XDCAM

XAVC Maximum Quality

Maximum Quality at Minimal Storage Costs With XAVC Recording

Exquisite recording typically requires extreme bitrates, quickly filling up your cards, overwhelming your storage and bogging down your network. The answer is Sony's clever XAVC encoding.

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XAVC. DP Michael Price captures the ABC Television series 'Trophy Wife' with Sony's XAVC codec.
The brilliance. Without the baggage. Sony's XAVC recording
Exquisite recording typically requires extreme bitrates, quickly filling up your cards, overwhelming your storage and bogging down your network. The answer is Sony's clever XAVC encoding. Here's the supple texture of 4K, beautiful super slow motion, extraordinary 10-bit contrast and precise 4:2:2 color—all at real-world bitrates. Here's the quality you want with the savings you need.
DP Richard Wong used the F5 and the XAVC codec for “Man from Reno,” which won the Narrative Award at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. DP Richard Wong used the F5 and the XAVC codec for “Man from Reno,” which won the Narrative Award at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival.
The amazing imagery you deserve
Careful cinematographers and producers can work wonders within the conventional limits: grayscale graduation of just 8 bits per color component, 4:2:2 color coding, 30 frames per second and a maximum of 1920 x 1080 resolution. But there's an amazing world of image creation beyond those limits. Sony XAVC recording can make that world a practical reality for you.

Vivid 4:2:2 color

Many entry-level camcorders save on bandwidth by using 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 color sampling. The XAVC codec’s 10-bit 4:2:2 color coding is substantially better than existing 8-bit formats. This makes for better rendition of edge detail, especially where an area of one color meets another, as where a red T-shirt appears against green grass. For this reason, the XAVC codec's 4:2:2 color sampling is also far better than 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 for green screen compositing.

The 4:2:2 sampling of XAVC recording captures much more color information than conventional 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 sampling. The 4:2:2 sampling of XAVC recording captures much more color information than conventional 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 sampling.
 
Without enough precision, color correction can cause banding, as in the sky (left). The XAVC codec delivers 10-bit recording for images that hold up better in post (right). (Simulated images for illustration purposes.) Without enough precision, color correction can cause banding, as in the sky (left).
The XAVC codec delivers 10-bit recording for images that hold up better in post (right). (Simulated images for illustration purposes.)
 
Beautiful 10-bit imagery
For decades, the workhorse digital formats have all used 8-bit digital precision, resulting in about 250 grayscale levels for each channel (Y, Cb and Cr). While 8-bit recording is good for broadcasting, it's somewhat fragile in color correction. When you start to lift shadows or compress highlights, you may see “banding” across areas of flat color, such as sky. That's why so many productions are moving to the more precise, more robust 10-bit recording, which provides about 1,000 grayscale levels per channel. Sony's XAVC codec delivers 10-bit precision without any penalty in storage costs.
 
With more than four times the pixels of Full HD, 4K entails over 8 million pixels per frame. Sony XAVC recording helps you tame the beast.

The superior texture of 4K

As cinematographers and moviegoers have discovered, 4K is a glorious image format. But 4K is a data hog, entailing more than four times the pixels of Full HD. The XAVC codec enables you to record 4K without spending quite so much money on storage. For example, XAVC-I recording captures 4K at 24p using only 240 Megabits per second (Mbps), while XAVC-L recording captures 4K at bit rates as low as 60 Mbps!

 
With more than four times the pixels of Full HD, 4K entails over 8 million pixels per frame. Sony XAVC recording helps you tame the beast.
 
High Frame Rates

High Frame Rates

High Frame Rate (HFR) shots can turn everyday actions into slow-motion ballet, a visual celebration of elegant movement. But just as 4K can gobble up vast quantities of storage space, so can HFR. For example, 180 fps requires 7.5 times the data storage of conventional 24 fps recording. The XAVC codec helps manage the data flow, making HFR a more practical option.

 
While maximum frame rates vary by camera, the F55, F5
and FS7 all achieve 60 fps at 4K and 180 fps in full HD.
Colorist Jason Fabbro of Technicolor gets his hands on XAVC-I 4K footage shot by Curtis Clark, ASC.
Master quality from the codec masters
Codec technology is where the mathematics of entropy meets the psychophysics of human vision. It's a subtle science that requires comprehensive understanding of everything from cinematography to digital signal processing and semiconductor design. And it's an area where Sony excels.

Sony as a codec company
Sony created the world's first professional acquisition codec, Digital Betacam® recording, in 1993. Ever since, we've been developing ground-breaking codecs including XDCAM®, HDCAM® and HDCAM-SR® recording. And we play nicely with others. Sony is an enthusiastic participant in industry standards-setting bodies, including the Motion Pictures Experts Group (MPEG). In the ultimate endorsement, even other camcorder companies use the XDCAM® MPEG-2 50 Mbps 4:2:2 implementation developed by Sony.
 
Hollywood Boulevard at night reveals extraordinary
texture and dynamic range with the XAVC codec.
Curtis Clark, ASC, did the test.
4K XAVC S-Log3/S-Gamut3.Cine (1250EI, T4.0)
 
XAVC
Sony's new platform
Like Betacam® and XDCAM recording before it, the XAVC codec is the new platform for Sony's product development moving forward. Look for an even broader choice of XAVC products in the time to come.
 
H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
The XAVC codec is an efficient implementation of the industry-standard H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding at its highest level of performance, Level 5.2. We apply the H.264 compression techniques to achieve far greater efficiency than was possible with the previous-generation workhorse codec: MPEG-2. Sony's implementation of H.264 takes advantage of unique encoding technology to offer the highest quality at each bitrate.
Sony's XAVC I pre-coder circuit enables multi-pass encoding, for superior performance compared to previous professional AVC Intra-frame only encoding. Sony's XAVC I pre-coder circuit enables multi-pass encoding,
for superior performance compared to previous professional
AVC Intra-frame only encoding.
 
MXF OP-1a file wrapper
Like XDCAM® MPEG-2 recording before it, XAVC recording uses the simple, familiar MXF OP-1a wrapper. Audio and video “essence” is interleaved for simple, single file management.
The XAVC codec is now featured in a full line of cameras and decks.
Large Sensor Cameras
 
Shoulder Mount Cameras
 
 



*Discontinued and new models also support our XAVC workflow.

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