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Timing & Performance

The S60 feels faster than the S50, in startup the S60's lens extends more quickly and the camera is ready to shoot over half a second quicker than the S50. In use actual focus speeds and focus lag is approximately the same as the S50 (not particularly impressive) although we did measure slightly slower shutter release lag times. Buffering is good and the S60 allows you to get on with the next shot without interruption while it writes the last image out to the CF card. Overall the S60 works well enough but doesn't feel as snappy as some other compacts.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2592 x 1944 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 2,100 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card.

Action Details
Time, secs
Power: Off to Record   3.2
Power: Off to Play Image displayed 2.6
Power: Record to Off   1.1
Power: Play to Off   1.8
Record Review Image displayed 1.2
Mode: Record to Play   0.8
Mode: Play to Record Lens already extended 1.2
Mode: Play to Record Lens not extended 2.8
Play: Magnify To full magnification (10x) 1.2
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 1.3

Action Details
Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele 28 to 100 mm (3.6 x) 2.0
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle ~0.8
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto ~1.2
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view 0.2
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) Viewfinder 0.1
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle ~1.0
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view 3.9
Shot to Shot   2.0

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. Media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.

Standard / High continuous drive modes

In Standard drive mode the S60 provides a review of each frame as it is taken on the LCD monitor, in High speed drive mode the LCD monitor remains blank.

Image Type
Mode
Avg. frames
per sec
*1
Frames in a burst *2
After
burst
*3
2592 x 1944 RAW Standard 1.5 fps 2 slows to 0.2 fps
2592 x 1944 JPEG Super-Fine Standard 1.5 fps 6 slows to 0.4 fps
2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine Standard 1.4 fps 12 slows to 0.5 fps
2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine Standard 1.2 fps 20 slows to 0.6 fps
1600 x 1200 JPEG Fine Standard 1.3 fps 30 slows to 0.8 fps
2592 x 1944 RAW High 1.5 fps 2 slows to 0.2 fps
2592 x 1944 JPEG Super-Fine High 2.0 fps 8 slows to 0.4 fps
2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine High 2.0 fps 12 slows to 0.6 fps
2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine High 1.6 fps 19 slows to 0.7 fps
1600 x 1200 JPEG Fine High 1.8 fps 28 slows to 0.9 fps

*1 This is an average after the first frame, for some reason the delay between the first and second frame is always longer than the rest of the burst.
*2 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).
*3 With the shutter release held down.

Canon quotes continuous drive speeds of 1.5 and 2.0 fps in the S60's specifications, at full resolution (2592 x 1944) JPEG Super-Fine or Fine this is true, however use RAW or a reduced image size and this speed drops. After the camera's buffer is filled (maximum frames in a burst) it will continue to take shots as soon as enough buffer space has been freed (an image written out to the CF card) hence the 'After burst' speeds described above depend on the speed of the CF card.

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 Ultra II Type I CompactFlash card.

Image Type
Time to store
(secs)
*1

Time to display
(secs)

File size *2
(approx.)
Images on a *3
1 GB Card
2592 x 1944 RAW 7.5 0.9 5,235 KB 198
2592 x 1944 JPEG Super-Fine 3.8 1.3 2,100 KB 394
2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine 3.0 1.0 1,200 KB 701
2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine 2.6 0.8 760 KB 1,095
1600 x 1200 JPEG Fine 2.4 0.8 500 KB 1,734

*1 Subtract 1.6 seconds (1.9 seconds for RAW) for the actual CF write time.
*2 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).
*3 Camera estimation.

The S60 doesn't start writing immediately after taking the shot, it takes 1.6 seconds for JPEGs or 1.9 seconds for RAW to process before the write begins. Hence the actual write speed on this SanDisk Ultra II card was around 950 KB/sec which is about what we expect from a compact consumer digital camera although it's certainly not pushing the capabilities of the card. More annoying can be the 1.3-second delay when browsing images in play mode, Canon should really work on this.

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