01.Panasonic HDC-SDT750 first look
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is the first consumer camcorder to capture 3D video for viewing on a compatible 3D TV at home. While this feature is impressive and will no doubt excite people wanting to shoot their own version of Avatar at home, we found the most satisfying aspect of the SDT750 is that it’s also a very good conventional HD camcorder, which is what you’ll be using it for most of the time.
The HDC-SDT750 captures video – both 2D and 3D – on a SDHC memory card. You can preview video using the electronic viewfinder or on the excellent 76mm diagonal touchscreen LCD monitor. It comes with a 3D accessory lens that fits over the 12x optical zoom lens (standard size for a HD camcorder); this allows you to switch between shooting 3D and 2D quickly and easily. It performs very well for 2D video and stills, with excellent picture quality in normal and low-light settings. The attachment used to capture 3D video is about 200g and 10cm long, but does not unduly affect the camera handling.
Other features you’d expect in a premium-priced camcorder are included, such as a built-in video lamp, optical image stabilisation, surround sound mic, headphone output and mic input. Edit functions include assemble cut, playlist creation, fade-in/out and several digital effects.
You can take photos at 2.1 megapixels resolution using the onboard photo flash. However, unless you need the flash because of low light, you’ll have a better chance of getting that perfect shot by simply extracting a single HD video frame to share online or as a small photo print.
While not cheap, the HDC-SDT750 lies comfortably within the expected price range for a quality HD camcorder. Some may think the use of a 3D attachment, rather than incorporating the feature into the body, is a negative. We believe this is an ideal way to capture 3D footage without hindering the taking of regular 2D video in high definition. Overall, this is a very good early effort at a solid HD camcorder with 3D functionality.