New twin lens Panasonic 3D1 debuts

Panasonic moves into the twin lens digital compact camera market with the announcement of the Lumix 3D1. This is the company’s first twin-lens digital compact, akin to the Fujifilm REAL 3D W3, but will hold the title of the ‘world’s smallest twin lens consumer compact’. We here at What Dig were lucky enough to get out hands on a pre-production model.

The 3D1 comprises of two optically stabilised 25mm lenses both with 4x optical zoom to offer a 25-100mm range. The ‘folded optic’ design allows for a slim body design as the camera is only some 2.4cm deep.

The 3D1’s lenses are separated to provide a more pronounced 3D effect. For optimum 3D capture lenses ought to be separated in a similar fashion to the human eyes, i.e. around 6.5cms apart. The 3D1, however, doesn’t attain this crucial distance of separation and although there was no further information available at the time, we suspect the distance to be around 4cms between one lens and the next.

Each lens is met with its own individual 12.1-megaixel 1/2.3in sensor and images are output at 12.1MP as 3D (MPO) files. It’s also possible to use the camera like any normal compact, though there are other quirks to the dual lens system, namely that the lenses can zoom independently from one another, thus making it possible to capture a 25mm and 100mm frame simultaneously. A Full HD 1080p movie mode is also available for 3D movie capture.

On the rear of the camera is a 3.5in touchscreen LCD that dominates the back of the camera.

It’s an interesting development to see Panasonic move into 3D territory. Like or loathe it, it looks like 3D is here to stay.

The 3D1 will be in shops this December, though at this early stage there’s no pricing information.

For more information head to the Panasonic website

  • Mike

    The lense seperation for average 3D use needs to be at about 60-70mm. This is too narrow. It’s obviously designed for people shooting peoples faces but will give a Hypo stereo image in general use. Shocking that it doesn’t have a 3D screen on the back like the W3. The full HD and wider angle lenses are a plus compared to the W3 though.

  • Ian

    Ah well I suppose it will be better than my old method of having two cameras strapped side by side on a piece of Dexion, however this will be a much more expensive bit of kit I bet!

  • ML

    Robert: I suppose it’s a ‘desirable’ rather than ‘crucial’ feature. Distance of separation will cause different results based on the distance of the subject being shot. So it’s far from being an easy thing to explain to most consumers. Indeed if you change the camera’s focal length and aperture then there are all kinds of other factors thrown in the mix that will differ the results. With closer-together lenses I suppose there’s a broader range of near and far photography that’s achievable with acceptable results.

  • Robert

    I wish people who review 3D gear actually knew something about 3D. 6.5cm lens separation might work for humans, but doesnt work for cameras. It is not “Crucial”. Working inter-occular for most movies is under 2.5cm Panasonic also has been making Pro and consumer 3D cameras for over a year.