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Sony unveils professional 3-D camcorder

During his keynote address at the 2010 NAB Show as part of the Digital Cinema Summit, John Honeycutt, executive vice president and head of international business operations at Discovery International, introduced a prototype 3-D camcorder to be built by Sony, while he also announced plans for a 3-D channel from Discovery, Sony and IMAX. The new channel, now called 3net, launched earlier this year.

At 2011 NAB Show, Sony will unveil the production model of the camcorder, which Honeycutt called “the camera of the future.” The 3-D XCDAM shoulder-mount HD camcorder captures images with two 1/2in 3CMOS (six sensors acquiring at 1920 x 1080 resolution) Exmor imagers and records up to six hours on two separate SxS solid-state cards, for left and right eyes; it can also be used for 2-D HD recording. Up to six hours can be captured on four 64GB hot-swappable SxS cards.

The camcorder, which is 3-D/2-D-switchable, features two presynchronized fixed lenses, set for a minimum convergence distance of 1.2m, with convergence control settings. The camera records images compressed with MPEG-2 using 4:2:0 signal processing. It also provides manual lens control via three rings located on the left side of the camcorder. An outside ring controls the zoom, focus in the middle and convergence using the inner ring. Iris control is located next to the three manual controls.

The company will also show a compact, handheld 3-D camcorder, part of Sony’s NXCAM product line, which features a single CMOS HD (with 24p mode) sensor, an autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 3.5in LCD display to serve as a viewfinder, XLR audio connections and two shotgun microphones.