Panasonic plans to launch a 12.1-million-pixel 3D camera onto the UK market in time for Christmas.

The DMC-3D1 is due out in mid-December, priced £449.99.

Billed as the smallest 3D photo and 3D video camera with a dual lens system, the 3D1 features two 12.1MP CMOS sensors, a 3.5in touchscreen and an HD movie mode.

?Thanks to the new [?folded? optics] twin lens system the DMC-3D1 can record both 3D photo and 3D videos in high-resolution – 8MP photo and 1920×1080 video – using the side-by-side method,? said a spokesman.

Panasonic explained that users can capture high-resolution 2D photos and 2D video at the same time, thanks to the two lenses working independently.

This also means photographers can capture a wide scene using one lens and a close-up with another, for example.

The 4x optical zooms are designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent focal length of a 25-100mm lens. They are built from 11 elements in 10 groups and contain five aspherical lenses.

The 3D1 boasts a top still image burst rate of 4fps with AF, and 8fps without AF.

Images from the SD memory card-compatible model can be played back on a 3D compatible TV.