Announced at this year's CES, JVC's dual-lens 3D camcorder, the JVC GS-TD1 ($2000), has two ultra-bright f/1.2 lenses in front of two backside-illuminated CMOS sensors that capture 1920-by-1080-resolution full-HD footage out of each channel in AVCHD (.MTS) format; the camcorder also snaps .MPO-format 3D stills, using its two 3.3-megapixel CMOS sensors. You can view 3D footage as you capture it without glasses, thanks to an adjustable parallax-barrier 3.5-inch LCD screen, and the camcorder supports 3D playback at full resolution. According to JVC, video playback is officially supported only when you use the camcorder as a playback device, connected to a compatible 3D TV set via HDMI.
Sony is another major player in the 3D camcorder realm, with a high-end full-size camcorder and a 3D-capable pocket camcorder on tap for 2011. The Sony Handycam TD10 ($1500) captures left-channel and right-channel 1920-by-1080 MPEG-4 MVC video, displayed in full 1080p resolution during playback. Instead of using "side-by-side" 3D technology, the TD10 uses "frame-packing" 3D, which displays full-resolution video captured from each lens. It has a 3.5-inch glasses-free 3D display that uses parallax-barrier technology, and it handles 3D video playback by using the camcorder as a playback device, connected via HDMI to a 3D TV.
The pocketable Sony Bloggie 3D ($250) has two lenses and two CMOS sensors; 3D shooting requires tilting the camcorder to landscape orientation while recording. The Bloggie 3D shoots 1920-by-1080-resolution MPEG-4 video through each channel, as well as 2-megapixel 3D still images. Video playback uses the side-by-side 3D display method, so 3D video clips lose a bit of resolution. The pocket camcorder has a glasses-free 2.4-inch LCD display for viewing 3D footage on the device; playback on a 3D TV requires connecting the device to a set via HDMI.
File Types and Playback Differences
The only foolproof way to display your own 3D photos and videos on current 3D-capable sets is to connect your camera or camcorder to the set via HDMI and then use it as a playback device. In general, native file support in today's 3D TV sets is iffy, but .MPO still images are well on their way toward achieving mainstream native support. What's more, you should be able to resolve most current native-playback issues via future firmware updates for each set.