AVCHD is an HD video format jointly developed by Sony and Panasonic. AVCHD uses Advanced Video Coding (AVC) compression (also known as MPEG-4 part 10 or H.264) to achieve high-quality images and low data rates. AVCHD camcorders record on a variety of file-based media, including 80 mm DVDs, hard disks, and flash memory (such as Secure Digital cards and memory sticks).

The AVCHD specification allows most SD and HD dimensions and frame rates, though each camcorder usually supports only a few formats. The AVCHD color sample ratio is 4:2:0, with 8 bits per sample. Audio can be recorded in 5.1-channel surround sound with Dolby Digital (AC-3) compression or up to 7.1-channel surround sound (uncompressed). Some camcorders, such as the Panasonic HDC-SD5 camcorder, use a two-channel built-in microphone.