XDCAM is a series of products for digital recording using random access solid-state memory media, introduced by Sony in 2003. Four different product lines – the XDCAM SD, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, and XDCAM HD422 – differ in types of encoder used, frame size, container type, and in recording media.
None of the later products have made earlier product lines obsolete. Sony maintains that different formats within the XDCAM family have been designed to meet different applications and budget constraints.
The XDCAM range includes cameras and decks which act as drop-in replacements for traditional VTRs allowing XDCAM discs to be used within a traditional video tape-based workflow. These decks can also serve as random access computer hard drives for easy import of the video data files into non-linear editing systems (NLE) via FireWire (IEEE 1394) and Ethernet.
In September 2008, JVC announced its alliance with Sony to support the XDCAM EX format.
In August 2009, Convergent Design began shipping the nanoFlash Portable Recorder, which uses the Sony XDCAM HD422 codec.
In November 2012, VITEC began shipping the FS-T2001 Portable Recorder, which uses Sony XDCAM HD422 and XDCAM HD codec.
The XDCAM format uses multiple video compression methods and media container formats.
Video is recorded with DV, MPEG-2 Part 2 or MPEG-4 compression schemes. DV is used for standard-definition video, MPEG-2 is used both for standard and high definition video, while MPEG-4 is used for proxy video.
Audio is recorded in uncompressed PCM form for all formats except proxy video, which uses A-law compression.
Equipment that uses Professional Disc as well as XDCAM 4:2:2 on SxS cards as recording media employs MXF containers to store digital audio/digital video streams. Tapeless camcorders that record onto solid-state memory cards, use MP4 container for high definition audio/video, and DV-AVI container for DV video. JVC camcorders that use XDCAM EX recording format, are also capable of recording into QuickTime container besides using MP4 container.