Most photo-cameras (canon or whatever) has the limit, as most of them stop the video-recording after 12 minutes. AFAIK, it is related to SD-CARD limits (as FAT format can hold max 4gb file). However, how to force it to auto-continue recording in the same moment, when overgoes 12 minutes?

So, we no longer need to MANUALLY push the record button again? very annoying...

  • I believe the avchd file structure employed by many cameras is made to overcome this limitation. Dec 25, 2018 at 19:13
  • @JasonConrad can you explain it a bit more? will be good if you posted an answer.
    – T.Todua
    Dec 26, 2018 at 18:30
  • Such record limits on still cams can also be related to legislation. For example, many DSLR cams stop at 29:59, because hardware that video records 30 minutes or more is taxed differently.
    – user3643
    Dec 28, 2018 at 3:15
  • Nevermind. I misread the question. Didn't realize you were talking about photo cameras. AVCHD is a sony/ panasonic video camera thing. Other video cameras have similar formats, but as others have posted here, photo camera video file limitations are often artificially imposed for regulatory reasons. Dec 28, 2018 at 7:48

2 Answers 2



Depending on the camera model used, one could expand the recording time a 4GB file can take up by reducing the recording quality (compression, bit rate, resolution...) of your video.

With SOME cameras, you might be able to use an SDHC card forcibly formatted to a file system that does not have a 4G file size limit, eg exFAT or NTFS. If you can make it work, test THOROUGHLY.

Be aware that certain cameras also have a hard coded 30 minute video limit, which is there for reasons all unrelated to file size: In some markets, video cameras are taxed higher than still cameras, and the definition of a video camera in the relevant tax codes is continuous video recording capability beyond 30 minutes. In some cases, the camera might also not be THERMALLY designed to handle more than 30 minutes uninterrupted recording load.

  • I'd be very surprised if a different file format could be made to work. Good answer, though.
    – user3643
    Dec 28, 2018 at 4:20
  • @T.Todua it probably won't, but this way far fewer people will find out and create bad press or costly workload for the manufacturer's support staff.... Dec 28, 2018 at 14:25
  • BTW, this is not theoretical at all - a popular brand of mirrorless, video capable cameras is known for hardly making 30 minutes unless the user pays attention to keeping the camera as cool as possible... Dec 28, 2018 at 14:27
  • @rackandboneman can you say a bit more? so ML cameras are more heaty than DSLR s? and also, after 30 mins, how much time needed for cooling down, to be able to again record another 30 min? please, include all your comments in your answer completely, and i'll remove my comments from here..
    – T.Todua
    Dec 28, 2018 at 14:57
  • google A7 video overheating, you'll get far more competent details on the issues than what I could tell you as a still photographer that happened upon this question :) Dec 28, 2018 at 18:32

Well, if your camera doesn't support it natively your out of luck. Some Magiclantern Versions for Canon support this feature.

For every other camera, the only way I found sofar is to buy an external timer, set it to 12min and the camera that it starts recording via the external trigger.

Keep in mind though,that this will result short breake. You need to test it, as some cameras need q few seconds of cool down. Safest way if pauses are no problem is to set timer to 12.5 minutes

  • :( thanks. however, could you link a short explanation how to setup that external trigger?
    – T.Todua
    Dec 26, 2018 at 18:12
  • @T.Todua This fepends on your camera, which excact model are you using? Dec 26, 2018 at 20:15
  • 1
    These external triggers are usually called intervalometers, can often find them on amazon for around $30, you need the right connecting cable for your camera. Not every camera has an external trigger input, and you need to make sure that yours will interpret trigger input as "start recording", not "take a photograph". You then need to measure the exact time your camera can record in one go, and set the intervalometer to trigger at an interval of that time plus a second or two. Dec 28, 2018 at 18:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.