Panasonic Begins Booking 3D Business
Takes orders for camcorder, unveils 3D monitor
by Glen Dickson
Panasonic, which made a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show last month by demonstrating a $21,000, dual-lens 3D camcorder alongside consumer 3D HD sets, announced Thursday (Feb. 11) that it is now ready to take orders.
Starting Thursday, interested buyers can place a non-refundable $1,000 deposit with Panasonic Broadcast to reserve one of the AG-3DA1 units, which begin shipping in September. The camera weighs less than 6.6 pounds and records the left- and right-eye images necessary for 3D on separate SDHC/SD solid-state memory cards using AVCHD compression. It also features dual HD-SDI uncompressed outputs, suitable for feeding into transmission equipment for live production. It also has a remote control that allows an operator to dynamically adjust the camera`s "convergence point" and change the depth of field experienced in 3D images.
While Panasonic`s higher-end VariCam units are already employed in specialized 3D camera rigs that use two cameras, the company decided to develop the integrated, dual-lens camcorder to "try to simplify 3D production and bring it more into the mainstream market," says Panasonic Broadcast VP of Marketing and Business Expansion Bob Harris. Harris says that Panasonic may eventually create a higher-end 3D HD camera for live production, but for now was getting a lot of interest in the affordable AG-3DA1.
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