Lynx A: The World’s First Point-and-Shoot 3D Camera


Tired of capturing the world as 2D photographs? What if you could just as easily capture things as 3D models? That’s what Lynx A does. It’s the world’s first point-and-shoot 3D camera that produces 3D models with the push of a button. The company claims that “you can use a point-and-shoot Nikon, you’ll find the Lynx A even easier to use.”


Unlike traditional 2D compact cameras, however, the Lynx A looks more like a grossly oversized tablet computer. You’ll need to clutch it with two hands to operate it.


The camera component comprises a 640×480 color digital camera and a 3D sensor for capturing depth information. On the front of the camera is a gigantic 14-inch color LCD screen for image capture and review.


The simple user interface comprises using buttons and joysticks that are reminiscent of a video game controller.


Other specs include a powerful graphics card for rendering the 3D models, high capacity-storage, and a battery that can last for four hours on a charge.

There are three capture modes offered by the camera: scene modeling, object modeling, and motion capture.

Scene modeling is similar to the panorama creation camera apps found on smartphones these days. Simply sweep your camera around in 360-degrees, and the camera will build a 3D model of the space you’re in.


Object modeling is similar, but instead of sweeping the camera around inside a space, you walk around a subject to capture it from all directions, creating a 3D model of that object.



Finally, the motion capture mode does exactly what it says. It’s basically a mode that lets you use the camera like a 3D-capable camcorder, capturing the movement of active subjects and turning it into a 3D model (great for things like creating animations of characters).


Here’s a video that will give you a better idea of what the Lynx A is like and how it’s used:

The Austin, Texas-based company behind the device, Lynx Laboratories, is currently raising funding for the project through Kickstarter. A $1,800 contribution will preorder you one of the first Lynx A cameras — that’s about the same price as many prosumer DSLR models on the market today. The price is certainly one of the attractive features of the device, as existing solutions currently cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Lynx A Camera [Kickstarter via Engadget]

  • FFugue

    Why would anyone pay 1800$ when you can already do that for 100$ with a Microsoft Kinect…?

  • Tom Briggs


  • Opie

    Yeah man, technological progress is stupid. We should tell all these computer nerds that enough’s enough already.

  • joakim

    Guess this is the future in 3d mod. but just like digital camera, the first solution is to low resolution to replace manual modeling.
    In 10 years or so this would probably be as good as real life.

  • Albi Kl

    Google “Leap motion sensor”. 200x more accurate than Kinect apparently and is almost ready to go to market.

  • Steve

    Looks pretty cool. I’ll be thinking hard for a while about what sort of things I might do that I’ve never even thought of before. That’s hard work, If it was easy, then EVERYONE would be doing it…….and I don’t see everyone doing it. :-)

  • Julien

    Yeah, I already ordered mine. It’s only 70$! But it could only be use to scan objects right on top of the device. It can’t be used to scan a whole room.

  • Duke Shin

    Yuck. Here I was thinking how much I hated ipad photographers.

  • Matthew Lundstrom

    3D point and shoot cameras that came out before this one:

    – Panasonic DMC-3D1
    – Aiptek 3D iS2
    – Fujifilm FInePix Real 3D
    – Vivitar T135

  • Julien

    Did you watch the video at the end of the article? The quality of the 1800$ gadget isn’t better than the Kinect. The resolution is actually pretty bad. It’s nothing that could be used for any serious work. It could only be used as a reference. I don’t understand why created this 1800$ machine if their goal wasn’t to make it more accurate than the 100$ Kinect… Strange…

  • Julien

    Hi Matthew. The difference between the Lynx A and the cameras you named is that the cameras you named are only capturing 2 images that when looked at with a special monitor or with 3d glasses look like 3D. The Lynx A actually captures a 3D model, which means you can use it in a 3D software, turn around it, modify it. It’s a real 3D model and not just a 3D image. But anyway, the Lynx A is 1800$ and it gives about the same quality 3D models that you can get by using a Microsoft Kinect with a computer, and a Kinect is only around 130$, so…. the Lynx A is pretty much useless…

  • jetsonjoe

    Hey…we are over here…You think with this much passion for their product they would learn their lines…rather than reading and NOT looking into the camera / viewer…Interesting…but they will not get my money…Yet!..I can see it being quite amazing…soon.

  • Albi Kl

    That’s a good point. I guess it’s still a number of years before such a product hits mass market.

  • PhotoShark

    Imagine using something like this (with better resolution) to capture a 3d model of a person, then using a 3D printer, being able to make your own personal action figures at home haha

  • Brant Powell

    Well, my comment was marked as spam. There are already ways to do this for free I just apparently cant post a link to it.