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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.

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Old March 28th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #61
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I agree that the 4GB limit is really annoying, and the reasons could be numerous, some business, some technical. It's true that all flash-recording based camcorder create files with the 4GB limit because they use the FAT32 file system. Other file systems don't have that limit.

I don't agree with some posters that even Quicktime has the limit, for example, I've used Final Cut Pro to capture HDV tapes for many years and the files, if the original recording is contiguous, can be more than 4GB. I have some files that are up to 13GB in length (on the Macintosh HFS+ file system.) Now if Quicktime was used to save files to a FAT file system, it would be limited to 4GB.

Getting back to the Canon DLSR 4GB limit: I purchased one of the early flash-based camcorders in 2007, the Panasonic SD1. It's a remarkable little camcorder, and uses SDHC cards of basically any size. I started with 8GB cards, and now I'm using 16GB cards with it and it handles them no problem. It also has the annoying 4GB limit. Because it's using a very compressed AVCHD 17mbs codec, I get about 45 minutes of recording time before the camcorder stops recording and goes into pause mode.

I usually don't record takes more than 45 minutes with the SD1, so I don't usually run into this problem. However, the other day, I was recording a band, and had it as the "C" camera situated at the back of the stage toward the audience, and set it to record. The performance lasted 3 hours, but I only got 45 minutes of it. I was annoyed, because if I had thought about it I would have remember the limit and done something to start recording.

Did Panasonic think about this limit? Maybe. Did they come out with an updated firmware to fix it? No. The amount of work to fix the firmware, or possibly even update hardware wasn't worth it for the potential business that was lost because of the limit. It may not just be a simple firmware (software) issue, there are other issues, such as buffering the previous 4GB clip before starting recording the next clip to make sure there are no gaps, which might require more or faster internal memory. Some camcorder makers have addressed this limit and can make seamless back-to-back files, others have not. I believe that the Panasonic GH1 has a 29 minute limit in Europe, whereas in the US I think it creates a new file at the 4GB limit. (But I'm not sure, I don't have one).

My Sony EX1 and JVC HM100 don't have this limit. They create a new file at 4GB, seamlessly. In your NLE your string them together and there are no gaps. They are pro camcorders and they would definitely lose business if they couldn't record over 4GB.

Would I love for the Canon DSLRS to remove the limit? Yes. Would I pay more for a model that features it? You betcha! I'd probably pay $1,000 more for this feature. Would Canon make back it's investment for the several thousand potential customers? Maybe, maybe not.

I hope that Canon removes this limit on their future DSLRs, or even these with firmware updates, however I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime I'm considering some type of silent timer that I can set at 10 minutes that will let me know to press the record button without interrupting interviews, where I have experienced this problem several times ("oops - missed that last part, let me press record again..".)

Just my 2 cents.


Last edited by Keith Moreau; March 28th, 2010 at 10:50 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old March 28th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #62
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I bet they never do, just imagine the XL H1A great ergonomic 3 ccd some blurring fast moves, a beast, for 3 grant plus uncompressed HD.SD-SDI output Genlock, timecode. Ur customers say a real tool. I do know it very well. For the holy grail of DOF and the fun to have tons of glasses, focus pulling look there..... IndiSYSTEM - Studio 4 Productions and other stuff u can get a set up that has not the ergonomics of the XL H1a but how often did I use all the screens and stuff on this cam, very rare.
U got it, they don't like to canibalize this market is the same with all this Smart Toyota micro cars.....I do drive an Aygo on fat tyres with a nice paint scheme and a decend sound system...small is sexy they don't know what to do
this camera tehered no flascard but an fancy adaptor to an laptop with 2 Sata disk holding 5 hours and a program would start the next 4 gb rel with some overlap seamless, will blow all prosumer and entry level camcorder with a price tag like 12 grant away.

Canon does know this on some level!!!!!!!
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Old March 28th, 2010, 05:06 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I wish that someone from Canon would give a definitive answer to this question
A definitive answer, as in the form of a press release? There is no compelling reason for them to issue one. It's never going to happen.

...but until then my opinion is just as valid as that of everyone else & I doubt that this limitation on recording time has anything to do with the tax regime in the EU.
If it helps, I've been told by someone fairly high up the chain at Canon USA that the limitation is indeed due to the EU tax situation. That's neither an official answer or a definitive one, but at least it goes beyond opinion and into the realm of anecdotal information.

Ultimately the point is that the limitation does in fact exist. The question then becomes: is there any practical way to overcome it. The best, most viable possibility lies in the potential of a firmware hack such as Magic Lantern. That effort is a productive one which may actually yield some results.

What does *not* yield results, however, is ranting on this forum. I can understand if someone feels the need to rant, and I wholeheartedly encourage anyone in a ranting mood to exercise their right to freedom of speech and rant away on their own blog / forum / site / whatever. Meanwhile, please show some respect for DV Info Net and keep the interaction here focused on results that everyone can use. While blowing off steam with a rant might feel good to the person doing it, unfortunately it has the opposite effect on those who have to read it -- there's nothing positive or useful for others to carry away, and therefore serves no worthwhile purpose here.

I'm not sure why this thread grew to be so long, but to ultimately answer the original poster's question of "what is the maximum sustained recording length," it is:

Roughly twelve minutes of HD video or 29 minutes and 59 seconds of SD video.

Thanks everyone,

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