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Panasonic wants everyone to capture 3D video

The company announces a 3D camcorder that looks like it might be for professionals on a budget.


Sony and Panasonic, with their high stakes in 3D TV, are also two of the most active companies trying to generate 3D content at all levels. Panasonic now brings 3D into the entry-level professional price realm with the HDC-Z10000. (Though Panasonic won't announce the price until 30 days before it ships--also an unknown--given its size and features I'm assuming it will be comparable to the Sony HXR-NX3D1U, which was announced this past spring at the NAB Show and which has just started shipping.) Announced at the IFA show in Germany, Panasonic has also taken the opportunity to show a 3D Lumix camera prototype. That will ship this winter and will have twin 4X zoom lenses--folding optics and optical stabilization--and will do 3D video as well as stills.

The camcorder incorporates two sets of Panasonic's 3MOS triple-sensor systems, each with 2.07/2.19-megapixel resolution (3D and 2D, respectively), in what the company calls a Double 3MOS. It's also Panasonic's first model to use a 3D LCD, which displays glasses-free 3D; unlike the Sony, it has an EVF, but it's not clear whether the EVF displays 3D.

Here's a comparison of the two:

  Panasonic HDC-Z10000 Sony HXR-NX3D1U
Sensor (effective video resolution) 2 x 3 x 2.07-megapixel CMOS 2 x 3.5-megapixel Exmor R CMOS
1/4.1 inch 1/4-inch
Dual lens
10x (3D)/12x (2D)
2D: 29.8 - 368.8 mm
3D: 32.0 - 320.0 mm
Dual lens
10x (3D)/12x (2D)
2D 29.8mm - 357.6mm
3D: 34.4mm - 344mm
Minimum object distance (inches) 3D: 17.7 inches/2D: 1.4 inches 3D: 31.5 inches/2D: 0.4 inch
Image stabilization Optical Optical
Min illumination (lux) standard: 1400
low light: 5
Color Night View: n/a
recommended: n/a
standard: 11
low light: 3
EVF 0.5-inch 1.2 million dots None
LCD 3.48-inch 1.2 million dots 3.5-inch 1.2 million dots
Primary media 2 x SDXC 96GB internal; 1 x SDXC
HD recording NTSC version AVCHD:
2D: 1080/60p/60i/30p/24p
3D: 1080/60i/30p/24p
(30p is recorded in 1080/60i)
PAL version AVCHD:
2D: 1080/50p/50i/25p/24p
3D: 1080/50i/25p/24p
(25p is recorded in 1080/50i)
2D: 1080/60p/50p/60i/24p
3D: 1080/60i/24p/50i
3D format Frame sequential Frame packing, side-by-side
Manual shutter speed 1/24 - 1/8000 1/8 - 1/1000 sec
Manual iris Yes Yes
Accessory shoe Yes Yes
Audio 5.1 channels [(384 kbps) or 2 channels (256 kbps Dolby or 1.5Mbps Linear PCM)]; line mic, XLR x 2 and headphone jacks 2 channels (16 bits, 48kHz); line mic, XLR x 2, and headphone jacks
Body dimensions (WHD, inches) n/a 2.3 x 2.6 x 5.1
Operating weight (pounds) n/a 2.5 (est)
Mfr. price n/a $3400
Ship date n/a August 2011

Panasonic is touting the camcorder's ability to shoot relatively close in 3D, but I'm not sure how immersive the experience would be shooting that close at a relatively narrow focal length. However, it specs pretty well for a 2D camcorder, and the lens rings look nicely done. A lot will depend on the price.