The three-dimensional (3D) television is a perspective market that just started to gain its momentum, especially now that TV manufacturers started developing 3D TVs. It was a matter of time when one of these manufacturers would present a camera with the same technology as their TV set.
Sony presented the world’s first commercial 3D video camera HDR-TD10 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. The HandyCam is not meant just for 3D recording, it can also record standard two-dimensional.
The core of the HDR-TD10 is the dual-lens technology made out of two wide-angle Sony G lenses with CMOS sensors and processors. It provides 10x optical zoom in 3D and 12x in 2D. digital zoom is only possible in 2D at a maximum of 160x. The HDR-TD10 is equipped with 8.8cm (3.5”) LCD touch screen. It doesn’t offer still images in 3D, and in 2D the JPEG images are captured at a maximum rate of 7.1MP. Sony’s SteadyShot optical technology is responsible for image stabilization, but in 3D it is only possible in wide angle. In the audio section, the HandyCam offers 5.1 surround sound capture. It also has built-in stereo speakers for playback and headphones jack.
The 3D HandyCam is equipped with 64GB of internal storage space and supports Memory Stick PRO Duo, SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
The HDR-TD10 comes with USB cables, A/V cable, HDMI cable and remote control. Recordings can also be transferred directly to external USB devices. Sony’s 3D technology is based on Parallax Barrier system of 3D imaging, which doesn’t need 3D glasses for experiencing the effect because it sends images from different to each of the eyes.
There are some cons, however. The camera is quite cumbersome with 2-1/4” x 2-5/8” x 5-1/8” in size and it weighs 22.6 ounces. There are no applications for editing 3D video and internal editing functions are limited. Surprisingly, there is no “Pause” button while recording. Even though the camera has plenty of features in 2D, many of them are not available in 3D.
Obviously, the best trait of the HDR-TD10 HandyCam is the 3D ability and Sony are the first to offer this technology for the consumer market. The camera entered the market at approximately $1,500. Considering it is a class of its own, and that it performs very well, it’s worth paying $1,500 for the HDR-TD10. But for the patient customers out there, it might be better to wait and see what improvements Sony will offer or what kind of products will the competitors come out with.