NAB 2011: 3-D Cameras for Broadcast

The industry as a whole is clamoring for operator-friendly, light and single-body production equipment that can replicate the 2-D HD production experience, and there was clear evidence this year that vendors understand the requirements and are working to make cost-effective production a reality. Here are a few notable cameras that were presented at this year’s show.

Panasonic’s current handheld camcorder, the AG-3DA1, will be joined in the fall with a second integrated 3-D camcorder, the AG-3DP1. Featuring a larger imager and using the P2 memory format, the new shoulder-mount model is intended for use in live productions, sports, independent films and documentaries. The AG-3DP1 can record 80 minutes of stereo in 10-bit AVC-Intra to dual 64 GB P2 cards. It contains two 1in, 2.23-megapixel CMOS sensors. By contrast, its predecessor contained 2.7-megapixel chips and records to SD cards.

Panasonic AG-3DP1

Sony introduced a new shoulder-mount 3-D model that will be available this fall. The PMW-TD300 3-D camcorder features a twin optical lens equipped with three half-inch CMOS Exmor sensors for each eye view. It was developed in cooperation with Discovery for its new 3-D channel.

Sony PMW-TD300

This summer, Sony will also ship a compact 3-D DAM camcorder intended for videographers and corporate videos. The HXR-NX3D1 incorporates two quarter-inch CMOS sensors, twin 10x zoom lenses and an internal flash memory of 96GB for about 7.5 hours of 3-D recording.

Sony HXR-NX3D1

JVC unveiled the new GY-HMZ1U ProHD 3-D camcorder at the show. With an integrated 3-D twin lens design powered by JVC’s large-scale integration (LSI) chip for high-speed processing of HD video, the GY-HMZ1U can simultaneously record each left and right image in 1920 x 1080 resolution. The handheld camcorder features dual 3.32-megapixel CMOS sensors, one for each lens, and delivers 34Mb/s AVCHD recording in 3-D or 24Mb/s in 2-D. Video can be recorded with time code at 60i to provide smooth motion, for sports and other fast action, or 24p for a film-like effect. The GY-HMZ1U can also capture 3-D time lapse and 3-D digital stills.


Meduza introduced a “beyond 4K” camera that will be available in September. Content for the camera is acquired at 3072 x 4096 pixels and covers everything from 15/70mm giant screens to general theatrical screens, as well as 3-D TV.


By Michael Grotticelli, Broadcast Engineering