Panasonic's New 3D Camcorder Gets Handled, Judged

We’ve been looking forward to Panasonic’s consumer 3D camcorder since we first saw their pro one at CES. When it was revealed last week, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. It’s not a new camcorder at all, just a conversion lens that severely limits exposure and manual controls. The 60FPS split-resolution recording methods threw me as well. But I haven’t handled it, so my opinion is worthless at the moment.

But Camcorder Info just gave it a once-over, and they share many of my apprehensions. For a person who’s willing to shell out a grand and a half for a 3D camcorder, it seems to offer as many frustrations as it does opportunities. Configuration of the 3D mode is a pain, apparently, and the impaired light-gathering ability of the 3D add-on makes shooting in medium or low light difficult.

Here’s the issue: it’s a regular camcorder with a big thing strapped to the front. I’m a little sad that Panasonic didn’t decide to go whole hog and just integrate the 3D lenses into the body. 2D shooting could just, I don’t know, use one of the lenses. But if you’re selling it based on the 3D ability, that should be the device’s primary purpose. It seems clear that with the HDC-SDT750, the primary purpose is being a regular camcorder, and the 3D part compromises that.