The small form factor of the Elphel 353 cameras make them very versatile for shooting 3D. In a side-by-side configuration, a minimum inter-axial distance of approx. 45mm can be achived. The small cameras would also be well suited to an on-the-shoulder beam splitter rig.
Shooting Apertus S3D footage is possible by synchronizing the sensors read out phase on the two cameras (to do this, the10369 board is required on both cameras). There is one master camera that generates the trigger impulses and therefore defines the recording frame-rate. A connector on the side of the camera is used as SYNC interface. You connect the slave cameras and the master cameras sync port with a cable and in software you make sure that the master camera outputs the sync impulses and the slave camera waits for them to start frame read out.
The sync impulse is sent for EVERY single frame.
This way the start time of the frame read out from the CMOS sensor is kept 100% in sync between all cameras (you can also have multiple slave cameras) at all times.
Syncing of camera parameters like whitebalance, exposure time, etc is handled by the viewfinder software ElphelVision.
Side-by-side + shooting parallel (rather than toe-in)
A special software is being developed that can display two real time video stream in different viewing modes like side-by-side, anaglyph overlay. Real-time debayering on the GPU of two JP4 RAW video streams has also been implemented.
Even though the sensors are synchronized, a further challenge was synchronizing the record start time for both the left and right clips. To achieve this ElphelVision is setting a record delay time therefore tells the cameras to start recording at a specific time, several seconds into the future (based off the master camera's time-code). This way, the first frame of both the left and right clip are temporally aligned.
Clips are recorded to each camera's own hard drive and are placed in a timecode stamped folder, unique to each clip. ElphelVision provides the ability to append a custom name to these clip folders, so footage from the left and right cameras can be named appropriately and automatically.
It is possible to switch between viewing each video stream within the main GUI or to disable the live stream altogether (useful for using additional preview software, such as StereoCamCheck)