We discuss physical and information theoretical limits of optical 3D metrology. Based on these principal considerations we introduce a novel single-shot 3D movie camera that almost reaches these limits. The camera is designed for the 3D acquisition of macroscopic live scenes. Like a hologram, each movie-frame encompasses the full 3D information about the object surface and the observation perspective can be varied while watching the 3D movie. The camera combines single-shot ability with a point cloud density close to the theoretical limit. No space-bandwidth is wasted by pattern codification. With 1-megapixel sensors, the 3D camera delivers nearly 300,000 independent 3D points within each frame. The 3D data display a lateral resolution and a depth precision only limited by physics. The approach is based on multi-line triangulation. The requisite low-cost technology is simple. Only two properly positioned synchronized cameras solve the profound ambiguity problem omnipresent in 3D metrology.