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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:52 AM   #1
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5DMK2 video duration with 16GB

Guys, if you have a big memory card in the camera, does the camera continue shooting video until it is full? That is to say, does it keep creating 4GB files in sequence, or does it stop at 4GB and you have to hit record again?
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:59 AM   #2
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It stops recording at 4 gb. You need to stop recording and restart again to create a new file.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:40 AM   #3
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It stops recording at 4 gb. You need to stop recording and restart again to create a new file.


What an obvious bug not to fix then... It should just carry on recording.

Does it warn you in any way when reaching 4GB? Do you have to set your focus and exposure etc again before hitting record?

Thanks!
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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It's not a bug. It's a feature. In other words, the camera is specifically
designed to work this way, as has been previously discussed here before.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Deniz Ahmet View Post
What an obvious bug not to fix then... It should just carry on recording.

Does it warn you in any way when reaching 4GB? Do you have to set your focus and exposure etc again before hitting record?

Thanks!
Hitting the Info button while recording will tell you how long it's been running so you can hit Stop before the 12-14 minute mark. Although there is a little meter warning that pops up on the LCD screen when you are nearing card capacity, I'm not sure if it does that for nearing the 4GB limit.

Once you hit Stop, you can start recording again without having to reset focus and exposure.

Hope that helps.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
It's not a bug. It's a feature. In other words, the camera is specifically
designed to work this way, as has been previously discussed here before.
It may not be a bug, but it's stupid no doubt and an obvious bad design. As someone who does TONS of live music audio recording, I know this: there are those audio recorders that can do seemless splits at the 4 gig mark, and those that can't. Guess which ones are better and get bought more often by the people who know? Now, maybe it's unlikely that we will ever get a "seemless" split in the 5D2 like we do in the audio world (although there must be numerous solid state video cams that split files no? -- not really a video guy, so don't know), but the least they could have done was open a new file automatically or at least have an option to do so. This actually frustrates the hell out of me, and actually results in real risk that you miss something important if you're not paying full attention.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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The reason for the 4GB / 30 min. limit is to avoid having the camera taxed as a camcorder according to European trade law. Basically it's to keep the camera's price under control. If there were a separate model for sale only in North America (or outside of Europe), this situation wouldn't be affecting everybody -- but unfortunately there is only one model and the 4GB / 30 min. limit is there to satisfy EU trade statutes. In other words, it's not "stupid" nor is it a bad design; it's just a regrettable economic circumstance.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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No big deal to anyone used to shooting film where a load lasts around 10 mins.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:36 PM   #9
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Yikes... So Canon caters to the trade commission for Europe to cover the recording limit - but they don't cater to the European end user with 25p. Hmmmmm...
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Old September 9th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #10
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FAT32 file system

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The reason for the 4GB / 30 min. limit is to avoid having the camera taxed as a camcorder according to European trade law.
No. Digital cameras use either the FAT or FAT 32 file system. FAT is limited to files sizes of 2 GB while FAT32 is limited to 4 GB.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #11
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No. Digital cameras use either the FAT or FAT 32 file system. FAT is limited to files sizes of 2 GB while FAT32 is limited to 4 GB.
While that's true, Canon could easily bridge multiple files for continuous video beyond 30 minutes. They don't. And the word is that it is tax related.

Sure, they could bridge HD files, but just up to 30 minutes, but that would be a bit transparent, wouldn't it? So, we end up with 4GB files that don't bridge.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The reason for the 4GB / 30 min. limit is to avoid having the camera taxed as a camcorder according to European trade law.
We already pay most electronics at least +20%-+50%, it wouldn't be 30-50 more that would scare european buyers.

If the European Union made more intelligent laws if wouldn't hurt either. Camcorders are taxed to protect the local market. Unfortunately there is no camcorder market in Europe, unless Leica makes one, that is... ;-D
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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #13
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We already pay most electronics at least +20%-+50%, it wouldn't be 30€-50€ more that would scare european buyers.

If the European Union made more intelligent laws if wouldn't hurt either. Camcorders are taxed to protect the local market. Unfortunately there is no camcorder market in Europe, unless Leica makes one, that is... ;-D
They might have been put there to product the high end broadcast camcorders rather than the consumer products. Thompson manufacture the Infinity, they and Phillips used to make Betacam SP camcorders.

Phillips also manufactured VHS camcorders, so that could be factor in drafting the law as well.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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No. Digital cameras use either the FAT or FAT 32 file system. FAT is limited to files sizes of 2 GB while FAT32 is limited to 4 GB.
DING DING DING, we have a winner. You sir, are correct, its a 4gb limitation due to fat32 file system limitations... and directly relates to CF card specifications.

from wikipedia....

Filesystems

There are varying levels of compatibility among FAT32-compatible cameras. While any camera that claims FAT32-capabilty should read and write to a FAT32-formatted card without problems, some cameras are tripped up by cards larger than 2 GB that are completely unformatted, while others may take longer to apply a FAT32 format.

The way many digital cameras update the files system as they write to the card creates a FAT32 bottleneck. Writing to a FAT32-formatted card generally takes a little longer than writing to a FAT16-formatted card with similar performance capabilities. For instance, the Canon EOS 10D writes the same photo to a FAT16-formatted 2 GiB CompactFlash card somewhat faster than to a same speed 4 GiB FAT32-formatted CompactFlash card, although the memory chips in both cards have the same write speed specification.[10]

The cards themselves can of course be formatted with any type of file system such as JFS and can be divided into partitions as long as the host device can read them. CompactFlash cards are often used instead of hard drives in embedded systems, dumb terminals and various small form-factor PCs that are built for low noise output or power consumption. CompactFlash cards are often more readily available and smaller than purpose-built solid-state drives and can be used to obtain faster seek times than hard drives.

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
While that's true, Canon could easily bridge multiple files for continuous video beyond 30 minutes. They don't. And the word is that it is tax related.

Sure, they could bridge HD files, but just up to 30 minutes, but that would be a bit transparent, wouldn't it? So, we end up with 4GB files that don't bridge.

Please tell me ANY video camera (prosumer or professional) that bridges files? AFAIK, the xpress cards used in cameras like the Sony EX dont, I know the RED doesent, and im almost positive that the prosumer ones using sony memory sticks or sd cards dont. Tapeless medium is fairly new now, so up until this point it was never a issue regarding writing files to memory cards. While I dont think its "impossible" to create a program that bridges files, its definatley not worth the trouble for canon or nikon to devote resources too. You guys seem to want to have your cake and eat it too. If your that concerned about length of recording, go buy a video camera. Thats what they do.
It would be like me bitching because my video camera shoots noisy pictures in still mode. DUHH>..HELLO, it was never designed to be a still camera, just a feature they added.

If you really want something to bitch about, how about the h.264 compression used on the video? Rumor has it the 7D may be able to output uncompressed video, which would be alot more useful for videographers than getting rid of the 4gb limit.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #15
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Please tell me ANY video camera (prosumer or professional) that bridges files?
Fact Check: There are inexpensive consumer cameras, like my little HF10, that can do it. It isn't a technical issue that prevents it, as it is being done routinely in many cameras. If I wanted to shoot a single 2 hour scene, it would span seemlessly across 6 or 7 of those 4GB files.
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