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World's First Integrated Twin-Lens 3D Camcorder 162

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'll-call-it-shamdora dept.
ElectricSteve writes "Shooting in 3D has traditionally required a complex, bulky and fragile rig using two cameras and additional hardware to calibrate and adjust them. Panasonic's straight-forwardly-named Twin-lens Full HD 3D camcorder looks to radically change the 3D game, with integrated lenses and dual SDHC memory card slots allowing you to capture 3D footage immediately, with just one device." So there ya go, get started making your own Avatar.
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World's First Integrated Twin-Lens 3D Camcorder

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  • Yay! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jethro (14165) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @12:50PM (#30684088) Homepage

    I can't WAIT to see all those cute kitten videos in 3D!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tiedyejeremy (559815)
      sweater kittens? POV will never be the same.
    • by Suki I (1546431)
      Just what I was thinking and I can play them on my new 3D TV that I am probably not getting for five years!
  • Ohh, really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lars T. (470328) <Lars...Traeger@@@googlemail...com> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @12:51PM (#30684094) Journal
    So there ya go, get started making your own Avatar.

    So where do I get the blue aliens and the monsters and the vehicles and ...

    • Here [autodesk.com]

    • Re:Ohh, really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:04PM (#30684338) Homepage Journal

          I'd go original Star Trek style, and it would just be hot chicks in body paint, wearing not much of anything.

          And then it goes into someone elses comment above "wheres the 3d porn?" :)

          Funny thing about that camera. There's only one eyepiece. I guess you're not expected to see the scene as it's recorded. That's a shame.

      • Funny thing about that camera. There's only one eyepiece. I guess you're not expected to see the scene as it's recorded. That's a shame.

        There's a trick for that - don't use the eyepiece! :-P

      • I'd go original Star Trek style, and it would just be hot chicks in body paint, wearing not much of anything.

        And where do I find these hot chicks? Oh wait, I think I remember a website that had to do with that...

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          Step 1) You get a bunch of money together.
              Step 2) You go out to Hollywood and do a casting call.
              Step 3) You pick the prettiest ones that are willing to have sex on camera.
              Step 4) See previous post.

              Aw, who cares about the profit step. I just got freaky with a bunch of hot chicks that thought they were in a movie. :)

    • Go to Toys R' Us
    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      Special effects.

  • Finally - 3D porn! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ugen (93902)

    nuff said

  • W00t! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @12:57PM (#30684216) Homepage

    Now not only can our relatives bore us with their hours-long videos of their cruise, but they can also leave us with (worse) headaches and intense nausea! Now that's what I call progress!

    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      Just think of what will happen when someone gets seasick, and hurls towards the camera! That's real family entertainment. "Play it again, I wanna see grandma puke again! Wow, I can almost taste it!"

          {{shivers}}

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Whether you are joking or not, I wish people constantly complaining of nausea and headaches would just stop. I do not get headaches and nausea from viewing 3-D movies, nor does anyone I know. Yes, it may affect you, but quite complaining. There are people who get car sick, plane sick, boat sick, or in general motion sickness. Notice how most people do not complain about motion sickness every time a car, boat, or airplane is mentioned. And to handle the others that complain about people with only one eye not

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        Whether you are joking or not, I wish people constantly complaining of nausea and headaches would just stop. I do not get headaches and nausea from viewing 3-D movies, nor does anyone I know.

        Congratulations! I envy you!

        Yes, it may affect you, but quite complaining.

        Umm... fuck you. :) The first few weeks of Avatar's release, I was excluded because I can't view 3D content. Basically, the studios and the theatres have decided to give me and anyone else who dislikes 3D content the middle finger, all so they

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Hey, here is an idea: Quit complaining about people complaining.

        A. I went to the amusement park over the weekend with my family.
        B. Ride any good rides?
        A. Yeah, that new rollercoaster they have is rather awesome.
        B. Aw man, I can't do those things, they make me throw up every time.

        Same fucking concept. Now, if person B in this situation annoyed you, then you are a jackass.

      • by ckaminski (82854)
        Sitting in the second row at Jordan's Natick Imax, I nearly puked at the opening scene, where my brain almost couldn't tell which way was up or down in the spaceship. When the background voice said (and I paraphrase) "If you're experiencing nausea, please use one of the space bags", I looked to make sure there was enough room for me to vomit in my popcorn bucket.

        So no, the 3D itself doesn't make me ill - the illusion that it presents my brain kickstarts the general motion sickness I get whenever I'm dehydr
    • At some point, yes, our relatives shall bore us with their hours-long videos of their cruise, and leave us with (worse) headaches and intense nausea.

      But at a current price of US$21,000 it won't be soon.

