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Timing & Performance

As with all extending lens digital cameras the S7000's startup time suffers as the camera system has to wait for the lens to reach its full extension. Some aspects of the S7000's performance are good, auto focus using Center AF Area is fast, especially at wide angle. Shot to shot times with Record Review disabled are also respectable. Overall results are that the S7000 is slightly faster than the S602 Zoom. The camera has a very aggressive power save mode and the lens retracts in play mode after only a few seconds, this means that you can often find yourself waiting the full three seconds again switching back to record mode. The slowest function on the S7000 by far is full magnification which takes an impossibly slow eleven seconds.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 12mp (4048 x 3040) Normal JPEG image (approx. 2,400 KB per image).

Media used for these tests:

  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 24x Type I Compact Flash card
  • 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card
  • 128 MB xD-Picture Card
Action Details Time, secs (Lexar) Time, secs
(SanDisk)
Time, secs
(xD)
Power: Off to Record Live view appears 3.2 3.1 3.1
Power: Off to Play Initial image displayed 3.0 2.8 1.6
Power: Record to Off   4.2 4.2 4.2
Power: Play to Off   1.0 1.0 1.0
Record Review Image displayed <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Mode: Record to Play Depends on image size 2.3 2.2 1.3
Mode: Play to Record Lens already extended 0.8 0.8 0.8
Mode: Play to Record Lens not extended 3.1 3.1 3.1
Play: Magnify To full magnification 11.4 11.4 11.4
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 0.5 0.5 0.5

Action Details Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele Full zoom from 35 to 210 mm (6 x) 2.2
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle (Multi AF Area) 0.5 - 1.3
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto (Multi AF Area) 1.7 - 2.7
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle (Center AF Area) 0.6 - 1.0
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto (Center AF Area) 0.8 - 1.3
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) Wide angle (LCD / EVF) 0.2
Full-press Lag (0->S2) Wide angle (Center AF Area) 0.7
Off to Shot Taken Wide angle (Center AF Area) 4.0
Shot to Shot Wide angle (Center AF Area), Record Review 1.7
Shot to Shot Wide angle (Center AF Area), No Review 1.3

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. Note that continuous shooting modes are not available for RAW image format. Media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II card.

Top 5 continuous mode

Image Type Frames
per sec
Frames in
a burst

Wait before
next burst

4048 x 3040 (12 MP) JPEG Fine 3.3 fps 5 17.4 sec
2848 x 2136 (6 MP) JPEG Fine 3.3 fps 5 9.4 sec
1600 x 1200 (2 MP) JPEG Fine 3.3 fps 5 7.5 sec

Final 5 continuous mode

Image Type Frames
per sec
Frames in
a burst

Wait before
next burst

4048 x 3040 (12 MP) JPEG Fine 3.3 fps 5 17.4 sec
2848 x 2136 (6 MP) JPEG Fine 3.3 fps 5 9.4 sec
1600 x 1200 (2 MP) JPEG Fine 3.3 fps 5 7.5 sec

Fujifilm specify the 'Final 5' mode as 2 fps up to 5 frames, however we found that it shot at exactly the same rate as 'Top 5', 3.3 fps. Considering the amount of data the 3.3 fps rate is very respectable, although the maximum buffer size of five images is slightly disappointing. So is the way images are buffered in continuous shooting mode, you must wait for all images to be written before you can take another image, the camera does not buffer and write 'in the background'.


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 activity indicator LED beside the storage compartment stopped blinking. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task".

Media used for these tests:

  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 24x Type I Compact Flash card
  • 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card
  • 128 MB xD-Picture Card

Write speed / Sizes

Image Type Time, secs (Lexar)
Time, secs (SanDisk) Time, secs (xD) File size *1
(approx.)
On a 512 MB card
12M RAW 9.7 9.0 5.3 12,784 KB 38
12M JPEG Fine 5.5 5.3 3.9 4,800 KB 103
12M JPEG Normal 4.2 3.8 3.2 2,600 KB 206
6M JPEG Fine 3.4 3.2 2.8 1,600 KB 332
2M JPEG Fine 2.5 2.5 2.4 600 KB 801

Display speed

Image Type Time, secs (Lexar)
Time, secs (SanDisk) Time, secs (xD)
12M RAW 0.8 0.8 0.4
12M JPEG Fine 3.4 3.4 1.6
12M JPEG Normal 2.1 2.1 1.2
6M JPEG Fine 1.4 1.4 0.8
2M JPEG Fine 0.8 0.8 0.4

*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.

As you can clearly see from the results above the S7000 is optimized for xD-Picture Card, or to put it another way the xD-Picture Card interface is faster than the CF interface. During the write process you can take another shot but you can not change camera settings or enter the camera menu, this means for instance you must wait around five seconds (with a CF card) after taking a 12 M JPEG Fine before you can change setting such as ISO.

Overall throughput was good considering the file sizes and that this isn't a professional digital camera, xD-Picture Card throughput was even better.

Approximate write throughput (RAW)

  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 24x: 1.3 MB/sec
  • 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II: 1.4 MB/sec
  • 128 MB xD-Picture Card: 2.4 MB/sec


Low Light Auto Focus

This test is designed to measure the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.

Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).

This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), you should consider the results below the best you could expect to achieve.

