Will letting consumers make their own 3D movies be enough to establish 3D TV in the mainstream? Sony is hoping so with the release of its newest Handycam models. Amongst a slew of new additions to its Handycam line of camcorders unveiled by Sony at CES 2011 were a couple of notable standouts. The HDR-TD10 3D camcorder features “Double full HD” recording, plus a 3D LCD touch panel display that lets you view your 3D movies in camera without 3D glasses. On the 2D side, Sony offers three Handycams with video projectors capable of producing a 60-inch (152 cm) diagonal image.
Sony calls the HDR-TD10 a “Double full HD” 3D camcorder with Its integrated dual lens system including two of each key component – two Sony G lenses, two “Exmor R” CMOS sensors and two “BIONZ” image processors. In addition to playing Full HD 3D videos on any 3D capable HDTV, the HDR-TD10E records dual 1920 x 1080 full HD video streams, which be viewed in 3D without glasses on the camcorder’s 3.5-inch 3D LCD touch screen. It can also playback 3D content in full HD 2D automatically on non-3D displays.
Other features of the TD10E include 10x optical zoom with Optical SteadyShot and iAUTO – which automatically configures the camera’s settings based on the camcorder’s surroundings – offered in 3D mode. There’s also a Tracking Focus feature that maintains focus on moving subjects, and 64 GB of flash memory.
The HDR-TD10 faces competition from Panasonic but at around US$1500, the Sony model is priced cheaper than either Panasonic model. Time will tell if this price point is enough to bring 3D TV to critical mass.
Sony says the HDR-TD10 3D HD camcorder will be available in April for about US$1500.
Also worth noting amongst the new additions was the HDR-PJ series, which consists of three models that all feature an LED projector built into their flip out display panels. According to Sony these camcorders can project an image of up to 60 inches/152 cm (diagonally; when projected from 20 feet/6 m away) onto flat surfaces such as walls or ceilings.
In addition to HD capability, a 3-inch LCD display, and the usual Sony features, all of the HDR-PJ series models feature stereo speakers with Clear Phase and S-Master digital amplifier, so you can do away with that big screen TV and home theater system altogether – or not.
The three models in the HDR-PJ series look to vary only in memory type and capacity – and price, of course. Sony says the HDR-PJ50VE with a 220 GB HDD will be available in April 2011 for around US$1,000, while the HDR-PJ30VE with 32 GB of flash memory, and HDR-PJ10E with 16 GB of flash memory will be available in March 2011 for around US$950 and US$700 respectively.
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