  • Does anyone know of decent suppliers of 3d viewing equipment? Say glasses/monitors? I've found some sites in the US but they aren't cheap (especially with shipping to UK).
    • Re:Cheap 3D Viewing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:01PM (#30684288) Homepage

      It's coming to a TV near you in the next year or so (3D-capable TVs are the new hotness now that HDTVs have becoming commonplace in the market). Samsung, in particular, has announced models that will use RealD technology (ie, the same thing used in movie theatres) to display 3D on your TV using standard circularly polarized glasses. In fact, the technology itself is pretty straight forward, you just need a TV capable of a relatively high frame rate (RealD is 144hz) combined with a polarizing overlay which switches at the same rate.

      • by Eevee (535658)

        It's coming to a TV near you in the next year or so

        Depends on how you define "near". If you mean a store within a hundred miles will have on display, then yes. If you mean inside my house, not only no but hell no. I've got better things to waste my money on than the latest fad electronics. I'm upgrading only when the technology gets cheap and a current set goes bad. By that time--and if the format sticks--then we'll be past the "Oh, look what can be done" stage and onto some worthwhile content.

        • by Abcd1234 (188840)

          Depends on how you define "near". If you mean a store within a hundred miles will have on display, then yes. If you mean inside my house, not only no but hell no. I've got better things to waste my money on than the latest fad electronics.

          I never said you should buy it. The OP asked where 3D was available. I told him. If you don't want it, bully for you (I don't, either, BTW).

          Frankly, I'm not even sure who you're arguing with...

        • For the best reading experiance, imagine the post above is responding to a comment about color televisions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Urza9814 (883915)

      Have you looked into NVidia's offering? If you've got a good enough monitor (needs 120Hz) and a decent NVidia card already, the glasses are only 200USD, and I'd imagine you could find somewhere in the UK selling them as well. But again, that assumes you already have the graphics card (probably not _too_ expensive) and a 120Hz monitor (more expensive)

      • by cgenman (325138)

        The technology you're looking for is called "Shutter Glasses". They've been around since the mid 80's (including being an accessory for the Sega Master System).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCD_shutter_glasses [wikipedia.org]

        They work by blocking one eye, then the other. It effectively halves your monitor refresh rate, as you have to display each frame twice (120 goes to a normal 60, 60 goes to 30), as well as your overall graphics output.

        Quite frankly, any polarized glasses TV display device really has to be compared aga

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      Buy a 3D movie DVD, it comes with glasses. You can usually find a few cheap titles - Coraline is worth the investment just for the movie, glasses are a bonus.

      however, Coraline's colors don't match the typical red/cyan anaglyph you'll find, so you'll have to decide which colors you want, and find that movie.

      At that point, you can typically take side-by-side photos or whatever source and anaglyph them into the proper colors with free software.

      Alternatively, go see Avatar with a friend and keep the glasses.

    • For a 3D TV to work properly you should use it in a dark room (with dark walls) and preferably with a big screen otherwise you'll get insane headaches.

      That's because otherwise you'll perceive not just the TV flipping but the whole environment around it and your body is not just used to that.

      They should release just 3D glasses with lcd (oled) monitors within the glasses, that would be much cheaper and practical.

      It's also better to expect the 240Hz TVs that are scheduled to release.

      • by furby076 (1461805)
        [quote]It's also better to expect the 240Hz TVs that are scheduled to release.[/quote] You only need 120hz tvs
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      nVidia has a video card and glasses you can buy that give you 3d on your computer screen. Another option is www.iz3d.com They sell a monitor, with glasses, that let you see 3d. They include that it works on games and include a list of games. I was thinking the iz3d and buying it - but it requires i use both my video ports, which means I have to buy a second video card to run my second monitor. So spending about $600 on that, or buying a drysuit for scuba diving...well I like scuba diving more then playi
  • Oh, great (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @12:58PM (#30684250)

    3D handheld shaky-cam shots. My eyes can't wait!

  • by paiute (550198) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @12:59PM (#30684254)

    Great, now every porn flick is going to look like a Gallagher concert.

  • by jakedata (585566) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:01PM (#30684296)

    Dr. Tongue's 3D House of Stewardesses - now in actual 3D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87WgmGHz9U4 [youtube.com]

    There may also be "other" applications. I'll get back to you on that.

  • $12,000 !!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:05PM (#30684366)

    The hype claims "While it's far cheaper than building your own 3D rig, the SRP of US$21,000... ", but that is far from accurate. You can build your own quite decent 3D system with two inexpensive (around $100 bucks each) Canon cameras, some free open source software, and very simple hardware. See http://stereo.jpn.org/eng/sdm/index.htm [jpn.org] for details.

    Plus, adding insult to injury, the article raves about this $12,000 camera working with two inexpensive SDHC memory cards rather than more expensive P2 memory cards. Doesn't the $12,000 price tag rather defeat any savings in memory cards?

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      Doesn't the $12,000 price tag rather defeat any savings in memory cards?

