One of the most frustrating things about your digital camera is that it can’t record videos continuously for more than 29 minutes and 59 seconds. This applies to all digital cameras in existence, and is severely limiting to those who just want to set their camera up at a show and let it roll. In the olden days of tape, camcorders could go for 60 minutes at a time, so this restriction on digital cameras is quite unfortunate.
But there’s a financially fueled reason why digital cameras cannot record past 30 minutes. Any digital image recording device that captures 30 minutes or more of continuous footage is classified as a video camera, according to the World Trade Organization’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Video cameras are saddled with an additional tax, whereas digital (photo) cameras are not. To avoid the tax, manufacturers keep the maximum recording time on digital cameras below 30 minutes.
Currently, the WTO plans on altering the ITA in order to remove the tax on video cameras, which would enable manufacturers to lift the 30 minute max on digital cameras. But until that day, we’re still stuck at half an hour.
[Via: DP Review]