Panasonic

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Panasonic Announces Camcorders With 3D Conversion Lens

Jul 30, 2010 10:40 by Hideyoshi Kume, Nikkei Electronics


Panasonic’s camcorder capable of shooting 3D video


The VW-CLT1 3D conversion lens unit (right)


Vertical phase, angle of field and revolution can be adjusted.


A prototype of an interchangeable lens for the Lumix G mirrorless cameras

Panasonic Corp announced consumer camcorders capable of shooting 3D movies July 28, 2010.

  • The camcorders, “HDC-TM750” and “HDC-TM650,” can shoot 3D movies when they are equipped with the VW-CLT1, a separately sold conversion lens unit. Though there are no manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, the expected retail prices of the HDC-TM750, HDC-TM650 and VW-CLT1 are ¥160,000 (approx US$1,847), ¥130,000 and ¥38,000, respectively. They will be released late in August 2010.
  • Panasonic employed the “side-by-side” method for shooting 3D movies. The camcorders shoot movies for the right and left eyes by using the two lenses of the VW-CLT1. Then, they combine two frames of images (one for the right eye and the other for the left eye) in the horizontal direction and record them as one image.
  • Therefore, the resolution of a 3D movie that can be recorded and played is less than 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (about 2.07 Mpixels). When a recorded movie is viewed on a 3D TV, images for the right and left eyes are alternately displayed.
  • 3D movies taken by the new camcorders can also be viewed by using other companies’ 3D TVs and recorders that support the side-by-side method. The recording method is compatible with the AVCHD format.

3 MOS sensors used to take 3D video

The new camcorders come with three 1/4.1-inch MOS sensors with a pixel count of 3.05 million (total pixel count: 9.15 Mpixels). Light’s three primary colors are respectively processed by the three sensors.

  • While normal twin-lens camcorders have an image sensor for each lens, the new camcorders can shoot images for the right and left eyes at the same time by using the three MOS sensors. It is because the pixel count of the sensors is so high that the pixels can be divided for the right and left images.
  • Panasonic designed the cameras so that stereoscopic effect becomes optimal when the distance to a subject is 1.2 to 4.0m. It is not possible to adjust parallax. And, when a 3D movie is being shot, the zoom function cannot be used. The company set these limitations so that users can casually take 3D movies without special knowledge.
  • However, to avoid unpleasant effects inherent in 3D movies, the optic axis of the camcorder and that of the conversion lens unit have to be manually adjusted. They can be adjusted by following the instructions displayed on the LCD display and turning a dial located on the upper part of the VW-CLT1.
  • Both the HDC-TM750 and HDC-TM650 can shoot 1080/60p 2D video. They have a 12x zoom lens. And its focal distance is 35 to 420mm (35mm equivalent) when a movie is being shot. The F value is 1.5 to 2.8.
  • The HDC-TM750 and HDC-TM650 are mounted with 96- and 64-Gbyte memories, respectively. They also support SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.
  • The HDC-TM750 measures 66 x 69 x 138mm and weighs about 440g (including a battery) while the HDC-TM650 measures 62 x 66 x 126mm and weighs about 388g (including a battery). The size and weight of the VW-CLT1 are 78 x 59 x 97mm and about 195g, respectively.

This time, Panasonic also announced that it is now developing an interchangeable lens that enables its Lumix G mirrorless cameras to shoot 3D images.