I've had many point-n-shoot cameras over the past 20 years: Fuji A201, Canon A540, Nikon S8100, Nikon S8200, Nikon S9900: all of these do video recording but limit the time. The old Fuji A201 only did like 12 minutes, and the Canon A540, Nikon S8100, Nikon S8200, Nikon S9900 all do 28-30 minutes of video. It is really frustrating to have to babysit the camera so when it stops recording, (then takes 25-45 seconds of "closing" the video) I can push the record button again to start the next video segment. I've not found a way on any of those cameras to eliminate that moment of not recording in between segments. I've been to multiple events where I needed to record non-stop for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours; but did the best I could. While the camera manufacturers do state this limitation in the manuals, it is not listed in specs. That makes it difficult to research prior to purchase which cameras will have this limitation. Most of these state the 4G file size limitation of the SD card as the reason. Which I understand, but the frustration comes with the 25-45 seconds of non-recording prior to being able to push the record button to start a new video.

I'm wondering if cameras whose primary purpose is shooting video, rather than pictures, do any better? I'm looking at Minolta MH50HD, Canon Vixia HF R800, Panasonic HC-V180K. Do any of these automatically move on to the next file to keep recording, or at least have a lesser stopped time in between?

  • I don’t get the question. You’re using a camera designed for photography for videography and annoyed at the limitation? Use a camera designed primarily for videography and enjoy.
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 30, 2019 at 17:12
  • As photo cameras make a point in the packaging literature that they record videos, I would expect to be able to use it for my family video needs, rather than having a separate device. My last camcorder still used VHC-C, so it is rather low quality by today's standards and does not allow for sharing. Don't really want to buy a second $200 plus "camera" to make videos of kids events at school/church. I think of camcorders now as more something that vloggers use.
    – JavaMan07
    Jun 30, 2019 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


Most photo cameras use FAT32 as Filesystem, which indeed supports files up to 4gb, only. But Android phones typically use EXT3/4 for internal memory, which supports much much larger files, yet, they are limited to 30min video recording. Finally, just starting a new file would overcome a file size limit.

The real reason is that 30min is the limit where a device is classified as photo camera or video camera. For the later, duties like customs are higher, making the camera more expensive. This is the reason for the magic 30min limit.

If you want to record longer, any video camera will do.


If file size is not the limiting factor (for SDXC cards it shouldn't be as they use the Exfat file system), you should check whether someone provides (typically factory/service internal) procedures to set your camera's region system to U.S. which would imply NTSC recording standards (30/60Hz instead of 25/50Hz, usually preferable for web recordings but not for DVDs and other closely TV-related devices). This often entails reformatting recording media and losing all local settings. A side effect is that the EU-centric limit to 30min (for taxation reasons) does not exist in NTSC markets and thus recording limits will likely vanish.

That's also a reason to consult localised documentation rather than documentation intended for the U.S. for figuring out such constraints.

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