Digital Cameras Could Soon Be Able to Shoot Video for Longer Than Ever—But Is That Better?

It's weird that top notch DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark III or the Nikon D800 can only shoot 30 minutes of video at a time. It's hugely frustrating that it's not a tech-based bottleneck at all. But the limit might be lifted soon—no thanks to camera companies, though.

The 30-minute limit is actually in place to keep camera companies from having to pay a 5.6 percent duty applied to a variety of items, including "video cameras." That designation kicks in at that 30-minute mark. No way companies are going to eat that 5.6 percent if there isn't a ton of demand for longer shots—which there isn't. But a new WTO exemption would extend to video cameras, freeing them from that tariff, which would open up the door to over-30-minute cuts. But would that be a good thing?

As it is, 30 minutes is a long time to shoot without a safety net. And DSLR sensors run hot as it is, so imagining two hours or eight hours of continuous shooting in one file? Risky, to say the least. It'll be nice to have such an arbitrary limit lifted from our cameras if this change does go through, but it might have less of an effect than you'd think. [DP Review via Petapixel]