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.
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.
Score in detail