Removing Recording Time Limit on LX100

One of the rare things annoying me on my Panasonic LX100 is recording time limit. No matter how big SD you have, there is only 30 minutes you can record in one go. Yes, this is more than enough 99% of the time, but there are scenarios this disables, for example recording my occasional talk.

Well, reading through some DP Review forum threads I noticed discussion about service mode for the purpose of PAL/NTSC mode switcheroo and I wondered whether service mode offers anything else.

Well, to try it out, I followed instructions from the thread. First I kept Right, Display, and AE/AF Lock buttons while turning on the camera. Once camera has been turned on, I released all those buttons and swiched into Playback. Then I held Up and AE/AF Lock buttons while turning off the camera. If done correctly (and it took me a few tries), camera will flash yellow rectangle at you. Welcome to the service mode!

While in service mode, I suddenly got some limits increased:

Format Mode Before 32 GB 64 GB
MP4 4K 100M 30p 15m 00s 41m 52s ⬆ 1h 24m ⬆
MP4 4K 100M 24p 15m 00s 41m 52s ⬆ 1h 24m ⬆
MP4 FHD 28M 60p 20m 20s 20m 20s 20m 20s
MP4 FHD 20M 30p 27m 09s 27m 09s 27m 09s
MP4 HD 10M 30p 29m 59s 29m 29s 29m 29s
MP4 VGA 4M 30p 29m 59s 29m 29s 29m 29s
AVCHD FHD 28M 60p 29m 59s 2h 30m ⬆ 5h 02m ⬆
AVCHD FHD 17M 60i 29m 59s 4h 08m ⬆ 8h 17m ⬆
AVCHD FHD 24M 30p 29m 59s 2h 55m ⬆ 5h 52m ⬆
AVCHD FHD 24M 24p 29m 59s 2h 55m ⬆ 5h 52m ⬆

As you can see, camera can now record MP4 in 4K limited only by card size and all AVCHD modes got a bump in recording length. Strangely, the same improvement is not visible in other MP4 modes as they all either retained their 30 minute or lower limits.

In case you find exclamation mark annoying, you can always exit service mode by setting both shutter speed and aperture to A. Then press Menu and Right key together and turn off the camera. That will present you with a strange menu where pressing Right, Right will end the service mode. Unfortunately that comes at the cost of your settings as that’ll do factory reset.

Me? I’m gonna keep my service mode on.

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