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Panasonic HDC-Z10000 review

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Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • Panasonic HDC-Z10000
  • HDC-Z10000 Twin-Lens 2D/3D Camcorder

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Shoots two whole Full HD frames in 3D mode
  • Uses latest AVCHD 2.0 for 3D recording
  • Full range of professional features

Cons

  • Pricey compared to consumer models
  • Shutter speed only controlled via LCD
  • Non-mechanical zoom can be laggy

Key Features

  • 2 x 3 x 1/4.1in CMOS with 3.05Mpixels
  • 10x (3D) or 12x (2D) optical zoom
  • AVCHD 2.0 recording format
  • Lens rings for focus, zoom and iris
  • XLR audio inputs
  • Twin SDXC media slots
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £3,000.00

Lots of people remain sceptical about 3D, including many of us here at TrustedReviews. But 3D movies are now arriving in torrents (probably almost literally...), and if you're in any way serious about your video-making, you have probably thought more than twice about trying the format out.

Unfortunately, you would likely have felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Although JVC's Everio GS-TD1 has made a good stab at an enthusiast's 3D camcorder - costing around £1,500 - Panasonic's use of an attachment has limited the flexibility of its 3D-capable consumer models, such as the HDC-TM900.

Up until now, if you wanted something more serious, you would need to shell out over £7,000. Well, not anymore. Panasonic's £3,000 HDC-Z10000 is still firmly in the professional price range, but it packs in a surprising amount of features for the money.

Clearly, the most important of these is the Z10000's ability to shoot 3D, and here it diverges healthily from the approach taken by Panasonic's consumer camcorders. Instead of using a dual lens setup feeding into a single one, and then the single CMOS array, the Z10000 has two entirely separate lens and CMOS paths. Each sports Panasonic's 3MOS system, so has a trio of 1/4.1in CMOS sensors, with 3.05Mpixels apiece, for a grand total of six sensors. This means that it can shoot two Full HD frames simultaneously, where previous Panasonic consumer camcorders squished two frames horizontally into one, reducing the resolution and very noticeably impairing low light performance. Professional 3D camcorder rigs, and JVC's Everio GS-TD1, don't do this.

Panasonic HDC-Z10000

So the Z10000 can shoot 3D in as high a quality as it can 2D. But another piece of technology has fallen into place as the Z10000 has arrived: AVCHD 2.0. This update to the AVCHD standard allows yet higher bitrates, up to 28Mbits/sec, as well as higher progressive frame rates, up to 60p, but most notably it adds support for 3D. This can be at 720/50p, 720/60p, 1080/60i, 1080/50i, or 1080/24p. Our Z10000 test sample, being a European model, only offered the 1080/24p and 50i options here, but interestingly it also offers a 1080/25p 3D setting, which is encoded as 1080/50i - essentially a progressive signal hidden inside an interlaced one. Video is recorded to SD memory cards, as there is no storage built in. However, there are two SDXC-compatible slots available, and relay recording is supported. So even at the top data rate, over ten hours of continuous recording is possible, with two 64GB SDXC cards.

Realty Video Tour

March 5, 2013, 6:14 pm

I have a problem with the audio dropping off for the last second of 4 mb clips (22 minutes). Is this a design bug, a firmware issue or just something wrong with my Z10000?

Sudarshan

April 9, 2013, 12:04 pm

Please clarify if this model works in PAL. If not, is there a separate version?

Vitalicus

February 25, 2014, 3:34 am

I work in Europe with NTSC (60fps) camera. It's ok, no problems

Dimitris M. Redstone

May 9, 2015, 3:25 pm

I want to use use this NTSC (60fps) camera in Europe as well. How do I convert it to PAL? Sony representative told me to speed up the NTSC footage by 4% to match it to PAL. What are reasonable priced 3D software for Premiere or After Effects. Please email me since I am not part of this forum and I might miss your response. Thank you dimitri3d@aol.com

Dimitris M. Redstone

May 9, 2015, 3:29 pm

I have the same question about the 3D Panasonic HDC-Z10000. Did you find anything out as to how can I use the NTSC model to make 3D PAL side by side 3D videos? A Sony representative told me to speed up the NTSC footage by 4% to match it to PAL. Please get back to me if you know something. Thanks Dimitris

Vitalicus

May 10, 2015, 12:58 am

Why to convert video to PAL?
Use project in NTSC . Futages are all in 60p.
The only problem are old lamps (In Europe old bulbs are on 50hz).
For avoid strobe you will need to set camera to 100fps. But on 100fps you will need additional light :(
Fortunately old bulbs are rare now, and hope will be changed by leds soon

Dimitris M. Redstone

May 10, 2015, 4:54 am

THANK YOU for responding. Also what 3D software do you use? Reasonable priced I hope.
Thanks again
Dimitris

Vitalicus

May 10, 2015, 10:03 am

Edius

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