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Timings & File Sizes

Overall the S602Z is fast for a consumer (prosumer?) level digital camera. Again, as we always find with cameras which have an extending lens the slowest possible function is power-up which in the case of the S602Z was a fairly respectable 4.3 seconds. Once powered up the camera feels quick, doesn't hold you up at any time. It's dual AF system is definitely one of the fastest around, the external AF sensor getting the approximate focus point and then fine tuning it using a normal CCD contrast-detect AF. Shooting at wide angle focus times are extremely quick, and even at full telephoto (6x) the S602Z is focusing faster than most 3x digital cameras.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2832 x 2128 (6 MP) FINE JPEG image (approx. 2.2 MB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 128 MB TwinMOS SmartMedia card
  • 256 MB Viking Type I CompactFlash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card
  Noticeably quicker   Significantly slower

Action Details Time, seconds
(TwinMOS SM)
Time, seconds
(Viking CF)
Time, seconds
(Microdrive)
*2
Power: Off to Record   4.3 4.3 4.3
Power: Off to Play Image shown 3.1 3.2 4.2
Power: Record to Off Lens out 5.0 5.0 5.0
Power: Play to Off Lens in 1.5 1.5 1.5
Mode: Record to Play Lens out 2.4 3.3 4.0
Mode: Play to Record Lens out 1.6 1.6 1.6
Play: Magnify to x18.0   8.0 8.0 8.0
Rec: Thumbnail view 3 x 3   0.5 0.5 2.0

Action Details Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele Full zoom from 35 mm to 210 mm (6x) 2.2
Auto Focus LAG Wide angle (35 mm) 0.3 - 1.0
Auto Focus LAG Telephoto (210 mm) 0.8 - 2.8 *1
Shutter Release LAG Using Electronic viewfinder 0.2
Shutter Release LAG Using LCD monitor 0.2
Total LAG Wide angle (35 mm) 0.9
Off to Shot Taken Using 256 MB Viking Type I CF card 4.7
Shot to Shot Record "post view" enabled, Auto Focus 3.0
Shot to Shot Record "post view" disabled, Auto Focus 1.6
Shot to Shot Record "post view" disabled, Manual Focus 1.2

*1 The camera seldom took 2.8 seconds for a telephoto AF lock, this was the exception rather than the rule. Most of the time AF lock at telephoto was between 0.8 and 1.5 seconds.
*2 The S602Z obviously has well implemented Microdrive compatibility, the slight slow down of some functions could be attributed to the 'spin up' time of the Microdrive HD.

Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to autofocus (a half-press and hold of the shutter release button), this timing is normally the most variable as its affected by the subject matter, current focus position, still or moving subject etc. This timing is an average.

Shutter Release LAG is the amount of time it takes to take the shot after autofocus, this timing assumes you have already focused (half-pressed the shutter release) and now press the shutter release button all the way down to take the shot. This timing is an average.

Total LAG is the total time it takes (not just the two above added together) if you haven't pre-focused, that is no finger touching the shutter release button, press it all the way down in one movement, this new timing is how long it'd take if you were in one of those spur-of-the-moment situations. This timing is an average.


Continuous modes

The S602Z offers three main continuous shooting modes: 5 fps 5 frames - shoot at a super-fast 5 frames per second for a maximum of 5 frames in any resolution. "Last 5" 5 fps - shoot at 5 fps up to 25 frames, camera stores the last 5 frames. 1.8 fps 40 frames at 1 MP - shoot at 1.8 fps for up to 40 frames but only in 1 MP mode (1280 x 960) and only in Auto Exposure mode.

Probably the most interesting of the above is the new "Last 5" mode which could be very useful for tracking a moving subject and then releasing the shutter release just AFTER the action, that way you're more likely to capture the exact moment. Note that from a speed and buffering point of view the normal 5 fps and "Last 5" 5 fps modes are the same.

The table below shows 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. Timings taken using a 256 MB Viking Compact Flash Type I card. Camera set to aperture priority, ISO 200, shutter speeds were greater than 1/250 sec.

Mode Image Type Frames
per sec
Max no. of frames *1

Wait before
next shot
*2

5 fps 6 MP Fine 5.0 fps 5 12.6 sec
5 fps 6 MP Normal 5.0 fps 5 10.0 sec
5 fps 3 MP Fine 5.0 fps 5 8.0 sec
5 fps 1 MP Fine 5.0 fps 5 6.0 sec
5 fps VGA Normal 5.0 fps 5 4.5 sec
1.8 fps 1 MP 1.4 fps 40 1.7 sec

*1 In a single "burst", finger held down on shutter release until camera stops shooting (internal buffer is full).
*2 You must wait for all buffered images to be written away before you can take the next burst, screen & camera are locked during the writing process.

At five frames per second the S602Z is one of the fastest shooters out there, unfortunately it's all over rather quickly (just a second in fact) which does raise questions about exactly how useful a high shooting speed is if you can't select slower options (a menu option for 5, 3, 2 or 1 fps?). The other side of this is that the S602Z doesn't "background buffer" a burst of frames, you must wait for ALL the images to be written away before you can take the next shot.


File Flush / Display Timing

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 (shutter click was heard) and stopped when activity indicator LED beside the storage compartment went out (and control of certain camera settings were returned). This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task".

The media used for these tests were:

  • 128 MB TwinMOS SmartMedia card
  • 256 MB Viking Type I CompactFlash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card
  Noticeably quicker   Significantly slower

Image Type Time to store *1
(seconds)
  Time to display *2
(seconds)
TwinMOS
SM
Viking
CF I
Microdrive
CF II
  TwinMOS
SM
Viking
CF I
Microdrive
CF II
6 MP HI TIFF 69.0 68.0 67.0   22.3 28.8 28.4
6 MP FINE 3.4 3.9 3.8   1.3 2.2 2.9
6 MP NORMAL 2.4 2.7 3.3   1.1 1.5 2.2
3 MP FINE 2.4 2.7 3.0   1.0 1.4 2.2
1 MP FINE 2.2 2.2 2.7   0.6 0.9 1.5
VGA NORMAL 1.6 1.7 2.5   0.5 0.5 1.2

*1 This is the amount of time it takes to write a single image away. It does not affect your ability to take another shot, the image is buffered and written to the storage card 'in the background'. However, during this time you do not have access to certain camera settings or menus (although you can still zoom, focus and shoot).
*2 During this time the camera is showing an animated 'egg timer'.

With consistency some Microdrive functions took almost exactly 0.7 seconds longer than a CF Type I card, this short delay can be attributed to the spin-up time of the Microdrive's HD. Although in some cases the SmartMedia card did perform very slightly better than Compact Flash there is very little difference between the performance of the different media types in a real life situation.


File Sizes

Here's a comparison of the average byte size of a selection of different image size / quality combinations.

Image Size Quality Image format File size *1
(~ = approx.)
No. on *2
256 MB CF Card
6 MP HI TIFF 17,720 KB 14
6 MP FINE JPEG ~ 2,300 KB 105
6 MP NORMAL JPEG ~ 1,100 KB 223
3 MP FINE JPEG ~ 1,100 KB 200
1 MP FINE JPEG ~ 520 KB 407
VGA NORMAL JPEG ~ 130 KB 1950

*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.
*2 As estimated by the camera.


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

All batteries had been 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

I think it's fairly clear to see that Fujifilm's decision to switch from the NP-80 to four AA batteries was well justified. Battery life has been extended by an hour and is in fact one of the best performances we've seen from a camera which takes AA batteries.

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