The 30 Second Mafia - a conspiracy?

Started Jun 22, 2011 | Discussions thread
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JoaCHIP Junior Member • Posts: 35
The 30 Second Mafia - a conspiracy?

Have you noticed how every single camera out there has a maximum exposure time of 30 seconds? I once went through all of dpreview's extensive database, searching for cameras that were able to do more than 30 without having to buy extra equipment. Less than 10 cameras showed up! How come? Why this specific limit across every vendor and price range of camera?

Let me anticipate some of the commonly attempted answers:

"The sensor gets too hot if it stays on for more than 30 seconds."

Surely the cooling properties and heat generation cannot be exactly the same for all types, models and brands of cameras? And if this were the case, you'd still have a problem when using an external shutter controller.

"You can just buy an external shutter controller if you need more than 30 seconds."

Yes yes, but it would still take only a few lines of code in the software to offer 45, 60 and 90 seconds as well, and it could be way to be ahead of the competition. "Built-in long exposure support." and such. There must be more to it than this.

"Consumers don't need more than 30 seconds".

Don't tell me what I need and what I don't, and besides, anything above 10 seconds is definately either a mistake or a deliberate experiment. The 30 second limit still does not make sense.

Even Dpreview seems to silently agree on this weird generally accepted limitation, by not even offering "more than 30 seconds" or "60 seconds+" as a search option.

So I call conspiracy!
Does anyone have further theories?

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