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XDCAM is the name for a digital video system introduced by Sony that records on Professional Disc for Broadcast for tapeless recording .

Professional Disc

Sony Professional Disc

XDCAM records on the so-called " Professional Disc for Broadcast ". This disc is similar to the Blu-ray system, but it is additionally protected against external influences by a housing and uses a different file format .

The "Professional Discs" are available in four versions. The variants differ in the number of layers. 23 GB of video material fit on a single-layer “Professional Disc” . This corresponds to 85 minutes in DVCAM mode and 45 minutes in IMX mode (IMX50). A dual-layer “Professional Disc” holds 50 GB of video material. This corresponds to 185 minutes in DVCAM mode. The triple-layer "Professional Disc" can store 100 GB of video material. The quad-layer "Professional Disc" is the only non-rewritable variant of the XDCAM and has a capacity of 124 GB.

Proxy data

In addition to the fully resolved PAL or NTSC signal, XDCAM cameras record so-called proxy AV data. This is a lower resolution, MPEG -4 compressed version of the actual video data that is stored in parallel to the fully resolved signal. These offer the advantage that they can be transmitted faster in tapeless acquisition and can thus be used for faster viewing or offline editing, for example.

Areas of application

XDCAM camera team from telebasel

XDCAM, in contrast to Digital Betacam (the tape-based digital predecessor of Sony, which is the standard for the ARD and many private broadcasters), is multi-format compatible, so recording in HD and SD is possible. Shortly after XDCAM was launched, well-known television broadcasters such as WDR or Sat.1 , but also smaller regional broadcasters such as Telebasel , decided to purchase XDCAM equipment.

The system is increasingly being used both for daily use as well as in the area of ​​documentary film production.


Sony XDCAM PDW-1500

The main XDCAM devices include the following:

  • PDW-510 XDCAM Camcorder Record on DVCAM
  • PDW-530 XDCAM camcorder recording on DVCAM & IMX
  • PDW-1500 XDCAM recorder recording on DVCAM & IMX
  • PDW-F330 & PDW-F350 XDCAM HD Camcorder Record on DVCAM & XDCAM HD
  • PDW-700 & PDW-F800 XDCAM HD camcorder recording on DVCAM (option) & IMX & XDCAM HD
  • PDW-F30 & PDW-F70 XDCAM HD recorder recording on DVCAM & XDCAM HD
  • PDW-F75 XDCAM HD recorder recording on dual-layer professional disc
  • PDW-U1 XDCAM HD USB drive for the computer for fast archiving and editing (supports 23 and 50GB discs)
  • PDW-U2 XDCAM HD USB drive for computers for fast archiving and editing (supports 23, 50 and 124GB discs and has an improved read / write speed compared to its predecessor)

With the introduction of XDCAM, Sony announced the PDW-3000 studio recorder. This should - like a tape-based VTR machine - be able to edit as a recorder and have the "normal" size of a VTR (full 19 "width, 4 height units). The PDW-3000, however, was never mass-produced.

A software update for the PDW-1500 has been available since January 2007, making this machine a full-fledged editing recorder with insert and assemble functions.

Specification (SD Codec)

Media Blu-ray Disc with a durable cartridge
Sampling rate 4: 1: 1 ( NTSC , DVCAM ) 4: 2: 0 ( PAL , DVCAM ) 4: 2: 2 (PAL / NTSC, IMX )
Bit rate 25 Mbit / s ( DVCAM ) 30/40/50 Mbit / s ( IMX )
compression DVCAM , MPEG-IMX
pixel 720 × 480 (NTSC), 720 × 576 (PAL)
Sampling frequency 48 kHz
Quantization 16 bit / sample ( DVCAM ), 20 bit / sample ( IMX )
Audio compression PCM
Number of audio channels 4 channels ( DVCAM ), 8 channels ( IMX )

Audio tracks

When recording on XDCAM disc, please note that the 8 audio tracks can only be recorded in mono. Stereo or 5.1 audio tracks can only be recorded as discrete channels.

See also

Commons : Sony XDCAM  - collection of images, videos and audio files