The Sony HXR-NX3D1 NXCAM 3D Compact Camcorder is literally two camcorders in one, facilitating the capture of high-definition stereoscopic 3D video at full 1920 x 1080 resolution. The camera borrows several elements from Sony's NXCAM line, such as the HD native Exmor R CMOS sensor (1/4", with ClearVid pixel array), the 12x Sony "G" lens (10x in 3D mode), and solid-state recording of AVCHD in many formats. (For the HXR-NX3D1, the imaging elements are, of course, doubled.) But as a single-body handheld 3D camcorder, the professional NX3D1 brings several innovations to the table for this emerging class of camcorders.
First and foremost is a 3.5" lenticular LCD display, which allows you to monitor the stereo effect while you're shooting – without the need for any glasses. The screen offers several other options, as well: You can view just the left image, just the right image, or a composite mix of both, "flattened" so you can eyeball the disparity between the left and right video channels.
That disparity (convergence) is adjustable. Though the interaxial distance HXR-NX3D1 is fixed at 31mm, you can turn a dial to shift the active image window (i.e. panning across the group of pixels on the CMOS sensors that are actually being read out to the internal storage or SD card/Memory Stick), to dampen or increase the stereo effect of what you're recording.
In 3D mode, the files that the camera records are MVC, short for "multi-view coding." For simpler stereoscopic workflows, MVC files include both the left and the right channel clips as a single file. Sony Vegas Pro editing software supports the import of this type of file, and further support is planned from other editing solutions. For wider compatibility with NLEs, the included Content Management Utility software allows you to de-mux these two channels to independent left and right channels, converting MVC files to two 2D AVC files.
For any handheld video, image stabilization is crucial. For handheld stereo 3D, it's even more so – preventing viewer headaches is Job One. Sony's Optical Steady Shot corrects camera shake in three parameters: up/down, left/right, and rotational.