30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

Started Nov 27, 2010 | Discussions
GPapa Senior Member • Posts: 1,919
30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

Just heard this from Leo Laporte, a tech guy broadcasting on XM Radio.

There is a higher tax on video cameras than still cameras in Europe. The definition of a video camera is one that will take more than 30 minutes of video.

So, what is the real technological limit, before the sensor overheats, on a DSLR camera that also has a video feature?

Interesting.

JD6957 Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

I'm no expert but, it be because of more RAM required for the buffer & or another controller/processor chip in order to handle 30+ min of HD video. You would also need larger amounts of storage, given that the 7D & 5D MKII only takes CF cards.

The tax codes on the other hand; just means they're imposing a luxury tax on high end video equipment aimed at the movie industry.....

24Peter
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,348
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

GPapa wrote:

Just heard this from Leo Laporte, a tech guy broadcasting on XM Radio.

Tech TV - The Screensavers! Name from the past...

There is a higher tax on video cameras than still cameras in Europe. The definition of a video camera is one that will take more than 30 minutes of video.

Leo should know better though...

So, what is the real technological limit, before the sensor overheats, on a DSLR camera that also has a video feature?

FAT 32 limit is the issue - 4GB file size...

Interesting.

Not really, been discussed to death here and elsewhere actually...

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RustyRus Senior Member • Posts: 1,450
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

FAT 32 limit is the issue - 4GB file size limit

Question anwsered right here

AJMJ Senior Member • Posts: 1,132
Are you sure about that?

RustyRus wrote:

FAT 32 limit is the issue - 4GB file size limit

Question anwsered right here

I have always thought that Fat32 was the reason for the limit also, but with the 60D now using exFat in place of Fat32, then that particular reason no longer holds up as "the" reason for the 30 minute limit.
Page 49 of 60D manual.

Just a thought.

schmegg Veteran Member • Posts: 5,768
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

24Peter wrote:

FAT 32 limit is the issue - 4GB file size...

I think that was just a handy excuse used by the manufacturers personally.

I think it's much more likely that sensor heat is the real issue, and 4GB was a handy cut-off point for giving the sensor a rest.

Paul De Bra
Paul De Bra Forum Pro • Posts: 12,765
It is a tax issue: import tax to be precise.

The EU defines a video camera as one that will take video clips of 30 minutes or more. If such a camera is not manufactured in Europe (I doubt whether any still are) it is subject to a 12% import duty (and regular vat on top of that).
To avoid this tax manufacturers built in a limit of 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

I have no idea why this limit is implemented in all versions of the cameras and not just the ones shipped to the EU.

GPapa wrote:

Just heard this from Leo Laporte, a tech guy broadcasting on XM Radio.

There is a higher tax on video cameras than still cameras in Europe. The definition of a video camera is one that will take more than 30 minutes of video.

So, what is the real technological limit, before the sensor overheats, on a DSLR camera that also has a video feature?

Interesting.

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LA_Heat Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: It is a tax issue: import tax to be precise.

The same tax issue with camcorders in the past with firewire input. It was disabled by software, so there might be a chance to see some hacks for the 30 min limit as well.

Cheers

archiebald Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

As for the 60D - there is zero problem with sensor overheating. See this link

http://vimeo.com/16574594

24Peter
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,348
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

archiebald wrote:

As for the 60D - there is zero problem with sensor overheating. See this link

http://vimeo.com/16574594

I tend to agree that overheating is a non-issue on the 60D (I personally have accumulated 10-15 total hrs of video so far on my 60D without any overheating warning/problems, whereas both the 7D and T2i I used previously had the issue.) However, when I first got my 60D I used it was outside in the hot sun with an ambient temp around 85F. The rear right side/grip area of the camera got very warm to the touch - warmer than the rest of the body and warmer than any other Canon DSLR I've ever used (in addition to the camera bodies mentioned above I also have a 5DII). I didn't get any overheating warnings from the camera, and I don't typically shoot under those conditions, but I also didn't shoot that long and was really struck by how warm the camera got.

