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Showing 1-10 of 95 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 105 reviews
on September 7, 2010
Being a big 3-D fan, I was very excited when this product was announced and, because the price was so low, I pre-ordered it right away without having seen any reviews (because no reviews yet existed). I wasn't entirely sure if I was buying a novelty gadget or a truly useful device. To save myself from being disappointed, I expected the former and hoped for the latter. It turns out that the camera is much better than a novelty gadget, but don't expect to throw away your "normal", digital, point-and-shoot camera or your "normal" camcorder. You'll still need those when you want a perfect, printable photo and a lot of extended video. However, when what you want is a 3-D picture or short 3-D video, the Aiptek 3-D camera is a great, practical, and inexpensive option.

The first question I had was: "does it really work?" I'm happy to say that the answer is a big yes! The resolution of the parallax-barrier display is pretty low, but the 3-D effect is really great and the display serves the purpose very well. I expect the Aiptek 3-D photo frame, with its higher resolution, will be much better (it's still backordered as of this writing, so I don't have one yet). Please understand that when I say "low resolution", I'm speaking about the resolution of the built-in display, not the resolution of the actual images/video, which is much higher. 5 megapixels for images (2592 x 1944) and 720p for video (1280 x 720) doesn't sound like much nowadays, but you'll almost certainly NOT want to print the images you take with this camera anyway. Doing so would require you to convert to the Red/Blue (anaglyph) format. This works, but it's far less than ideal. Rather than that, I believe you should expect to only view these images/videos on the camera itself, the corresponding 3-D photo frame, or a new, 3-D TV. When you decide those are your primary viewing vehicles for the content you create with this device, the resolution becomes far more palatable. Indeed, the resolution of the images exceeds the resolution of the camera's display and even the resolution of the 3-D photo frame (800 x 600). For this reason, I think Aiptek was smart to use a relatively low resolution in order to keep the price so low.

The image and video quality is acceptable, but as I said earlier, if won't replace your existing camera for those times when you want very high quality. The image quality is about as good as the very best cameras being put into cell phones (which also don't compete with a dedicated, "regular" camera). I'll reiterate though: the quality is completely acceptable considering you're getting images in full 3-D. Other than the 3-D feature, there aren't a lot of frills: no image stabilization, no optical zoom, no flash, etc. It makes sense though because that's the only way you're going to get 3-D at this amazingly-low price-point. The camera has a tripod mount so, if you really need supplemental light, you can pick up one of those little LED lights that screw into tripod mounts for not very much money. As for video, it does record in 30 FPS, but if the action is moving quickly, it doesn't look like it. It looks like 10 or 15 FPS (it may still be recording 30 frames per second, but I'd guess 2 or 3 of those frames happen to be identical). I've noticed the reduced frame rate is a bit less pronounced if there is more ambient lighting. FYI: I'm using a Transcend, 16 GB, class 10 SD card. That's probably not as fast as a SanDisk class 10 card, but it should be enough to accommodate everything the camera can throw at it. It may sound like I'm speaking only negatively about this camera, but it's definitely not my intention to discourage the purchase of it. I just want you to be clear on what it *doesn't* do so that you have appropriate expectations. In reality, I'm thrilled with the quality of the camera and it exceeded my expectations.

I've quickly learned a trick to taking 3-D video and photos. It has to do with framing the images; I'll try to explain it here, but it's a little difficult to articulate. If what I'm about to say doesn't make sense, just ignore my ramblings- ha. First, realize that everything in the image has a position along the Z-axis (the direction toward you and away from you [as opposed to left/right and up/down]). Next, realize that the frame around the screen itself has a position along the Z-axis. What this means is, some parts of the photo appear to come "out" of the screen and more distant objects appear recessed "into" the screen. The frame surrounding the display is somewhere in the middle. If the part of the image that extends out of the screen is cut off by the frame surrounding the display, it can hurt your eyes a little and look a bit confusing. This makes sense; how could an object (the frame) block the view of a subject if that object (the frame) is more distant than the subject? That's a logical paradox that my brain translates into confusion and/or eyes that have a hard time focusing. The trick is to not allow anything "in front" of the frame to be cut off by the frame. If you adhere to this, the 3-D effect looks much more natural. I'm sure I'll continue to learn effective ways to frame 3-D images as I become more experienced. In fact, that's part of the fun!

I'll sum everything up here: The camera is really good and the 3-D effect is outstanding. I believe it to be much more than a gimmick/novelty. To keep the price low, the camera sacrifices some other "standard" features you might be used to, such as optical zoom and a flash. For me, the tradeoff is well worth it: I get to take my own, good-quality, 3-D video/images for under 200 bucks. I'm not sure what I'm more impressed with: the technology or the price. I suppose it's the combination of the two that make this a strongly-recommended "buy" in my book.

