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Timing & Performance

Overall performance is a touch sluggish for a camera in this class, but given the price point - aside from a little hunting slowing down the focus at the long end of the zoom, in low light and in macro mode - there really isn't much to complain about here.

Sure, the burst mode and write speeds (never a strong point for Fuji) are a bit weak and playback could be a lot quicker, but shutter lag is very low, and focus at shorter focal lengths is as good as most competitors. The High Speed shooting mode doesn't feel that much quicker but can speed up focusing at longer distances. The camera is also a little bit keen to retract the lens in if you spend more than a few moments reviewing images and there is no way of making it wait longer before doing this. Finally, as with all Fujifilm cameras, some aspects of playback feel a little slow compared to the best competitors.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3264 x 2448 Fine JPEG image (approx. 3,250 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1GB Sandisk Extreme III SD card.

Action Details
Time, secs
Power: Off to Record Ready to take first picture 2.4
Power: Off to Play Image displayed 2.4 
Power: Record to Off All activity ceased 2.3
Power: Play to Off When buffer is empty ~0.2
Record Review Image displayed ~0.6
Mode: Record to Play   ~0.9
Mode: Play to Record   0.5
Mode: Play to Record (Once lens has retracted) 4.1
Play: Magnify To full magnification (4.5x) 8MP image 6.1
Play: Image to Image Time to display each saved image ~0.7
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails ~0.2

Action Details
Time, seconds
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle ~0.7
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle, High Speed mode *1 ~0.5
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto ~0.9-1.8 *2
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto, High Speed mode *1 ~0.7-1.7 *2
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) EVF live view ~0.1
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view ~0.1
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle ~1.0
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle, High Speed mode *1 ~0.8
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view ~3.2
Shot to Shot Flash off ~2.4
Shot to Shot Flash on (with red eye reduction off) 2.8
Shot to Shot Flash on (with red eye reduction on) 3.3
*1 The FinePix S8000fd has a special 'high speed mode' that speeds up focusing (though not with total effectiveness). The downside is a reduction in battery life and an increase in the minimum focus distance.
*2 The S8000fd tele focus speed varies, hence we're quoting a range rather than an average figure.

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 1GB Sandisk Extreme III SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.

Continuous drive mode

The S8000fd has four continuous shooting modes; Continuous (Top 3), continuous long period and two high speed, low-res shooting modes. The 'Top 3' option is a standard burst mode - 1.5 frames per second for a maximum of three frames. The unlimited 'Long Period' continuous mode of the camera shows a preview image and refocuses between each shot, which really slows things down, but there appears to be no practical limit to how long you can keep shooting for. The really interesting modes are the high and ultra-high speed modes that allow fifteen frames to be captured at really rather impressive rates.

Image Type
Mode
Avg. frames
per sec
Frames in a burst *1
After
burst
*2
8MP JPEG Fine Top 3 Continuous 1.5 fps 3 ~6.5s delay
8MP JPEG Fine Continuous long period 0.5 fps until card fills N/A
8MP JPEG Normal Continuous long period 0.65 fps until card fills N/A
4MP JPEG Fine Continuous long period 0.65 fps until card fills N/A
4MP JPEG Fine High speed 15 7 fps 15 ~9.3s delay
2MP JPEG Fine Ultra high speed 15 ~15 fps 15 ~7.2s delay

*1 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).
*2 Once the buffer is full the S8000fd stops to wait for the images to be written to the card.
*3 The S8000fd 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 'top 3' continuous mode, with its maximum rate of 1.5 frames per second is of limited use in terms of grabbing the action and the long period mode skirts perilously close to being a rather inflexible time-lapse mode. However, the 7 and 15fps high speed modes are pretty fun even if the end results are pretty low-resolution by contemporary standards.

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". Again a 1GB Sandisk Extreme III SD card was used.

Image Type
Time to store
(secs)

Time to display
(secs)

File size *1
(approx.)
Images on a *2
1GB Card
6MP JPEG Fine ~1.8 ~0.8 3,250 KB 170
6MP JPEG Normal ~1.8 ~0.8 1,900 KB 339
4MP JPEG ~1.5 ~0.3 770 KB 999

*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.

Unlike previous generations of Fujifilm cameras, the S8000fd accepts the near-universal SD memory card format, as well as the less common xD form. Unfortunately, although SD cards tend to be faster than the xD format, this added throughput isn't successfully utilized by the S8000fd. 1.8 seconds to process and store less than 4Mb of data implies that it's not the SD card's 20MB/sec rate that's causing the hold-up.

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