A camcorder is an electronic device originally combining a video camera and a videocassette recorder.
The earliest camcorders were tape-based, recording analog signals onto videotape cassettes. In 2006, digital recording became the norm, with tape replaced by storage media such as mini-HD, microDVD, internal flash memory and SD cards.
More recent devices capable of recording video are camera phones and digital cameras primarily intended for still pictures; the term “camcorder” may be used to describe a portable, self-contained device, with video capture and recording its primary function, often having advanced functions over more common cameras.
Video cameras originally designed for television broadcast were large and heavy, mounted on special pedestals and wired to remote recorders in separate rooms. As technology improved, out-of-studio video recording was possible with compact video cameras and portable video recorders; a detachable recording unit could be carried to a shooting location. Although the camera itself was compact, the need for a separate recorder made on-location shooting a two-person job. Specialized videocassette recorders were introduced by JVC(VHS) and Sony (U-matic, with Betamax) releasing a model for mobile work. Portable recorders meant that recorded video footage could be aired on the early-evening news, since it was no longer necessary to develop film.