Olympus patents hot shoe mounted miniature camera for capturing stereo/3D images

Olympus filed patent 2011-250022 in Japan for a hot shoe mounted miniature camera that will be used to capture stereo/3D images. It seems that Olympus has chosen a different 3D solution than Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds 12.5mm f/12 3D lens.

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  • Camaman

    Just Wow! Of all the ideas one could actually use… I wonter how they got the 3d effect since it looks like both imagers are on the same vertical line. Looks like somebody thought of that one sleeping on the job…slanted face on his desk… 😛

    Is there but ONE patent on in body EVF from Olympus…?!

  • Matt

    Whatever they have thought off, it is not possible to get a proper 3D image with anything set-up here.

  • Nathan

    Widescreen is wide horizontally. Turning the camera to portrait orientation solves nothing.
    Do they even KNOW how a camera is used?

    Also, even if they have some kind of magic, one of your eyes will have larger depth of field than the other. That’s fun.

    • Michael Houghton

      But surely a 4/3 image is taller than a full HD image is wide, so a full HD slice could be cut out of a rotated camera image.

      It’s the relative lens/imager qualities I’m wondering about. Still I think you have to assume that the developers of this idea have thought of some of this stuff; armchair patent punditry has its limits!

    • Michael Houghton

      And regarding the depth of field, as far as I can understand, it depends on whether they can match the sensor area of the additional imager with the cropped sensor area of the main sensor (and the lens focal lengths).

    • Zaph

      Err, did you miss the part in the image above where it’s the SENSOR that’s moving side-to-side?

      • +1

      • Nathan

        The sensor being able to move side to side does nothing as far as 3d is concerned. Moving the sensor will simply accomplish vibration reduction but cannot give you 3d, as the image circle is the same perspective.
        Moving the entire camera and lens over about 3 inches is necessary to give parallax. Having another camera on a vertical line above the main camera would only allow 3d in portrait orientation unless some very significant processing is applied to the output data. Even then, you would be getting a 3d image, but it could not be a stereo 3d image.
        When you see with two eyes on a horizontal plane, your left eye can see a little bit farther around the left side of an object, and your right eye can see a little bit farther around the right side. In addition, the parallax allows your mind to calculate depth as the two images are overlayed. The difference between an object’s image in each image is inversely proportional to distance to subject. Here, Olympus’ patent allows for that calculation, but the perspectives are all wrong for stereoscopic 3d.
        You would have to turn the camera vertically to capture 3d, placing the two cameras on a horizontal plane.
        It’s simply a clumsy implementation. I don’t see where the image sensor being free to move makes even the slightest difference.

  • Warpig

    Interesting. Maybe the fact that the sensor on the little webcam is in a vertical position makes the magic. I don’t get how it works though.

  • Breuker

    I believe it has something to do with the sensor moving quickly in it’s horizontal axis. Look closely at the image.
    Maybe the unit on top gives some sort of feedback concerning the amount of shift needed.

  • Stepper

    Yo dawg… I heard you like cameras…

  • Camaman

    Maybe its not meant for 3d but for selective focus pictures.
    One sensor with low dof shot wide open and a smaller one shot closed down.

    But it would make an ugly lower res, pretty un usable image IMo

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