Panasonic is the very first to introduce to the market for consumer availability, a 3D video production Camcorder, and it is definitely an excellent choice. The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 offers a dual threat since first of all, it’s a very good high-end digital camera as well as being equally capable producing excellent and impressive 3D video footage.
What’s New About The Camera
One of this digital camera’s most unique features may be the 3D conversion lens, which is equipped with two individual lenses that’s situated alongside each another.
They are almost as large as the entire camera itself. The rather odd looking conversion lens attaches itself directly to the front of the camcorder using a pair of location pins as well as a dial which is used to screw and secure the lens in place.
Once the unit is attached, the camera will then inform you that it’s initializing itself for 3D. It will take you “step by step” through the entire calibration process, which happens to be extremely straightforward and easy to follow.
There is also a flip-up cover which is located on top of the lens body which hides three dials that’s used to make the required adjustments. There’s an image on the inside of the lens cap as well as a set of grid-lines which are lined up, making sure that the settings are right.
You should be careful to keep the camera as well as the lens as steady as possible while calibrating. Putting pressure directly on the lens will cause the calibration lines to change position, which then skews the lines.
Features Of The HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder Camera
The majority of the features as well as the buttons are pretty much standard for a small-format based camcorder, which is what this is. Creating beautiful images are achievable along with an advanced 3MOS imaging system as well as a 35mm wide angle (or equivalent) Leica Dicomar lens.
In the front of this 3D camera is an extremely useful manual control ring allowing you to be able to quickly adjust the various selected functions which includes such features as: shutter speed, focus, white balance and exposure.
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder also comes equipped with a Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization, which blends both optical as well as electrical image stabilization.
The 5.1 channel audio is captured by using five different directional microphones which are located on the top of the camera. There’s also a Focus Microphone function, which will pick up audio directly from the front of the camcorder, as well as a 1/8-inch mini-jack which is included for external microphone usage.
Technical Specifications Of The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder
Recording Media Cards: SD, SDHC or SDXC Memory Card
Recording Format: 1080/60p: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
HA/HG/HX/HE: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (AVCHD compliant standard) JPEG
Imaging Sensor: 1/4″ 3MOS
Total Number Of Pixels: 9.15 megapixels (3.05 megapixels times 3)
F Value: 2.8(TELE) / F1.5(WIDE)
Optical Zoom Capability: 12x
Focal Length Capability: 3.45-41.4mm
Filter Diameter Capability: 46mm
Lens Type: Leica Dicomar Lens
Built-in Image Stabilizer: HYBRID Optical Image Stabilization
Minimum Illumination Capability: 1 lx (Color Night Rec), 1.6 lx (1/30 Low Light scene mode)
Focus/Iris: Auto / Manual
White Balance Capability: Auto, Indoor1 and Indoor2, Sunny, White, Cloudy
LCD Viewing Monitor: 3″ Wide LCD (230,400 dots)
Microphone: 5.1ch Surround Sound, Zoom as well as Focus Microphone Audio Compression: Dolby Digital (5.1ch/2ch)
Software Included: HD Writer AE 2.6T
3D Conversion Lens (VW-CLT1): Included
F Value (with 3D Conversion Lens): F3.2
Focal Length (including 3D Conversion Lens): 2.5mm
Minimum Illumination (including 3D Conversion Lens): 28 lx (1/30)
Weight Of Camera: Approximately .83 lbs or (375g)
Lens Weight: Approximately .43 lbs or (195g)
How The HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder Works
The individual lenses will simultaneously record two separate images for both the right as well as the left eyes. The two separate images are both recorded by using the “side-by-side” method. This closely emulates the exact way which actual human vision works, which is each of the eyes seeing slightly different images.
This difference in vision is known as visual disparity and is exactly how the brain will perceive depth. According to Panasonic, the HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder is able to create accurate 3D images by it artificially being able to reproduce visual disparity.
The 3D footage which is captured with the HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder is meant to be viewed on a television or a monitor which is capable of showing the “side-by-side” 3D playback method.
It’s extremely important to keep in mind that while the HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder is an above average 2D camcorder, it produces excellent 3D as well. It does have some limitations however when it’s in 3D mode. One for example, is when recording while in the “side-by-side” method, it requires recording at a lower resolution. You need to record two 960 x 1080 images instead of one at 1920 x 1080.
Also, there are no manual controls other than white balance, which can be used when the conversion lens is set in place, this including zoom as well.
One thing that you need to do for recording optimal 3D is that you need to keep the camera as still as possible, the best using a tripod. The results of the 3D are also the best when the objects are at least 4 to 10 feet away, and there is plenty of light on the subject as well.
Straight Out Of The Box
The Panasonic HDC SDT750 comes with absolutely everything that you need to capture outstanding 2D as well as equally great 3D footage, with one exception, it has no media card. This camera is capable however of using any number of cards such as SD, SDHC or SDXC, as well as in various GB capacities.
What you’ll need however is a media card which has a “Class 4,” SD Speed Class Rating or higher to get the best optimal results. Since there’s no built-in internal memory, using one of these cards is an absolute necessity.
There is also a CD-ROM that’s included which contains the HD Writer AE software for transferring, editing and the burning of your latest video creation.
The editing of the 3D is extremely limited however since titles as well as transitions are not available. Just the the “Delete Partially” and the “Divide Scene” are the only functions which are available.
So all in all, for a first out of the gate consumer based 3D camcorder which offers some quality imaging, the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D Camcorder is a good choice to use as well as experiment with.