Hands-on Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1

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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-3D1 is one of the most versatile compact digital cameras on the market. Is it two video cameras in one with dual independent lenses? A 3D video camera? A 3D still camera? An HD video camera that captures high-resolution still images simultaneously? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Featuring an effective resolution of 12.1 Mp, the DMC-3D1 offers two independent 4X optical zoom lenses that can also be yoked together for 3D capture, whether for stereoscopic stills or video. Not bad for a camera that’s less than an inch thick.

Those lenses start quite wide, with a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 25-100mm. You can use the 3D1’s 3.5" touch-screen LCD to operate the zoom and to select between the lenses to display one more prominently on the screen. The camera records 1920 x 1080 3D HD video to its card slot in the side-by-side method. It also records traditional 1080i HD video and still images up to 12.1 Mp. On top of all that, the DMC-3D1 camera features Mega O.I.S. for blur-free images and video, Dolby Digital Stereo audio capture, and much more that you can learn about in our hands-on video review.  

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Resolution Effective: 12.1 Mp; Actual Pixels: 12.8 Mp
Sensor 1/2.3" MOS
File Formats Still Images: JPEG; Movies: MPEG-4 AVCHD
Max. Resolution 4000 x 3000 (12 Mp)
Other Resolutions 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3264 x 2448 (8 Mp), 2560 x 1920 (5 Mp), 2048 x 1536 (3 Mp), 1600 x 1200 (2 Mp), 640 x 480 (0.3 Mp); 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 2672 (10.5 Mp), 3264 x 2176 (7 Mp), 2560 x 1712 (4.5 Mp), 2048 x 1360 (2.5 Mp), 640 x 424 (0.3 Mp); 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 4000 x 2248 (9 Mp), 3264 x 1840 (6 Mp), 2560 x 1440 (3.5 Mp), 1920 x 1080 (2 Mp), 640 x 360 (0.2 Mp); 1:1 Aspect Ratio: 2992 x 2992 (9 Mp), 2448 x 2448 (6 Mp), 1920 x 1920 (3.5 Mp), 1536 x 1536 (2.5 Mp), 480 x 480 (0.2 Mp)
3D Image Format MPO
Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
Image Stabilization Optical
Lens 11 elements in 10 groups; 5 Aspheric, 9 ED
Aperture f/3.9-5.7 / 2-step (f/3.9 - 9.0 (W); f/5.7 - 13.0 (T)
Focal Length 4.5-18.0mm (35mm equivalent: 25-100mm)
Zoom Optical: 4x
Focus Range Normal: 19.69" (50 cm) - Infinity; Telephoto: 39.37" (100 cm) - Infinity; Wide Macro: 1.97" (5 cm) - Infinity; Tele Macro: 39.37" (100 cm) - Infinity 
ISO Sensitivity 100-3200 Auto; 1600-6400 High Sensitivity
Shutter 8 - 1/1300 seconds; 15 - 30 seconds in Starry Sky Mode
Exposure Metering Multi
Exposure Modes Program AE
Exposure Compensation -2 EV to +2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
White Balance Modes Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Incandescent, Shade, White Set
Self Timer 2 Seconds, 10 Seconds
Built-in Flash Yes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On with Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Off, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Effective Flash Range Wide: 11.81-137.80" (0.3-3.5 m); Telephoto: 39.37-94.49" (1.0-2.4 m)
Built-in Memory 70MB
Memory Card Type SD, SDHC, SDXC
2D Video Formats 1920 x 1080: 30p recorded as 60i, AVCHD (FSH: 17 Mb/s) or MP4 @ 30 fps (FHD: 20 Mb/s); 1280 x 720: 30p recorded as 60p: AVCHD (SH: 17 Mb/s) ; MP4, 30 fps (HD: 10 Mb/s); 640 x 480: VGA, MP4, 30 fps (4 Mb/s)
3D Video Format 1920 x 1080 Side by Side @ 60i
LCD 3.5" touch-screen display (460,000 dots); approx. 100% field of view
Connectivity AV Output, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0
Battery Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 3.6 VDC, 895 mAh
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.25 x 2.3 x 0.95" / 107.95 x 58.42 x 24.13mm
Weight 0.43 lb / 195 g

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I like this camera. Having taken 3D shots for a few years, its nice not to have the hassle associated with makeshift systems.

For the price, its a good value.

Closer shots give better 3D, the parallax adjustment is not particularly useful.

The video works well.

I bought this camera as I wasn’t happy with the photo quality of my first 3D camera - Fujifilem FinePix REAL 3D W3. The Fuji camera couldn’t take good photos indoors. According to the reviews, the Panasonic 3D1 camera performs well indoors. Unfortunately, in reality this is not case. The quality of the photos taken indoors is as bad as the Fuji camera. I also compared the Panasonic 3D1 with my 6 years old Casio Exilim by taking photos in the same indoor conditions. The Panasonic is far superior compared with the Casio in terms of resolution and other specifications. Comparing the qualities of the photos it is the opposite to what the specifications say. The Panasonic photos look like very low resolution photos with unrealistic colors (both cameras used the inbuilt flash). I wish I could say something good about the Panasonic 3D1 but it is just a very ordinary camera with photo quality comparable to the ones found in cheap phones. Apart from the poor photo quality, the recorded audio (video recording) has a very noticeable white noise (like an old TV when the signal drops). The battery run time is around four ***** shorter compared to the old Casio. Also, the battery must be charged outside the camera – no usb charging is possible. The industrial design of the camera is pretty ordinary and looks cheap. The touch screen is resistive type, not capacitive like most new smart phones. If someone is attracted by the 3D HD video capability of this camera, don’t waste your money. I have Sony HDR-TD10E and the 3D-HD video and audio quality is close to professional. The Panasonic 3D1 records ordinary 3D video with no zoom and jerky artifacts when moving the camera.
My recommendation to others interested in 3D photography is to wait until something dissent comes to the market.

Thank you for your coment it was very helful to me, I will wait until a good quality 3D camera.

*****,

I have the Panasonic Lumix DMC 3D1 camera with Japanese menu ONLY. If there is another one with English Menu ( in the camera  and on CD software for the camera ) available I'd like to buy one! Please respond.

Thank you,

Henryk Chlebus

Unfortunately, B&H no longer has the Panasonic DMC-3D1 available new, nor am I finding one in our Used Department at this time.