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Timing & Performance

The F200 EXR is not a camera you'd describe as rapid - there are a number of moments when it'll light up its tiny green/orange 'busy' indicator or show you a series of rotating blue squares to warn you that it's thinking. None of these delays is particularly long though so, although the experience isn't utterly unintrusive, it's never so bad as to be frustrating.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 4000 x 3000 Fine JPEG image (approx. 4,470 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 4GB Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition SDHC Card.

Action Details
Time, secs

Power: Off to Record

  2.85
Power: Off to Play Image displayed 2.85 *1
Power: Record to Off Lens retracted and all activity ceased 1.8-2.8 *2
Power: Play to Off When buffer is empty ~ 0.3
Record Review Image displayed 0.8
Mode: Record to Play   0.5/1.2 *3
Play: Magnify To full magnification (8x) 2.2
Play: Image to Image Time to display each saved image 0.3 /1.1 *3

Action Details
Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele 28 to 140 mm (5x) 1.2
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle ~ 0.4
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto ~ 0.6
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view ~ 0.1
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle ~ 0.5
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view 3 .0
Shot to Shot Flash off ~ 2.7
Shot to Shot Flash on) *2 ~ 2.78
*1 You have to hold down the play button for around a second to start the F200 in playback mode - to prevent accidental activation.
*2 Depending on whether lens is at the wide or tele setting
*3 The F200 initially renders a low-res preview. First time is the wait for the low-res preview, the second is the total time for a full-res preview.

Our tests were pretty consistent with our expeirences - the F200 isn't a hugely fast camera but its rarely noticably unresponsive.

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 4GB Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition SDHC Card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.

Continuous drive mode

Image Type
Mode
Avg. frames
per sec
Frames in a burst *1
After
burst
*2
12MP JPEG Fine Long Period 0.5*3 no limit n/a
12MP JPEG Fine Final 3 1.6 3 n/a
12MP JPEG Fine Top 3 1.6 3 n/a
6MP JPEG DR mode Long period 0.7*3 no limit n/a
6MP JPEG DR mode Top 3 1.5 3 n/a

*1 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).
*2 The F200 EXR takes itself out of continuous shooting mode once it has fired its top or final 3 burst so the time to fire another burst would depend on how long it takes you to re-engage the mode
*3 The F200 EXR refocuses between each shot in 'Long Period' continuous shooting mode, so this figure in an average - the actual frame rate will depend on how fast the camera can focus.

The F200 EXR has five continuous shooting modes - a 'long period' mode that shoots at around 0.5 frames per second until the card is full, and a series of faster modes that are limited by the size of the buffer. The Top and Final 3 modes record three frames in rapid succession: Top 3 grabbing the first three frames from when you press the shutter button and Final 3 only recording the three frames leading up to you releasing the shutter. Finally there are Top and Final 12 modes that do the same thing but capturing 12 3MP frames in each case.

In EXR modes a more restricted selection is available: HR mode can only be operated in Top 3 and Final 3 modes (despite Long Period mode happily capturing 12MP images when the dial is moved away from its EXR setting). The two pixel-binned modes (SN and DR) provide Top 3, Final 3 and Long Period mode with a slight increase in speed noticable in the latter. Even in standard Long Period mode the F200 EXR easily exceeds the 1.4 frames per second quoted by the manufacturer.

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 4GB Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition SDHC Card.

Image Type
Time to store
(secs)

Time to display
(secs)

File size *1
(approx.)
Images on a *2
1GB Card
12MP JPEG Fine ~3.2 ~0.8 3.9 MB 203
6MP JPEG Fine ~1.7 ~0.8 2.4 MB 328
6MP JPEG SN mode ~2.2 ~0.8 2.7 MB 328
6MP JPEG DR mode ~1.9 ~0.8 2.4MB 328

*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 F200fd's write performance is, at around 1.2MB/s, fairly unimpressive, something that's not helped by the limited buffer. Despite the fast card, the F200 EXR is rather sedate in its performance. If you want to shoot high-speed action or small children rushing about, there's a risk you'll miss the moment with the F200.

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