      I dunno...P2's start around $450+ for the smaller sizes...I would rather spend the money saved elsewhere. Then again, if you are already spending $12,000 on a camera...

    • It's not the first, either. Several stereoscopic video systems already exist - although I'm not sure if they do HD, it would surprise me if at least one of them didn't already. In addition, this is a twin lens system. That means that unless it records at twice the frame rate and records LRLRLR or to two separate streams, you'll either lose half the frame rate for each eye, or you lose half the resolution somewhere due to recording of both views onto the same virtual frame (left/right or top/bottom as in

      • by TheSync (5291)

        To date, stereoscopic video production has been limited to "rigs" that hold two video cameras.

        The complications of trying to keep two physically seperate lenses and imaging systems properly aligned over a range of zooms and focusing has been incredibly complex.

        Plus, rigs are fragile. If you are on the sidelines of a football game and someone runs into your rig, it could be out of stereoscopic alignment for the rest of he game.

        Thus the existance of unified stereo cameras built from the ground up to be soli

        • It isn't that difficult. In 2003 I strapped two nearly identical Sony digital 8 camcorders together. I might have used duct tape but I don't remember it being that refined. I used Final Cut Express on a G3 laptop to merge the inputs into a single Red/Green video. Here [youtube.com] are the results. Alignment wasn't perfect and as I said the camcorders weren't even identical, but your eyes can compensate somewhat and fill in the gaps to create an illusion of depth.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by VisiX (765225)

      Plus, adding insult to injury, the article raves about this $12,000 camera working with two inexpensive SDHC memory cards rather than more expensive P2 memory cards. Doesn't the $12,000 price tag rather defeat any savings in memory cards?

      I would bet that either the article writer or the target audience are the kind of people that will drive 10 miles across town to save $.02/gal on gas. Cost benefit analysis is much too complicated for most people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Elwood P Dowd (16933)

      > Doesn't the $12,000 price tag rather defeat any savings in memory cards?

      No. HD video fills up those $500+ P2 memory cards in minutes. They must then be swapped out for the next shot. If you can't afford $80,000 worth of video cards, you will need a person pulling the contents of those video cards onto hard drives full time during the shoot so that they can be reused.

    • If you are doing still shots or landscape, then that is more than sufficient. I have a collection somewhere of a bunch of stereo pairs I took during a vacation that way. They seem to be as good as any more expensive method. And if the 3d-ness isn't what you had hoped for, then you still have two shots.

  • Not getting it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thoreauly Nuts (1701246) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:06PM (#30684376)

    I really just don't understand this whole 3D movie thing. It's about as interesting as VR gloves in the late 90s; a neat idea, but really nothing but an expensive, impractical gimmick.

    I think I'll sit this out until someone invents the Holodeck, or at the very least, makes something that doesn't hurt my eyes or make me wear glasses.

    • I really just don't understand this whole 3D movie thing. It's about as interesting as VR gloves in the late 90s; a neat idea, but really nothing but an expensive, impractical gimmick.

      I think I'll sit this out until someone invents the Holodeck, or at the very least, makes something that doesn't hurt my eyes or make me wear glasses.

      I have no doubt that this movement is being strongly supported by the TV manufacturers who need to have some new selling point (read: gimmick) now that the whole HD thing has slowed. I'm holding out for Smell-o-Vision. Or stylish goggles.

    • by westlake (615356)

      I really just don't understand this whole 3D movie thing. It's about as interesting as VR gloves in the late 90s

      Avatar grossed $1 billion dollars in eighteen days. Up and Monsters vs Aliens about $300 million each in theatrical release.

      Not so many years back, the geek-in-embryo couldn't see any value in surround-sound.

      It took his dad or grandad quite some time to come around to the idea - and expense - of investing in FM and stereo Hi-Fi.

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @02:53PM (#30685872) Journal

      3D adds texture. It's often gimicky, because producers (I assume it's producers) demand excuses to show of "it's 3D!" usually by having something pointy come out of the frame too far (as in, too close for normal people to adjust their eyes to it quickly).

      But it's a perfectly useful tool for adding texture to projects if you avoid the gimmicky "throw stuff at you" tricks. It really does add to the immersion on films where they're not playing "look, it's 3D!" all the time.

      No one calls greek friezes "gimmky" just because they have some relief (although they would if every frieze had a spear sticking way out to remind you). It's just another tool for artists to use to evoke emotion.

      Now, I'd challenge you to watch one of the films where it wasn't just a gimmick, but I'd be hard pressed to actually name one. "Monsters vs. Aliens" wasn't too bad, though.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:10PM (#30686094)

        Which was the part I liked the most about Avatar, the 3D was there but not a gimmick.

        • Which was the part I liked the most about Avatar, the 3D was there but not a gimmick.

