July 27, 2010 – In conjunction with Panasonic's announcement of the first 3D consumer camcorder, the company has also just unveiled a new 3D lens for the LUMIX G Micro system. Panasonic plans to make this new lens available 'before the end of the year.'
Very few details have yet to be announced for this new lens, including whether the lens will enable both 3D still photos and 3D video. While Panasonic promises the 3D lens will be 'compact in size,' specific dimensions have yet to be released. In fact, the company has yet to announce which of its Micro Four Thirds cameras will actually be compatible with this new lens.
The only real information that has been confirmed is that there will be two lenses built into a single casing, one for recording the left eye channel and one for the right. This sounds a lot like the design for the removable 3D lens shipping with the newly announced Panasonic HDC-SDT750 camcorder, but a concept photo from Panasonic's Japanese site (left) shows a flatter, pancake-style lens.
We look forward to receiving some real info on this new lens. In the meantime, you can read the brief (and ambiguous) press release below. You can also visit the the official US Panasonic website or see the concept photo in context on the Panasonic Japan site.
PANASONIC ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF WORLD’S FIRST INTERCHANGEABLE 3D LENS FOR LUMIX G MICRO SYSTEM
SECAUCUS, NJ (July 27, 2010) – Continuing its record of 3D technology leadership, Panasonic today announced the development of the world's first* digital interchangeable twin- lens, making it possible to shoot 3D with an interchangeable lens system camera. As a new member of Panasonic’s powerful lineup of interchangeable lenses as part of the LUMIX G Micro System, the twin-lens will allow high-quality shooting in 3D. Panasonic plans to release this new lens for sale before the end of the year.
"This year will be remembered as the ‘First Year of 3D Era’ and Panasonic has already taken the lead by launching 3D-capable VIERA™ televisions and Blu-ray™ 3D Disc Players," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "With Panasonic’s development of a twin-lens capable of 3D shooting, the company is providing consumers with a way to capture their own 3D content, which they can then enjoy watching in the comforts of their own home. Panasonic is dedicated to evolving the 3D ecosystem, letting consumers create and display lifelike 3D images in their homes."
Currently, 3D shooting with an interchangeable lens system camera is possible only by using panorama systems or by combining two lenses and two CCDs. However, these systems are not ideal and have difficulty capturing moving objects. Panasonic's new 3D lens for the LUMIX G Micro System features two optical systems installed within the diameter of the lens mount, creating stereo images from the left and right lenses that are then processed with a 3D image processing system. Thanks to Panasonic's advanced technologies in optical technology, image processing systems, and lens barrel design, the 3D lens will be compact in size.
This new compact 3D-capable interchangeable lens will be easy to handle and allow instant 3D shooting, without distortion or time lag between left and right images – even when shooting moving objects.