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Taking pictures

As chunky as it is the QV-3000EX "feels right" in your hand, pressing the shutter release their is a brief blanking of the LCD as the camera attempts auto focus and calculates the exposure. It's not as fast as the faster digicams out there but it's certainly faster than the last generation and can be used without waiting for it. My major gripes would be the plastic feel to the case, the small LCD (there's more than enough room for a 2" LCD on the back) and the cameras overall size.


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 @ NORMAL compression (around 900KB 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.

Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.

Action Time taken
(seconds)
Notes
OFF to RECORD 5.5 (Lens extension)
OFF to PLAY 1.5  
RECORD to OFF 4.2 (Lens retraction)
RECORD to PLAY 3.7 (Lens retracts)
PLAY to RECORD 5.5 (Lens extends)
PLAY: Image to Image <1.0 Almost instant
PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view <1.0 Almost instant
PLAY: Zoom-in 2.2  
Auto Focus LAG 1.2 Fast, not up to standard though
Shutter Release LAG 0.2 Very fast *
Total LAG 1.3 No pre-focus, one complete press *

* 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.

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to "flush" the image out to the CF card (when the access light above the CF compartment stops flashing). They in no way affect the ability of the camera to "recycle" and shoot again, the QV-3000EX has a internal memory buffer (I've estimated it to be about 6 MB) even shooting as fast as you possibly can you're never waiting for the camera to flush the image away (unless you shoot TIFF).

The estimated number of images per 8MB CompactFlash card is given as a guide to beginners (as that's what's bundled with the camera - differs with region).

Action Time taken
(seconds)
Average
File size
Images on an
8 MB CF card (supplied)
Store 2048 x 1536 TIFF 30.2 6,146 KB 1
Store 2048 x 1536 Fine 7.7 ~ 1,410 KB 5
Store 2048 x 1536 Normal 6.1 ~ 1,024 KB 6
Store 2048 x 1536 Economy 5.6 ~ 600 KB 11
Store 1024 x 768 TIFF 9.7 1,538 KB 5
Store 1024 x 768 Fine 3.6 ~ 350 KB 19
Store 1024 x 768 Normal 3.0 ~ 250 KB 27
Store 1024 x 768 Economy 2.7 ~ 150 KB 43


Battery life

I got good results with the QV-3000EX and batteries, perhaps down to its aggressive power-save options (having a sleep option before a full power-off). Battery life was less good when using the IBM Microdrive (as would be expected) but with a normal CF card and a set of 4 1300mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries you should be able to shoot for about an hour and a half. Curiously the European model of the QV-3000EX isn't supplied with a charger and batteries (just some sad looking Alkalines which will last a few minutes).

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