More camcorder vendors hopped on the 3D camcorder bandwagon at International CES. While the models vary widely by price and functionality, all will incorporate LCD displays that allow consumers to view their content in 3D on the display without glasses. Glasses are still required for viewing the content on 3D HDTVs.
It was clear from walking the show floor that most of the Consumer Electronics companies - like Sony and Panasonic - are very invested in pushing 3D camcorders (since they have 3D HDTVs to sell). Other companies, like Canon or JVC, haven't embraced 3D technology as aggressively. Having seen numerous 3D demos, I'm still not convinced it's a must-have technology for your average camcorder user - it's expensive to get a real 3D viewing experience in the home and the finished video, while impressively immersive, isn't worth the cost. That said, your mileage may vary.
DXG is jumping on the 3D camcorder bandwagon with a dual-lens 1080p model that captures both 3D stills and video, in addition to two dimension stills and video. It features a 3.2-inch display and outputs 3D content to 3D HDTVs via HDMI. It will ship in May. Pricing was not announced.
JVC's 3D entry is the GZ-HM960 which incorporates a built-in realtime 2D to 3D converter. It can play back 2D footage and stills in 3D on 3D HDTVs via HDMI or on the camcorders 3.5-inch touch-screen display without 3D glasses. In addition to 3D conversion, the camcorder features built-in Bluetooth, 16GB of internal memory, a 10x optical wide angle zoom lens (15x dynamic zoom) with image stabilization, built-in LED and flash and face recognition. It records HD video in the AVCHD format at 24Mbps and offers the company's smile meter and smile shot functions. It will retail for a suggested $899 and be sold in black.
Panasonic will have five camcorders capable of recording 3D video with a detachable conversion lens including the HDC-TM90 and HDC-SD90. These camcorders also record HD video in 2D. Both camcorders offer 40x optical zoom lenses, a new hybrid stabilization system which reduces blur from camcorder movement, and intelligent auto modes. Price and availability weren't announced.
There will also be three high-end models using the company's 3MOS image sensor: the HDC-TM900, HS900 and SD800. All three work with an optional 3D conversion lens to record 3D video. The TM900 (32GB flash memory built-in) and HS900 (220GB HDD) offer 3.5-inch touch screen displays and a 20x zoom. The SD800 sports a 3-inch touch display.
Sony's 3D Handycam, theHDR-TD10, will integrate a pair of 1920 x 1080 frames (instead of the traditional "side-by-side" method which reduces video resolution). It will feature integrated dual-lens optics and a 3.5-inch display. It packs 64GB of internal flash memory and will retail for $1,500 when it ships in April.
The company will also offer a 3D version of its Bloggie pocket camcorder. The Bloggie 3D (MHS-FS3) records in 3D or 2D in the H.264 format. It offers a 2.4-inch display with two lenses and two image sensors.
Vivitar will throw its hat into the 3D ring with the 1080p DVR 790HD. It offers a dual lens attachment to deliver 3D recording. It features a 5-megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch display, HDMI output and a 4x digital zoom. It will be sold in ten colors.