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Why does my Canon DSLR stop recording video automatically?

When I take HD video with my Canon 60D camera, it stops automatically after about 5 seconds.

I am guessing this is because my card is not fast enough to handle the stream.

I am using my card from my old camera which is a 6 year old sandisk 1gb card (I have no clue what the speed is).

It handles pictures just fine (not very many though!)

So what kind of card do I need to be able to take video continuously (for the whole card if I want)


2 Answers 2


I have found that Class 6 is the slowest you can go for guaranteed non-stop HD Video recording, however I have found that some fast Class 4 cards (such as the SanDisk 8GB 'Ultra' Class 4 which I use primarily) can keep up pretty much the same.

As well as actually recording on-location, the other area that Class 6 cards some into their own is back on your computer, copying files onto the Hard Drive. There's quite a noticeable speed difference there between Class 4 and Class 6.

Edit: Also the link in Andres' answer is a good introductory read.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So I bought this class 4 card: bhphotovideo.com/c/product/752183-REG/… thinking that it would be decent, it only records for just over 10 seconds before auto stopping. Even when I drop it down to 720p. \$\endgroup\$
    – JD Isaacks
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @John Really? That's very odd. I'm using Magic Lantern 550D firmware when shooting video, so maybe that's 'fixing' a bitrate issue or something? I'm really sorry to have recommended that card if it doesn't work for you. Edit The one I recommended was the 'Ultra' version of the same card. This is just standard. They're still Class 4, but the 'Ultra' is faster, I believe. \$\endgroup\$
    – nchpmn
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ don't worry I appreciate your advice, I am wondering if there is something else going on, I really don't understand how a class 4 sdhc card at 720p can't go much longer than a plain 5 year old sd card at 1080p.. doesn't seem right to me. I dunno though, I think next time I'll try class 10 and if I experience the same issue then I know something is up. \$\endgroup\$
    – JD Isaacks
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 2:27

You need a Class 6 SD card or better. The higher the Class, the faster the card.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Using a canon 550D with a class 6 card I occasionally get video that auto stops. but this is occasional and only occurs when I move the camera fast. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 6:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try low level format. Also keep in mind that some cheap brands claim that their cards are class 6, but they really arent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andres
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 23:04

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