Depth Camera Roundup
Tuesday October 01st 2013, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Kinect

Cameras that can use…

1. …either OpenNI (PrimeSense) or Microsoft drivers:

  • Microsoft Kinect 1 for Xbox (original version) … $80
  • Notes: You can’t beat the original on price and flexibility–although it has the noisiest depth data, and it always needs to be plugged into AC power. I’ve heard that it’s possible to open it up and cut the power to the little motorized platform, after which it’ll run off USB alone.

    2. …only the newest OpenNI drivers, or Microsoft drivers:

  • Microsoft Kinect 1 for Windows (revised version) … $250
  • Notes: Despite the higher price, the Kinect 1 for Windows is practically the same hardware as the Kinect 1 for Xbox. It comes with a license to sell commercial software written with the MS drivers, which isn’t really relevant to most filmmakers. Although the very latest release of the OpenNI drivers can work with the Kinect for Windows, many apps haven’t been updated to support this yet.

    3. …only OpenNI drivers:

  • Asus Xtion (all versions) … $150
  • Primesense Carmine (all versions) … $200
  • Notes: The Xtion gets cleaner depth info than the original Kinect 1 for Xbox, but I can’t recommend it for everyone because it has problems with Windows and USB3. The Carmine is supposed to be excellent, although I haven’t tried one myself yet–I will soon. Neither the Xtion nor the Carmine needs AC power; they can run off USB alone.

    4. …only Microsoft drivers:

  • Microsoft Kinect 2 (probably) … $400?
  • Notes: We don’t know much about the Kinect 2 yet, but it uses a completely different sensor than the one in the Kinect 1, Xtion, and Carmine. It’s supposed to be lower-resolution, but a lot cleaner.

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