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3-D Camcorders

Steve Morgenstern
From the Print Edition:
Matthew McConaughey, March/April 2011

High-quality, high-def, 3-D video recording is heading to Little League games and birthday parties near you, thanks to a pair of new camcorders just hitting store shelves.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, both Sony and JVC introduced the first truly full-featured 3-D camcorders for consumers. While a few previous models have been on the market, they had distinct limitations. The Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D still camera offers video recording, but in 720p resolution rather than the 1080p resolution of full HD. The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 delivers reduced horizontal resolution, and more annoyingly, doesn't allow you to use the zoom lens when you shoot in 3-D.

The JVC GS-TD1 (due in March) and Sony HDR-TD10 (due in April) overcome such limitations, with full 1080p recording and zoom lens capabilities. In fact, the two camcorders are far more alike than different. Both have 3.5-inch LCD screens that let you see 3-D while shooting, without wearing glasses (you will need glasses, though, when watching playback on a 3-D TV).

Both use two lenses and two sensors to record separate video streams for the left and right eye. They even have the same built-in memory capacity (64 gigabytes), with slots to add capacity with removable memory cards. And, as you'd expect, both can record regular 2-D in addition to 3-D video.

However, the two camcorders have a few significant differences. The Sony HDR-TD10 has a longer zoom range, with a 10x zoom versus 5x for the JVC. The JVC GS-TD1, on the other hand, can take both video and still photos in 3-D-the Sony can't take stills. It also has a faster lens, meaning it's better suited for shooting in low light.

Given the similarity between the two camcorders, the key difference could be price: The Sony HDR-TD10 ($1,500) runs $500 less than the JVC GS-TD1 ($2,000).

Visit sonystyle.com and jvc.com.

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