[UPDATE: October 20, 2010]
As Reynato U. Barrera kindly pointed out in his review, there is indeed a (buried) firmware update and it does indeed fix the slow frame rate! This is great news. I don't believe Amazon will allow external URLs or I would provide a direct link, but if you go to the Aiptek EU site (use ".eu" instead of ".com") you can find the firmware update within the product page. I purchased the camera in the U.S., but because the camera will let you define the refresh rate (60Hz vs. 50Hz), I wasn't worried about using the firmware I downloaded from the EU site.
[/UPDATE]
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on October 8, 2010
After getting over the excitement of a 3D camcorder to support my 3DTV, the disappointment began. There were few, if any, instances where the camera was shooting in the promised 30 Frames Per Seconds. Normally the camera would dip down to 15fps and at that point, I stopped taking the camera with me everywhere I went.

So why the high rating?

I stumbled upon a video on youtube shot with my camera and the title to the video was "Aiptek 3D video with new Firmware" The video looked great and was running at a steady 30fps. After asking a few questions, I discovered that Aiptek's European website had a downloadable firmware that fixed the framerate. Nothing was available in the US site, so after asking a few people who had the firmware if it was safe, I installed it into my camera, and sure enough, my usability has taken a huge turn for the better. For 200 bucks, and with this firmware, the camera is an awesome introduction to the 3D world.
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on January 29, 2016
Let me start by saying I'm 65 years old. I remember very well the old betamax and vhs format video recorders. With that in mind I disagree with the reviews on here that claim this camera is a "toy." I suppose if you compare it against the real expensive 3D camcorders it would seem like a toy. But the fact is that it produces videos that are better than the old betamax and vhs tapes. The colours are bright the focus is good. The camera does have one weak point: it needs a lot of light. Videos taken in well lighted places such as outdoors or inside places like Walmart are great. Videos taken in lower light settings have a lot of noise in them. The solution to this is to have a light source you can carry with you in case it's needed. That seems a small inconvenience to me when I consider the cost of this camera. The included software is adequate but I recommend VideoPad instead. There is a free version of VideoPad downloadable on the web. Also you may need to download the latest drivers and upgrade the camera's firmware. This is easily done and the drivers are free to download also. You can find them at Aiptek support.

In short I love this camera. It is well worth the money!
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on January 19, 2013
I have been wanting to purchase a 3D camcorder for some time, as I have 2 3D HD TVs, and really enjoy watching 3D movies. This camcorder was, and still is, selling for around $70. So I figured for that price, and the decent ratings, I would try it. I have only had it a couple of months, and have used it some. I am sure once summer arrives, I will use it more.

Anyways, this camcorder does film and take still 3D photos, or 2D. The 3D looks good, but probably not as good as 3D Blu-Ray movies that are done professionally. The 3D is in split screen format. So you have to choose that mode on your 3D TV to view them with 3D glasses. It works fine.

You can also view the video and photos in 3D, without glasses on the special screen. That is cool, but has to be held at a direct angle to your eyes. It is not as good as watching it on a TV though. At least it has the option!

I have viewed my 3D movies and photos directly from the camera, by connecting it to the TV. I have also copied files from the camera to a USB flash drive and viewed them from my 3D Blu-Ray player with that. That worked fine too. I have not tried to view them from a disc, as I do not have a Blu-Ray writer and am not sure how a DVD would handle direct 3D format. I do know that as a data disc, if your blu-ray player supports data discs, you should be able to just select the files to play, as I did with my flash drive. I have done this with 2D photos and videos on data disc DVDs.

Please note that you do have to purchase a separate SD memory card to record onto. Since this is HD video, I opted for a 32GB card for around $20-25. Works fine.

I will say that the instructions are not really good. I also do not know how to order extra batteries. That is something that I need to look into.

Also, I noticed that there is a ViewSonic 3D camcorder that looks identical to this one, but costs more. I suspect the same manufacturer.

My bottom line is that if you want to film cheap 3D, this is a good camera for accomplishing that.
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on March 31, 2011
I posted a video at you-tube entitled 'AIPTEK 3D CAMERA TEST - Firmware vs. No Firmware' for anyone interested in seeing the difference in this camera's performance after the CORRECT firmware is used to update the camera. Keep in mind that this footage actually looks better, but I compressed it into mpeg format for upload, so some quality was lost, but you can clearly see the improvement between the two test (no firmware vs. firmware).

