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Panasonic 3D Camcorder to Hit Australia in October

Panasonic Australia announced that it will release a Full HD 3D Camcorder (AG-3DA1) in October 2010.

According to the statement, The AG-3DA1 is a professional-quality, Full HD 3D camcorder offering SD media card recording. At under 3kg, the AG-3DA1 is equipped with dual lenses and two full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD.

It can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in Panasonic’s professional AVCHD PH mode, and offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes.

For more information visit: www.panasonic.com.au


Unedited press release follows:

Panasonic Australia announces availability of Full HD 3D Camcorder

Melbourne, 20 April, 2010 – Panasonic Australia announced today that it will release a Full HD 3D Camcorder –the AG-3DA1 – in October 2010.

The AG-3DA1 is a professional-quality, Full HD 3D camcorder offering SD media card recording.

Mathew Alexander, Product Manager Broadcast, Panasonic Australia, said: “We believe the availability of this new 3D camcorder will help to accelerate the amount of 3D content being created for broadcast and distribution on new 3D Blu-ray discs.”

“It offers an easy to use, flexible system for videographers to capture immersive content on the fly – ideal for documentary and lifestyle film-making projects as well as some sports. We have already had interest locally from TV networks and documentary makers, and our reseller partners also see potential in the rental market.”

At under 3kg, the AG-3DA1 is equipped with dual lenses and two full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD. It can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in Panasonic’s professional AVCHD PH mode, and offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes.

This Full HD 3D camcorder will offer the following core benefits:

Easier to Use
Current 3D systems are component based systems in which two cameras are fitted to a rig in parallel, or vertically intersect across a half-mirror. Often separate recorders are also required. In the AG-3DA1, the lenses, camera head, and a dual Memory Card recorder are integrated into a single, lightweight body. The camcorder also incorporates stereoscopic adjustment controls making it easier to use and operate.

The twin-lens system adopted in the camcorder’s optical section allows the convergence point (the point at which the left and right-camera lenses’ optical axes converge) to be adjusted. Functions for automatically correcting horizontal and vertical displacement are also provided. Conventional 3D camera systems require these adjustments to be made by means of a PC or an external video processor. This new camcorder, however, will automatically recalibrate without any need for external equipment, allowing immediate 3D image capture.

More Flexible
The solid-state memory file-based recording system offers greater flexibility to produce Full HD 3D videos reliably in more challenging shooting environments. The AG-3DA1 is lighter weight and smaller than current 3D rigs, while providing the flexibility of hand held style shooting. Setup and transportation is simplified, making it ideal for some sports, documentary, filmmaking projects and live event recording (such as rock concert or product release).

Solid-State Reliability and Workflow
Right and Left Full HD video streams of the twin-lens 3D camcorder can be recorded and distributed as files on SDHC/SD Memory Cards, ensuring higher reliability than tape, optical disc, HDD or other mechanical-based recording systems. This solid-state, no moving-parts design will help significantly reduce maintenance costs. Users will enjoy a fast, highly-productive file-based workflow, with instant, random access to recorded content; easy plug-in to both Mac and PC-based platforms; and longer recording capacity.

More Affordable
Using a standardised, fully integrated design, the AG-3DA1 is a cost-effective alternative to traditional 3D rigs. Transportation expenses for this handheld unit will be less and faster setup times reduce labour costs. It also offers the convenience of using standard, re-recordable SDHC/SD Memory Cards available already everywhere.

Panasonic will also release the BT-3DL2550, a 25” professional-quality 3D LCD monitor for field use, and the AG-HMX100, a professional HD digital AV mixer for live 3D event production. Panasonic will offer professional production equipment to allow video professionals to efficiently create 3D content, so consumers can enjoy 3D video using Panasonic 3D home theatre systems.

AG-3DA1 Key Specifications:

· Twin-lens Full HD 3D camcorder
· Power Consumption: 16 W – main unit only
· Weight: Under 3 kg – main unit only
· Recording Media: SDHC/SD Memory Card
· Pricing will be announced closer to October launch date

Development Background
Movie companies and content producers are eager to produce more 3D content. 3D video is set to become a mainstream motion picture technology. In response to the resurgence of 3D movies, in September 2009, Panasonic proposed the world’s first 3D Home Theatre systems, based around 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players and Plasma TVs (announced and exhibited at CEATEC 2008). In February 2009, the company established the Advanced Authoring Center (within Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory) – at which 3D movies are authored for replication on 3D Blu-ray Discs (announced at CES 2009). Currently, producing 3D movies is a painstaking process. Panasonic intends to promote the creation of high-quality 3D video content by accelerating the development of 3D video production systems designed to boost production speed and efficiency.

Technical information
Differences from conventional 3D camera systems:
Conventional 3D camera systems are built from two off-the-shelf film or broadcast cameras. Normally, the two cameras are installed horizontally and side by side, with the right and left camera axes approximately 6.5 cm apart – equivalent to the distance between the human eyes – to create binocular parallax. This can be done with small cameras, but broadcast or film cameras cannot be installed side by side since their bodies and lenses are too large. They must be installed vertically using half-mirrors, or mounted on metal frames called rigs, using prisms. This results in a bulky system that must be carefully adjusted to prevent the right and left cameras from going out of alignment before image capture. In addition, if the system is moved, the shock or vibration inevitably puts the cameras out of alignment, making frequent re-adjustment necessary.

In the AG-3DA1 that Panasonic has developed, the two lenses, camera head, and memory card recorder are incorporated into a single compact housing. Unlike large 3D camera systems, this camcorder allows video shooting with greater mobility and from all angles; significantly reducing the time required for set up and adjustments, thereby leaving more time for creative activities.

Convergence Point Adjustment
The convergence point is the point at which the left and right cameras’ optical axes converge to produce 3D images. To take natural-looking 3D video, the convergence point needs to be adjusted to match that of a human’s eyes, whose convergence point varies according to the closeness of the objects being viewed. Panasonic’s new Full HD 3D camcorder adopts a newly-developed twin-lens system that realizes convergence point control with its integrated design.

The AG-3DA1 will be available from Panasonic Professional Broadcast dealers. For more information call 132 600 or visit www.panasonic.com.au

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