Thanks to early internet leaks, you’ve probably read about the Panasonic HDC-SDT750, the world's first consumer 3D camcorder already. But last week T3 was lucky enough to get a demonstration of the technology behind the SDT750, to find out whether you’ll be swapping 2D for 3D very soon.
We need to be clear straight away, Panasonic wasn’t demonstrating the SDT750, unfortunately that’s not quite available yet. Instead we were treated to a demo from the Panasonic HDC-SD600, a unit of which has been specially adapted with 3D software and crucially a 3D lens. When it launches the SDT700 look very similar to the SD600, taking much the same traditional consumer shape and with the 3D lens used here.
The compact shape is a far cry from the mammoth Panasonic 3D professional camcorder (which was also on show), and if you take the 3D lens off it will function like a conventional 2D camcorder.
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At the demonstration the camcorder was connected to a flatscreen Viera. Equipped with Panasonic T7-EW3D19 Active 3D glasses we were given a live 3D demonstration from a juggler, and results were impressive - the balls really did feel like they were coming out of the screen. We also watched 3D footage taken using the camcorder earlier in the day, again the 3D effect was really impressive.
A 3D image is created when dual lenses shoot two images simultaneously replicating your left and right eye, both images are then converted to a single one in camera. But, despite being a full HD camcorder the SD750 won’t shoot dual 1920x1080 images; instead it captures two 960x540 (or 960x1080i) images, which are combined in-camera to create one full HD image. So although the final image is full HD, it’s not created by two 1920x1080p images like 3D Blu-ray movies.
Considering this is a consumer camcorder - and priced accordingly - we don't think this isn’t a huge loss. Yes, it would be nice, but you still get a great 3D image, which takes up far less space on the memory card plus the benefit of a smaller more portable body. And remember this is exactly the same method used by Sky in its 3D broadcasts.
Inside the SD750 (much like the SD600) will be Panasonic’s 3MOS sensor, comprising of a trio of sensors, recording 1080/50p Progressive video. In common with other Panasonic camcorders and (Lumix cameras), you get Intelligent Auto; which automatically selects the optimum settings to suit the scene and HYBRID O.I.S stabilisation technology to help produce smooth shake-free footage
Priced at £1300, the HDC-SDT750 certainly isn't cheap, but when you consider the cost of a well featured 2D camcorder like the Sony CX550 (£1000) or Panasonic TM700 (£800), it's not wildly expensive either. So if you're looking for a new camcorder and like the thought of filming in 3D, it might be worth considering. Of course, we'll bring you a full review as soon as possible.
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