Sony interested in 3D digital cameras

Some Sony executives want the Japanese electronics giant to make a 3D digital camera as the format gains popularity and expands away from movies.

Masashi Imamura, Sony President of Personal Imaging and Sound, confirmed Sony will enter the 3D camera market at some point in the future.  Specific details are unavailable, but the first 3D camera will likely be a 3D DSLR camera.

Fujifilm released two 3D cameras in September 2009, becoming the first company to offer such a unique product.  The company’s FinePix Real 3D W1 and FinePix Real 3D V1 models received a lot of press, but consumer demand for the products doesn’t appear to be high.

Image courtesy of USGS

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Sony has been vocal about its support for 3D — leading to the company’s interest in 3D HDTV and Blu-ray players — and a 3D camera would be a logical next step.  I think 3D digital cameras could see great success, but the entry-level price has to be low enough to convince consumers to adopt the technology.  Although HDTVs are gaining recognition, only a small number of consumers are aware of 3D cameras.

Sony will have 3D Blu-ray and 3D HDTVs available later this year, with additional products expected prior to the holidays.  TV manufacturers are developing more 3D HDTVs that ship 3D-ready, even though viewers will still need to wear custom glasses.

The 3D format first was utilized in movie theaters, but will next expand into the living room in HDTVs and Blu-ray.  It could also make a bigger impact in PC and console gaming, as gamer interest in 3D increases.

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