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Timings & File Sizes

As we've come to expect from the Kodak DCS series the 760 is very fast, even dealing with large 6 megapixel images doesn't seem to phase it. The camera reviewed did not have the new firmware for generation of JPEG files in-camera (it wasn't ready at the time of writing the review).

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. All timings were made on a 3032 x 2008 RAW (.DCR) image (approx. 7,200 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 320 MB Lexar Pro 12x Type I CompactFlash card
  • 512 MB SanDisk Type I CompactFlash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card
Action Details Time, seconds
(Lexar 12x CF)
Time, seconds
(SanDisk CF)
Time, seconds
(Microdrive)
Power On   < 0.5
Power On Status LCD *2 4.5 4.5 4.3
Power Off *1   < 0.5
Image Review *3   1.5 1.8 4.5
Play: Image to Image *4   < 0.5
Play: Thumbnail view *4   < 0.5

*1 Although the photographic side of the camera turns off immediately the digital side may continue to write any buffered images to the storage card until all are saved. A bright red LED next to the storage compartment indicates images still being written.
*2 This is the time before the number of available frames is displayed on the rear status LCD, this timing is approximately 2 seconds longer immediately after inserting a new card.
*3 Time taken from when the OK button is pressed to when the image is displayed on the LCD.
*4 The DCS 760 appears to intelligently cache thumbnails of the images in the current folder which means that scrolling between each image is virtually instant.


Continuous Drive mode

The DCS 760 has three different continuous modes, CL, CH and CS. We'll be timing CL (Continuous Low speed) and CH (Continuous High speed). To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/400 sec, F2.8), ISO 400.

The camera was aimed at a high speed stopwatch, the watch was started and and a burst of frames were taken until the cameras buffer filled. You can keep your finger down on the shutter release, the camera will take another shot as soon as there is space in the buffer.

Results were:

  • CL 1 GB IBM Microdrive - 32 frames @ 1.00 fps
  • CH 1 GB IBM Microdrive - 23 frames @ 1.61 fps
  • CL 320 MB 12x Lexar - 31 frames @ 1.00 fps
  • CH 320 MB 12x Lexar - 23 frames @ 1.61 fps

The graph below shows the results of our frame rate tests for different media at different continuous speeds:

I was impressed with the D1x's frame rate (although a little disappointed by the number of frames that can be buffered - between 9 and 10). Clearly the DCS 760 has a much larger internal buffer (about 22 at CH, which is documented as 128 MB, although other sites have quoted 256 MB) but it can't shoot at the same rate as the D1x.


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 DCS 760 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.

The media used for these tests were:

  • 320 MB Lexar Pro 12x Type I CompactFlash card
  • 512 MB SanDisk Type I CompactFlash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card

Single image flush

Media Time taken
(seconds)
*1
Write speed
320 MB Lexar Pro 12x CF Type I 5.34 1,202 KB/s
512 MB SanDisk CF Type I 8.84 715 KB/s
1 GB IBM Microdrive CF Type II 4.10 1,603 KB/s

Burst of 15 frames (CH) flush

Media Time taken
(seconds)
*1
Write speed
320 MB Lexar Pro 12x CF Type I 60.8 1,509 KB/s
512 MB SanDisk CF Type I 108.8 843 KB/s
1 GB IBM Microdrive CF Type II 34.1 2,691 KB/s

*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.

Wow, that's the fastest Microdrive write speed I've seen since I reviewed the Unity Digital Firewire card reader/writer, and the *all new* 512 MB SanDisk card hasn't performed well AT ALL! On the whole the Microdrive seems to be the best choice if you don't have any hang-ups about its potential fragility.

Camera
 
Microdrive write speed
(single frame)
Flash memory write speed
(single frame)
Kodak DCS 760 ~1,603 KB/s ~1,202 KB/s
Nikon D1x ~1,137 KB/s ~1,645 KB/s
Canon EOS-D30 ~852 KB/s ~1,096 KB/s


Battery life

The DCS 760's big battery pack just went on and on, the NiMH pack now comes as standard and provides considerably more life than the older NiCD packs. The big advantage of a digital SLR is that most of the time the LCD isn't in use and so the camera requires less power than even some consumer models.

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