          Huh? With the exception of "3D coolness", everyone I know would have skipped the movie. It was like the Wizard of Oz for color, Star Wars for CG and the Matrix for bullet-time: the movie that does a new technology well and frees the rest of the world to use it without having to make the movie about it.

      • by MadCow42 (243108)

        >>Now, I'd challenge you to watch one of the films where it wasn't just a gimmick, but I'd be hard pressed to actually name one. "Monsters vs. Aliens" wasn't too bad, though.

        Avatar in 3D... sure, there were a couple scenes where it was over-used, but by far it was the best use of 3D I've ever seen. I was very skeptical, especially after watching 5 really annoying 3D trailers before the movie (oxymoron...), but it was not distracting in the least.

        MadCow.

      • . It's often gimicky, because producers (I assume it's producers) demand excuses to show of "it's 3D!" usually by having something pointy come out of the frame too far

        And the Wizard of Oz used super-saturated colors for the same reason. But imagine trying to view any movie in black and white now. 3D will be less gimmacky soon as well.

      • Nightmare Before Christmas was very pleasant as a 3D film, but that's largely because it was originally 2D and the 3D effect was added in later for a re-release.

        • by Whorhay (1319089)

          You beat me to it!

          The Nightmare Before Christmas was very well done in my opinion. I seem to recall that every scene was noticably 3D and the only one that stood out with objects close to the viewer was near the begining with falling snow flakes.

    • I really just don't understand this whole 3D movie thing.

      Ok, I get your sentiment, but the same was said about sound and color. 3D, by itself, won't make a good movie. At the worst you'll get something that's a crappy movie with crappy 3D effects. At the middle you'd get something like "The Mind's Eye", except in 3D and even that bar would be raised as the technology trickles down so regular folks can do those effects (e.g., the Terminator liquid metal man can now be done with $2,000 software). And the ve

  • Now that we have a consumer-grade method of creating 3D footage, I'm waiting for ocular implants so the 3D footage can be streamed directly to my brain!

    I've always thought it would be pretty awesome to have a 3D HUD to life without having any goggles; it would just be built right into my synapses! I suppose the challenges would be streaming the data to the ocular implants; I have a feeling bluetooth wouldn't have enough bandwidth to handle the feeds.
  • It is good to see that the digital video world has caught up with the Victorian era, in which stereo photos were extremely popular.

    Of course, it did take a while before the RealD technology became available, making high quality COLOR 3D video possible. It would be interesting to see someone do a steampunked version of the camera.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      It would be interesting to see someone do a steampunked version of the camera.

      No, there's nothing interesting about "steampunk."

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:35PM (#30684786)

    Cameras need better mic options.

    • There's a reason professional cameras have mic in lines - sometimes even two. You can't stuff a little piezo mic into the camera body and then think you're going to get marvellous sound quality; and most people aren't going to care either.

      The people who would use these types of (semi-)professional (3D or otherwise) HD cameras are going to have a boom mic dangling above the people they need to get on track - you could try and stick directional microphones to your camera with duct tape and you still wouldn't

  • there ya go (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @01:53PM (#30685052) Journal

    > So there ya go, get started making your own Avatar.

    But with a better plot, please.

  • Did anyone else notice, how the lenses seem too close to each other?

    Looks like everything recorded by that thing will look like a dog’s perspective (eye-distance-wise).

    YOU’RE WINNER! ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Aladrin (926209)

      Look at the size of the handstrap on the side, then use that to judge the size and distance of the lenses. I think you'll find that it's rather large.

      The size of the tripod throws you off, but that's a solid, professional tripod and not some tiny kid's toy.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      Looks about right to me. The typical lens separation used for standard stereoscopic photography is around 6-7cm. The rule of thumb is that you separate the lenses approximately 1/30th of the distance from lens to subject. Having them wider exaggerates the 3D effect, at the expense of realism, and also makes it harder for the brain to fuse the images together.

      Ideally, you'd use an adjustable rig - but that's a lot more work, and a lot more bulk and impracticality.

  • by jameskojiro (705701) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @02:48PM (#30685806) Journal

    3-D won't take off as a serious tech until two way brain computer interfaces are as commonplace as cell phones are today. No one want's to have to deal with 3-D that requires you wear glasses or contact lenses or what not, it would be more easily accepted if you could just stream the data to your visual cortex along with all of the other sensations that "realistic fantasy reality" entails.

    Flittery jittery images in bulky headache producing glasses that appears somewhat 3-D won't compare to simulated optic nerve data being fed by a computer.

    I will wait for the iBrain or the iMind before I go "Full 3-D".

  • Glasses are fine in the theater but I don't think this is going to take off at home until we can view stereoscopic content without glasses. As far as I know, this is impossible because it requires each eye to receive a slightly different image. That's the whole point of the glasses, to show one eye something different from the other. Anyone got suggestions as to how it could be done?

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