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Panasonic shows prototype of twin-lens 3D HD compact camera

By dpreview staff on Aug 31, 2011 at 13:00 GMT

Panasonic has said it will develop a twin-lens 3D digital camera and has unveiled a prototype at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Germany. The camera uses twin image-stabilized 4x folded-optics zoom lenses (much like the examples in the company's FP series cameras, we suspect). As well as allowing 3D HD videos to be shot, you can also choose to use one lens for shooting 2D still images while the other lens simultaneously shoots video. Image stabilization will be available whether shooting stills or video and regardless of the number of dimensions being captured.

Press Release:

Panasonic Develops Compact, Twin-Lens 3D Digital Camera with 3D HD Video Capability

LUMIX twin-lens 3D digital camera on display at Panasonic’s IFA 2011 Booth

SECAUCUS, NJ (August 31, 2011) – Panasonic today announced the development of a twin-lens 3D digital camera, complete with 3D HD video capability. The new LUMIX 3D prototype will be on display at IFA 2011, one of the world's largest electronics shows, from September 2-7, 2011, in Berlin, Germany.  IFA conference attendees can visit the Panasonic booth at Messe Berlin, Hall 5.2

The new 3D digital camera will also shoot 2D photos and HD video. With its 3D still and video capabilities, the compact camera will allow users to take 3D photos and 3D HD videos, while further expanding the world of consumer 3D entertainment.

The LUMIX 3D camera’s compact size was achieved by employing two recently-developed 4x zoom lenses with thin, folded optics, which allow users to capture crisp and clear photo and video footage even from afar. The optical zoom system enables highly-versatile 3D shooting from wide angle to telephoto while the Optical Image Stabilization works during both 2D and 3D shooting to produce high-quality photos and videos with minimal blurring. The unique, twin-lens design further helps in providing stunning, high-resolution 2D photos while shooting 2D videos instantaneously. Using the side-by-side method, the camera can also capture 3D HD videos in AVCHD format.

The versatility of the 3D capture technology allows users to quickly go from shooting photos and videos to viewing them. Working synergistically with other Panasonic products, the new camera allows photos and videos to be easily viewed on a VIERA 3D TV with the simple insertion of the SD memory card into the TV’s SD card image viewer slot or by connecting the camera to the TV with an HDMI cable.

For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit This Panasonic 3D camera is expected to be available in Winter 2011-12.  Further product specifications will be announced at a later date.


Total comments: 17
Christian Roux
By Christian Roux (Sep 1, 2011)

I have forgotten, please Panasonic, make AVCHD SbS, Ok! but Progressive, NOT interlaced. Or make AVI (3D-AVI, bi-canal) too. Because interlaced is very disapointing...
And for the photos, make MPO, not another format.

Another thing: The Fuji W3 let you watch "gift"-photos (photos or videos from external sources), that is VERY usefull...

Christian Roux
By Christian Roux (Sep 1, 2011)

It's a very very good news. But on the paper the camera don't have much more than the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 (35-140 vs 35-105, HD vs HD).
What I hope:
- a better CCD (in particular in low light), but 10-12Mpx is enough.
- a better responsiveness (faster)
- NOT a touch-screen but enough external controls
- a better ergonomic (please not too small and without grip) 200-250gr. it's ok, Two Folder lens like FP7 it's ok. The size of W3 is perfect.
- if possible +/-IL controls in video (unlike W3) (or PASM in video too)
- control of parallax auto AND manual, baseline 6.5-7.5 cm (not smaller)
- macro better than W3 if possible
I have two W3 and taken 10'000 photos and videos with them. One year ago I said to Panasonic "You should make a compact 3D camera...", so it's nice to see it comes.
I repeat: first the CCD, responsiveness and macro, for the rest make a camera like the W3.

By 3dreal (Sep 3, 2011)

We will have then multiple 3D-cams with different bases. Lens is 25-100 which is more than good as a start and for nearby subjects.

I was told that base is 27mm which leads to a 96mm wide camera.

If we have exif-data of front-shot(distance and focallenght) and fullsize image, base can easily be calculated.
Can someone check exif-data out?

Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (Sep 1, 2011)

I hope it will have an underwater housing.

