Panasonic Starts NAB 2010 Discussion With Early Press Conference And Frank Talk Of Their Single Lens 3D Camera

Panasonic's $9900 BT-3DL2550 monitor uses passive cross-polarized glasses

It appears Panasonic had a press conference last Friday in the New York City area that revealed some of their plans for the upcoming NAB 2010 conference in Las Vegas.

AG-MHC150 Prosumer HD Camcorder

Described as ” intimate” the press conference showed a few of the forthcoming products that Panasonic plans to show this April. The company introduced the AG-HMC150, described as an AVCHD SD card-based addition to its pro HD options which includes their DVCProHD-based AG-HVX200. While borrowing the design of Panasonic’s  standard def AG-DVX100, the HMC150 incorporates three new 1/3-inch CCDs with native 16:9 aspect ratios while supporting all the various 1080 and 720 progressive and interlaced options. It uses a 28mm Leica lens which is optically stabilized and the camera provides for XLR audio inputs, an HDMI output connection and remote capability for the camera’s iris and record controls. It’s doesn’t appear to be clear yet exactly what bit rates the camera will suport. Current Panasonic maxes AVCHD to 13 megabits per second and the HMC150 will support the 13Mbps rate but Panasonic has left the door open for it to support a higher bandwidth option.

Panasonic AG-HMC70

Panasonic also focused on another new camera the AG-HMC70 that targets institutional and event videography. It is an SD card-based AVCHD shoulder-mount model that incorporates three 1/4-inch CCDs and a 38.5mm-to-462mm-equivalent 12X zoom optically stabilized Leica lens. The camera can record 1080i video and comes with standard pro audio connectors and BNC outputs.

AG-3DA1 With Integrated Dual Lenses

The company also provided more information on its one-piece 3D camcorder shown under glass at NAB 2009 and demonstrated at CES 2010. The six-CMOS, dual-stream SD-recording camcorder has been dubbed the  AG-3DA1. After receiving thousands of calls about the camcorder following CES, Panasonic announced that it has started taking pre-orders for the camcorder by way of a $1,000 non-refundable deposit. The camera will cost $21,000 and will be built to order starting in the fall.

The AG-3DA1 has integrated dual lenses but Panasonic was not ready to give details such as the supplier of the glass or the zoom ratio. The convergence range was not divulged and there was discussion about the fixed interocular distance — the distance from lens center to lens center– which appeared to be about 57 mm. The camera will weigh about 6 pounds, will use two sets of three 1/4in. CMOS imagers and will records dual streams of AVCHD to SD/SDHC cards. Outputs are dual HD-SDI and HDMI version 1.4 which will support dual channels of 1080i.

Given the small size of the cameras imagers, its fixed lenses and the fixed interocular distance, Panasonic was clear that the 3DA1 is not positioned to challenge beam-splitter rigs. They warned that due to the limited interocular distance, wide vistas will flatten out. They feel the pitcher in a baseball game would likely stand too far from the camera for there to be a noticeable stereo effect. Also its 1/4″ sensors means it will not be the most sensitive camcorder on the market.

The AW-HS50 HD Switcher That Includes a Multiviewer

Panasonic’s also showed a $9900 BT-3DL2550 3D monitor uses passive cross-polarized glasses to playback 3D material. There was also news about an inexpensive P2-to-USB adaptor, two tiny HD switchers that includes built in multiviewers and a small HD pan-tilt-zoom camera that was optimized for operation over IP networks. For customers with P2 HD cameras, the P2-to-USB adaptor is welcome news as the company announced that it is going to ship a 64GB P2 card this fall.

Sources for this blog post include…

Panasonic 3D Camcorder: Show Us the Money – Mark Schubin, Schubin Cafe

Panasonic Plans NAB in 3D – Trevor Boyer, Penton Media, Inc.

Panasonic shows off a pair of pro-level HD camcorders – Nilay Patel, Engadget

New Panasonic pro AVCHD camcorders – Lori Grunin, CNET

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One Response

  1. […] As one would expect, this year’s retreat is heavily slanted towards 3-D. The retreat opened with a super session titled 3-D in the home. It featured speakers who discussed 3-D in depth that mirrored discussions going on just about everywhere on the subject. if you read Adam Wilt’s blog post a couple of interesting things occurred during the discussion. First Panasonic’s Jan Crittenden Livingston stated to Mr. Wilt that Panasonic’s new  stereo camcorder  “It’s not a consumer camcorder” and later indicated that the new camcorder be as big as the HVX200 was in its day. I suspect that Panasonic needs to clarify this, everything I read prior to this indicated that Panasonic’s new stereo camcorder was a consumer level device and I posted commentary on this just the other day. […]

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