A novel three-dimensional (3D) camera is capable of providing high-precision 3D images in real time. The camera uses a diode laser to illuminate the scene, a shuttered solid-state charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor, and a simple phase detection technique based on the sensor shutter. The amplitude of the reflected signal carries the luminance information, while the phase of the signal carries range information. The system output is coded as a video signal. This camera offers significant advantages over existing technology. The precision in range is dependent only on phase shift and laser power and theoretically is far superior to existing time-of-flight laser radar systems. Other advantages are reduced size and simplicity and compact and inexpensive construction. We built a prototype that produced high-resolution images in range the (z) and x-y.