Panasonic helps consumers shoot it like they see it

For that growing number of consumers complaining about the lack of consistently available 3-D programming to watch on their new 3-D TV set, Panasonic wants them to go shoot it themselves.

After introducing the first professional 3-D camcorder earlier this year, Panasonic has turned to the consumer market, introducing the HDC-SDT750 stereoscopic 3-D camcorder for a list price of $1399.95. It will be available in October and, according to the company, provides consumers with yet another reason to buy a new 3-D-capable TV set.

The new camcorder includes a 3-D conversion lens that enables it to shoot 3-D video content. It can also record full 1080p HD video (in the AVCHD compressed format) when the 3-D conversion lens is unattached. The camcorder features three 1/3in MOS sensors, a Leica Dicomar lens and a 12x optical zoom.

The 3-D conversion lens records right-eye and left-eye images simultaneously through its two lenses, thus resulting in video that can be viewed in 3-D. The right and left images (each with 960 x 1080 pixels) that enter through the lenses are recorded using the side-by-side method. The 3-D conversion lens is rated at f 3.2. Panasonic said 3-D viewing is capable on sets supporting the side-by-side playback method with 3-D glasses.

The camcorder connects to a 3-D TV set via an HDMI cable. It is also possible to play 3-D images recorded on SD memory cards by using an AVCHD-compatible player. The SDT750 comes with HD Writer AE 2.6T PC editing software, which allows users to edit recorded 3-D images and save them onto PCs or Blu-ray/DVD discs.

The Panasonic SDT750 also 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 in 3-D. By setting the recording interval to one second, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute or two minutes, the user can view an otherwise long recording in a reduced time period.

For 5.1-channel audio recording, the Panasonic camcorder records sounds from the front, right, left and back of the unit.