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3D Acquisition Comes Into View
3D cameras were out in full force at recent 2010 NAB Show, showcasing a growing segment supported by advances in technology.
Cameras were targeted for both the high-end sports market as well as smaller budget documentaries and corporate productions.
Sony has led the industry in terms of its cameras being used for virtually all of the live 3D events broadcast to theaters and homes in the past two years. Companies specializing in stereoscopic 3D processing technology, including 3Ality and Pace Digital, have both used two standard Sony HDC-1500 HD cameras, mounted side by side on a special rig. It started in 2007 with a test presentation of 56th annual NBA All-Star Game, live from Las Vegas. The Sony/Pace (leveraging Pace's Fusion 3D) partnership continued with the live 3D broadcast of the Masters Golf tournament, which coincided with the NAB show opening in April.
Sony displayed its HDC-P1 box-style HD camera for use in 3D rigs. With 2/3-inch sensors, built-in image imversion (allowing the camera to be mounted horizontally or vertically) and 14-bit A/D processing, the camera facilitates shoulder mount rigs that can capture images in all of the most common HD formats, with 1080p @24, 25 and 30 fps as an option.
Ikegami Electronics exhibited HD cameras and equipment designed for the production of stereoscopic 3D programming, as well as HD cameras for 3 Gbps-SDI 1080/60p HD image capture. Also on hand was the company's solid-state memory (Flash) GFCam HD ENG camcorder, which included 24p capture capability. Camera models exhibited that support the 1080/60p standard included the new HDL-50DL POV box camera and the HDK-79EC/HS dual-processor HD Super Slow-Motion camera.
For 3D, Ikegami exhibited its new CSU-3D camera-switching unit, which supports up to four pairs of HD cameras for use in shooting stereoscopic 3-D television productions. The CSU-3D is a vital component for shooting major events in 3-D HD, such as football and baseball games or rock concerts. The CSU-3D, working together with an MCP (maintenance control panel) and four OCPs (operation control panels), provides extensive set-up control for optimization of each camera and subsequent parallel operational control for the four pairs of HD cameras. The CSU-3D ensures that each camera pair shares any subsequent camera adjustments, thus maintaining matched camera settings for 3D HD image capture.
For the budget-conscious, Panasonic displayed a new handheld 3D camcorder, with 1/4-inch image sensors called the AG-3DA1 at a cost of about $21,000. The familiar-styled camcorder might be limited in its cope (it's not going to be used to shoot a major feature like "Avatar"), but can provide them captivating 3D effect audiences are coming to expect.