Panasonic readies five 3D camcorders
Build it and they will come?
CES 2011 Just to be sure that nobody has any doubts about its commitment to 3D content creation, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Panasonic launched 12 new camcorders, five of which can capture stereoscopic images.
Panasonic's HDC-HS900 with optional 3D lens attachment
At the top of the range the HDC-TM900, HDC-HS900, HDC-SD900 and HDC-SD800 all feature an Panasonic’s Advanced 3MOS array (three sensors each dedicated to a different colour) married to the Crystal Engine PRO processor offering improved light sensitivity and noise characteristics in low light.
With 1080p video recording in both 2D and 3D these 20x zoom cameras can take advantage of the optional VW-CLT1 conversion lens to deliver full HD content in 3D. They also take advantage of the touchscreen features first seen on some Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 micro four-thirds cameras. Touch shutter will focus on the touched area and take a picture. Touch zoom is a new feature varying magnification as you move your finger on the screen.
At the top of the 1MOS range is the HDC-SD90 (the TM-90 in some territories) a full HD camcorder with a 28mm wide-angle lens and 40x intelligent zoom. The HDC-SD90 is Panasonic’s entry-level 3D-capable camcorder, when fitted with the 3D lens adapter.
Panasonic's HDC-SD40 - the compact option for when phonecam just doesn't cut it
Back in two dimensions the new 80 series camcorders, the HDC-TM80, HDC-SD80 and HDC-HS8, are compact models featuring a 42x intelligent zoom. But if size really matters Panasonic claims the HDC-TM40 and HDC-SD40 are the world's lightest ultra-compact camcorders, weighing in at 169g. The low power consumption on both models enables long recording times of up to 135 minutes.
The new models will be available from February 2011.
Would be good if they now allow don't require a fixed focus
In the previous model, you could not adjust the focus, so it only worked for one fixed point of focus with everything that was closer or further away being out of focus.
From the picture looks like they have not have addressed this.
Their previous response to this issue was "ok yeah, if you want one that does 3D with variable focussing properly then we have professional ones at Ten times price."
More change on the outside than the inside.
This HDC-TM900 does seems quite similar to the previous HDC-TM700 on the inside, but some improvements on the outside.
* Something that may not matter to everyone (but does to me), is that the DC power in socket that was oddly hidden behind the battery has been moved to where the record mode dial was in the TM700. So now both battery and power lead can be connected to the camcorder at the same time. Seems most people have missed pointing that out, including the Panasonic web site diagrams.
* The dial has moved up a little and is now a sliding switch.
* As said, the TM900 can take the 3D lens, but the TM700 apparently cannot.
* The LCD screen is now 3.5" instead of the TM700's 3"
* PC Editing software is HD Writer AE 3.0, instead of 2.1 that comes with the TM700. Surely they'd upgrade the software for the 2.1 users.
* On the inside however, there is a new Hybrid Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) instead of the TM700's Power OIS.
* Some other smaller camcorder software features included.
I'm just not sure if I'd go for the TM700, or wait maybe a month for the release of the TM900 and hope the price isn't too much, and that stock of the TM700 haven't finished. I really do like what Panasonic have done (apart from the odd placement of DC in on the TM700), having said that, there are a few more days of CES, so maybe something even better will come along.