Rae asked in Consumer ElectronicsCameras · 2 months ago

Panasonic GH4 stops recording?

Before anyone says this, I DO NOT have the EU version. I have the US Panasonic GH4. My issue is that, when set to record in MP4 format, the camera says it can only record for 21 minutes. But, when it records in AVCHD, it says it can record for 8hrs. But shooting in AVCHD is not practical for my purposes for the camera - I need to shoot in MP4. So, why can't I shoot for longer than 21m? Are my other settings wrong? Do I need a better memory card? What gives?

Both of my US-Version GH4's do this, so it's not a fluke. What am I doing wrong? How do I shoot for longer in MP4 format??

Current memory card: 64 gig Transcend


I appreciate the link to the manual, but the truth is, I'm an amateur and none of it really makes sense to me. I'm working with this camera because my boss bought it. Can someone just tell me what the issue is and what I need to do differently? What do my settings need to be to record longer than 21m in MP4?

3 Answers

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It's not a fluke. What you have there is a digital camera which was never meant to do video. Since video is only a feature, it is very limited and a huge limit on that is the recording time which is always less than 30 minutes. 

    So the workaround is AVCHD but since you reject that option, the only thing left to do is to get yourself a digital camcorder. With the right tool for the job, you can shoot videos till kingdom come.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A workaround would be to record in AVCHD and then convert the file the MP4 in post.

    Your first mistake is buying a digital camera designed for photography and using it for video.  Yeah, the GH4 is one the best digital still cameras for video, but there are some pitfalls as you are now experiencing.  You would not have this problem if you were using a camcorder.  Maybe there's something about the GH4 that isn't found in a camcorder such as a shallower depth of field look due to the M43 sensor size relative to what is commonly found in camcorders?

    I suspect that the problem could be the file size of the two formats.  The firmware in the GH4, as with any camera or computer for that matter, cannot handle files that are beyond a specific size.  For example, many DSLRs can't record files larger than 4GB which is about 12 minutes of HD video.  When 4K came out, even the $6,000 Nikon D5 could only record 4K up to 8 minutes. 

    I suspect that the reason your GH4 stops recording sooner with one file format vs another is because of the file size.  To check this, I would transfer the files to a computer and see just how big the two files are.  If the file that has the shorter recording time is of the same size, then you can assume that the issue is due to the file being larger than the camera's firmware can handle.  If the file with the shorter run time is smaller than the one with the longer run time, then the issue is something else.  Maybe the camera was overheating which is a very, very common problem with using digital cameras as camcorders.

    I would recommend that you send Panasonic's tech support an email regarding this issue to get a true technical answer.  My guess is that they would recommend shooting in AVCHD and then convert the file to MP4.

  • 2 months ago

    Have a look at page 31 of the advanced features manual - https://panasonic.ca/viewing/all/dmc-gh4p/oi/vqt5h...

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