April 11, 2011

Sony HXR-NX3D1 3D camcorder

Sony has launched a new compact, lightweight all-in-one 3D camcorder, the HXR-NX3D1, which is claimed to be exceptionally simple to operate, requiring just a simple adjustment of left-right disparity for each scene.

The NX3D1 has twin Sony G Lenses and 1/4-inch Exmor R CMOS sensors that can record Double Full HD 3D content into a single file. A 3.5-inch autostereoscopic LCD panel allows users to view content in 3D without glasses - it can display 2D, left/right or composite images.

It also has a 10x F1.8-F3.4 optical zoom (34.4-344mm - it is 12x, 29.8-357.6mm, in 2D), Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode, 96GB internal memory (enough for 7.5 hours of 3D - at 28Mbps), plus a card slot for SD or Memory Stick cards, and supports two-channel 16-bit 48kHz Linear PCM audio. It can record 1080i 60/50 or 1080p 24 in 3D and 1080p 60/50/30/24 or 1080i 60/50 in 2D.

The inter-axial distance is 31mm. Disparity adjustment can be performed to change the read-out areas of the left and right CMOS sensors so that they are closer together or further apart. This lets users control perceived 3D depth. Disparity adjustment is also possible during shooting using the manual dial. Moving a region of interest closer to the virtual screen enables shooting of comfortable 3D images with the desired feeling of depth. When capturing 3D, the minimum shooting distance is 80cm (at the wide-angle setting).

Output from its HDMI port to a 3D TV is selectable between frame packing with full HD output of alternate left and right images and side-by-side with output of horizontally compressed left and right images packed into a single frame.

It has a detachable handle with a built-in two-input XLR adaptor with selectable Phantom power and comes with an ECM-XM1 shotgun microphone.

It records using Multi-View Coding (MVC) to record left and right channel clips as a single file. These can be edited natively in Sony Vegas Pro 10.0d, without the need for time-consuming pairing. It should also be possible to convert MVC to the Cineform codec using the Cineform's Neo3D/NeoHD as a plug-in for 3D editing on the main non-linear editing systems. The supplied Content Management Utility 2.1 software also enables conversion of MVC video files to 2D AVC files with independent left and right channels.

If you record on the internal memory, the camera can also copy material directly to an external hard disk drive without the need for a computer, and can also access videos stored on the external drive for playback on a 3D HDTV.

The camera weighs about 745g, including battery (or 1,150g with lens hood, battery and microphone with XLR unit). The NP-FV70 battery should last about 190min for HD or 140min for 3D.

It comes with an AC adaptor, rechargeable battery pack, microphone, wind screen, XLR adaptor, lens hood, USB cable (mini-B), component A/V cable, A/V connecting cable, USB adaptor cable (for external HDD), Wireless Remote Commander, HDMI cable (typeC), and application software (CD-ROM).

Related post: Sony + JVC low-cost 3D camcorders

By David Fox