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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 May 6th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #1
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clip length speculation/wild rumor?

I heard from a dealer recently that the T2i (as well as the 7D & 5D (?)) only records short clips for tax reasons. If they allow for longer clip lengths, then they have to sell the units as video cameras rather than still cameras with video capacity. He told me there were tax implications that made it better to restrict the clip lengths. Has anyone else heard something like this? If this is just a rumor that has been disproved already, feel free to just delete the post. There are enough rumors on the internet as it is!
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Old May 6th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #2
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Well, it's sorta true. But this doesn't affect Canon cams. It does affect the Panasonic GH1. TheCanon cameras have a technical reason for their duration. The European GH1 will onlt record 29 minutes, while al other version will record as long as there is card space. It was a dumb choice by Panasonic as far as I am concerned. The extra tax would have been about US$100 per camera.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for your response. I wonder what the technical reason is. It's a nuisance for me as record a lot of interviews and I can't trust myself to remember to stop and start recording every few minutes (I often operate solo so I can't leave it to someone else). Then I would need to sync up all those clips, etc. I don't suppose there will be a firmware fix for this at any point, no?
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Thanks for your response. I wonder what the technical reason is. It's a nuisance for me as record a lot of interviews and I can't trust myself to remember to stop and start recording every few minutes (I often operate solo so I can't leave it to someone else). Then I would need to sync up all those clips, etc. I don't suppose there will be a firmware fix for this at any point, no?
All true DSLR's have to move that mirror up and down 24 or 30 times a second. That's a real mechanical limitation and it produces friction and heat. I would NEVER buy one of these cameras for interview purposes as an "A" cam. It's not suitable for purpose for several reasons. The GH1, has no mirror and thus doesn't have the same limitations. Firmware won't get you around it.

There is a modification that removes the mirror from the body of the Canons but it's more expensive than most people want to pay. I'd do it in a heartbeat if I wanted to really use these things as a video camera.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #5
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That makes sense. I actually use my EX1 for interviews, but I'm growing weary of the clunky adapter process, but I like that nice shallow dof. I guess I'll just have to wait for that perfect camera! Thanks again.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #6
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Probably about 60% of what I shoot are interviews. I've been doing that with the T2i now for a coupe of months. It's really not that big of a hassle. When the clip reaches about 6 minutes i start looking for a break to start and stop the recording. It only takes a few seconds to do, so if a question is being asked by an interviewer it's a good time to do this.

On the other hand, if the person is speaking non-stop for 12 minutes there's a real good chance the material is getting tiresome and a quick pause isn't the worst thing in the world.

Obviously it would be far preferable to be able to shoot as long as you needed to, but I don't feel this particular issue is that big of a deal for what I shoot. I'm more than willing to deal with this minor hassle to get all the goodness the DSLR brings otherwise.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #7
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That's actually a great point. People are usually pretty tired after talking for more than ten minutes. It may be a good excuse to stop. So what do you record your audio to and do you just go with the camera LCD for monitoring? I have the Z-finder, but I'd be nervous relying on just that.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
All true DSLR's have to move that mirror up and down 24 or 30 times a second.
Have you actually shot with a T2i? The mirror has to be up in movie mode in order for the light to reach the sensor. That's why they call it 'live mode'. The mirror pops up once when the mode is engaged and stays there.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #9
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Have you actually shot with a T2i? The mirror has to be up in movie mode in order for the light to reach the sensor. That's why they call it 'live mode'. The mirror pops up once when the mode is engaged and stays there.
Interesting. No I have not shot with a T2i. But I've shot with a 5D and 7D. And I do admit that I haven't looked at the mirror while in film mode. Thanks for the information.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:33 AM   #10
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The manual says the max. clip length is actually 29:59.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #11
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Oddly enough, this "information" came from me seeing a video attached to a story about this and seeing the mirror flipping up and down. It's entirely possible that the attached video was really of the camera being used in continuous still mode and not movie mode.

If this is indeed the case, then I stand corrected and I do apologize.

Rusty, I do believe the 29:59 is for SD mode. In HD, I believe it's slightly less than 12 minutes.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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The limit is 4GB which is about 30 mins of SD and 12 mins of HD. The actual time can change depending on the materal. I got almost 13 mins once. It was thrilling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post
That's actually a great point. People are usually pretty tired after talking for more than ten minutes. It may be a good excuse to stop. So what do you record your audio to and do you just go with the camera LCD for monitoring? I have the Z-finder, but I'd be nervous relying on just that.
I use a Sony PCM-D50 for external audio recording and for setups like interviews I'll use an external monitor (7" Lilliput). I'm currently researching loupes as I need one for handheld stuff.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post
I heard from a dealer recently that the T2i (as well as the 7D & 5D) only records short clips for tax reasons.
Yes, that's true. We've covered this extensively back when the EOS 5D Mk. II was first introduced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
But this doesn't affect Canon cams.
Actually yes, it does indeed affect *all* still photo cameras with HD video recording capability, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
All true DSLR's have to move that mirror up and down 24 or 30 times a second.
No, that's not how it works. When operating in Live View mode (which is the mode that enables video recording), the mirror is moved up out of the light path and held there until the mode is deactivated. This is the reason why the optical viewfinder isn't usable during Live view; because it's blocked by the mirror. And it's the reason why you don't hear the mirror clacking away 24 times per second.

The EU tax limitation affects all cameras worldwide because there is no "separate EU model" of any camera. The limitation prohibits video recordings longer than 30 minutes in order to qualify first and foremost as still photo cameras, to avoid the extra tax imposed on video cameras in Europe. This is why the SD video modes are capped at 29 minutes, 29 seconds. That equals about 4GB in file size. The file itself is capped at 4GB and it doesn't distinguish between SD and HD. The limitation is imposed to prevent recordings longer than 29:29 but in High Definition the same data rate caps out at appx. 12 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less).

This is not a "rumor" at all and it has been verbally confirmed for me by senior executives within Canon USA. It should be clearly understood that this is not a technical limitation nor is it a file format limitation. Hope this helps,
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan McCullough View Post
The limit is 4GB which is about 30 mins of SD and 12 mins of HD. The actual time can change depending on the materal. I got almost 13 mins once. It was thrilling.
: )

I noticed during testing that if the content in the frame stays unchanged I got up to 18 minutes. I think its because the codec has a variable bit rate - if nothing changes pixels are just carried forward...
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #15
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That's right, the limitation is a runtime of 29:29 or a file size of 4GB, whichever comes first. In the case of HD recording, since it is using a VBR, the maximum recording time is somewhat flexible. It could reach the full 4GB in 10 minutes or less, or 14 minutes or more; it depends entirely on what the camera is pointed at. Twelve minutes is a good rule of thumb and that's why most people refer to it.
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