Camcorderinfo.com has managed to get their hands on the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D Consumer Camcorder in order to do a review of the product, testing not only its 3D functionality, but also how well it does in 2D too. Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is scheduled for October release, so if you are interested in the product you’ll find this review interesting, although unfortunately in the review there are no samples that show 3D photos and videos shot with the camcorder and that would’ve been nice. So if anyone finds samples of 3D photo and video shot with this camera please do share the links here, so we can see what is the actual level of the quality and volume provided by the camcorder. For those of you that think that they would be able to fit the 3D conversion lens (VW-CLT1) on an older Panasonic camera, it seems that you’ll be out of luck and you will not be able to do that… not to mention that the conversion lens will probably be sold separately only in Japan.
According to the review for best results you should shoot subjects that are between 1.2m and 4m from the camcorder, and this was to be expected considering the small interaxial distance between the two lenses of the 3D adapter. The 3D conversion lens alters pretty much disabled all or actually most of the manual controls, sets the aperture to a fixed f/3.2 and you will need a lot of light in order to get good image quality in 3D, but that is to be expected with pretty much any 3D recording hardware. Another drawback is that you cannot record in 3D using the highest quality 28Mbps compression method, but instead you’ll have to deal with up to 17Mbps maximum bitrate, which is not that bad, but the higher bitrate option that is available only for 2D would’ve been nice to be available for 3D mode too. It seems that the bundled HD Writer AE software (version 2.6T) is also capable of editing 3D content (basic functionality) as well as burning it Blu-ray discs, but it is not very clear if it supports the Blu-ray 3D format or not. The rest of the details you can read in the full review.
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.