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Timings & File Sizes

Overall performance (with the exception of burst shooting) is very similar to the EOS 450D, thanks no doubt to the DIGIC III processor shared by both models. There are a few areas where it comes up slightly slower, but generally there's little to complain about and the camera feels snappy and responsive in use.

Continuous shooting in JPEG is an acceptable 3.0 frames per second (with no limit to the number of frames per burst). RAW continuous shooting on the other hand is decidedly lackluster both in terms of speed (1.5 fps) and buffer size (if you've got a very fast card you might get six shots, but with any 'normal' SD card it's half that). Whether or not this is a simple case of Canon crippling the EOS 1000D to put some 'clear blue water' between it and the next model up, there's no doubt that this really isn't a camera for anyone with a need or desire for continuous RAW shooting.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3888 x 2592 JPEG Fine (approx. 2,500 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 4 GB SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition SD card
  • 4 GB Panasonic Class 4 SD card
Action
Details
Time, secs
(4 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(4 GB Panasonic)
Power Off to On *1   1.3 1.4
Power Off to Shot   <0.1
Sleep to On   1.3 1.4
Sleep to Shot   <0.1
Switch to live view   1.3
Switch from live view   ~ 0.5
Power On to Off *2   1.7
Record Review *3
RAW
1.1 1.1
Record Review *3
JPEG
1.0 1.0
Play *4
RAW
~0.2 ~0.2
Play *4
JPEG
~0.2 ~0.2

*1 This is the time from turning the switch to the 'On' position to the status display appearing on the LCD monitor (as soon as you would be able to verify camera settings). As you can see from the 'Off to Shot' time this doesn't actually affect how quickly you can begin using the camera (as good as instant) assuming you knew the camera was in the correct mode.
*2 This is taken up with 'Sensor cleaning' (dust removal), if you disable automatic sensor cleaning the power off time is instant.
*3 Time taken from the shutter release being pressed to the review image being displayed on the LCD monitor.
*4

if you hold down the left or right keys you can scroll through images at approximately 5 frames per second.

Continuous Drive mode

To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/640 sec, F5.6), ISO 100. Measurements were taken from audio recordings of the tests. Media used were the same as above.

The tests carried out below measured the following results for JPEG and RAW:

  • Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always 3.0 fps (+/- 0.05 fps)
  • Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst (for JPEG there is no limit with a fast card)
  • Buffer full rate - Frame rate if shutter release held down after burst (buffer full)
  • Write complete - How long after the last shot before the CF lamp goes out

Burst of JPEG Large/Fine images

Timing
4 GB SanDisk
4 GB Panasonic
Frame rate 3.0 fps 3.0 fps
Number of frames n/a n/a
Write complete ~ 1.1 sec ~ 1.2 sec

Burst of RAW images

Timing
4 GB SanDisk
4 GB Panasonic
Frame rate 1.5 fps 1.5 fps
Number of frames 6 or 7 *1 3 or 4 *1
Buffer full rate 1.2 fps *2 0.8 fps *2
Write complete 4.0 sec 4.5 sec

*1 As the rate falls gradually this figure varies slightly. With the fast Sandisk card you always get 6 shots at 1.5 fps, sometimes 7. The frame rate drops gradually to 1.2 fps over the next 2 or 3 shots. The slower Panasonic card rarely gives more than 3 shots st the full speed (the 4th frame is marginally slower), and slows within a few frames to 0.8 frames per second.
*2 This is an average over 10 shots once the speed has stabilized; the actual rate varies slightly from frame to frame.

Continuous shooting - particularly in RAW mode - is one of the most obvious areas where Canon has 'cut corners' with the EOS 1000D; whilst 3.0 fps is fine for JPEGs, in 2008 1.5 fps for as few as 3 shots is a little disappointing, to say the least. Note that shooting continuous in Live View mode (which would be pointless since the live preview doesn't show between frames) slows the rate down marginally (to around 2.9 fps in the case of JPEGs).

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card. Timing was taken from the instant the shutter release was pressed to the time the storage card activity indicator lamp went out. The activity indicator light comes on almost as soon as you press the shutter release, this either means that the EOS 1000D begins writing immediately or that Canon is masking the delay to write. Writing continues 'in the background' and doesn't affect any camera function. Media used were the same as above.

Image type
Time, secs
(4 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(4 GB Panasonic)
Approx.
size
3888 x 2592 RAW + JPEG *1 1.5 2.3 12,100 KB
3888 x 2592 RAW 1.4 1.8 9,610 KB
3888 x 2592 JPEG Fine 0.7 0.9 2,500 KB
3888 x 2592 JPEG Standard 0.6 0.8 1,188 KB

*1 File size reported here is the size of the RAW and JPEG files added together.

If you shoot RAW you'll certainly want a fast card; it is possible to fill the buffer when shooting RAW+JPEG if you like to fire your shots off in rapid succession (which means you'll start finding the camera locks up). With a faster card - and when shooting JPEGs - there's no such issue as you'd struggle to ever hit the buffer limit.

USB transfer speed

To test the EOS 1000D USB speed we transferred approximately 375 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition 4 SD card (the same card used in the other readers). With the 1000D connected via USB cable, the only transfer method available is WIA - Canon doesn't provide a simple 'mass storage device' feature in the camera (enabling the camera to act as a normal card reader). Because of this you have to have EOS Utility installed to ensure the transfer of all your images (as drag-and-drop WIA doesn't support RAW), frankly the EOS Utility transfer speed was pretty poor.

Method
Transfer rate
EOS 1000 USB 2.0 via EOS Utility (WIA) 2.4 MB/sec
Sandisk Ducati Edition (using built in USB connector) 23.4 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme in USB 2.0 reader 17.8 MB/sec

Battery life

The EOS 1000D uses the same new small Lithium-Ion LP-E5 battery as the EOS 450D. The new battery is a 1080mAh / 7.4v Li-ion pack, much closer in capacity to the BP-511 supplied with higher-end EOS models. Quoted CIPA test battery life is the same as for the EOS 450D, and though we didn't test the battery life ourselves, it happily lasted for a couple of days' heavy shooting (though we didn't use live view much). Canon reports tested battery life as:

Temperature
No Flash
50% Flash use
At 23°C / 73 °F
600
500
At 0°C / 32°F
500
400
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