What is a Stereo Camera?


A Stereo camera is a camera that has two lenses about the same distance apart as your eyes and takes two pictures at the same time. This simulates the way we actually see and therefore creates the 3D effect when viewed.

Stereo cameras have been around a long time.  Some of the most popular and easy to find were made during the 1950's when stereo photography was very popular among your average snapshooter. These cameras use 35mm film and still can be and are used today. Some of my favorite are the TDC Stereo Vivid and the Belplasca. And of course the View-Master personal that makes View-Master compatible reels.

New cameras are made by Vivitar, Loreo and RBT.  RBT makes high end high quality cameras. In the US you can buy them from 3DConcepts.

The Vivitar and Loreo cameras are a nice easy to use introduction to 3D, but the vintage cameras and RBTs produce an image of a much higher quality.

Typically 3D/Stereo images are viewed as slides or prints. For slides you need a stereo viewer or stereo projector and polarized glasses. For prints there are several different viewers available.
See some of the Viewers

Some Stereo Cameras:


The View-master personal
35mm View-Master Personal Format.
TDC Vivd
Designed by Gordon Smith at Stereocraft the same person who designed the View-Master Personal and it shares a lot of the same design features. 5P/Realist format. This is my favorite "Realist Format" camera.


Many consider this to be the best stereo camera made. I use this camera often and it's optically excellent. It's not as user friendly and no where near the joy to shoot that a Vivid is.  7P Euro Format.

Modern 3D cameras from RBT.
This model is the S1
A more complete list of Stereo/3D cameras and features
Ways of shooting stereo without a stereo camera
More about Stereo Photography.
and even more about Stereo Photography