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Panasonic Announced the DMC-3D1 3D-capable Digital Still Camera

November 7th, 2011 · 13 Comments · Shooting in 3D

Back in September during the IFA trade show in Germany Panasonic has shown a prototype of an upcoming 3D-capable digital still camera and now they have officially announced the product that will be called Panasonic LUMIX DMC-3D1. The Lumix DMC-3D1 camera will come equipped with dual 12-megapixel sensors (1/2.3-type High Sensitivity Mos Sensors) capable of capturing stereo 3D photos with a maximum resolution of 3264×2448 (8 Megapixels with 4:3 aspect) or 3264×1840 (6 Megapixels with 16:9 aspect ratio) as well as 3D video with Full HD 1920×1080 resolution (Side by Side (apparently half horizontal resolution), 60i for the NTSC model and 50i for the PAL model). The camera also comes with 4x optical zoom, the company’s MEGA O.I.S. optical stabilization system, 3.5-inch touchscreen display, HDMI 1.4 (mini-HDMI) output for direct connection to a 3D-capable display, stereo microphone. So it seems that Fujifilm will finally have some serious competition for their W1/W3 3D digital still cameras and maybe it is about time for them to also have let’s say a new W5 model for examle with more up to date specs…

You can notice that there are very few buttons on the camera’s body, meaning that pretty much all the extra controls are made via the touchscreen display at the back of the camera, where the only physical button is a 2D/3D mode switch. On the top of the camera there are are some more physical buttons: the on/off camera switch, the shutter and zoom and a separate recording button for video capture. So the usability of the camera will be depending a lot on how good is the touchscreen implementation as well as the display of the device as you will be using it a lot. What Panasonic have missed to mention in all the information they have made available about the new Lumix DMC-3D1 3D digital still camera is the interaxial distance. Fortunately I can pretty much assume that it should be very close to 3 centimeters or around 1.2 inches based on the officially announced camera size and the photos of the device. As expected the interaxial distance will be more than twice less as compared to the 75 millimeter distance that the Fuji W3 camera has, meaning that the Panasonic will be better suited for shooting closer objects in 3D, but for more distant ones you will be getting “flatter” results. The new Panasonic Lumix 3D1 3D-capable digital still camera should be available in December 2011 with a recommended end user price of about $500 USD.

For more information about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1 digital still camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1 3D Still and Video Camera is available for pre-order….

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rhialto // Nov 8, 2011 at 02:33

    25mm separation… why so small? Looks like there is no real competition if Fujifilm keeps the distance similar to how it is for human and this make more sense to me too. Way to go for a W5.

  • 2 steve // Nov 8, 2011 at 02:39

    Totally agree.

  • 3 Max // Nov 8, 2011 at 10:18

    Would be good a third sensor and optics on the left, so we can have a “normal” interaxial, and also a small for close objects…

    Just a tip for W5 :-)

  • 4 StarKnight // Nov 8, 2011 at 11:18

    For less than 400 USD now you can buy the Fujifilm Real 3D W3 which features:

    – 10 MP 3D pictures (4:3) while Panasonic has only 8Mp
    – An auto-stereoscopic display while Panasonic has a standard one
    – Videos 720p full-size and not 1280i but half size
    – A better interaxial distance for medium/long distance subjects

    I don’t think this Panasonic camera is a serious competitor…

  • 5 massaker // Nov 8, 2011 at 14:48

    Please read the Specs once again, StarKnight! 2x12MP, not 8! FullHD Video, not 720p and @60 fps, not crappy 24fps from Fuji…

  • 6 Dave G. // Nov 8, 2011 at 23:35

    This camera is a serious competitor with the Fuji W3 and will almost certainly be better. The W3’s inferior sensors, compounded with the pixel inflation (it artificially blows up the image to 10 MP after cropping), greatly compromises the image quality. If the 3D1’s sensors are up to the standard of modern point-and-shoots, then the image quality will far outstrip the W3, even at 8 MP.

    Anyone who has used the W3’s video knows that the 720p spec means nothing, as the video is wildly noisy, even in bright sunlight. It is almost unusable. Even cell phone cameras do better than the W3.

