updated 08:55 pm EST, Sat January 8, 2011
We get time with JVC's first 3D home video camera
Among the hands-on tests we had at CES today included JVC's unique GS-TD1 3D camcorder. The first-ever mainstream 3D, 1080i-capable video camera is relatively bulky compared to traditional 2D camcorders but is surprisingly compact versus the usually pro-grade models that capture those images. The demo unit was mounted to a counter and thus wouldn't let us gauge weight, but we suspect it's just heavy enough to sometimes need two hands to keep steady.
As you might expect, we couldn't save direct footage of our own to test, but JVC had another camera recording the scene with 3D TVs to show the resulting footage. The TD1 is clearly a step above still cameras like the Fujifilm Real 3D W3 in terms of video quality; while that's not hard, the effect was much closer to professional live action 3D. Conditions were very favorable to the 5X, f1.2 lenses, so we couldn't test extreme shooting environments, but they were clearly sharp.
The interface is mostly touchscreen driven and fairly intuitive, although there's a surprisingly heavy reliance on physical buttons at the very back. JVC was clearly aware of how it might be used and had a clear indicator light as to when 3D was on. We liked the 3.5-inch screen outside of input as well; it's large, bright and can show a 3D effect glasses-free without too obvious a parallax effect.
Price will naturally be the main barrier. At $2,000, it's mostly within range of those who eagerly bought into the 3D ecosystem and already have both a 3D-capable computer display and a 3D TV to see the results of their work. Early adopters will get their hands on the TD1 in March.