Home Photography Why Do Cameras Have A Recording Limit?

Why Do Cameras Have A Recording Limit?

Why Do Cameras Have A Recording Limit?

Have you tried to shoot a video using your DSLR and found that you can only record for a limited time? It can be a little off-putting having to deal with the recording limit on a camera, but there are reasons why it exists.

Most photo cameras have a recording limit of around twenty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds. This is because any camera that records for longer than that period is considered a video camera, and a video camera is subjugated to different taxation laws compared to a photo camera.

There may also be technical reasons, such as the filesystem running out of storage or the video stopping after some time to preserve video resolution and quality.

This article will discuss the causes and solutions for the recording limit on your camera. 

What Is The Recording Limit?

Before we understand why a recording limit exists, we need a bit of context. A recording limit is a given period of time, and your camera will automatically stop recording the file and give you the option to save it. This limit typically exists in most DSLR and photo cameras. 

To understand the differences between video cameras and DSLRs, watch this

Why Does This Limit Exist? 

There is more than one reason why the camera stops recording after around 29 minutes and 59 seconds. These reasons are mentioned briefly above, but we will discuss them in greater detail. 

Different Types Of Cameras Are Subjected To Different Laws

Most countries, such as Europe, have different taxation laws for video and photo cameras. If a DSLR manufactured and sold for picture-taking is also used to record long videos, it would technically be a video camera. Videocameras have more taxes applied to them. 

The Filesystem May Run Out Of Space

Most cameras that are designed for photo-taking have less storage space that is less as compared to video cameras. Once the filesystem runs out of room, the video stops being recorded. 

Technical Limitations May Exist

Since DSLRs are not designed to record videos, specific structural and technical limitations may exist. So, for example, most cameras have limits on what resolution can be stored. The bigger your file size, the more space it takes up and the less likely it will be held after some point. 

Cameras Risk Overheating

There is always the risk that using the camera for long durations of time and without a break can cause it to overheat. Regular cameras are not designed to be used like that; therefore, they stop recording before they reach that point.

What Can We Do To Record Long Videos? 

There are two solutions to this. The first is to purchase either a video camera for the sole purpose of recording videos. The second is to buy cameras that don’t have these limits. An example is the Sony a7RIV.

Ending Note

It might get frustrating to record videos in small files repeatedly. But cameras are not designed to record videos unless they are video cameras. Technical and practical limitations prevent them from doing so. And so, if you are aiming to record a video, then you may have to look for alternatives.