Running with Vinny - 3D camera testing - 4. Panasonic Lumix 3D1

David Starkman

Hi George,

Many thanks for all of the information that you have supplied over the years about the Panasonic 3D1.  I have to agree that it is great for 3D Close-Ups, and I like the wider angle lenses, and that it works better than the W1/W3s in low light situations. 
For those who only have the "Basic" manual that came with the camera, here is a link where you can download the "Advanced Features" manual (the one that SHOULD have come with the camera).
One feature that I don't think is mentioned in the manual, is a way to get longer exposures in low light. 
I discovered this by chance, when I was trying to take some pictures indoors in a stately mansion in low light, with the flash turned off. I wanted to get the mood of the room without the flash lighting it up. I hand-held the camera as steadily as I could, but he picture was just too dark. 
Nearby there was a newel post at the bottom of a stairway, with a flat top on it. So I set the camera firmly on the flat surface and composed as best as I could from that angle, and pressed the shutter button with the camera firmly seated on the flat part of the post. This would be the equivalent to putting the camera on a tripod, which I did not have with me.
Much to my surprise the camera made a MUCH LONGER exposure than when I was hand-holding the camera! So I got a much better exposure! I tested this by hand holding a similar shot, and then taking it again with the camera firmly on the flat surface. I can only surmise from this that the camera can sense when it is being hand-held, and when it is firmly not moving at all, as when on a tripod. 
If anyone can find this explained in the manual, let me know what page you have found it on! Try it for yourself, if you have not already discovered this feature.
Another thing about the 3D1 that I don't think is documented anywhere is that there are THREE versions of this camera!. The version with ONLY Japanese instructions, that was sold in Japan. The version that was sold in the USA that I bought new when they came out has only English and Spanish. And then there is what I will call the "International" Version. I discovered this when I bought a backup 3D1 from a seller in Germany, who said it had an English menu. When I looked at the language menu in the setup I was surprised to find that there were 16 languages on this camera!  English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Dutch, Turkish, Portuguese, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Greek, and Japanese (unless that's Chinese - I'm not sure). So I wonder if there was a Canadian version that only had English and French? Or maybe Canada got the "International" version. Anyone out their buy theirs new in Canada who can check the menu and report back?
A great little 3D camera! Thank you for your report, George!
-David Starkman

Join to automatically receive all group messages.