All that being said, unlike the T2i and 7D, in addition to not getting one overheating warning myself, I haven't seen a rash of overheating posts for the 60D on the video forums, so have to assume for most uses, overheating is a non-issue on the 60D.
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Robert J. Gonzalez Senior Member • Posts: 1,173
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

The 7d uses the fat32 file system which has a limit of 4gb, that's it.

The size of the final video has nothing to do with how much ram is needed, it just needs enough ram to hold the data until it can be written to the card.

The fact that 30 mins is the line where the tax kicks in explains totally the arbitrary limit of 29 mins and 59 secs.

JD6957 wrote:

I'm no expert but, it be because of more RAM required for the buffer & or another controller/processor chip in order to handle 30+ min of HD video. You would also need larger amounts of storage, given that the 7D & 5D MKII only takes CF cards.

The tax codes on the other hand; just means they're imposing a luxury tax on high end video equipment aimed at the movie industry.....

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riknash Veteran Member • Posts: 6,874
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

One obvious question is, even if there is some 'tax' reason to limit the video recording to 30 minutes, why couldn't the manufacturer simply start a new file at the 30 minute mark?

Also, if it is a 'tax' reason that only applies to products imported into those countries, why not produce models with a firmware release specific for use in other countries that doesn't have that limitation? If Canon can impose warranty limitations to specific regions of the world, they certainly should be able deliver models to different countries with a different feature set.

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archiebald Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

riknash wrote:

One obvious question is, even if there is some 'tax' reason to limit the video recording to 30 minutes, why couldn't the manufacturer simply start a new file at the 30 minute mark?

The principle idea of the tax (apart from making money) was due to complaints of copyright by artists, movie studios etc. In theory it makes it that bit more difficult for oiks to infringe copyrights.

Actually, SDHC based camcorders (on which the tax is charged) do exactly what you describe. If you are shooting a very long clip, they can seamlessly finish one file and start another.

Also, if it is a 'tax' reason that only applies to products imported into those countries, why not produce models with a firmware release specific for use in other countries that doesn't have that limitation? If Canon can impose warranty limitations to specific regions of the world, they certainly should be able deliver models to different countries with a different feature set.

As far as I understand it, some manufacturers do this. Also in some cases, the range of languages available is limited to certain territories, so there is definitely regional differences in firmware in many cases.

Example, in Japan Panasonic and Sony = Japanese only, Canon = Japanese + English only.

Wouter Middel New Member • Posts: 5
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

I'm trying to get this tax rule changed via the European Parliament. Read more about this at http://vimeo.com/groups/gh2/forumthread:237068

Greg Pavlov Senior Member • Posts: 1,888
Re: 30 minute video limit: technology or tax code?

schmegg wrote:

I think it's much more likely that sensor heat is the real issue, and 4GB was a handy cut-off point for giving the sensor a rest.

But can't you immediately start another 30-min sequence, and keep doing that as long as you have space on your card? If so, heat is not the issue.

Lemming51
Lemming51 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,188
30 minute video limit is BOTH technology and tax code

There is a tax difference between still and video cameras, and it is arbitrarily set at 30 minutes. So the DSLRs with video limit a single recording to 29 min. 59 sec.

It is also a technological limit. The current generation of DSLRs with CF and SD cards use FAT-32 file architecture. This system has a hard technical limit of 4GB per file. The latest 1920x1080p HD DSLRs can't even come close to the 30min. limit because the file size exceeds 4GB much sooner. See p. 157 of the 7D instruction manual. A 16GB card can hold at least three 4GB files, but the total recording time available is just 49 minutes instead of 90+ minutes.

It has nothing to do with limiting heat build-up in the image sensor - the camera has a separate circuit measuring that (p. 159).

Greg Pavlov wrote:

schmegg wrote:

I think it's much more likely that sensor heat is the real issue, and 4GB was a handy cut-off point for giving the sensor a rest.

But can't you immediately start another 30-min sequence, and keep doing that as long as you have space on your card? If so, heat is not the issue.

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