Previous page Next page

Timings & File Sizes

The S3 Pro delivered a mixed performance, one on hand startup is fast and you can get the first shot taken almost as quickly as you can flick the power switch and depress the shutter release. Other timings are (as to be expected) dependant on dynamic range mode. In wide dynamic range mode the camera is always having to deal with twice as much data as standard dynamic range mode, this means twice the data retrieved from the A/D converters and more work for the image processing pipeline (unless you're shooting RAW). Storage card write speeds were fairly good, although the best performance was using Fujifilm's own xD-Picture Card's. The main consideration must be the camera's continuous shooting capability which is average in standard dynamic range mode and slow in wide dynamic range mode. You'll have to decide how important this would be to your photography.

Timing notes:

  • 12M = 4256 x 2848 pixels
  • 6M = 3024 x 2016 pixels
  • S-Dyn = Standard dynamic range mode
  • W-Dyn = Wide dynamic range mode
  • All times calculated as an average of three operations
  • Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on an 6M JPEG Fine (approx. 2,700 KB)

The media used for this test were:

  • 512 MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card
  • 1 GB SanDisk Extreme III CF card (Type I)
  • 4 GB Lexar Pro 80x CF card(Type I, FAT32)
Action
Details
Time, secs
(512 MB xD)
Time, secs
(1 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(4 GB Lexar)
Power Off to On *1   0.5 0.5 0.5
Power Off to Shot taken *2
0.5 0.5 0.5
Power On to Off   0.9 0.9 0.9
Record Review *3
RAW
1.5 / 1.9 1.5 / 1.9 1.5 / 1.9
12M JPEG
1.4 / 1.8 1.4 / 1.8 1.4 / 1.8

6M JPEG

1.7 / 2.0 1.7 / 2.0 1.7 / 2.0

*1

This timing was taken from the moment the power switch was turned on to the moment the LCD Control Panel displayed information.

*2 This timing was taken from the moment the power switch was turned on to the moment a shot was taken, with finger held down on the shutter release button.
*3 The first timing is for Standard dynamic range mode, the second is for Wide dynamic range mode.

Continuous Drive mode

To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/250 sec, F4.0), ISO 200. The media used for these tests was the 1 GB SanDisk Extreme II CF card.

The tests carried out below measured the following results for various image qualities:

  • Frame rate - The shooting rate (frames per second)
  • Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst, this was always four
  • Slows to - If you keep the shutter release held what the time between frames becomes
  • Full write - How soon after a burst the CF light goes out (the burst is written)

Standard Dynamic Range mode

Image type
Frame rate
Number of frames
Slows to
per frame
Full write
CCD-RAW *1 2.5 fps 6 5.7 sec 40.5 sec
12M JPEG Fine 2.5 fps 12 1.3 sec 28.4 sec
6M JPEG Fine 2.5 fps 12 1.3 sec 19.3 sec
6M JPEG Normal 2.5 fps 12 1.3 sec 15.9 sec

Wide Dynamic Range mode (Auto)

Image type
Frame rate
Number of frames
Slows to
per frame
Full write
CCD-RAW 1.5 fps 3 11.2 sec 34.2 sec
12M JPEG Fine 1.1 fps 9 2.0 sec 15.4 sec
6M JPEG Fine 1.0 fps 6 1.6 sec 11.0 sec
6M JPEG Normal 1.0 fps 6 1.6 sec 9.2 sec

*1 The camera shot one more frame just 0.5 sec (1.8 fps) after the burst, this wasn't included as it would have reduced the average frame rate.

In standard dynamic range mode the S3 Pro puts in a usable but not particularly exciting continuous shooting performance, it's slightly faster than the S2 Pro (2.5 vs. 2.0 fps) and has a larger buffer (12 vs. 8 frames). Switch up to wide dynamic range mode (as most users will with this camera) and things slow down considerably, sneaking just over one frame per second for just 9 (12 mp) or 6 (6 mp) frames is pretty disappointing.

Compare this continuous shooting capability to similarly specified (and cheaper) cameras from Canon, Nikon and Konica Minolta and it's clear that this is the S3 Pro's achilles heel.

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card. Timing was taken from the instant the shutter release was pressed to the time the CF activity indicator beside the CF door went out. The 7D will begin writing images as soon as it can and continue to write 'in the background' while you take further shots / change settings.

The media used for this test were:

  • 512 MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card
  • 1 GB SanDisk Extreme III CF card (Type I)
  • 4 GB Lexar Pro 80x CF card(Type I, FAT32)
Image type
Time, secs *1
(512 MB xD)
Time, secs
(1 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(4 GB Lexar)
Approx.
size
CCD-RAW, W-Dyn 8.1 13.2 13.2 25,086 KB
CCD-RAW, S-Dyn 4.0 7.4 7.4 12,826 KB
12M JPEG Fine, W-Dyn 3.8 4.6 4.6 4,400 KB
12M JPEG Fine, S-Dyn 3.8 4.2 4.2 4,400 KB
6M JPEG Fine, W-Dyn 3.0 3.9 3.9 3,200 KB
6M JPEG Fine, S-Dyn 3.0 3.5 3.5 3,200 KB

*1 These timings are approximate as the S3 Pro doesn't keep the write activity indicator on as a 'solid light' during xD write.
*2 The S3 Pro begins writing approximately 1.5 seconds after the shutter release is pressed so you must subtract 1.5 seconds from the above timings to get the actual write time.

A good performance, and considerably better with xD-Picture Card media. In CCD-RAW mode the S3 Pro wrote single images at approximately 2.1 MB/sec to Compact Flash and around 3.8 MB/sec to xD-Picture Card. As you can see from the graphs below performance (and our accuracy to measure) increases slightly with a burst of continuous shots.

Card performance: JPEG burst (12 images)

Card Fujifilm S3 Pro, write speed (12M JPEG files)
512 MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card 4,025 KB/sec
1 GB SanDisk Extreme III 2,188 KB/sec
4 GB Lexar Pro 80x (FAT32) 2,208 KB/sec

Card performance: RAW burst (6 images)

Card Fujifilm S3 Pro, write speed (CCD-RAW files)
512 MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card 4,402 KB/sec
1 GB SanDisk Extreme III 2,233 KB/sec
4 GB Lexar Pro 80x (FAT32) 2,236 KB/sec

Cardbus 32-bit CF Adapter benchmark

Card Cardbus 32-bit CF Adapter, write speed (RAW files)
1 GB SanDisk Extreme III 10,091 KB/sec
4 GB Lexar Pro 80x (FAT32) 9,279 KB/sec

The results above were produced by measuring the write time for a burst of shots, this gives a more accurate measurement of actual throughput. Note that the CF cards used were all high speed and in our fastest device (the Delkin Cardbus 32-bit CF Adapter) were capable of around 9.8 MB/sec.

Battery life

Thankfully Fujifilm has done away with the dual / split battery requirement we saw on the S2 Pro which required two CR123A Lithium's and four AA batteries. The S3 Pro now requires just four AA's which are placed on a battery tray which slides into the body. Fujifilm (at least in the UK kit) supply an AA battery charger and a set of four 2300 mAh AA NiMH batteries, we found these to provide plenty of capacity to shoot all day long without even a hint of low power. The disadvantages to this setup versus a single Lithium-Ion (as used in other digital SLR's) are that you have to unload and load four batteries each time they need charging, that NiMH batteries lose their charge 'on the shelf' and that they take longer to charge.

Previous page Next page
40
I own it
1
I want it
39
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments