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Timings & File Sizes

As with most digital cameras with extending lenses the FinePix 6900Z's slowest function is powering on, there's roughly 3.4 seconds of the 4.7 it takes to power on taken up by the lens extension. Otherwise it's a quick and relatively responsive camera. The only caveat being that while the camera is writing images to the SmartMedia card (which it does 'in the background') you can not enter the menu system or change camera settings, although you can take another shot and zoom.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2832 x 2128 FINE JPEG image (approx. 2.2 MB per image).

Action Details Time taken
(seconds)
Notes
Power: Off to Record   4.7 Lens takes 3.4 secs
Power: Off to Play   3.2 Busy egg timer *1
Power: Record to Off   3.3 Lens retract
Power: Play to Off   0.5 Lens already retracted
Mode: Record to Play   0.7 Busy egg timer *1
Mode: Play to Record   1.0  
Play: Magnify   10.6 42 steps
Rec: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 0.5  
Auto Focus LAG Lens At Wide Angle 0.7 - 1.4 Average
Auto Focus Lag Lens At Full Tele 0.7 - 3.4 Average - Slow *2
Shutter Release LAG Using LCD or EVF 0.1 Fast
Total LAG   1.1 Average to Slow
Off to Shot Taken   6.9 Average
Shot to Shot Postview Enabled, Manual Focus 2.8 Fast *3
Shot to Shot Postview Disabled, Manual Focus 1.1 Very Fast

*1 Camera displays an animated egg timer before displaying an image, pressing the left or right arrows on the 4-way controller will move to the next image before the current is loaded but there is no on-screen indication of which image you are currently viewing.
*2 We were surprised to find that when the lens is zoomed to full telephoto it can take up to 3.5 seconds to auto focus, the 'hunt' takes far longer at this zoom than at full wide.
*3 Fast considering the postview image is displayed for 2 seconds during which time you can't do anything.


Continuous mode

The table below shows 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 the next burst.

Image Type Frames per sec Max no. of frames *1

Wait before
next burst *2

6mp: 2832 x 2128 FINE 5.0 fps 5 27 secs
6mp: 2832 x 2128 NORMAL 5.0 fps 5 21 secs
3mp: 2048 x 1536 FINE 5.0 fps 5 22 secs
1mp: 1280 x 960 FINE 5.0 fps 5 17 secs
VGA: 640 x 480 NORMAL 5.0 fps 5 13 secs

*1 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release), the camera will shoot at 5 fps for as long as your finger is depressed or a maximum of 1 second.
*2 You must wait until the current burst of images is saved to the SmartMedia card before you take the next burst.

As you can see, the limitation here is the size of the 6900Z's frame buffer before the images are converted to whichever JPEG size / quality you have selected. Whichever mode producing a surprisingly fast 5 frames per second (the fastest so far for a consumer grade prosumer digital camera).


File Flush / Display Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the SmartMedia card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed (shutter click was heard) and stopped when SmartMedia activity indicator on the LCD stops animating. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task".

Image Type Time to store *1
(seconds)

  Time to display * 2
(seconds)
6mp: 2832 x 2128 HI TIFF *3 22.5   20.0
6mp: 2832 x 2128 FINE 7.3   2.1
6mp: 2832 x 2128 NORMAL 5.2   1.3
3mp: 2048 x 1536 FINE 7.1   1.1
1mp: 1280 x 960 FINE 4.7   0.7
VGA: 640 x 480 NORMAL 4.3   <0.5

*1 During this time you can take another shot almost immediately (assuming there is space in the cameras buffer for it), however you can not enter the camera menu, change any settings (macro, flash, drive, exp. compen, manual focus etc.) or switch to another mode until the current image has been flushed to the SmartMedia card.
*2 Pressing the left or right arrow key on the 4-way controller will cancel loading and move on to the next image, however there is no on-screen indication of which image you are 'on'.


File Sizes

Here's a comparison of the average byte size of each of different image size / quality combinations.

Image Size Quality Image format File size *1
(~ = approx)
No. on 16 MB SmartMedia Card *2 No. on 128 MB SmartMedia card *2
6mp: 2832 x 2128 HI TIFF 17,720 KB 0 7
6mp: 2832 x 2128 FINE JPEG ~2,300 KB 6 53
6mp: 2832 x 2128 NORMAL JPEG ~970 KB 13 113
6mp: 2832 x 2128 BASIC JPEG ~380 KB 33 275
3mp: 2048 x 1536 FINE JPEG ~1,200 KB 12 102
3mp: 2048 x 1536 NORMAL JPEG ~490 KB 26 215
1mp: 1280 x 960 FINE JPEG ~580 KB 25 204
1mp: 1280 x 960 NORMAL JPEG ~220 KB 49 398
VGA: 640 x 480 NORMAL JPEG ~60 KB 163 1330

*1 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.
*2 As estimated by the camera with a blank formatted card inserted.


Battery life

During the "development" of my Nikon Coolpix 995 review it became apparent that we needed to devise a reliable, repeatable battery test. This is what I came up with:

  • Take 4 shots without flash
  • Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
  • Take 1 shot with flash
  • Wait 1 minute
  • Repeat

This test routine was carried out on five different cameras simultaneously. All batteries had been fully discharged and recharged before the test and all cameras were reset to their factory default settings. Here are the results:

Camera Battery Power Battery life Number of shots
Canon Digital IXUS 300 NB-1L 2.5 Wh 1 hr 26 mins 155
Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z NP-80 4.1 Wh 2 hr 29 mins 250
Nikon Coolpix 995 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 30 mins 255
Canon PowerShot G1 BP-511 8.1 Wh 3 hr 00 mins 300
Sony DSC-S75 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 3 hr 15 mins 330
Sony DSC-S85 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 3 hr 50 mins 400

As you can see battery life was very similar to the Coolpix 995. The 4900Z has some fairly aggressive power saving features such as shutting off the LCD / EVF backlight after just 30 seconds of inactivity. All in all an impressive performance from such a small and lightweight battery (though I'd still recommend most people to invest in a spare).

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