Panasonic launches affordable 3D camcorder

Panasonic has launched the world’s first consumer 3D camcorder, the HDC-SDT750.

Looking to all the world like a standard palmable HD camcorder, the new model comes into its own when the 3D splitter lens is attached, allowing seperate left and right eye footage to be captured.

In addition to shooting 3D, the SDT750 can record full 1080p High Definition (HD) in AVCHD, when the 3D conversion lens is unattached, and includes powerful features such as a 3MOS system, a Leica Dicomar lens and a 12x optical zoom.

“As a result of research conducted through Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, Panasonic developed a professional 3D system camera and successfully brought high-quality Full HD 3D images to the home for viewing on HD 3D televisions. But now, Panasonic has taken it one step further and developed the world’s first consumer 3D camcorder, the HDC-SDT750 – creating a 3D ecosystem available for consumers in the home,” said Panasonic's Chris Rice.

The specially-designed 3D conversion lens records right-eye and left-eye images simultaneously through its two lenses. The right and left images are recorded side by side at a resolution of 960 x 1080 pixels.

The £800 camcorder also features a time lapse recording feature which can be set to 1 second, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or 2 minute intervals and can be used in 2D or 3D modes.

It also features five separate microphones pointing in all of the right directions to record 5.1 surround sound, which is pretty remarkable at this price point.

The camera's high-sensitivity 3MOS sensor has 7.59 million effective motion image pixels (2.53 megapixels x 3), which separates the light received through the lens into the three primary colors – red, green and blue – and processes each colour independently.

The hardware comes complete with PC software (there's no mention as yet of Mac or Linux versions) which does all of necessary jiggery pokery needed to view moving and still 3D images, but you will, of course, need a suitable 3D-capable TV and a set or three of shuttered glasses, which will add significantly to the cost.

Everything is controlled using a three-inch touch screen and live viewing uses just the image from the left lens whilst shooting 3D footage.

The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 will arrive in October 2010, priced at $1,400 which is around £800 at the current exchange rate.