By rpm40 (Aug 31, 2011)

I hope it has an option for HDR- it could simultaniously take shots with each lens at different exposures, and then combine them into one HDR image.

That would allow for awesome results even with action shots. It could be enough to get me to buy one!

By CNY_AP (Aug 31, 2011)

No...he images would inherently not be aligned.

By colorfotos (Aug 31, 2011)

I think it's possible. If they crop left side on the left lens image and crop right side on the right lens image, you would effectively have two images that are aligned.

Christian Roux
By Christian Roux (Sep 1, 2011)

No It will never give a good result because the two captures are taken from two point of view... Never electronic or other device can change this

By rpm40 (Sep 1, 2011)

I think it would be pretty easy to correct and combine with software. Photoshop gives some pretty good results with less than perfectly aligned images and automatically creating an HDR. It would be much easier to do if the software knew ahead of time how the two images differed to align and correct them, I think. The camera could apply the same type of correction every time.

James K Cheung
By James K Cheung (Aug 31, 2011)

This will be the best consumer camera offering so far. I hope it does well.

1 upvote
By Knallberto (Aug 31, 2011)

Oooouch. What's new? HD side by side?
Fuji W3 makes 2x HD video, 2x 10 mp 3D pictures.
And is available deep under € 200.
Panasonic didn't invent 3D, their lens for Gx/GHx and lens for camcorder are expensive and S.H.I.T.

Panasonic 3D lens (fixed very small aperture, fixed distance, tiny parallaxe, no zoom ..) is MORE expensive than Fuji W3 - with 1.220.000 pixels lenticular display.

Vlad S
By Vlad S (Aug 31, 2011)

I really can't see what your problem is. Shooting stills with one lens while shooting video with the other is new.

Panasonic never said they invented 3D, how did that come up?

There are many cameras that have similar functionality, I don't see how existence of Fuji W3 makes Panasonic 3D irrelevant. Canon G12 doesn't make Nikon P7100 irrelevant, does it?

This camera has nothing to do with the micro 4/3 3D lens. Yes, that lens was a gimmick, but has nothing to do with this announcement. This new camera has a 4x zoom, the apertures and the base length have not been announced, but the 3D camcorder has a large aperture. The folded design also probably means that the lenses are widely spaced.

By Joesiv (Aug 31, 2011)

I like the idea of shooting video and taking still pictures at the same time!

I wonder how small this camera would be, the TZ series used to used folded optics, maybe around that size? Seems like it could be a cool camera.

Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Aug 31, 2011)

I'm imagining something very similar to Fuji's twin lens 3D compacts

Christian Roux
By Christian Roux (Sep 1, 2011)

Yeas, I think so too. Same size, same baseline, same LCD. But better CCD (in low light particulary), better responsiveness, and if possible better macro capabilities).
And NOT a Touch-Screen, but external controls enough.

By electrosim2001 (Sep 4, 2011)

I do think manufacturers should explain the IOS to customers.
The lenses on the Fuji are spread a little wider than the human eyes are separated and that makes for great distance photography with great depth, but makes for very difficult video.
Video needs close action shots in the main and a much narrower spread is needed. A three lens camera would be ideal to cover near and distance shots. L lens ( left ) and the option of two R IOS spread right lenses. ( L with either R1 or R2 option )
In the main though a closer IOS is desirable and makes for easier use by the average user.
Regarding the Fuji W3 and the new proposed Panasonic's potential for HD videography, the Fuji is only 1280 X 720 and the quality isn't good. The Sony Bloggie 3D is way better, as is the Panasonic SDT750. I have all three camera/camcorders.
I will hopefully just need two in the future, the Fuji for stills and the new Panasonic camera for close-up stills and video as it will feature the editable AVCHD format.

By electrosim2001 (Sep 4, 2011)

To finish the previous post. Regarding AVCHD. It allows me to edit my movies on a reasonably priced laptop with an excellent and also reasonably priced editor to produce a final M2Ts or mp4 file for easy viewing on my 3D TV. The final format is 50% squashed SBS 3D HD similar to SKY 3D transmissions. Looks pretty good on a 51" Samsung 3D plasma TV.

Total comments: 17