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Aiptek 3D i2 - Performance and Verdict

By James Morris
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

When the first craze for 3D movies occurred in the 1950s, the limitations of anaglyph presentation using tinted glasses were partly responsible for its relatively quick demise. The Aiptek 3D i2 unfortunately suffers from the same problems, as the effects it creates are far from perfect. Since it's unlikely the glasses provided will be perfectly calibrated to your display, you will see a little ghosting of the image meant for one eye within the image meant for the other. This makes the effect far less clean than the polarisation system used by RealD cinema presentations or IMAX's shutter-based glasses. Some viewers don't even perceive the 3D effect at all. But when it works, the 3D can be quite effective, with objects that are travelling towards the camera provoking a temporary desire to duck.

Performance in poor illumination is slightly surprising, too. The i2 actually picks up a brighter image in 3D mode than 2D mode. However, we found that our usual test for low light highlighted one of the issues for anaglyph-style 3D: the artificial flowers we use in this test are close in shade to the red filter, so they come out either monochromatic or blue when viewed in the i2's 3D. Overall, however, low-light abilities are respectable for a camcorder at this price, and on par with other pocket Internet camcorders.

Verdict

The Aiptek 3D i2 isn't going to give you the ability to shoot the next Hollywood 3D blockbuster. In fact, it's really a bit of a gimmick. But it's also priced low enough not to matter too much. In fact, even though you have to factor in a few quid for your own SDHC memory, it's not much more expensive than a regular HD pocket Internet camcorder. So if you were going to get a camcorder in this class, the i2 is well worth considering as a fun alternative that can give your footage an extra dimension.

Scores In Detail

Value
9/10
Features
5/10
Design
6/10

Our Score

7/10
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Video Review

simple simon

December 18, 2010, 3:16 am

Its an interesting machine - the 3D effect on its small screen looks great but the coloured lens system which most people will use is far from ideal. But thats the technology / not this camcorder.





Bearing in mind the type of device this is meant to be, the lack of creative controls is not an issue. What matters is that the 3D feature works well, even though (on my camcorder) the side-by-side images are very slightly different in colouration. Getting 2D HD is an added benefit, like icing in the cake. It does not matter that this is 'only' 720p HD; my netbook still finds the data rate to be so high that it cannot play the video smoothly.





I find that when filming it is best to hold it with two hands, as this offers greater stability and less camera shake. At times its flat and wide format may result in people with smaller hands having concerns about dropping it.





One of the buttons on the front has a certain amount of 'play' when its touched and I wonder how long it will be before it gives grief.





Sonically it gives a very acceptable stereo spread, but is susceptible to wind noise.





My only real gripe relates to sound - not of this machines' sonic capabilities, but rather of the options in the controls. On my digital camera I switch all the ‘operating’ sounds (beeps, etc) off. Alas I cannot do likewise with this and I am dreading the day I take a still image and on hearing the stimulated loud click of the camera shutter people near to me who think that I was photographing them make a fuss.





In conclusion, at the price its being sold for (especially the price I paid a few days ago at my local Maplin - where its on promotion) it is a bargain and represents an excellent entrance into 3D videography. Having had a Nimslo 3D still camera for several decades I’m already in 3D still image photography.





YouTube here I come...

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