Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Firstly can I add that watching 1960s 3D…the bad old Red/Green shift is unwatchable, the deep colours wash out any colour and you are left watching a black and white film that has some depth to it, this in my opinion is the cheapest and poorest kind of 3D and gives todays modern 3D a bad name. This is a ghost from the 1960s and should have stayed there.

TIP. If you see a 3D Blu-ray DVD with this notice on the back telling you about the 2 pairs of 3D glasses…don’t bother. Having looked a bit more seriously into 3D I am horrified to discover how many different types of “3D” there is on offer and even more horrified to discover the cheap and nasty Red/Green version on big cinema titles.

My son who is 26 went with his pal to see Toy Story Three for the “3D experience” in order to view 3D he is asked to fork out 80p for glasses which is not a lot of money and we are talking polarisation. His review of the experience is as follows “The big screen helps but the 3D is not as good as I was expecting considering it was an animated film.”

Lastly I have a demo 50″ 3D Panasonic with a 3D Blu-ray player which uses powered polarisation glasses at £100 per pair. Apart from having to wear glasses this does give you a feeling of depth and fantastic vivid colours…but with one major flaw…as yet you cannot get any 3D films that play on the Panasonic system.

The one saviour for Panasonic will be the introduction of the new 3D domestic camcorder the HDC-SDT750 this will tip the balance, think about filming your children, a friends wedding and showing it back on 3D… it will look fantastic. The domestic market will drive 3D as long as the camcorder is easy to use and simple to produce 3D DVDs, only time will tell.


“Incorporating Panasonic broadcast technology, this new 3MOS camcorder lets users easily create their own 3D movies, something that only professional image producers were previously able to do. Combined with a VIERA 3DTV and Blu-ray Disc™ player/recorder, the SDT750 makes it possible to save precious memories of friends and family in vivid, lifelike images, to further expand the world of 3D enjoyment at home.”

Alister Chapman (3D expert)

“Anaglyph (Red/Green) is just a viewing method. Movies or productions are not made in Anaglyph. The production process is identical for most productions whether it’s Avatar for the cinema or a corporate for the web. Done correctly an optimised anaglyph with a pair of good quality glasses (not the cheap cardboard ones) can look very good. The best example of good Anaglyph is the Dolby 3D system used in many cinemas. This is a modern version of Anaglyph that uses very narrow colour bands for each eye and rivals RealD Polarised when it comes to quality. The reason why Anaglyph is still used so much is that it can be used on any colour display or printed medium and other than the glasses requires no additional hardware.

The majority of S3D today however is being shown using other methods such as active glasses or polarised projection or screens, even youtube’s 3D player has the option to choose a display method to match the technology that you have. NVIDIA graphics cards have built in 3D drivers, 3D PC monitors can be purchased for £250, 3D laptops are readily available and more and more 3D TV’s are becoming available.

3D is here to stay, it may not be for everyday viewing but for many applications it is a winner. Take sports, now you can tell which way the ball is going, not just left or right. Now you can see the slopes and bumps on a golf green. Natural history will be able to show you things as you have never seen them before and movies will be able to become more immersive.”

So whats the conclusion…stay clear of FREE red/green glasses this is 3D at it’s worst in my opinion, the cinema is the next best thing but 80p glasses don’t give you that wow factor and the best of the lot by 600% is the powered polarisation glasses by Panasonic, but with no films available to date 3D in my books is still a non starter, one ray of light is the £1700 3D domestic camcorder from Panasonic due in September, this could yet tip the balance in Panasonic’s favour.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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