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Timing & Performance

The A570 IS generally feels very responsive in use (The new Digic III processor clearly doing a good job), the only area of complaint would be the long flash recycling times. Especially when batteries are weak it can take up to almost ten seconds until the flash is ready for the next shot. AF is slightly slower at the long end and in low light but well within acceptable limits. Overall this is an aggressively priced compact that performs pretty well where it matters - taking pictures. The continuous shooting (without flash) and image review are very good for a budget camera, and shutter lag very low indeed.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072 x 2304 Superfine JPEG image (approx. 3,380 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.

Action Details
Time, secs
Power: Off to Record   1.7
Power: Off to Play Image displayed 1.4
Power: Record to Off All activity ceased 1.6
Power: Play to Off When buffer is empty 0.2
Record Review Image displayed 0.8
Mode: Record to Play   0.9
Mode: Play to Record Lens already extended 1.4
Mode: Play to Record Lens not extended 1.9
Play: Magnify To full magnification (10x) 0.8
Play: Image to Image Time to display each saved image 0.3
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 0.3

Action Details
Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele 35 to 140 mm (4 x) 1.8
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle ~0.3 *1
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto ~0.5 *2
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view ~0.1
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) Viewfinder ~0.1
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle ~0.6
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view 2.2
Shot to Shot Flash off 1.7
Shot to Shot Flash on 4.9*3
Shot to Shot Flash on, red eye 5.6*3
*1 Focus speed is fractionally faster if you use center AF rather than AiAF. Focus speed in low light can slow down - to about 0.6 seconds
*2 Focus at the tele end slows down in low light - to about 0.8 seconds
*3 Shot to Shot times with Flash can go up to 10 seconds with weak batteries

Lag Timing Definitions

Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
 

(Prime AF/AE)
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
 

(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
 

(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)

Continuous mode

The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Extrme III SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.

Continuous drive mode

In continuous shooting mode the A570 IS averages a good 1.7 frames per second. Shooting at this rate is only limited by the size of the memory card. Image size and quality do not have any significant impact on the frame rate, the frame rate only slightly decreases when shooting 5MP Fine images. This is probably due to processing time needed for downscaling the image.

Image Type
Mode
Avg. frames
per sec
Frames in a burst *1
After
burst
3072 x 2304 JPEG Super Fine Continuous 1.7 fps unlimited n/a
3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine Continuous 1.7 fps unlimited n/a
3072 x 2304 JPEG Normal Continuous 1.7 fps unlimited n/a
2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine Continuous 1.5 fps unlimited n/a
2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine Continuous 1.7 fps unlimited n/a

*1 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).

Not a bad performance at all for a camera in this class - and it is very nice that continuous shooting is not limited by the size of a fast memory buffer.

File Write / Display and Sizes

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.

Image Type
Time to store
(secs)

Time to display
(secs)

File size *1
(approx.)
Images on a *2
1GB Card
3072 x 2304 JPEG Super Fine ~0.8 ~0.2 3,380 KB 322
3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine ~0.7 ~0.2 2,150 KB 515
3072 x 2304 JPEG Normal ~0.5 ~0.2 865 KB 1068
2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine ~0.6 ~0.2 1,290 KB 695
2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine ~0.6 ~0.2 1,025 KB 1086

*1 All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).
*2 Camera estimation.

With write times averaging around 0.8 seconds for a 7MP Super Fine JPEG the A570 IS is very quick for a compact camera. If you want to fully take advantage of these fast transfer rate it would probably be sensible to invest in a fast SD card.

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