During the 3D Experience conference in New York last month, the Discovery TSC building hosted a 3D consumer showroom showcasing many 3D consumer gadgets. On display was the Panasonic 3D camera (HDC-SDT750) in a glass box next to a Panasonic Viera 3D TV displaying footage shot by an amateur using the Panasonic 3D camera in the morning. So what did the footage look like?
Well, to back up a bit, the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is based on the fantastic Panasonic SD 700. I own a Panasonic HDC-TM700 camcorder (it is what I use for 3D Focus TV) which is the same as the Panasonic SD 700 but features an internal hard disk. It is a stunning full HD camcorder, delivering great high definition picture quality. Therefore the Panasonic SDT-750 3D camcorder is a highly competent 2D camcorder. The only difference (according to the Panasonic representative I spoke to) is a twin lens attachment and a 3D processing chip.
I must confess, I have not got my hands on the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D camera (it was locked inside a glass box) but I did get the opportunity to view the footage from the camera on a Panasonic 3D TV. You can view 3D output from the Panasonic HDC- SDT750 3D camera on a passive or active 3D TV and the footage I watched was on an active/shutter TV.
The results? Well, very dissapointing. As with any fixed lens 3D solution, the 3D effect only worked with objects very close to the lens. It probably did not help by the fact I was watching footage that was very amateur, taken by a person who did not use a tripod and was clearly excited by the 3D functionality as every shot seemed to be designed to surprise the audience with negative 3D. However, it was not all the fault of the filmaker. Distant shots were flat and overall, it was an uncomfortable viewing experience. Resolution was halved due to the side by side recordings which was noticeable when compared to the pin sharp high def results of the 2D mode.
You can remove the 3D conversion lens leaving you with, effectively, a Panasonic HDC-TM700 camcorder. What is unfortunate for those who own a Panasonic HDC-TM700 is the 3D conversion lens is not compatible so you can't buy the 3D lens seperatly.
You have to weigh up how important a 3D effect is for you. The Panasonic HDC-SD700 (no internal memory) costs £615 and the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D camera (no internal memory) costs £1150 making the 3D functionality costs an extra £535 – is it worth that much? I think not.
Panasonic HDC-SD700 3D Camera Reviews
The Panasonic 3D camera has received mixed reviews from fantastic to horrendous so if you are thinking about parting with over a grand, I highly suggest purchasing from an online store which offers a money back guarantee of ask for an in-store demo. Here are a few reviews …
Amazon Buyer – "3D effect is awful unless you are 1 metre away from lens. No zoom, everything gets disabled when recording with lens attached. Got caught up with 3D hype having purchased a 3D television, though this is really useless. Really wanted to love this camcorder though feel like I want a refund"
Expertreviews.co.uk – 3/5
Cnet UK – 5/5
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