Let's just say that 3D has not been the resounding success we would have liked. It's future is not guaranteed, but I think it will survive this time around. There's little reason for it not to, since it costs so little to implement it in modern digital equipment.
"Best consumer 3D cam" is a relative term. The Sony TD10 is easy to use, has high quality and can be found for some really good prices. It also shoots in surround sound, while the JVC uses a pseudo-surround mode called "bi-phonic." But if I were buying in this price range right now, I wouldn't buy either the TD1 or the TD10. I'd spend $150 more than it would cost to buy the JVC TD1 and get the JVC HMZ1 ($995) - the pro version of the TD1. It shoots 24p in 2D and 3D, and 60p in 2D. It has a wide range of manual controls, and the image quality is the same or better than the TD1 - and that's extremely good.
The Sony TD10 clips can be imported into Sony Vegas and edited without conversion. The HMZ1 comes with a utility for splitting its highest quality clips into left/right pairs. Those clips can then be used in Vegas. (Unfortunately, it doesn't work with TD1 clips.) Either Sony or JVC clips can be used in PowerDirector 10 as is, without the need for conversion. The JVC also has a native AVCHD side by side 3D shooting mode that is quite good. Those clips can be taken straight from the camcorder and used in Sony Vegas without conversion. For most things, the quality should be quite acceptable. For times when maximum quality is desired, the mp4 shooting mode of the JVC allows you to shoot at a higher bitrate than the Sony (34mbps vs 24mbps). To my eye, the quality difference is visible in the video. Both the TD1 and the HMZ1 allow for far greater manual control in 3D than the Sony. I believe that shows up in the video, too. I absolutely LOVE the little JVC's image quality. If you take the time to learn how to use the manual controls, you can take it to a whole other level of beautiful. And the HMZ1 gives you the ability to shoot 3D at 24p, a professional standard.
If you're a casual user, both the Sony and the JVC are great choices. Both can shoot good looking 3D. However, IMO the JVC HMZ1 is the best choice now in that price range, because of its manual controls and 24p shooting mode. Having to split the high quality MVC files for use in Sony Vegas Pro is the only disadvantage that I can see, and it's not nearly as bad as the way we had to do it for months after the TD1 was released. That was tedious and ate up hard drive space on the computer.
I'm sorely tempted to sell my TD1 and get the JVC HMZ1. I may not want to shoot on anything else once I see what my new Panasonic Z10000 is capable of (I'm hoping so
), but I think it's hard to beat the image quality of the JVC. And for traveling light, it's great.Edited by Joseph Clark - 7/12/12 at 11:32am