Another feature which hasn’t been lost in the X800 is the ability to shoot in 3D. You can add the WV-CLT2 optional lens attachment to convert the single lens path to two. This is an improvement over the original WV-CLT1, with a faster attachment method and simplified calibration. Best of all, you can now zoom in 3D mode, albeit only by a factor of 1.5x. Thanks to the AVCHD 2.0 support, video can be recorded in the frame-alternating MVC format as well as Side-by-Side, which provides distinct quality advantages. However, the X800’s 3D abilities are still no match for dedicated 3D camcorders such as the JVC Everio GS-TD1 or http://www.trustedreviews.com/sony-hdr-td20ve_Camcorder_review Sony HDR-TD20VE. These both offer standard camcorder zoom factors in 3D mode as well as control over convergence.
As a result of the missing lens ring, all settings must be configured via the touch-screen LCD, but the range on offer is exactly the same as with the X900, so very extensive indeed. There’s a quick menu to the left of the LCD. In Intelligent Auto mode, this provides access to extra zoom and record buttons, which are handily placed for two-handed shooting, the OIS Lock button, backlight compensation, and the Pre-REC buffering function. You can also toggle AF Tracking and enable a mode where swiping the screen zooms in and out.
Switch to manual, however, and an extra menu page appears. Here you can configure focusing using an onscreen slider, and similarly adjust shutter from 1/50th to 1/8000th, as well as iris from F16 to F1.6, with up to 18dB of video gain available on top of a fully open aperture. Above 12dB a small amount of grain does start to show itself, but not an in unsightly way – this is video gain you can actually use. Head to the main menu, and you get access to a comprehensive selection of scene modes, manual microphone level controls, and even picture adjustments. These allow you to tweak sharpness, colour, exposure and white balance offset in a customised way. So there’s the same level of fine control over shooting as the X900, it’s just not so easy to get to.