Is 3D video on the decline, destined to return to the realm of novelty? Not if you ask IMAX. The company has just detailed a large-format 4K camera that could give 3D movies a (frankly needed) visual boost. The trick, the company says, is that the camera is fully integrated; since it doesn’t need a beam splitter and separate lenses, it can stay compact while maintaining IMAX’s dramatic 1.9:1 aspect ratio. That portability (less than half the weight of rivals) allows for fast-action shots that would otherwise be off-limits. The camera also saves video from just before the operator hits the record button, so documentary makers shouldn’t miss unexpected moments.
If you’re curious to see whether these grand-scale visuals are worth watching, you won’t have to wait long. Explosion-loving director Michael Bay has already used IMAX’s rig to shoot Transformers: Age of Extinction, and the nature doc Island of Lemurs: Madagascar also makes use of the technology. The new hardware won’t make up for any lackluster storylines, but it might get you to splurge on a 3D viewing when you’re otherwise on the fence.