Time simply ran out on efforts to develop the system and get it sufficiently tested before , which has been dubbed Curiosity, is scheduled to launch later this year.
Movie director James Cameron, of Avatar and Titanic fame, has been helping to build the new camera, which would have both zoom and 3D capabilities.
Cameron has been working with Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego to build what would have been a 3D upgrade to the camera, dubbed Mastcam,
"With the Mastcam that was installed last year and the rover's other instruments, Curiosity can accomplish its ambitious research goals," Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger said in a written statement.
"The possibility for an upgrade was very much worth pursuing, but time became too short for the levels of testing that would be needed for them to confidently replace the existing cameras," Grotzinger.