Kodak DCS620x Review
Timings & File Sizes
Timing the DCS620x is a slightly pointless exercise in itself, simply because the camera is almost always faster than you, power up and ready time is almost instant, scrolling through previously shot images is also instant, shooting rates up to 3.5fps for 12 images means that you'll hardly ever find yourself waiting for the camera to flush images away.. This is one seriously FAST camera. I'll attempt to time some of the other functions of the camera to give a feel for its real speed.
Because the DCS620x is a "shooting priority" camera we don't have to time things like switching from play to record modes, the "camera" side of the unit seems to operate as a separate entity to the digital side and you're always able to simply pick up the camera and shoot.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 1728 x 1152 RAW TIFF image (approx. 2,000 KB per image).
Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.
|OFF to ON||<1.0||Instant|
|ON to OFF||<1.0||Instant|
|Display review from blank LCD||<1.0||Instant|
|Play: Image to Image||<1.0||Instant|
|Play: Image to Histogram||<1.0||Instant|
|Play: thumbnail view||<1.0||Instant|
File Flush Timing
Again, another timing difficult to perform on the DCS620x, I found that at it's maximum burst rate of 3.5 fps you could shoot 12 frames (3.42 seconds of action) before the camera slowed (because of lack of space in the internal buffer), if you kept your finger on the shutter release the camera would then take one shot about every one second as buffer space becomes available.
Monitoring the PC CARD activity light beside the PC CARD compartment I observed that it took about 2.25 seconds to flush each image out to the card, using that information we can calculate:
12 frames @ 3.5 fps = 3.42 seconds, by which time 1.5 images would have been flushed away, we'd have to wait just 4.66 seconds before we could shoot another batch of 12 frames.
Obviously these timings are dependent on the storage media, the DCS620x is certainly capable of pushing storage media to its outer performance limits.
In-Camera Image Processing
The DSC620x features the latest Kodak Firmware which now includes the ability to process the RAW TIFF files to JPEG's (or RGB TIFF's) directly onto the PC CARD (into a different folder) when the camera is idle.
You set this up through the cameras main menu. Obviously this is design for either (a) casual shooting, (b) quick review of images on a computer without having to use the acquire module or (c) using spare time to process images so that they're ready for transmission. You can also choose various JPEG compression levels, sizes, sharpening and noise reduction and whether to leave the original TIFF or remove it after it's processed.
Settings for all timings: Original TIFF (Save), Sharpening (High), Look (Product), Exposure (Yes).
|1728 x 1152 RGB TIFF||46||5,893 KB|
|1728 x 1152 RGB TIFF *NR||49||5,893 KB|
|1728 x 1152 JPEG BEST||54||~1,000 KB|
|1728 x 1152 JPEG BETTER||54||~560 KB|
|1728 x 1152 JPEG GOOD||54||~350 KB|
|1152 x 768 JPEG BEST (66% size)||41||~268 KB|
|864 x 576 JPEG BEST (50% size)||33||~181 KB|
|1728 x 1152 JPEG BEST *NR||56||~911 KB|
|1152 x 768 JPEG BEST (66% size) *NR||47||~333 KB|
|864 x 576 JPEG BEST (50% size) *NR||39||~214 KB|
Because the DCS620x is an SLR it goes without live image preview, this saves greatly on the power drain. Add other power saving features and the huge battery pack (now NiMH powered) and you've got batteries that last and last. I went out on a whole days shooting with two packs and never needed the second one (shot, reviewed and selected over 250 images).