3D photography is not a gimmick and is here to stay, claims Panasonic which has installed 3D functionality into three of its latest compact cameras, due out in March.

Lumix TZ203D photography is not a gimmick and is here to stay, claims Panasonic which has installed 3D functionality into three of its latest compact cameras, due out in March.

Panasonic Lumix product manager Mark Robinson said the firm sees ?huge potential for 3D? as it unveils a new line-up, including a new travel zoom flagship called the Lumix TZ20.

In a recent interview with Amateur Photographer, Robinson said that in an ?ever-crowded marketplace? he predicts a rosy future for 3D photography, where compact camera users tap into its potential to document special occasions, such as weddings.

The TZ20?s newly added 3D Photo mode ?produces a realistic, low-distortion 3D image from up to 20 consecutive images shot whilst panning,? according to Panasonic.

The pictures can be viewed on a compatible 3D TV.

Expected to cost around £350, the 14.1-million-pixel model sports Full HD movie recording (1,920×1,080 pixels) and a lens designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 24-384mm zoom. Panasonic claims the TZ20 can shoot 10 frames per second at full resolution.

Billed as a ?significant reinvention of the TZ series? the TZ20 also boasts a built-in GPS system and ?i-Phone?-quality touchscreen scrolling.

This GPS technology embeds the photo?s location details (longitude and latitude) into the file?s Exif data.

Meanwhile, the new 14.1MP Lumix TZ18, which lacks 3D and GPS, will cost £269.

Panasonic has also added 3D to the new Lumix FT3, features of which also include a built-in compass, altimeter, barometer, plus GPS.

Also priced around £350, the 12.1MP FT3 is claimed to be waterproof down to 12m, shockproof to 2m and freeze proof down to minus 10 degrees Celsius.

3D shooting is also promised on the Lumix FX77 which sports a 3.5in LCD screen and is expected to cost around £270.