Small, portable cameras using digital recording mediums like semiconductor memory and portable disks require very efficient data compression. MPEG-2, the codec used in HDV and DVD is getting a bit long in the tooth. The newer H.264 (a.k.a. MPEG-4 Part 10) codec is much more efficient than previous MPEG codecs (MPEG-2, H.263, MPEG-4 Part 2) and requires half of the bandwidth for the same image quality as the previous codecs (or provides dramatically better image quality at the same data rates). So far we’ve seen this new codec used for video iPod movies, the HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc standards, and many broadcast applications, it’s the wave of the future, and it’s not just for delivery any more, as these press releases from Panasonic indicate: “Panasonic Begins Development of Technology for Recording HD Images onto SD Memory Cards Based on the AVCHD Standard for Digital Video Cameras” and “Panasonic and Sony Jointly Developed New HD Digital Video Camera Recorder Format for Recording on Disc.” It looks like we’ll soon see H.264 in cameras, allowing doubled capacity with portable hard drives, Blu-Ray disks, SD cards, and P2 cards.