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EM1 SD card limited to 4 Gb file size?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by walter_j, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    I used a 64 Gb class 10 SD card, but found that I could only record 4 Gb of video at a time due to the file system the SD card was formatted with. I tried using the camera to format the SD, but am still limited to 4 Gb file size. Hopefully the new firmware addresses this issue, otherwise the 4k video will be limited to 8 minutes or less. If there's another filesystem I could use, I can't find documentation for it.
     
  2. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    What does Olympus say when you ask them?
     
  3. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    I didn't ask them. There isn't any options when I format the SD card with the camera, so it's a firmware issue.
     
  4. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    If you use SDXC cards the limit should be automatically higher as they never supported the 4gb limit (you cannot format them with a file system which only supports 4gb files).
     
  5. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    I wonder if it can write a single file greater than 4 Gb? I have many formatted to 64 Gb, but only found out today that I can only record up to 4 Gb at a time. If you have one, can you test it? Olympus still can't format a SD card so that it can write a single file greater than 4 Gb. Perhaps its a licensing issue, since MS charges to use the exFAT. A video guru suggested I format the SD using apple's file system. I'm not sure if my EM1 will be able to use it.
     
  6. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    4GB is a file size limitation of FAT32. All cameras using FAT32 split the files at 4GB. Some will start a new file and continue, others stop when the file split happens. You have to join them up in your video editing software.
     
  7. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    This is what the specifications (for FW 4.0) have listed anyhow.
    So if approximately 22 minutes using using Fine, Full HD, then that would equate to 4 GB, I guess & not a FW issue (fault) at all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  8. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    The em1 stops. As does gopro hero. It's a issue that was resolved already, but for a pro level camera to still implement a obsolete filesystem is pretty stupid in my opinion.
     
  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    SDXC cards should be formatted with EXFAT.

    Barry
     
  10. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    I'm afraid it's a historical problem where Microsoft has a patent on ExFat and wants a licensing fee for using it. If devices want to remain compatible with Windows systems they have a choice, continue using FAT32 or pay Microsoft for the privilege of compatibility.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/mtl/technologylicensing.aspx

    Of course, other file systems exist that can handle much larger file systems (even larger than NTFS - which BTW was too complicated for small devices) such as those used on Mac and Linux, but because Microsoft wouldn't support them, manufacturers had a choice of being able to use larger files but not be compatible with any Microsoft IS, pay the Microsoft licensing fee or simply continue with the current FAT32 and have devices span across the 4GB limit where needed.

    In reality, it's only video that's the problem. Things are the further complicated by the out of date import taxes in Europe for any device that can record video for 30 minutes or longer. My understanding is that this was introduced to protect the fledgling VHS manufacturers in France during the early 80s, all of whom have long gone.

    The first DSLRs to record video were the Nikon D90 and Canon 5D2, both of which stopped at the 4GB file limit (usually 12mins). Later models spanned the 4GB file limit but stop at 29:59s to get around the huge European taxes. Other models (e.g. GH4) ship in different modes, time limited in Europe, no time limit in the USA, again for European tax rules.

    Given that Europe is so keen on protecting consumer rights it seems odd that this one tax limits our rights to receive equal goods to the rest of the world.

    </rant> (sorry!)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    I checked the SD card association site, and found that Barry13 was right: SDXC cards are formatted with exFAT. I don't know if Olympus supports exFAT. I'll drill down somemore

    https://www.sdcard.org/consumers/sdxc_capabilities/index.html

    specs from Olympus

    Maximum Recording Time

    [MOV]



    Full HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 22min(Fine)



    HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 29min(Fine)



    [AVI]



    HD : Approx. 7min*21 / SD : Approx. 14min*21
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  12. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    Turns out I was using a SDXC card all along, so the limit is built into the camera. Hopefully V4 update improves this
     
  13. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The above specs from Olympus are for FW 4.0 so I don't see any change to the 4GB limit (assuming those time limits equate to 4GB).
     
  14. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    My E-M1 works fine with EXFAT formatted SDXC cards, but apparently Oly still has a 4gb file size limit for other reasons (could be a32-bit OS problem).

    Btw, last I tested, the E-M1 doesn't work with SDHC cards formatted as EXFAT.
    I'm starting to think that may be due to MS licensing reasons rather than technical, perhaps the SDXC cards include a license fee?

    Barry
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  15. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    it's a shame to cripple such a great video camera in such a way. Olympus's objective of being primarily a photography camera and not video probably plays into it too somehow.

    On September 29, I got to record video from a helicopter of a river that had habitat issues that are impacting salmon. The door was taken off so I got a clearer view. The pilot flew somewhat sideways too. I used the EM1, and the video was incredible. I wish 4k was ready - but the 4 Gb limit is a serious shortcoming for such work.
     
  16. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    The 4Gb limit is actually a Design rule for Camera File System's implementation of the past; though they do now support for exFAT. FAT32 is what most camera systems use which limits 4K usage to just a few minutes recording. Some cameras simply roll over to the next file as it continues to records past the 4Gb limit, but some don't. For movie editing, having separate files is easier to deal with rather than just editing a one complete movie. I use elgato's Turbo HD program to combine all the separate 4Gb files into one movie. Very easy and fast and 4Gb limit does not become a limit at all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    The em1 comes to a complete stop unfortunately. No problem if it kept recording and started a new file. That would actually be better, so it would be easier to edit.

    On another note, video is a different ballgame, and I'm not sure I want to do that. The EM1 is capable enough - except for this issue.
     
  18. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I am guessing that the new firmware will correct that. I recently shot for over an hour with my E-M5 ii, while it did break the shots into 4GB sections, it did not stop the camera. I did, however, have to stop and restart the video recording when I got near the 29 minute limit.
     
  19. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I think the E-M1 will incorporate the pro video features of the E-M5 II so I think it will continue to record until it hits the recording limit (29min for E-M5 II) or when the sensor gets hot.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    As has already been posted (myself & another) is the specs for FW4.0 with the approximate length of time limit due to the (4GB) storage limitations (as well as the 29' 59") & it is pointless expecting, assuming & wishing for these added features, as the E-M5 Mk II is marketed as an enhanced video capable camera while the E-M1 is not even though the E-M1 will get more frame rates etc. The E-M5 Mk II also has the articulated screen as part of the video oriented enhancements.