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Panasonic Full HD 3D camcorder
Dennis Hissink : April 16th 2010 - 16:00 CET
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PanasonicPanasonic AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D camcorder : Panasonic showcased its new AG-3DA1, the world’s first professional quality, fully-integrated Full HD 3D camcorder offering SD media card recording. Panasonic is offering video professionals the opportunity to reserve their AG-3DA1 camcorder (list price: $21,000) by placing a non-refundable $1,000 deposit with Panasonic. At less than 6.6 pounds, the Panasonic Full HD 3D camcorder is equipped with dual lenses and two 1/4.1-inch full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD. The new Panasonic Full HD 3D camcorder can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in Panasonic’s professional AVCHD PH mode.

Panasonic HD 3D camcorder

Professional interfaces supported by Panasonic HD 3D camcorder
The new Panasonic HD 3D camcorder offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes. It is also equipped with remote terminal for focus iris, zoom, REC start/stop and convergence point. Its 3.2-inch LCD screen provides the option to switch from Left, Right or overlay image display.

Panasonic 3D camcorder with dual memory card recording
Current 3D systems are large-scale setups in which two cameras are fitted to a rig in parallel, or vertically intersect across a half-mirror. Separate recorders are also required. In the Panasonic AG-3DA1, the lenses, camera head, and a dual Memory Card recorder are integrated into a single, lightweight body. The Panasonic 3D camcorder also incorporates stereoscopic adjustment controls making it easier to use and operate. The twin-lens system adopted in the camcorder’s optical section allows the convergence point to be adjusted. Functions for automatically correcting horizontal and vertical displacement are also provided. Conventional 3D camera systems require these adjustments to be made by means of a PC or an external video processor. This new camcorder, however, will automatically recalibrate without any need for external equipment, allowing immediate 3D image capture.

Panasonic AG-3DA1 captures Full HD 3D video
The solid-state memory file-based recording system offers greater flexibility to produce Full HD 3D videos reliably in more challenging shooting environments. The Panasonic AG-3DA1 is lighter weight and smaller than current 3D rigs, while providing the flexibility of handheld-style shooting. Setup and transportation is simplified, making it ideal for sports, documentary and filmmaking projects.

Full HD 3D camcorder

Solid-state reliability and Full HD 3D camcorder workflow
Right and Left Full HD video streams of the twin-lens 3D camcorder can be recorded and distributed as files on SDHC/SD Memory Cards, ensuring higher reliability than tape, optical disc, HDD or other mechanical-based recording systems. This solid-state, no-moving-parts design will help significantly reduce maintenance costs. Users will enjoy a fast, highly-productive file-based workflow, with instant, random access to recorded content; easy plug-in to both Mac and PC-based platforms; and longer recording capacity.

Panasonic AG-3DA1 HD 3D camcorder is more affordable
Using a standardized, fully integrated design, the Panasonic AG-3DA1 is being offered at a much lower price than traditional 3D rigs. Transportation expenses for this handheld unit will be less and faster setup times reduce labor costs. Using standard, re-recordable SDHC/SD Memory Cards available already everywhere, media costs become almost insignificant. In addition to the Panasonic AG-3DA1, Panasonic’s BT-LH2550 3D LCD monitor and AG-HMX100 A/V mixer with 3D support allow video professionals to efficiently create 3D content, so consumers can enjoy 3D video using Panasonic 3D home theater systems.

Panasonic HD 3D camcorder specifications
• Twin-lens Full HD 3D camcorder
• Suggested Retail Price for Main Unit: $21,000
• Available: Fall 2010 (made to order)
• Power Consumption: 16 W (main unit only)
• Weight: Approximately 6.17 pounds (2.8 kg) - main unit only
• Recording Media: SDHC/SD Memory Card

Development background of Full HD 3D video production
Movie companies and content producers are eager to produce more 3D content. 3D video is set to become a mainstream motion picture technology. In response to the resurgence of 3D movies, in September 2009, Panasonic proposed the world’s first 3D home theater systems, based around 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players and Plasma TVs (announced and exhibited at CEATEC 2008). In February 2009, the company established the Advanced Authoring Center (within Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory) - at which 3D movies are authored for replication on 3D Blu-ray Discs (announced at CES 2009). Currently, producing 3D movies is a painstaking process. Panasonic intends to promote the production of high-quality 3D video content by accelerating the development of 3D video production systems designed to boost production speed and efficiency.

Differences from conventional 3D camera systems
Conventional 3D camera systems are built from two off-the-shelf film or broadcast cameras. Normally, the two cameras are installed horizontally and side by side, with the right and left camera axes approximately 6.5 cm apart - equivalent to the distance between the human eyes - to create binocular parallax. This can be done with small cameras, but broadcast or film cameras cannot be installed side by side since their bodies and lenses are too large. They must be installed vertically using half-mirrors, or mounted on metal frames called rigs, using prisms. This results in a bulky system that must be carefully adjusted to prevent the right and left cameras from going out of alignment before image capture. In addition, if the system is moved, the shock or vibration inevitably puts the cameras out of alignment, making frequent re-adjustment necessary. In the Panasonic AG-3DA1 that Panasonic has developed, the two lenses, camera head, and memory card recorder are incorporated into a single compact housing. Unlike large 3D camera systems, this camcorder allows video shooting with greater mobility and from all angles, significantly reducing the time required for set up and adjustments, thereby leaving more time for creative activities.

Convergence point adjustment of Panasonic Full HD 3D camcorder
The convergence point is the point at which the left and right cameras’ optical axes converge to produce 3D images. To take natural-looking 3D video, the convergence point needs to be adjusted to match that of a human’s eyes, whose convergence point varies according to the closeness of the objects being viewed. The new Panasonic Full HD 3D camcorder adopts a newly-developed twin-lens system that realizes convergence point control with its integrated design.
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