Dell Venue 8 7000: What's a 3D Camera?
No, you're not going to need those horrid glasses to view images and no, you're not going to 3D print anything (well, technically...). I'll be honest - if you assumed the above, you're not alone.
The term "3D camera" may be a tad misleading but the technology behind it has been around for quite some time now. Better described as stereo cameras, this type of camera features two or more lenses with a separate image sensor of film frame for each lens, allowing it to simulate human vision and giving a depth to pictures.
Dell's new Venue 8 7000 is the first to feature this technology on a tablet and it's actually quite a blast to use. I spent a weekend measuring the length of my desk (could be longer), the height of the doorway (could be taller) as well as my wallet (could definitely be thicker). My poor financial management aside, the Intel RealSense Depth Camera makes for a great tool should you be shifting houses soon. The tech is also great for Skype conversations, giving a more life-like feel to the chat.
It helps that Dell and Intel decided on the Venue 8 7000 as the vehicle for the camera as it's a sleek beast of a tablet that currently holds the record for the slimmest Android tablet (6mm thickness). With impressive specs, the tablet fits in at the top of the tablet wars alongside contenders such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 but it's still the camera that sticks out more.
While the mainstream consumer won't have much measuring to do, photographer Derrick Ong shared with us how he uses the Intel RealSense Depth Camera for his work. "As a photographer, I frequently travel overseas for pre-wedding photoshoots to locations I have never visited before. The best part of using a stereo camera when I am exploring new locations is that it provides me with additional information that is important for my shoot, such as the height of a door/ cave/structure that I might frame my couple in. The Venue 8 7000, which is equipped with a stereo camera, provides me with these information," he explained.
Besides the camera, Dell's Gallery feature has also garnered quite some praise. "The Venue 8 serves as a good data collection tool as it helps me to measure objects and areas. I used to archive my photos manually but with the Venue 8’s Dell Gallery feature, photos are organized based on location and dates which can be accessed from different social media sites," he shares when asked what other features helped. As for the future of 3D in the photography industry, Ong surmises that, "Technology is always advancing and has proven to create many possibilities. I believe the 3D space will help photographers of any specialization create the vision and storyboard even before an actual photoshoot. Its possibilities are endless."
The monochromatic images in the story were shared by Derrick, a glimpse into how layered an image from the RealSense Depth Camera can look.
Our verdict at the end of the day is that the Dell Venue 8 7000 is a great tablet, with or without the sometimes gimmicky depth camera. However, should you be in the market for a camera that can help you measure, look no further.