I found that, out of the box, the camera's video quality is pretty worthless. I looked closely at the video footage I took before the update and found that although it was indeed 29.97 fps, every frame was simply duplicated 3 or 4 times! Furthermore, there was a lot of OBVIOUS OBNOXIOUS jagged/aliased edges to everything. With the firmware update, I did get a true 29.97 fps (it still seems a little jaggy sometimes, though).

I don't understand how this company is still in business! The firmware update is nowhere to be found on the US site and I can't imagine most people didn't send this thing back after looking at the resulting images prior to the firmware update. Why the heck aren't they updating these things before shipping them out? Mine appears to have been manufactured in October, 2010 (FW version 3607).

If you update the firmware to bring the framerate up to 29.97 fps (and you will probably want to!), MAKE SURE YOU USE THE CORRECT UPDATE FOR YOUR CAMERA'S CURRENT Firmware Version from the Aiptek European site (the camera's current firmware version is found within the menu system of the camera). The download page has several firmware versions along with several instruction manual updates, so don't get confused about which firmware update is appropriate...My first stab at it failed because I had used the wrong update. LUCKILY, my camera didn't recognize it (apparently you can damage the camera permanently if you install the wrong firmware update!). When I used the correct update and installed it according to the accompanying README instructions, everything clicked into place.

I have installed the software (it installs automatically the first time you connect the camera to your PC), but I don't expect to use it much. My Sony Vegas Pro software has a 3D function that works well with this unit's output video (mp4 format). However, the camera's included software is intended to easily convert the compressed side-by-side stereo images/video into red-cyan anaglyph for those viewing on a non-3D TV or monitor (a pair of plastic anaglyph glasses is also included).

I noticed, however, that the video output can not simply be opened using Stereo Movie Maker ('your video has no FourCC code' error), so I have to convert it in Sony first if I want to open it with SMM, but I really have no reason to.

There isn't much onboard memory, so you will need to purchase a SD memory card (I actually use a miniSD card from my cellphone with an SD adapter). It can handle cards up to 32 MB. However, it DOES come with a HDMI cable so you can plug this thing right into your HDTV for viewing in 3D if your TV is 3D-Ready. There is also a nice carrying case, and a strap for carrying, although my pet peeve for that is that the strap attaches to the bottom of the camera, so if you were to try filming with it hanging around your neck, the video would be upside-down (fixable with editing software, I know, but it would have been nice to have it hang right-side up).

I like it for the ease of use (point and shoot), the nifty 3D preview screen (which takes a getting a little used to!), the portability of it, and the quality of the video ONCE THE FIRMWARE HAS BEEN UPDATED. Again, the video quality is NOT fantastic, but it's not bad either. In 3D mode, each eye receives 640 x 720 resolution (the 640 being stretched to double its width to 16:9 aspect ratio--the camera records in half-wide side-by-side format).

As for the 3D preview screen, my particular unit requires that you rotate the camera slightly to the right to get the 3D to work...its awkward having to do that and I think it may be a manufacturing misalignment. Not a biggie--if anyone else has noticed this, please leave a comment.

