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Timing & Performance

One of Fujifilm's marketing claims for the F10 is the speed of operation - due in part to enhancements to the Super CCD processor. Our measurements certainly show the camera to be very fast, and in some aspects class-leading. Startup is very fast for a camera with an extending lens - it's ready to shoot in around a second. The focus speed is excellent (especially when you turn on the High Speed mode), and the shutter lag (S1>S2) superb - the F10 is one of the few compact zoom cameras on the market that actually feels as though when you press the button the picture is taken instantaneously. Focus is also very reliable, meaning hunting is rare except in low light at the long end of the zoom outside the range of the AF illuminator. This all means the camera feels very 'snappy' indeed in use. Less impressive is the continuous shooting ability, which appears to be limited by a small buffer, meaning you are limited to three shots in a burst, and there's quite a wait before you can resume shooting. A 40-frame option allows you to keep shooting a lot longer, but not at a very high speed. As with previous FinePix models, we'd like to see slightly faster flash recycling, but the F10 is a big improvement on some of its predecessors, and at just over 3 seconds between shots is closer to the average for its class.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2846 x 2136 Fine JPEG image (approx. 2,840 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512MB Fujifilm XD-Picture Card.

Action Details
Time, secs
Power: Off to Record Ready to take first picture 1.0
Power: Off to Play Image displayed 1.8 *1
Power: Record to Off All activity ceased 1.0
Power: Play to Off When buffer is empty, lens retracted ~0.2
Power: Play to Off When buffer is empty, lens extended 0.9
Record Review Image displayed <0.2
Mode: Record to Play   0.9
Mode: Play to Record Lens already extended ~0.5
Mode: Play to Record Lens not extended 1.0
Play: Magnify To full magnification (4.5x) 6MP image 3.7
Play: Image to Image Time to display each saved image ~0.7
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails ~0.4

Action Details
Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele 36 to 108 mm (3 x) 0.8
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle ~0.5
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle, High Speed mode *3 ~0.3
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto ~0.6
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto, High Speed mode *3 ~0.5
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view <0.05*2
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle ~0.5
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle, High Speed mode *3 ~0.3
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view ~1.6
Shot to Shot Flash off 1.7
Shot to Shot Flash on (with red eye reduction off) 3.3
*1 You have to hold down the play button for around a second to start the F10 in playback mode - to prevent accidental activation.
*2 Fujifilm quotes a lag of 0.01 seconds - this seems fair (this is one of the fastest responses we've ever seen on a compact zoom camera).
*3 The FinePix F10 has a special 'high speed mode' that speeds up focus noticeably. The downside is a reduction in battery life and a slight increase in the minimum focus distance (from 60cm to 100cm).

Excellent performance overall - something our experience with the camera in 'real-world' shooting bears out. This is a very responsive camera let down only by the slightly sluggish flash recycle (it's around twice as long as the Canon SD500, for example). In fact, the flash recycle is longer still if you're shooting at distance (our tests are in a fairly bright room at a distance of around 1m) - a full burst of flash extends the recycle time and - especially if the battery is low - can cause the screen to black out for a couple of seconds whilst the flash recharges.

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. The media used for these tests was a 512MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.

Continuous drive mode

The F10 has three continuous shooting modes; Continuous (Top 3), Continuous (Final 3) and 40-frame Continuous. The 'Top 3' option is a standard burst mode - 2.5 frames per second for a maximum of three frames. The 'Final 4' option is interesting; hold down the shutter and the camera will take shots at around 3fps (for a maximum of 40 shots) until you release the shutter. At this point the last three shots are saved to the card.

Image Type
Mode
Avg. frames
per sec
Frames in a burst *1
After
burst
*2
2848 x 2136 JPEG Fine Top 3 Continuous 2.5 fps 3 ~6.5s delay
2848 x 2136 JPEG Normal Top 3 Continuous 2.5 fps 3 ~5.3s delay
2048 x 1536 JPEG Top 3 Continuous 2.5 fps 3 ~4.4s delay
1600 x 1200 JPEG Top 3 Continuous 2.5 fps 3 ~4.4s delay
2848 x 2136 JPEG Fine 40-frame Continuous 0.6 fps 40 n/a
2848 x 2136 JPEG Normal 40-frame Continuous 0.9 fps 40 n/a
2048 x 1536 JPEG 40-frame Continuous 1.1 fps 40 n/a
1600 x 1200 JPEG 40-frame Continuous 1.1 fps 40 n/a

*1 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).
*2 Once the buffer is full the F10 stops for 4-6 seconds (dependant on the file size) as the images are saved to the XD Picture Card

Whilst the measured frame rate of 2.5 fps is fairly high for a compact camera - and indeed is actually slightly higher than the figure quoted in Fujifilm's official spec - the three frame limit (and fairly long buffer clear time) limits the usefulness of the F10 as an 'action camera'. The 40-frame mode is also something of a compromise - at the best quality 6M/Fine setting you're only getting one shot every 1.6 seconds or so. In the long time (40 frame) mode the camera assesses exposure for each frame (and attempts to refocus) - in the Top 3 or Final 3 modes focus and exposure are fixed with the first shot.

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 the 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 512MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card.

Image Type
Time to store
(secs)

Time to display
(secs)

File size *1
(approx.)
Images on a *2
512MB Card
2848 x 2136 JPEG Fine ~1.6 ~0.7 2,840 KB 170
2848 x 2136 JPEG Normal ~1.6 ~0.5 1,460 KB 339
2048 x 1536 JPEG ~1.6 ~0.3 765 KB 651
1600 x 1200 JPEG ~1.6 ~0.25 600 KB 818

*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 (detail and noise).
*2 Camera estimation.

The F10 is around average for its class when it comes to saving images to the xD-Picture Card, managing a very respectable 1.7 MB/s. Since the 1.6 seconds is irrespective of file size/quality we can only presume that the majority of this time is taken up with in-camera processing, rather than writing to the card.

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