The 3d Camcorder – is it time?

If you have the urge to escape the flat-lands and keep your video blog or journal in 3D, there is likely a 3d camcorder that will meet your needs. With each passing month new models appear and it becomes easier…and cheaper to try out 3D. From big name brands such as Fujifilm, Panasonic and Sony to newcomers like the Taiwanese company, Aiptek, every camcorder manufacturer seems to be joining the 3D club.

Panasonic led the pack in summer 2010 with their HDC-SDT750. Critics were quick to point out that the 3D mode was finicky and the front lens design is a bit unbalanced (see image below). Many of the controls are manual and the focal length is shallow. If you don’t get things just right, the picture is fuzzy and the 3d effect falls…well, flat.

This Spring Sony is releasing a new user friendly 3d video camera, the HDR-TD10 that records two simultaneous 1080p video streams. These are subsequently combined to create the 3D effect. The HDR-TD10 will shoot in a 2D mode as well, and sell for the relatively reasonable price of $1499. If this still falls outside your budget, Sony is also releasing a 3D version of their Bloggie camera that will sell for around $250.

All of the above assumes that you have a 3D TV to watch your 3D footage on. Sales of 3D televisions have been slower than expected. The push to release 3D camcorders is seen by some industry insiders as being a ploy to give people a compelling reason to make a 3d flatscreen purchase. But this strategy is primarily geared toward users who will primarily be making and showing home video.

Does it make sense to keep a video blog in 3D?

Are you the type of person who likes to be FIRST at everything? Do you want the chance to carve your own little niche out on YouTube before everyone else gets there? Well then 3D may be just your ticket. YouTube launched their new 3D channel where users can upload 3D content.

Guess what – you don’t even need a 3d camcorder!

If you have the technical know how, you can use two camcorders to record the necessary images and upload the dual streams to YouTube. I’ll be recording my own 3D blog in the coming days and will be posting a tutorial as to who to do this shortly. Meanwhile, monitor manufacturers are coming out with reasonably priced 3D monitors such as the Asus VG236H.

If you are like me, when you first heard about 3D you pegged it as another fad. However the more I’ve learned about it the more I see this to be as the inevitable next step toward video and an exciting leap forward for the potential of video blogging and video journaling. Video blogging is connecting the world like never before and the depth and realism that 3D video cameras takes that further. Let’s see how far we can go.

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