduction of a single lens system resolves any issues that may occur as a result of having different optical characteristics for each eye. Furthermore, they say, by using mirrors in place of shutters, incoming light can now be simultaneously separated into left and right images and recorded as it reaches the parallel light area (the area where diverging light from the point of focus on the subject matter becomes parallel) of the relay lens.
The separated left and right images are then processed and recorded with the respective left and right image sensors. As there is no difference in time between when the left and right eye images are captured, it is possible for natural and smooth 3D images to be captured, even of scenes involving rapid movement.
Sony has made some optical tests that have shown that a frame rate 240fps represents the limit of human visual perception, and beyond that it becomes difficult to detect differences in terms of blur and “jerkiness” of moving images (where images that were continuous are now seen as a series of distinct snapshots).
The company assures that with the new technology even when polarized glasses are not used, viewers will still be able to see natural 2D images, as the disparity of the images for left and right eyes are within the range that human eyes can recognize as a blur.
A prototype model incorporating this technology will be demonstrated at “CEATEC JAPAN 2009”, to be held in Chiba city, Japan, from October 6th.