    And it should be noted that there is no such thing as an ideal interaxial distance. The W3’s interaxial is, in fact, quite unsuited for most “everyday” applications – shooting a friend sitting next to you, shooting a flower, or shooting the plate of food on the table in front of you. It is OK for general travel shots or for shooting groups of people. And the W3’s interaxial is too small for many (most?) landscape shots. Since I already have a dual dSLR rig, I welcome the small interaxial applications that the 3D1 opens up to me.

    The 3D1’s 30mm minimum focal length (35mm equiv.) also trumps the W3’s 35mm. Wider is generally better for 3D.

    Tiny autostereoscopic displays are not the way to view quality 3D, so this should not be a concern to anyone with an Nvidia 3D Vision system.

    As expected, the 3D1 will shoot .jpegs and .mpo format. While this is no surprise, it is disappointing, since many current point-and-shoots allow RAW shooting. Also, they put the flash precisely in between the lenses (making the same mistake the W3 did), a big no-no in stereo photography.

  • 7 steve // Nov 9, 2011 at 02:03

    I just assume the camera is better in every way except the only one that matters – the lenses are too close together. Its NOT about the specs, its about 3d and you need more of a base.

  • 8 Dave G. // Nov 9, 2011 at 02:46

    Steve, when you say “you need more of a base”, who is “you”? A well-equipped stereographer actually needs EVERY stereo base, including the 3D1’s small stereo base. I shoot from from 10mm to dozens of feet, depending on the application. The Hollywood guys films much of their material at only 1/2″ interaxial for the feature films you see at your local cineplex. You just can’t be dogmatic about having to have some mythical ideal interaxial and claim that small interaxials are “too close” unless all you ever shoot are landscapes (and even then there may be exceptions depending on composition).

  • 9 Lucy Stockley // Nov 14, 2011 at 05:34

    You folks are serious stereophiles, way cool. But aren’t these cameras ‘normal-people’ cameras? If you’re shooting some dual-DSLR type things you’re a pro-shooter, right?

  • 10 Bloody // Nov 15, 2011 at 09:58

    The Fujifilm W3 is also a ‘normal-people’ camera. No matter what the camera, for normal users or for professionals, the interaxial distance is important for the results you are going to get. The smaller interaxial distance on the Panasonic simply means that the camera will perform better for 3D closeup photos, while with the Fuji’s wider interaxial you would get better depth in photos with objects that can be more distant.

    What is the optimal distance for a person depends a lot on what the camera will be used for shooting in 3D, for some people the Panasonic might bring better results, for others the Fuji and for some both can be inappropriate due to the smaller fixed interaxial – for example for shooting panoramas in 3D mode you may need much larger interaxial and ability to adjust it, so two digital camera setup will be the better choice in this case.

  • 11 Tapas Dhar // Dec 12, 2011 at 05:52

    Fuji film 3d w3 camera is good, i am using this camera since september, it’s flash is very poor, interaxial distance is better then panasonic’s Dmc 3D1

  • 12 electrosim2001 // Jan 10, 2012 at 03:52

    Tapas Dhar wrote…interaxial distance is better then Panasonic’s Dmc 3D1

    That is a complete nonsense statement explained very clearly by DaveG.

    There is no such thing as a ‘better interaxial distance’ for cameras.
    It’s like saying a telephoto lens is better than a wide-angle lens for 2D.
    For general use, say
    taking 3D pictures of friends, family, pets, general objects in fairly close vicinity, and especially for video where action should be near to camera, 30mm interaxial is excellent. Fujifilm’s W3 is better for scenic views at further distances, and an even wider lens separation still, is good to incorporate depth into distant scenic shots.

    The 3D1 has the same interaxial as the Sony HDR TD10 3D camcorder and almost the same interaxial as the excellent JVC 3D camcorder. As the 3D1 features full AVCHD it will be a great choice for amateur videographers who also want a handy 3D camera/camcorder at a more reasonable price-point than the two bulky camcorders.

  • 13 Mario // Mar 12, 2012 at 20:28

    Does the Lumix have a lenticular screen?

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