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Timing & Performance

The R707 certainly feels a lot more responsive in use than previous generations of HP digital cameras, with startup, focus and lag times very respectable for such a well priced point and shoot compact. It is rare in use for the R707 not to be able to keep up with you on a shot-by-shot basis. Buffering, however, is not too clever. On the one hand the R707 manages a very respectable 2.9 frames per second in burst mode, so the images get pushed into the buffer memory fast enough. The problem comes at the other end - flushing the images from the buffer onto the card (or internal memory if you're not using a card). The buffer only holds a maximum of 4 frames, and once it's full you're stuck - with an average SD card (or the internal memory) you'll have a 6- to 12-second wait until you can take another shot (the first frame has been flushed from the buffer). This is improved slightly with a faster card (about 8.5 seconds with a Sandisk Extreme SD card), but in either case you're looking at a good 23 seconds to fully clear the buffer. Oh, and if you used the Adaptive Lighting feature (which adds some post-processing time) the buffer clear time extends to an astonishing 37 seconds... this is not a camera for shooting extended sequences of pictures!

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2592 x 1952 *** JPEG image (approx. 2,254 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card.

Action Details
Time, secs
Power: Off to Record   2.3
Power: Record to Off   1.5
Power: Play to Off   1.3
Record Review Image displayed 1.9
Mode: Record to Play   0.5
Mode: Play to Record   0.5
Play: Magnify To first zoom step ~2.5
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 1.4

Action Details
Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele 39 to 117 mm (3 x) 0.9
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle (speed depends on focus distance) ~0.6
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto (speed depends on focus distance) ~0.7
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view 0.2
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) Viewfinder 0.2
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle 0.7
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view 2.8
Shot to Shot LCD live view, no flash 2.8

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 (see notes at the top of the page). Media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.

Burst mode

The R707 features a basic burst mode that is hampered by the buffering/flushing problems noted at the top of this page. Essentially you can take 3 or 4 shots at a perfectly respectable speed, but once the buffer is full you can do nothing but wait.

Image Type *1
Mode
Avg. frames
per sec
*2
Frames in a burst
After
burst
*3
2592 x 1952 JPEG ****
Burst 2.5 fps 4 stops for 7-10 seconds
2592 x 1952 JPEG ***
Burst 2.5 fps 4 stops for 7-10 seconds
2592 x 1944 JPEG ** Burst 2.5 fps 4 stops for 7-10 seconds
2048 x 1536 JPEG ** Burst 2.5 fps 4 stops for 6-9 secs
1280 x 960 JPEG ** Burst 2.5 fps 4 stops for 6-9 secs
640 x 480 JPEG ** Burst 2.5 fps 4 stops for 6-9 secs
*1 The four star (****) best quality setting only available as a custom function
*2 This is an average for each four frame burst, starting with the buffer empty.
*3 The R707 will only take a maximum of four shots at any resolution, any quality setting

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 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". The media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card.

Image Type
Time to store
(secs)

Time to display
(secs)

File size *1
(approx.)
Images on a *2
512MB card
2592 x 1952 JPEG **** 7.3 1.8 2,980 KB 117
2592 x 1952 JPEG *** 7 1.7 2,254 KB 197
2592 x 1952 JPEG ** 7 1.7 1,595 KB 339
2048 x 1536 JPEG ** 11.5 1.7 1,014 KB 509
1280 x 960 JPEG ** 7.4 1.6 481 KB 982
*1 All file sizes are an average of three files. As is always 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.

As these figures show the R707 is very slow to clear images from the buffer onto the SD card, which may be due to a slow interface or simply a result of the extensive processing (noise reduction etc) taking place before the final JPEG is created (in all these tests the Adaptive Lighting function was turned off). The longer write time for 3MP JPEGs is frankly inexplicable and may be caused by a bug in the internal processing. Note that when using the internal memory or a slower SD card the times increase by around 20%.

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