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Taking pictures

The 4700Z is a fast camera, combined with the intuitive design of its controls this makes the camera not only easy to use but responsive and enjoyable. Shutter lag is very little which makes catching that moment fairly easy. Sensitivity is also higher than the norm thanks to the SuperCCD, at ISO200 shutter speeds are of course higher than the equiv. ISO100 digicam which means less blurry pictures.


Timings & File Sizes

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2400 x 1800 JPEG image @ NORMAL compression (around 800KB 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.

The estimated number of images per 16MB SmartMedia card is given as a guide to beginners (as that's what's bundled with the camera).

Action Time taken
(seconds)
Notes
OFF to RECORD 3.0 (Lens extension)
OFF to PLAY 2.4  
RECORD to OFF 2.4 (Lens retraction)
RECORD to PLAY 2.2  
PLAY to RECORD 1.7  
PLAY: Image to Image ~ 1.0  
PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view <1.0 Almost instant
PLAY: Zoom-in <1.0 Almost instant
(smooth steps - full zoom takes 9 secs)
Auto Focus LAG <1.0 Very fast *
Shutter Release LAG 0.1 Very fast *
Total LAG 0.9 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 SM card. They in no way affect the ability of the camera to "recycle" and shoot again, the 4700Z has a very large internal buffer (I've estimated it to over 4 MB) even shooting as fast as you possibly can you're never waiting for the camera to flush the image away.

The 4700Z is one of a new generation of digicams which will hopefully make the inclusion of the table below in reviews a thing of the past, they're so fast that it's getting difficult to time them, that combined with the fact that nearly all new digicams have large internal buffers means that you're no longer waiting for the camera to flush an image to the storage card.

Action Time taken
(seconds)
Average
File size
Images on an
16 MB SM card (supplied)
Store 2400 x 1800 Fine 4.4 ~ 1,680 KB 9
Store 2400 x 1800 Normal 3.1 ~ 850 KB 19
Store 2400 x 1800 Basic 2.1 ~ 330 KB 47
Store 1280 x 960 Fine ~ 1.0 ~ 612 KB 25
Store 1280 x 960 Normal ~ 1.0 ~ 312 KB 49
Store 1280 x 960 Basic ~ 1.0 ~ 162 KB 90
Store 640 x 480 Fine ~ 1.0 ~ 162 KB 90
Store 640 x 480 Normal ~ 1.0 ~ 87 KB 165
Store 640 x 480 Basic ~ 1.0 ~ 50 KB 248

As you can see it became difficult to measure storage time for images below 2400 x 1800 resolution. The 4700Z is that fast.


Battery life

(Note: the battery life results below may be due to the pre-production status of the camera I reviewed)

I got mixed results. This is one of the first digicams I've reviewed which only takes two AA batteries. The manual says with the LCD on you should be able to shoot 80 images, in my experience that was half an hour or less. The supplied 1600mAh batteries (HR-3UF) are some of the largest capacity AA's I've seen. Using 1300mAh GP's half an hour was about the best, though because the camera only takes two batteries carrying half a dozen on a shoot would give you plenty of lasting power.

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