Both Toshiba and Sony are making an assault on the 3D camcorder market this year with both models primed to bring user-generated 3D movies into the living room.
For Sony, this is its second stab at a 3D camcorder. Its first, the HDR-TD10, was a device which managed to pipe out superb footage but was one helluva chunky beast – it measured 59mm in width, 66mm in height and a meaty 130mm in depth.
To be fair, this was because the chassis had to house 1920×1080/50 sensors and dual lenses.
Nevertheless, this is something Sony has tried to sort out with its successor, the Sony HDR-TD20, by making the chassis that little bit leaner and trimming some of its height to make it easier to hold.
The Toshiba Camileo Z100 is Tosh's first stab at a 3D camcorder and it has decided to go down the budget route, while Sony is looking at the high end.
This doesn't mean that there are no decent features on the camera. For a start it has decided to go down the twin lens approach and inside are two 5-megapixel CMOS sensors.
Footage is recorded in Full HD and there's a glasses-free flip-out 3D screen on the device.
It's only 2.8-inches though, so if you're after a bigger view then it's best to stick with the Sony TD20 which has a 3.5-inch viewfinder.
Another place the Toshiba Camileo Z100 falls down on is its incessant use of digital over analogue. The camera only allows digital zooming and stabilisation is also done digitally.
The Sony TD20 on the other hand utilises Optical SteadyShot and has a 10x optical zoom which can be extended when using its 3D capabilities.
But these are two cameras at the opposite end of the budget spectrum – although the Toshiba Z100's pricing hasn't been announced we are expecting it to be a fraction of the price of Sony's heavy hitter.
What it does show is that 3D is beginning to proliferate all corners of the camcorder market and could well prove to be the shot in the arm this sector sorely needs.
Both the Toshiba Camileo Z100 and Sony HDR-TD20 will be available Q2 of 2012, with pricing to be announced.
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