NAB 2011 has come and gone with a smattering of 3D camcorders the most interesting from Sony. Sony were showing the HXR-NX3D1U camcorder a fully spec pro camcorder in a handycam format.
Double “Sony G Lenses” Double “Exmor R” CMOS Sensors
Inside the HXR-NX3D1’s compact body there are two separate cameras each featuring a high-quality Sony G lens and a high-sensitivity, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor. High-quality 1920×1080 Full HD left and right images enable production of incredibly realistic 3D movies.
Active SteadyShot and Optical 10x Zoom (34.4-344mm)
One of the most important considerations during 3D shooting is obtaining stable images to prevent audience discomfort during viewing. The HXR-NX3D1 features Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode, 3-way camera shake stabilizing technology that smoothes out up/down, left/right and rotational motion when shooting in 3D. Capturing stable 3D images with minimal shake is possible even for hand-held shooting.
When shooting in 3D, the HXR-NX3D1 lets you zoom from 34.4mm to 34mm (when converted to 35mm equivalent). Frame composition while zooming is also possible just like in 2D shooting.
3D Shooting with Two Parallel Cameras
The HXR-NX3D1 features two parallel lenses mounted 31mm apart. (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 you control perceived 3D depth and the proximity of regions of interest to a virtual screen. 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.
Please note, when capturing 3D images, the minimum shooting distance is 80cm (at wide-angle setting)
3.5″ Xtra Fine LCD™ display Providing 2D or Glassless 3D Viewing
The HXR-NX3D1’s glassless 3D LCD (2562×480 PIXELS) lets you preview 3D images while shooting. Switching between 2D and 3D display is also possible as well as separate display of left and right images and a composite mix of left and right images for easier confirmation of disparity.
User Selectable HDMI output for 2D and 3D viewing
Output from the HXR-NX3D1’s HDMI jack 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. Select the Frame Packing mode for a 3D TV (Sony BRAVIA) and the Side by Side mode for a professional 3D monitor. Connection is also possible via an HDMI-HD-SDI converter to enable compatibility with a wide range of 3D monitors.
Compatible with a wide range of formats, the HXR-NX3D1 enables 1080/60i/ 50i/24p 3D recording and 1080 60p/60i/50p/50i/30p/24p 2D recording.
XLR Adaptor with Selectable Phantom Power and ECM-XM1 Shotgun Microphone
The detachable handle has a compact, ergonomic design. Two balanced XLR audio inputs are built in with phantom power and attenuation options that professional shooters require for clean sound quality. Default audio settings for XLR recording are highlighted in green for easy reference in the field in order to reduce operator error under difficult lighting conditions.
The ECM-XM1 shotgun microphone, mounted on top of the handle, provides high quality linear PCM audio recording performance similar to larger shoulder-mounted ENG style cameras.
Large Capacity, Internal 96GB Memory and Multi Card Slot
The HXR-NX3D1 has 96GB of internal memory, enabling extended recording in 3D mode for approximately 7.5 hours. There’s also a multi-card card slot that lets you record onto Memory Sticks and SD Cards. You can also use these convenient recordable media to copy data from the internal memory.
Single 3D Recording File for Easy Editing and 2D NLE Compatibility
Easy workflow is an important consideration when creating 3D footage. The HXR-NX3D1 uses Multi-View Coding (MVC) to record left and right channel clips as a single file. Sony Vegas Pro 10.0d offers native import support for MVC video files, so footage can be directly handled as 3D clips to enable import of left and right channel clips together. By eliminating the need for time-consuming pairing, this provides an extremely simple workflow.
And Vegas Pro 10.0d provides the ability to adjust, edit, preview, and output stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray Disc and 3D media with side-by-side, top/bottom, or line-alternate encoding.
Support is scheduled to enable conversion of MVC footage recorded with the HXR-NX3D1 to Cineform codec using the popular Cineform Neo3D/NeoHD as a Codec Plug-In for 3D editing.
The supplied Contents Management Utility 2.1 software also enables conversion of MVC video files to 2D AVC files with independent left and right channels. With these capabilities the HXR-NX3D1 is ready for a wide range of workflows.
The other 3D camcorder from Sony was the PMW-TD300 essentially a PMW-320 with 3D added.
Dual 3-chip 1/2-inch Type Exmor Full-HD CMOS Sensors
The dual 3-chip Exmor CMOS image sensors provide high-quality 3D images with an excellent sensitivity, as well as 1920 x 1080 resolution – meeting the industry standard for broadcast cameras. The 1/2-inch sensor size helps achieve an ideal balance between high quality and compact design – the camcorder body is of similar size to current 2D models.
Dual Lens System
The newly developed dual lens system allows fully synchronized operation between left and right lenses with high accuracy – in focus, zoom, and iris adjustments. With the minimized 45 mm IAD (Inter-Axial Distance) of the dual lens system, this camcorder offers a wide shooting zone to capture good 3D images – especially for near-side shooting, with its support for a 1.2 m minimum convergence distance.
XDCAM EX Recording
The recording format is identical to that of the highly successful PMW-EX1R, PMW-EX3, and PMW-350/320 Series. The proven, high-speed, and intuitive XDCAM EX workflow offers seamless integration with leading non-linear editing software.
SxS Card Slots
Left and right images are recorded on each SxS card separately, in synchronization. As the camcorder features two SxS card slots (one each for the left and right), it offers a long recording duration of over six hours in 3D (with four 64-GB cards).
3D/2D Recording Modes
A 2D shooting mode is available for additional production flexibility. With a single SxS card, the camcorder is able to shoot images only through the left lens. In addition, parallel recording onto the left and right cards is useful as a method of redundant shooting in 2D operation. (Images recorded on the left and right cards are slightly different, because different lenses are used.)
Intuitive convergence control with a dedicated dial feature
Viewfinder with 3.5-inch colour LCD…HD-SDI out (L/R dual stream, audio and TC embedded)…HDMI out (3D/2D) for viewing on consumer 3D displays…Genlock in & TC in/out for integration with multi-camera systems.
Tomorrow in part two I will have a look at the new JVC and Panasonic 3D camcorders.