Sony Unveils First 3D Pro Camcorders

Sony is adding new dimensions to its product line – literally – with the introduction of its first 3D single-body camcorders for professional applications. The new models include the PMW-TD300 shoulder-mount model, and the HXR-NX3D1U NXCAM compact camcorder.

“These new cameras will address many of the needs in live 3D production, working in the field as a perfect complement to the HD cameras currently used in 3D rigs by leading production companies and giving creative professionals a more flexible and mobile option for getting the right 3D shot,” said Bob Ott, vice president of product marketing and management for Sony Electronics.

The PMW-TD300 features a dual ½-inch Exmor 3 CMOS sensor design with full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution. The camcorder is based on the XDCAM EX recording platform, allowing users to take advantage of a proven solid-state workflow for maximum flexibility.

Left and right eye signals are simultaneously recorded onto separate SxS cards (4 SxS card slots in total, 2 slots for each view). Its shoulder-mount design provides stability in “run and gun” shooting environments, allowing professional shooters to worry less about ergonomics and concentrate more on getting the right shot.

An inter-axial distance of 45mm delivers a wide range of shooting zones to capture quality 3D images, especially for near-side shooting with a 1.2m minimum convergence distance. A newly developed dual-lens system allows for full synchronization with high accuracy in focusing, zooming and iris adjustment.

The camera is switchable between 2D and 3D modes. The 2D view is recorded onto a single card, with 2D redundancy achieved through parallel recording onto L/R cards (*1).

The latest product in Sony’s NXCAM line up, the HXR-NX3D1U allows users to simply adjust the left-right disparity to film 3D with the dial on the body and check the 3D effect on its glasses-free LCD.

The ‘ready-to-go’ HXR-NX3D1U’s functions have been designed to offer a new level of mobility, workflow convenience and ease of use, while delivering professional quality output. Double Sony G Lenses and double Exmor R CMOS sensors deliver professional quality 3D shooting, while 1920×1080 full HD left and right images enable realistic HD recording.

Double full HD recordings are encoded in H.264 MVC (Multi-Views Coding) then packed in a single file. When the file is imported to compatible editing software such as Sony Vegas® Pro 10.0d, it can be treated as L and R synchronized images without having to import them twice.

The supplied Content Management Utility 2.1 software lets users split the single 3D file into L and R video stream files which can be edited in AVCHD compatible 3D editing software.

The HXR-NX3D1U supports a range of recording formats: 60i / 50i / 24p for 3D and 60p, 50p, 60i, 50i, 25p, 24p for 2D then 60i, 50i for SD resolution. The camcorder’s G Lenses allow a 10x long zoom ratio in 3D for more shooting flexibility. The 3D glasses-free 3.5-inch Xtra fine LCD™ monitor (1229K 2562×480) makes 3D picture control easier, eliminating the need for a shutter or polarized glasses to view the 3D effect. The camcorder also features a 96GB of internal flash memory, which offers up to approximately 7.5 hours of 3D recording (compatible memory sticks and SD cards can also be used). Its detachable XLR adaptor and ECM-XM1 shotgun microphone enable high-quality linear PCM recording.

The PMW-TD300 will be available in late 2011, at a suggested list price of around $33,000.

The HXR-NX3D1 is planned to be available in the U.S. this summer, at a suggested list price of around $3,400.

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