Panasonic today announced a high-end 3D camcorder that will be the first 3D camcorder to use the AVCHD Progressive video format (albeit in in 2D capture mode). The dual-lens, six-sensor Panasonic HDC-Z10000 will offer 1080p/60fps recording, full manual focus and iris controls, high-end audio options, and manual controls to adjust the convergence point of the lenses during 3D capture.
Also of note is that the Z10000 has the largest model number -- ten thousand -- that we've seen yet in a camera or camcorder this year. From the looks of its video, audio, and three-dimensional skill set, it may earn that impressive five-figure distinction.
The new Panasonic camcorder packs in a pair of the company's 3MOS sensors -- each clusters of three 1/4.1-inch CMOS sensors that process red, blue, and green light separately--tucked behind two F1.5, 12X-optical-zoom lenses (32mm to 384mm); in 3D mode, optical zoom is limited to 10X. In 2D mode, the HDC-Z10000 also offers slightly more powerful optical stabilization, although optical stabilization can be employed in both recording settings.
On the wide-angle side of that zoom range, Panasonic is touting the HDC-Z10000's 3D macro capabilities. The manual convergence controls must let the lenses get extremely cross-eyed, as the company says that the minimum focus 3D distance is around 18 inches from the lens.
The HDC-Z10000 also boasts a glasses-free parallax barrier LCD screen that can toggle between 2D and 3D display during recording and playback. The 3.5-inch adjustable LCD has a 1.15-million-dot resolution, and the camcorder also hosts a 2D eye-level viewfinder. Audio capture is also geared toward the high-end, with two XLR inputs and 5.1-channel Dolby surround-sound mics on board.
In 3D mode, the HDC-Z10000 captures left- and right-channel video simultaneously at 1080i (60fps) and 1080p (24fps and 30fps) in MPEG-4 MVC/H.264 format. The camcorder also captures .MPO format 3D still images at a 2.1-megapixel resolution. In 2D mode, the camcorder is able to record full HD 1080p video at 60fps, as well as 1920-by-1080 video at 24p, 30p, and 60i in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. 2D stills cap out at 3 megapixels in JPG format.
Storage is handled by a dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot, which offers uninterrupted recording from one card to the next once the first card's maximum capacity has been reached.No pricing or release-date information for the HDC-Z10000 has been finalized at this point, but given its extensive manual controls, frame-rate options, and professional-level microphone inputs, it looks to be a higher-end rival to the Sony Handycam TD10.
New Dual-Lens 3D Compact Camera
Panasonic also announced an as-yet-unnamed dual-lens compact camera featuring two optically stabilized, 4X-optical-zoom lenses. In addition to both 2D and 3D images, the new camera will capture 3D videos in high definition in AVCHD format.There's limited information available on this new camera, but as there's no mention of a glasses-free 3D LCD viewfinder, it looks like 3D image viewing will be limited to connecting the camera via HDMI to a compatible 3D TV or inserting the camera's SD card in a compatible 3D TV set. No pricing or release-date information has been released on this new camera, either, but it'll be the first true twin-lens competitor to the Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3.