Panasonic has just announced their first consumer 3D camcorder – the Panasonic HDC-SDT750, a camcorder that uses a special 3D conversion lens to shoot stereoscopic 3D video. Now the fact that you need a special lens adapter should immediately make you think that the camera is not able to record two separate 1080p frames for each eye and you will be absolutely right. The camcorder records in 1080p half resolution (squashed), so actually both the frames for the left and the right eye are put into a single 1920×1080 resolution and when being watched they get stretched to the correct aspect ratio.
The Panasonic SDT750 features a Time Lapse Recording feature, which plays a scene such as a sunset or a blooming flower at an accelerated speed, similar to a fast-forward. By setting the recording interval to 1 second, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or 2 minutes, the user can view an otherwise long recording in a reduced time period. For example, when a scene is recorded at the 1-second interval setting, a 10-minute sunset scene can be played back in approximately 10 seconds, making the slow change in the subject appear as if it were taking place in a very short time. This time interval recording feature is also available when the 3D conversion lens is attached to the SDT750, so you will be able to shoot stereoscopic 3D time lapse videos too.
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 should help get more user generated 3D content, although not in true Full HD resolution. Another possible drawback is the fact that the LCD preview display on the camera will not be an autostereoscopic one, so you will not be able to see live 3D preview, but instead it will just show preview of the 2D video coming through the left lens. So this will make it harder at first to get a good idea of the level of the 3D effect of the video you are currently shooting, but after getting some experience with the camera and trying a few things you should be Ok. The interaxial distance between the left and right lens in the 3D lens adapter also do seem quite small, so the camera will most likely be good for shooting 3D of closer objects.
The consumer 3D camcorder Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is expected to be available starting October (earlier only in Japan) with a suggested end user price of $1399.95 USD.