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Timings & File Sizes

The S2 Pro proved to be a very quick and capable digital SLR. Power on times are instant, as soon as you've turned the power switch you can take a shot. The display of a Postview image after taking a shot was in line with what we've seen elsewhere. Storage card write performance also proved to be very impressive, important considering some of the very the large files sizes the S2 Pro can generate. Perhaps the only delay could be the amount of time taken to load the full resolution image in play mode (up to 4 seconds).

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations.

The media used for these tests were:

  • 512 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card
  • 512 MB Lexar 16x Pro Type I Compact Flash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II Compact Flash card
Action Details Time, seconds
(Viking CF)
Time, seconds
(Lexar 16x CF)
Time, seconds
(Microdrive)
Power: Off to On   <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Power: On to Off *1   <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Record: Postview *2 JPEG 12 mp 1.8 1.8 1.8
Record: Postview *2 JPEG 6.1 mp 1.8 1.8 1.8
Record: Postview *2 RAW 1.8 1.8 1.8
Play: Image loaded *3 JPEG 12 mp 3.7 4.0 4.3
Play: Image loaded *3 JPEG 6.1 mp 2.1 2.3 3.1
Play: Image loaded *3 RAW 1.0 1.0 1.2
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3   0.9 0.9 2.1

*1 Assuming all buffered images have been written out to storage card, otherwise camera will remain 'on' until images have been written away.
*2 Time taken from the shutter release being pressed to the review image being displayed on the LCD monitor. This is one of our standard timing tests for D-SLR's, however the S2 Pro doesn't even access the storage card before displaying the Postview image so it wasn't affected by different storage cards. This 1.8 second delay appears to be the amount of time it takes the camera's CPU to perform the SuperCCD interpolation.
*3

This is the amount of time taken to complete loading the full resolution image from the moment the 'rough thumbnail' representation appears. This loading period can be interrupted by pressing either the left or right arrows on the 4-way controller.


Continuous drive mode

To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/350s, F3.5), ISO 400. No matter what image output setting the shooting rate was always 2.0 fps (+/-0.5 fps). Instead of testing the shooting rate I instead measured three different parameters:

  • Number of frames - How many shots can be taken before the buffer fills
  • Next shot - How soon after a burst of shots you can take the next shot
  • Full write - How long a burst of shots takes to be processed and written to the CF

The media used for these tests was a 512 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card.

Image Number of frames Next shot *1 Full write *1
CCD-RAW 7 8.0 sec 61.7 sec
12 mp JPEG Fine 8 2.6 sec 27.4 sec
6.1 mp JPEG Fine 8 2.3 sec 14.8 sec
6.1 mp JPEG Normal 8 2.2 sec 10.8 sec

*1 This is dependent on the speed of the CF card and size of the image (higher ISO = more noise = larger JPEG size), although these timings should be fairly typical.

The S2 Pro utilizes a parallel buffer writing system, this ensures that that when there are images in the internal buffer they are being written out to the storage card no matter what the camera is doing. This means that in the case of JPEG files the camera has already written one frame away by the end of the 7 frame burst and so we get 1 additional frame (8 instead of 7). Writing performance is even more impressive when you consider that each 4256 JPEG Fine file is over 4 MB in size.

A consistent if not blistering performance, the maximum frame rate of 2 frames per second will no doubt limit the use of this camera in sports environments, but its ability to quickly process and write images means that you're almost never left waiting after shooting a burst of continuous frames.


File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage media. The S2 Pro continues to process images in the buffer and write data out to the storage media in parallel to you composing (and taking) the next shot. During the write process you can not enter the camera set up menu or display existing images, you must wait for buffered images to be written to the storage card first.

The media used for these tests were:

  • 512 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card
  • 512 MB Lexar 16x Pro Type I Compact Flash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II Compact Flash card
Store image Time, secs
(Viking)
Time, secs
(Lexar 16x)
Time, secs
(Microdrive)
Approx.
File size
Approx. 512 MB card *2
CCD-RAW 7.7 7.5 6.6 12,897 KB 38
4256 x 2848 TIFF 21.2 21.2 19.3 35,575 KB 14
4256 x 2848 JPEG Fine 2.6 2.7 2.8 4,200 KB 104
4256 x 2848 JPEG Norm 1.5 1.6 1.9 2,400 KB 223
3024 x 2016 JPEG Fine 1.3 1.4 1.9 2,200 KB 207
2304 x 1536 JPEG Fine 0.8 0.9 1.6 1,320 KB 356
1440 x 960 JPEG Fine 0.5 0.5 1.2 600 KB 725

*1 Timer was started as soon as the storage compartment light came on and stopped when this light went off. This was seen as the actual recording time. The time from pressing the shutter release to the camera beginning to write (light comes on) was always 1.8 seconds with Postview disabled and 2.9 seconds with Postview enabled.
*2 As estimated by the camera using a blank card.

Again, excellent write speeds from the S2 Pro. This camera has a superb CF interface and buffer system which is delivering well over 1.5 MB/sec and almost 2.0 MB/sec for CCD-RAW files onto the IBM Microdrive.


Battery life

The S2 Pro is fairly unique in the fact that it splits its power requirements in two. The first set of batteries are two CR123A type Lithium batteries which are used to power the photographic side of the camera (metering, LCD panel, AF). The second set of batteries are four AA type batteries (NiMH recommended), these power the digital side of the camera, the sensor, processor, LCD monitor and storage system. During our every day shooting battery life proved to be very good, the AA's lasted and lasted, indeed the spare set I took along were almost never required. So far the camera still has the same set of CR123A's it was delivered with, it looks as though these will last far longer.

According to the S2 Pro manual a set of 1700 mAh NiMH's will last for approximately 450 frames with a Microdrive and the CR123A's should last 1000 frames.

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