Lens position Aperture Lowest light focus
Wide angle (35 mm equiv.) F2.8 1.1 EV (5.4 Lux, 0.50 foot-candle)
Telephoto (210 mm equiv.) F3.1 1.6 EV (7.6 Lux, 0.70 foot-candle)

Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)

The S7000 doesn't have a visible light AF assist lamp, it's unclear as to whether the external AF system is capable of improving AF capability in low light or not. The S7000 managed to focus in fairly low light although doesn't have the capability that a camera with a full visible light AF assist lamp would have.


Battery life

We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is designed to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:

  • 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

Batteries are fully discharged and recharged before the test and all cameras were reset to their factory default settings. Here are the results:

Camera
Prosumer / SLR-Like
Battery Power Battery life Number of shots
Minolta DiMAGE 7 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 1 hr 14 mins 125
Minolta DiMAGE 5 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 1 hr 56 mins 195
Nikon Coolpix 5700 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 08 mins 215
Canon PowerShot S40 NB-2L 3.9 Wh 2 hr 13 mins 225
Minolta DiMAGE S304 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 18 mins 235
Canon PowerShot S45 NB-2L 3.9 Wh 2 hr 28 mins 240
Nikon Coolpix 4500 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 27 mins 250
Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z NP-80 4.1 Wh 2 hr 29 mins 250
Nikon Coolpix 990 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 30 mins 255
Nikon Coolpix 995 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 30 mins 255
Nikon Coolpix 5000 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 32 mins 260
Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 33 mins 260
Canon PowerShot Pro1 BP-511A 10.2 Wh 2 hr 36 mins 265
Canon PowerShot S50 NB-2L 3.9 Wh 2 hr 39 mins 270
Minolta DiMAGE S404 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 39 mins 270
Sony DSC-V1 NP-FC11 2.8 Wh 2 hr 39 mins 270
Olympus C-7000 Zoom LI-12B 4.5 Wh 2 hr 44 mins 280
Nikon Coolpix 8700 EN-EL1 5.0 Wh 2 hr 45 mins 280
Minolta DiMAGE 7i 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 46 mins 270
Olympus E-20 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 48 mins 285
Canon PowerShot G1 BP-511 8.1 Wh 3 hr 00 mins 300
Nikon Coolpix 5400 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 3 hr 06 mins 315
HP Photosmart 850 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 12 mins 325
Sony DSC-S75 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 3 hr 15 mins 330
Nikon Coolpix 8800 EN-EL7 8.1 Wh 3 hr 27 mins 350
Fujifilm FinePix S602Z 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 29 mins 350
Canon PowerShot G2 BP-511 8.1 Wh 3 hr 32 mins 355
Casio QV-4000 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 38 mins 365
Olympus C-5050 Zoom 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 48 mins 380
Casio EXILIM EX-P700 NP-40 4.5 Wh 3 hr 48 mins 385
Sony DSC-S85 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 3 hr 50 mins 400
Sony DSC-F717 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 4 hr 02 mins 405
Pentax Optio 750Z D-LI7 6.6 Wh 4 hr 03 mins 415
Sony DSC-V3 NP-FR1 4.4 Wh 4 hr 05 mins 415
Nikon Coolpix 8400 EN-EL7 8.1 Wh 4 hr 09 mins 420
Sony DSC-F707 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 4 hr 20 mins 440
Fujifilm S7000 Zoom 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 4 hr 23 mins 445
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 NP-400 11.1 Wh 4 hr 26 mins 450
Canon PowerShot G3 BP-511 8.1 Wh 4 hr 32 mins 455
Canon PowerShot G5 BP-511 8.1 Wh 4 hr 33 mins 460
Pentax Optio 550 D-LI7 6.6 Wh 4 hr 36 mins 465
Minolta DiMAGE A1 NP-400 11.1 Wh 5 hr 02 mins 515
Leica Digilux 2 BP-DC1-E 10.1 Wh 5 hr 05 mins 515
Sony DSC-F828 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 5 hr 28 mins 540
Fujifilm FinePix S5000 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 5 hr 31 mins 555
Canon PowerShot G6 BP-511A 10.3 Wh 5 hr 38 mins 570
Olympus C-8080 WZ BLM-1 10.8 Wh 5 hr 52 mins 595
Other test notes:
 • LCD monitor is left on during the battery test
 • The camera is powered off half of the time and left on half of the time (switch every 10 iterations)
 • There are now higher capacity AA NiMH batteries available, however in the interests of fair
    comparison we will continue to use our 1600 mAh test set

The S7000's aggressive power save features, most notably turning the LCD monitor off after just a few seconds of inactivity ensured that it lasted a highly commendable four hours twenty minutes, almost an hour longer than its predecessor the S602 Zoom.

Compact Flash battery drain issue

There does appear to be a problem with the S7000 and Compact Flash cards other than the IBM Microdrive. Leaving a normal 'flash' CF card in the card slot will gradually drain the battery even when the camera is not in use. In our experience the drain is enough to flatten a freshly charged set of AA's overnight. This problem does not occur with the IBM Microdrive or xD-Picture Cards. Fujifilm's only answer to this so far is that they do not recommend the use of CF cards other than the IBM Microdrive with the S7000.

UPDATE (just before review publication): This problem is now being addressed, Fujifilm is now offeringa free repair on S7000's manufactured before 15 December 2003. Click here for the Fujifilm press release.

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