Current, commonly available HD acquisition formats, sorted by maximal resolution

NOTE!! This format table is pretty old and out-of-date.

Here you can find a much better and more complete list of acquisition codecs and other useful stuff
(by Zak Ray)

HD -format

MAX Resolution

Bit depth

Color sampling


Data rate

RED 4K 4096*2304 ?? RAW bayer pattern Redcode RAW wavelet 288 Mbit/s, 224 Mbit/s (9:1 / 12:1)
TRUE HD” (comparision only)
1920*1080 8,10,12 4:4:4 None 1000-2000 Mbit/s.
HDCAM SR 1920*1080 10,12 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 DPCM / DCT / Mpeg 4 440Mbit/s (4.2:1 / 2.7:1)
D5-HD 1920*1080 8,10 4:2:2 DCT 235Mbit/s (4:1 / 5:1)
XDCAM HD422  1920*1080 8 (?) 4:2:2 MPEG-2 (?) 50 Mbit/s
XDCAM EX 1920*1080 8 4:2:0 MPEG-2 35 Mbit/s
AVCHD 1920*1080 8 4:2:0 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 19 Mbit/s
DVCPRO HD 1440*1080 (A)
8 4:2:2 DCT 100 Mbit/s (6.7:1)
HDCAM 1440*1080 (A) 8 3:1:1 DCT 140 Mbit/s (7.1:1)
XDCAM HD 1440*1080 (A) 8 4.2.0 MPEG-2 (VBR) 18, 25, 35Mbits/s  (22.4:1 / 16:1)
(theoretical maximum 50Mbit ???)
HDV 1440*1080 (A) 8 4:2:0 MPEG-2 25Mbit/s (22.4:1)
D9-HD 1280*1080 (A) 8 4:2:2 DCT 100Mbit/s (6.7:1)

Correct me if i'm wrong, you know the correct values for some of the ??? fields, or if i missed something important:

 ”TRUE HD” is an imaginary ”perfect” HD compliant format that doesn't really exist, AFAIK (well, recording uncompressed HD directly to a RAID has been done but...)

(A) = Anamorphic

Only the HIGHEST SPATIAL RESOLUTION mode each FORMAT (not specific cameras) can record is mentioned in the chart. This is a 1080 variant in all cases.
I may add listings for 720P modes later. Also, it's possible that i may add a column or a separate chart for native 24P recording (and other available frame rates) too.

These formats are "bubbling under" (Thanks to Kevin Shaw for the links):

Avid intends for their DNxHD codec to be an option for acquisition, with specs as described here:
Cineform is about to start shipping a recording device which captures directly to their Prospect HD codec, with specs as described here:

Most of the values were collected from these articles:

A good read about compression - the data rate alone doesn't tell it all...
Color sampling explained
Adobe's excellent HD primer document
Sony's HD formats thoroughly explained