AVCHD was announced a while back, but today saw the release of the first (to the best of my knowledge) shipping camera using that format.
So, just when you were thinking that HDV, HDCam, DVCProHD, XDCamHD and the rest weren’t confusing enough, here’s a new format.
The cameras that have been announced are the Sony HDR-UX1 and HDR-SR1 (thanks Engadget) . The UX1 records to DVD, whereas the SR1 records to a built in disc. Surprise Surprise, the DVDs that you record will be playable in BluRay players, along with a computer (with special software).
As you might guess from the name, AVCHD uses MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) to record your HD content. So, if you thought HDV was a pain to edit, get ready for a new load of fun.
To be fair, these cameras are very squarely aimed at the soccer-mom set – folks who want HD content to watch on their 50″ plasmas when the family comes over for a visit. But frankly, I have nothing good to say about these cameras. Internal disks are the wrong way to go, in my opinion, as you’ve now got a fairly fragile, non-expandable bit that you’re tied to for recording. Similarly, recording to a DVD format, especially in a proprietary DVD format, is rather disappointing.
Of course, I don’t play soccer.