The only proper dual-lensed 3D stills camera currently on the market is the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1. But existing Sony and Samsung models will soon benefit from post-processing that will give an extra dimension to 2D snaps and video after they've been taken, courtesy of Samsung TVs and Nvidia software.
Nvidia has announced at the Computex 2010 conference in Taipei that Sony's new NEX-5 and NEX-3 interchangeable-lens compact cameras are compatible with the Nvidia 3D Vision image-processing software. Details are thin on the ground and Sony is yet to confirm, but Engadget reports that any 2D image can be given an extra dimension by the software.
This ties in with Sony's hint at the NEX launch that the cameras would produce 3D panoramas, which can be played back on Sony's 3D televisions.
Meanwhile, Samsung 3D tellies will come with 3D-conversion software built-in, so if you plug your Samsung camcorder into your TV, it will convert the two dimensional footage into a three-dimensional picture. The Samsung 3D TV we tested recently, the C8000, has a mode that turns normal 2D TV into 3D. It looks terrible, frankly, so we hope this announcement is an improvement.
It remains to be seen how effective this post-processing will be, but with consumer 3D recording a long way off, this could be an affordable alternative for anyone wanting to turn their 'oliday into Avatar.
Update: Sony has confirmed that -- as we suspected -- Nvidia's GPU and upgraded 3D software will now be able to handle Sony's 3D sweep panorama images. These are made 3D in-camera, so Nvidia's contribution is to display the images in 3D rather than converting them. The 3D images can also be displayed on Sony 3DTVs. The firmware update enabling 3D snapping will hit the NEX-3 and NEX-5 in mid-July.