Today, at CES in Las Vegas, Sony announced the HDR-TD10, the company's first 3D camcorder. The HDR-TD10 is not the first 3D camcorder from a major manufacturer—Panasonic released the HDC-SDT750 last year—but it does have an interesting design that Sony touts as being the world's first 3D camcorder with "Double Full HD". In addition to announcing the HDR-TD10, Sony also unveiled an ultracompact 3D camcorder as part of the company's Bloggie lineup. You can read about the Bloggie 3D FS3 here.
"Double Full HD" is Sony's way of saying that the HDR-TD10 features two lenses and two sensors. This enables the camcorder to capture two separate frames of Full HD video at a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Panasonic HDC-SDT750, in comparison, has one sensor that captures both images for 3D recording at half resolution. Whether Sony's system will actually work in producing higher-quality 3D video is not yet known, but it does sound intriguing.
The details about the compression system for 3D recording on the TD10 are still a bit sketchy, but Sony has promised to release more details soon. The key aspects we know are that the camcorder records two Full HD videos and combines the two streams into one file for 3D playback. The frame rate used to record in 3D is 60i.
Because of its dual lens system, the HDR-TD10 looks a bit funny, but it is also rather compact for a 3D camcorder (especially compared to the HDC-SDT750 and its large, screw-on 3D lens converter). Most impressive about the HDR-TD10 is the fact that it has a 3.5-inch LCD that allows you to view 3D content without the aid of glasses. When watching 3D content on an HDTV, however, glasses will be required.
The Sony HDR-TD10 has a number of features that function in 3D record mode. A 10x optical zoom is usable in 3D, the optical image stabilization can be turned on, and the camcorder's set of iAuto features also work in 3D. If you don't want to record 3D with the TD10, there's a simple switch on the back of the camcorder that allows you to capture 2D content instead.
Features that do not work in 3D mode include dual record, golf shot, smooth slow record, scene selection, and manual controls (these options are all available for 2D recording). The camcorder cannot take photos in 3D, but this feature is available on Sony's new Bloggie 3D ultracompact camcorder (the Bloggie FS3).
The HDR-TD10 3D camcorder is expected to arrive in stores in April 2011. The camcorder comes with 64GB of internal memory and will retail for $1499.