The 2D mode offers a 1280 x 720 video record/output which is not compressed horizontally. It also looks pretty good, but this is my first camcorder that records at anything higher than standard definition 4:3, so i'm easily impressed at the moment.
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on April 27, 2016
I purchased this in advance of a trip to venice. For the cost, I am very happy with the results. It is extremely easy to use, the quality of the videos is certainly adequate, and I captured my kids first trip overseas in a unique way. I did upgrade the firmware straight away, so I don't know how well this works without the upgrade. Thanks to those recommending the upgrade - great results. The little screen does display 3d, but I found the best experience using VR goggles with my iphone. I have purchased 3d glasses for use with my 3d projector, but haven't tried it as of yet. When I consider the alternatives for the same price, I feel I made a great purchase. I still have my iphone for photos and videos. It really is more than a toy. The videos of the family in the canals of Venice are completely unique and amazing.
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on November 12, 2015
Got this a month back or so and it seems to be a good camera for 3D pictures. Videos are not bad either. Good starter camera for 3D. I tried Sony Bloggie 3D as well (a used one). The video seemed better as it was a 1080p video when compared to Aiptek's 720p. The still images were really bad on Sony Bloggie 3D when compared to Aiptek. With a new Bloggie 3D at $250 odd, its really useless for the price. Another option is HTC EVO 3D phone. It has a good parallax barrier display similar to Aiptek or Bloggie 3D, with a large QHD display when compared to Apitech or Bloggie 3D. The pictures taken are quite good and you can show it to someone right on the phone without requiring some kind of 3d glasses etc. I got new HTC EVO 3D luckily on ebay for $50 and its worth it to experiment with 3D photos or videos and there is no need for any glasses etc to share.
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on December 20, 2010
Those who have been enthusiasts of amateur and home movie making have probably very often thought about making their private productions in 3D. Honestly, up until I started playing with this Aiptek 3D 720p 30fps camcorder, I thought 3D was a far far away possibility. But it isn't: I believe a standard for amateur/home 3D movie making is already a reality and all you have to do is experiment with this super decently priced useful not-so-toy 3D movie making. I did download the firmware from the European site, thanks to a fellow who commented about it here and a slight improvement was achieved. I have read some comments here stating the "imperfections" of the little tool/toy, and I seriously believe they are unfair. The product DOES exactly what it says it does. If you know the imperfections of the tool, you will be able to make really nice 3D movies. My recommendation, though, is to get a video editing program capable of RENDERING a final product with good quality. The video clips produced by the Aiptek are MP4's with anamorphic left and right side views. The 1280-pixel screen is divided in two halves 640-pixel wide each: you still get 720p in height. Your regular 2D editor can do the job. You will need to accept the vision of two very anamorphic pictures. The most important part of it all is, like always, at the rendering point. It seems that this way of handling 3D movies has become a "standard". It does decrease the resolution, but makes 3D possible. You will be able to upload your videos to YouTube without any special processing: simply add the tags "yt3d:enalbe=true yt3d:aspect=16:9" and they will be shown in any form chosen by the viewer: anaglyph, side by side, switch sides, etc. This little tool/toy is a very enjoyable experience. Get yourself the side-by-side viewing glasses: they represent the highest quality method of viewing 3D side-by-side, without any color alteration.
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on September 4, 2010
I'm blown away by this little device. I've tried creating my own 3-d camera using two Kodak Zi8's mounted directly next to one another. I've made some pretty good 3d photos from that customized set up, but have never been able to create good 3d movies. Can't find anything for a PC that makes the job very easy and one has to spend some time synchronizing the video and making sure the layers line up.

I haven't been able to try this out on a 3d HDTV, but the images that can be viewed, recorded, and played back are amazing enough just when looking at its build in 3d screen. I'm still not sure how the 3d screens work; I've always thought some form of eyewear (anaglyph, 3d-shutter, polarized, etc) would be needed to direct the separate images to the left/right eyes, but the 3d screen is amazing. Tiny, yes. But, amazing nonetheless.

Given the other products out there on the market, like $600 cameras, I'd say this is a pretty good deal for anyone wanting to experiment with 3d. It may not be perfect, but I think it adds something to standard 2d video/photos. It's gimmicky, but it's also recording events in 3d that you'll never be able to capture a second time. It's small enough to carry around in a pocket, takes standard cards for recording video, and seems to capture fairly low light environments MUCH better than my Zi8s ever could.

I like it so much, I'm tempted to by a second one and I don't even know why...

Bear in mind - you can't see 3d on your HDTV by connecting it directly via HDMI unless you have a 3d TV. What you'll get is just side by side video from the two camera perspectives. I haven't yet tried the software for converting to anaglyph. I'm basing the quality of the 3d video on watching the playback on the device's own small (and bright) screen. But what that shows me is that the 3d is working well from those 2 little cameras. If the anaglyph processing doesn't work too well (maybe it will), I'll still have the files saved in 3d format to playback in a few years when I eventually buy a 3d TV!
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on September 21, 2012
3D seems to be all the rage today, and there are many movies today that are being filmed in 3D. If you find yourself wanting to make 3D movies, you will be looking for a camcorder that will do the job. This camera is a great entry model camcorder, and for its price (at the time of this review is now 59.99) is pretty decent. There are many things both good and bad about this camcorder, I'll start off with the pro's. This camera delivers on the 3D that it promises, however you will need to read up on 3D photography and filming techniques in order to get the most out of it. The resolution is decent, as long as you don't use the digital zoom for your 3D videos, as the picture quality suffers the more you zoom in. This camcorder needs some updating of the firmware and the included software to view your 3D videos in your computer because they have issues right out of the box. These updates can be downloaded from the aiptek.eu website, all you need to do is follow the instructions, and the camcorder then works perfectly. The camera makes noises for everything, from turning on to shuting off, and the only noises you can turn off is the little start up clip. The two main con's are defiantly the fact that the noises can't be turn off, and the short battery life, which is about an hour at most.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a low cost 3D camcorder and are willing to put up with some small annoyances, this is the camcorder for you.
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