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Old July 5th, 2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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Recording time limit

I am thinking of getting a GH2 or 3, but remain confused about a limit on recording time. Is there a limit on continuous recording? I have seen references to hacks that eliminate the limit on the GH2. Does anyone know why there is a limit? Is it hardware based??

Thanks in advance,
Jerry
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Old July 5th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Recording time limit

Stock limit is 30 minutes.
Hacked with factory settings is unlimited.
Hacked with improved settings is unlimited with most settings.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: Recording time limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Litten View Post
Stock limit is 30 minutes.
Hacked with factory settings is unlimited.
Hacked with improved settings is unlimited with most settings.
I don't this is correct Don. Unlimited record time is one of the main reasons I bought the GH2 over the Canons. I shoot a lot of live concerts and use the GH2 unattended on locked down wide shots, so an unlimited record length was crucial to me.

I have a 16gb card in both of my GH2s - and I can shoot for 90 minutes continuous.

Where are you getting this info about 30 minute clips? I've heard there was a limit with PAL, but you're in Virgina, so you're obviously NTSC.

Thanks,
Angelo
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Recording time limit

You may have gotten lucky and gotten an overseas camera Angelo. The 30 minute limit is a tax limitation so the cameras are not considered Camcorders.
This is a screenshot with the 30 minute removal check box.

There is also another limitation which can be disabled by itself or with the 30 minute limit.
I've never tried to shoot 30 minutes with the stock firmware so it's possible it only affects exports from the US, but nearly every setting removes it by default.

BTW, you can shoot PAL or NTSC on the SAME gh2.

Your card size has nothing to do with the 30 minute limit. Separate functions.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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Re: Recording time limit

Now if we get Don and Angelo together it will make sense Jerry. GH2's sold in the States do not have a record limit.....THEORETICALLY......the camera will continue to record until the card is full or the battery dies. What happens is that the video files are split at the 4 gig limit. So in my case I record 1080i I can get 2 hours on a 16gig card. If I let it roll for 2 straight hours without stopping it, I will have 4 separate files on the card,, which if you import into your NLE properly will show as 1 continuous clip. If you just copy and paste from the card into your NLE they will sometimes be missing a frame or 2 at the points where you join them together.

GH2's sold in the EU will stop recording at 30 minutes and you have to re-start the recording....unless you hack it.

Mark
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Old July 5th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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Re: Recording time limit

That's absolutely right Mark...Unless you're using one of Driftwood's settings that refuses to span. Then it stops at 3.99 Gigs.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #7
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Re: Recording time limit

Yeah....I didn't want to get into the non spanning hacks!! ;-)
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Old July 5th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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Re: Recording time limit

I swear it's more addictive than cocaine. I just have to keep trying the latest greatest.....just to see.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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Re: Recording time limit

Jerry,

My unhacked North American GH2 has essentially no record time limit. It is not a special camera, this is standard for all non-European GH2s.

For reference, please see: DMC-GH2 | PRODUCTS | LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global

Footnote 1 under "Versatile DMC-GH2 Recording Modes" says "Motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 29 min 59 sec in European PAL areas" [unless hacked, of course]

There's also a chart showing "Continuous Recording Time" for non-European cameras in AVCHD at about 2 hours (120 minutes for the 14-42 and 110 minutes for the 14-140):

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/syste...ovie/avchd.gif

No hack is required for shooting 2 hour clips with the GH2 - Panasonic chose not to cripple this camera's video mode with a ridiculously short video clip or overheating limit (as Canon [12 minutes], Nikon [20 minutes] and Sony [30 minutes worldwide] all have).

Cheers,

Bill
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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Re: Recording time limit

Yep, North American GH2's record forever. Toss in a 64GB Class-10 and go nuts. I've used it for several long presentations and stage performances.

European GH2's have an artificial time limitation due to tax codes.

PTools can create firmware updates to remove the time limitation from European GH2's; it isn't necessary to do this on North American GH2's.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #11
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Re: Recording time limit

I stand corrected on the time limit (Got it backward).
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Old July 6th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #12
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Re: Recording time limit

Thanks for all the good info guys!

Mark, you mention that the video is broken into multiple clips that have to be "imported properly" into the editing program. What exactly do you mean by this? I am currently using Vegas to edit.

Regards,
Jerry
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Old July 7th, 2012, 02:54 AM   #13
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Re: Recording time limit

Jerry, don't mean to speak for Mark, but the GH2 has the same 4GB FAT32 file limit that the other cameras have, but Panasonic engineers have given the camera the ability to seamlessly "span" the files so they are continuous. All you have to do is import the resulting files into Vegas, and it will play them continuously.

Bill
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Old July 11th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #14
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Re: Recording time limit

Seems like a useful place to post this. If you have multiple 4GB files from your GH2 and need to recombine them into one seamless file without re-encoding or using your NLE, there's a Mac Terminal command that works really well. Just type:

"cat filename01.mts filename02.mts filename03.mts > Outputfilename.mts"

Without the quotes, and substituting your own filenames. Enjoy!
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Old July 11th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #15
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Re: Recording time limit

You can do the same thing in DOS Alex. I've never had the need but others have been combining the clips for a long time.
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