AVS Club Gold
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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The distance is measured from center to center as an industry standard.
I would not describe the close IA as "weaker" 3D but rather a smaller IA is designed for smaller 3 dimensional stage. As the stage gets larger you need to expand the IA to permit a 3D stereoscopic illusion between objects on the stage.
The TD-20 is a much smaller physical sized camcorder than the TD10 and this obviously restricts the IA to a smaller distance. However the 3D effect can be quite adequate in the smaller stage that this camcorder is designed to shoot. Shooting 3D in your home and similar stage size will be quite adequate. However, shooting distances 25 to 50 ft away, even the TD10 would not be much improvement but the Z10000 would. In addition the zoom-in will also help in achieving some increase depth illusion. Here's the general rule of thumb for understanding the 3D effect you get:
As the stage gets larger, increase the IA. At any given IA zooming in on an object will pull that object from in back to forward in z space. If the IA is too small for 3D illusion, zooming in will improve it but will also create a flattening of the object, some claim is the cardboard cutout look. By contrast, if the stage gets smaller, decrease IA of your forward objects can lose convergence and appear as a double image in the popout.
There are actual complex equations to calculate all these dimensions, there are also calculators to compute the same. However, the over all effect of the different camcorders IA, lens focal length (zoom) and stage size is as described above.
Personally, I find that the TD10 and JVC TD1 for it's physical size offers the happiest compromise for most consumer shooting around the home and vacation shots. For sports, I would go with the Z10000 because most sports is done with a larger stage, basketball court, Football field etc.
If shooting large stage events, I prefer the twin camera system with large variable IA flexibility. Not something a casual shooter would want to carry along. I don't, but when I know there is an event that dictates a 20" IA, I can plan for it and set it up.
Unfortunately, unless you have the budget for a number of different camcorders with different IA, there is no easy one does all and does it with best results. It's almost a design impossibility. In other words, get me a 20" IA with a camcorder that is no bigger than 3" wide. LOL! Therefore you have to decide what is important and what you can compromise with.
Besides more compact size, the TD20 will also offer GPS features Sony is popularizing. This has little value for me. I actually like two aspects of the TD20. 1. It does focus closer than my TD10 and produce nicer "macro" 3D stereo of very small stages. 2. It is smaller and fits in my pocket even better than the TD10. I would probably carry it with me more often than the TD10.
Some things are fortunately identical from my brief experience shooting with the TD20-
The image quality is the same, the image stabilizer is the same, the LCD screen is the same high quality, audio is the same, and all TD10 accessories except lens attachments are the same. For me, a TD10 owner, these similarities are very important as my kit would be able to share accessories. I will probably buy the TD20 for the 2 reasons stated when the price rolls off a bit.