Panasonic’s twin-lens P2 camera has been used in action for the first time, capturing elements of the live 3D broadcast of the French Open tennis.

The £13,500 camera was one of five 3D positions deployed by France Telecom subsidiary Orange for the event, which marked the launch of its own 3D TV channel.

Orange says it worked with the manufacturer to develop new functions for the camera. These include an in-camera notification to the operator of the limits within which they can pull focus on foreground and background objects without creating eye discomfort.

Orange is transmitting every match of the championship played on the main Phillipe Chartier court in 3D, using Orange’s sport production crew with Can Com municate as 3D consultant and stereographer. A tracking shot using the lightweight camcorder suspended from an aerial cable above the court was also trialled.

Aside from the use of the Panasonic cameras, the workflow for the event is virtually identical to what will be employed by HBS for Sony and FIFA’s 3D coverage of 25 World Cup soccer games. Can Communicate is also technical consultant for these matches.