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A tapeless camcorder is a camcorder that does not use video tape for the digital recording of video productions as 20th century ones did. Tapeless camcorders record video as digital computer files onto data storage devices such as optical discs, hard disk drives and solid-state flash memory cards.
Inexpensive pocket video cameras use flash memory cards, while some more expensive camcorders use solid-state drives or SSD; similar flash technology is used on semi-pro and high-end professional video cameras for ultrafast transfer of high-definition television (HDTV) content.
Camcorders using DVD media were popular at the turn of the 21st century due to the convenience of being able to drop a disc into the family DVD player; however, DVD capability, due to the limitations of the format, is largely limited to consumer-level equipment targeted at people who are not likely to spend any great amount of effort video editing their video footage.
Sony introduced the XDCAM tapeless video format in 2003, introducing the Professional Disc (PFD). Panasonic followed in 2004 with its P2 solid state memory cards as a recording medium for DVCPRO-HD video. In 2006, Panasonic and Sony introduced AVCHD as an inexpensive, tapeless, high-definition video format. AVCHD camcorders are produced by Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC and Hitachi.
Consumer-grade tapeless camcorders include a USB port to transfer video onto a computer. Professional models include other options like Serial digital interface (SDI) or HDMI. Some tapeless camcorders are equipped with a Firewire (IEEE-1394) port to ensure compatibility with magnetic tape-based DV and HDV formats.
- Camera phone
- Electronic field production (EFP)
- Pocket video camera
- Television production
- Pogue, David (September 20, 2007). "Beware the tapeless camcorder". The New York Times.