Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Panasonic Announced the DMC-3D1 3D-capable Digital Still Camera

Back in September during the IFA trade show in Germany Panasonic has shown a prototype of an upcoming 3D-capable digital still camera and now they have officially announced the product that will be called Panasonic LUMIX DMC-3D1. The Lumix DMC-3D1 camera will come equipped with dual 12-megapixel sensors (1/2.3-type High Sensitivity Mos Sensors) capable of capturing stereo 3D photos with a maximum resolution of 3264×2448 (8 Megapixels with 4:3 aspect) or 3264×1840 (6 Megapixels with 16:9 aspect ratio) as well as 3D video with Full HD 1920×1080 resolution (Side by Side (apparently half horizontal resolution), 60i for the NTSC model and 50i for the PAL model). The camera also comes with 4x optical zoom, the company’s MEGA O.I.S. optical stabilization system, 3.5-inch touchscreen display, HDMI 1.4 (mini-HDMI) output for direct connection to a 3D-capable display, stereo microphone. So it seems that Fujifilm will finally have some serious competition for their W1/W3 3D digital still cameras and maybe it is about time for them to also have let’s say a new W5 model for examle with more up to date specs…

You can notice that there are very few buttons on the camera’s body, meaning that pretty much all the extra controls are made via the touchscreen display at the back of the camera, where the only physical button is a 2D/3D mode switch. On the top of the camera there are are some more physical buttons: the on/off camera switch, the shutter and zoom and a separate recording button for video capture. So the usability of the camera will be depending a lot on how good is the touchscreen implementation as well as the display of the device as you will be using it a lot. What Panasonic have missed to mention in all the information they have made available about the new Lumix DMC-3D1 3D digital still camera is the interaxial distance. Fortunately I can pretty much assume that it should be very close to 3 centimeters or around 1.2 inches based on the officially announced camera size and the photos of the device. As expected the interaxial distance will be more than twice less as compared to the 75 millimeter distance that the Fuji W3 camera has, meaning that the Panasonic will be better suited for shooting closer objects in 3D, but for more distant ones you will be getting “flatter” results. The new Panasonic Lumix 3D1 3D-capable digital still camera should be available in December 2011 with a recommended end user price of about $500 USD.

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