Dark was able to confirm that the AG-3DA1 delivers the goods in a simple, yet effective way. “The night after my first day of shooting, I reviewed the images I had shot on the 3D monitor and just went, ‘Wow, that looks spectacular.’ The learning curve with this camera is quick because it’s interactive. I can learn overnight what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong. This camera is clever in its design and in its simplicity. Not everyone is as lucky as Cameron to get those kinds of budgets. There are people out there now who will have access to a new way of telling stories in 3D at a reasonable cost.”
For 3 Cities in 3D, Dark shot the AG-3DA1 at 1080i 59.94 (60i). Why did he choose to shoot interlaced? “Because this was broadcast reality TV,” says Dark, “I shot at 59.94 because that’s the format that WealthTV 3D broadcasts. I wanted the signal to go through as few boxes and postprocesses as possible, so I shot the format that they broadcast in. I want to shoot my next feature film using three of these cameras at 24 fps.”
Panasonic’s Jan Crittenden Livingston sees the AG-3DA1 as a completely new type of 3D tool from anything that currently exists. “With this new technology, 3D can go so many places that it couldn’t before–underwater, at the end of a long jib arm, a lot of new places,” she says. “From the eyecup to the front of the lens, the camera is just less than 18 inches long. It weighs only 6.6 pounds. Besides the small size and light weight, there are a lot of arenas where 3D is a viable and useful format, but users haven’t gone there because the cost has been too high. In addition to entertainment, this camera will be useful in documentary, special-venue, medical-training and tourism programming–really anything where the perception of depth matters.”
Panasonic is way ahead of the curve with the AG-3DA1; there’s no other way to shoot in 3D at this point with a single, small, light, self-contained camera. It remains to be seen if the impending 3D craze will pan out to be a mainstream success, but in the meantime, if you want to easily and quickly shoot in 3D, the AG-3DA1 seems to be exactly what you need.