Not just 3D with Panasonic's 3D1 dual-lens camera


I’m going to try my very hardest to restrain my contempt for 3D whilst I write about Panasonic’s dual lens 3D-enabled camera, the 3D1. As much as I dislike the concept of 3D images and videos, the 3D1 camera itself can do some pretty nifty things, so credit where credit is due. Just be aware that my mouth will probably be a bloody mess as I bite my tongue to check its acerbity.

So it makes 3D photos and videos. It does it by having two 25mm f/3.9-5.7 lenses with 4× optical zoom that function in tandem to produce 8 megapixel stereoscopic images. That bit out of the way, we can flick the dedicated 3D to 2D button the camera, and move on to the other tricks that this camera can peform.

When it’s shooting in common-or-garden 2D mode, the MOS sensors have 12 megapixels of resolution and are powered by a Venus engine. You can use one lens to shoot video and the other to shoot stills simultaneously. Or you can focus on one person in a room with one lens whilst the other lens is taking in the entire scene. And all of this can be controlled via its touchscreen.

Panasonic reckons that the 3D1′s low-light capability is pretty special. It has a multi-process noise-reduction function to ensure ‘dramtically clear’ low-light pictures, even when you’ve bumped up the ISO. There’s also the prospect of tripod-free night shooting. This is achieved by smooshing together consecutively shot images. I think we’ll believe that one when we see it.

As instant gratification and immediate updates to our social networks of choice are primary concerns in this world of ours that never shuts down, you can upload your pictures to Facebook or your videos to YouTube by checking the photos or videos in camera, connecting your camera to your computer, and following the instructions.

I doubt it comes as any kind of shock that the 3D1 will be available from December, around US$500.