For hundreds of years, photographs have been the dominant way of capturing memories. Whether of historic events or family gatherings, it’s almost a ritual to take out a camera and snap a picture, freezing a memory in time… but there’s one thing these pictures seem to miss – depth. In fact, Apple addressed this exact shortfall when they announced Spatial videos on their Vision Pro device (and even the latest iPhone 15 Pro), but there’s really no need to spend upwards of $3000 to capture memories more immersively. Multi-lens cameras with 3D shooting capabilities have existed for a while now (the Nishika N8000 or the Kodak Stereo Camera come to mind), but the Moment 3D Camera reinvents and reinvigorates the category. While previous cameras shot 3D images on film, the Moment 3D Camera does it digitally, relying on a linear array of 4 lenses that simultaneously take photographs to capture parallax, which our brain perceives as depth.
Designer: Olga Orel
Simply put, the Moment camera freezes a moment in time, capturing 4 different angles to make it look more immersive, and frankly a lot more cooler than a regular photograph. A series of 38mm lenses work in tandem to take photos at the exact same time, which are then presented on the camera’s viewfinder display. The images are showcased as GIF files,panning from left to right to create a trippy sense of depth. Bet your Polaroid can’t do that…
“I discovered old cameras such as Nishika N8000 and Nimslo from the 1980s made by various companies with the same idea of stereography. They were quadrascopic (four lenses) cameras designed to produce four half-frame images from a click of the shutters. Lenticular prints could be made from the negatives,” says Olga Orel, the designer behind the Moment 3D Camera. “Unfortunately, the demand for these products was low due to people losing interest while waiting for the prints, which could take weeks and by some accounts, months to return to the consumer. You have to understand, these cameras were introduced BEFORE we knew anything about GIFs or JPEG files!”
Designed to look and function like a regular camera, the Moment’s multi-lens system gives you a new way to shoot photos without really having to learn anything. Point, look into the viewfinder, and hit the shutter button and the camera does the rest. A viewfinder lets you compose your shot, although there’s also a touchscreen display you can look at. The camera has zoom functionality, a flash, and the ability to toggle between modes, letting you choose whether you’re shooting humans, sceneries, or even macro shots of objects up-close.
Notably, images get captured in a vertical portrait orientation only. The photos you capture are displayed on a vertical touchscreen interface where you can crop and edit media, as well as view photos/GIFs clicked previously. You can even set timers for selfies, and a tripod mount on the bottom proves exceptionally handy when you want to click photos hands-free.
Images get saved onto an SD card, although you can directly hook your Moment 3D camera to an external display through its HDMI port too. Moreover, a USB-C port lets you connect your camera to devices like your laptop, tablet, or phone, and even lets you charge your camera too. Meanwhile, like any handheld shooter, the Moment 3D Camera has a removable battery on its base that you can hot-swap like most photographers would, giving you the ability to freely and confidently shoot 3D images and GIFs as you would regular photos!