Canon G1 Review
Timings & File Sizes
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 JPEG image @ FINE compression (around 840 KB per image).
File Size Notes: 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 (especially the amount of detail captured). For example, take a photograph of a fairly empty wall and you'll get a small JPEG, take a photograph of a bush with a lot of detail and you'll get a larger image. File sizes here are closer to the later, the larger size of file you should expect.
The G1 isn't the fastest starter, and for some reason the G1 startup was considerably (by 2 seconds) slower using a Microdrive than a normal Flash CF card. I can only put this down to the latency of the camera recognising the Microdrive. It's a pity though because that makes the G1 an incredibly slow starter with a Microdrive. Here's the startup breakdown with a Microdrive switching from Off to Record in "P" exposure mode (LCD open):
|0||Switch turned from Off to Record|
|4.0||Lens begins to extend|
|7.2||Lens extended, top LCD comes on|
|8.6||Rear LCD comes on, camera ready|
With this in mind I tended to leave the camera on and simply closed the LCD / switched it off with the DISPLAY button, obviously this has the disadvantage of leaving the lens extended / vunerable to knocks.
Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.
|OFF to REC *I||8.6||(Detailed above)|
|OFF to PLAY *I||4.6||Busy appears, image about 1 sec later|
OFF to REC *F
|OFF to PLAY *F||2.4||Busy appears, image about 1 sec later|
|REC to OFF||4.7|
|PLAY to OFF||1.4||Lens not extended|
|REC to PLAY||1.4||"Initial image" is displayed|
|PLAY to REC||2.4||Lens already extended|
|PLAY to REC||6.2||Lens not extended|
|PLAY: Image to Image||<0.5||Virtually instant|
|PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view||<0.5||Full page of 9 thumbnails displayed|
|PLAY: Zoom-in||<1.0||Virtually instant|
|Auto Focus LAG (Cont. AF)||0.6 - 1.0||Dependent on focus subject *|
|Auto Focus LAG (Single AF)||0.6 - 1.2||Dependent on focus subject *|
|AE-L metering (press *)||<0.5||Very, very fast|
|Shutter Release LAG||<0.1||Fastest EVER *|
|Total LAG (Cont. AF)||0.8||No pre-focus, one complete press *|
|Total LAG (Single AF)||0.8||No pre-focus, one complete press *|
|OFF to SHOT TAKEN *I||9.4||Switch on + Press shutter release|
|OFF to SHOT TAKEN *F||7.4||Switch on + Press shutter release|
*I 340 MB IBM Microdrive, *F 128 MB Delkin Flash
* LAG times are often misunderstood and so are described below:
Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to autofocus (a half-press and hold of the shutter release button), this timing is normally the most variable as its affected by the subject matter, current focus position, still or moving subject etc. This timing is an average.
Shutter Release LAG is the amount of time it takes to take the shot after autofocus, this timing assumes you have already focused (half-pressed the shutter release) and now press the shutter release button all the way down to take the shot. This timing is an average.
Total LAG is the total time it takes (not just the two above added together) if you haven't pre-focused, that is no finger touching the shutter release button, press it all the way down in one movement, this new timing is how long it'd take if you were in one of those spur-of-the-moment situations. This timing is an average.
The G1 is a beast of mixed fortunes. To one degree it's very fast, focusing is quick, even in low light because of its focus assist lamp it never has to hunt for focus, shutter release lag was unmeasurable, well below the 0.1 secs minimum our timer can catch (looks like we'll have to find a new method for timing shutter release lag), yet because of its slow startup times it will take almost a full 10 seconds (with a Microdrive) to power the camera on and take the first shot..
File Flush Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to "flush" the image out to the CF card (when the green CF activity light stops flashing). The estimated number of images per 16 MB CompactFlash card is given as a guide to beginners (as that's what's bundled with the camera - differs with region).
16 MB CF card
|Store 2048 x 1536 RAW||7.5||5.5||~2,300 KB||6|
|Store 2048 x 1536 Super-Fine||6.7||4.7||~1,800 KB||8|
|Store 2048 x 1536 Fine||4.7||3.4||~840 KB||17|
|Store 2048 x 1536 Standard||3.7||2.5||~400 KB||37|
|Store 1024 x 768 Super-Fine||-||2.7||~480 KB||31|
|Store 1024 x 768 Fine||-||2.1||~220 KB||68|
|Store 1024 x 768 Standard||-||1.5||~100 KB||150|
|Store 640 x 480 Super-Fine||-||1.5||~190 KB||78|
|Store 640 x 480 Fine||-||1.5||~80 KB||187|
|Store 640 x 480 Standard||-||1.5||~60 KB||250|
*I 340 MB IBM Microdrive, *F 128 MB Delkin Flash
Interesting to note how much longer it takes to write images out to an IBM Microdrive compared to a flash memory card.
|Image Type||Frames per sec
|Frames per sec
(LCD review off)
|Max no. of frames|
|2048 x 1536 RAW||0.6||0.6||3|
|2048 x 1536 Super-Fine||1.1||1.3||6|
|2048 x 1536 Fine||1.1||1.3||10|
|2048 x 1536 Standard||1.1||1.5||19|
|1024 x 768 Fine||1.3||1.7||23|
|640 x 480 Fine||1.4||1.7||64|
The table below defines the maximum number of shots which can be taken in a row before the camera makes you wait (measured as "wait before restarting") for space to become available in the internal buffer. Test performed in Continuous mode.
|Size / Resolution
||Max. frames in a sequence||Wait before restarting|
|2048 x 1536 RAW||3||4.6 secs|
|2048 x 1536 Super-Fine||6||4.4 secs|
|2048 x 1536 Fine||10||6.2 secs|
|2048 x 1536 Standard||19||10 secs|
|1024 x 768 Fine||23||6.2 secs|
Bearing in mind that the BP-511 battery pack (rated as 7.4 V, 1100 mAh, 8 Wh) used by the G1 was originally designed for much hungrier products such as DV cameras and that it's the same pack used in the EOS-D30 it's hardly going to be surprising for me to report that it seems to just last and last... On a three hour outdoor shooting spree of over 250 images (onto Microdrive) with the LCD on for most of the time the battery was just showing low at the end of the shoot, which by anyone's standards is an impressive performance.
|Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II 13.1 Megapixel Compact Camera||$699.00|