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Timings & File Sizes

The F100's performance was good in one respect and annoying in others. Startup time was a longer than average, this appears to be down to the very slowly extending lens. The other frustration is zoom speed which can seem snail like, especially if you really need to zoom in to catch the moment. Otherwise performance was on par with other compact four megapixel digital cameras, Auto Focus seemed to be within acceptable bounds and shot to shot times were also fairly good. Good in some respects, slow in others, a mixed bag.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. A Viking 128 MB Secure Digital card was used for timings. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2272 x 1704 FINE JPEG image (approx. 1.3 MB per image).

Action Details Time taken
(seconds)
Notes
Power: Off to Record Lens always defaults to wide 5.6 Lens takes 2.6 secs
Power: Off to Play   2.6 Image is displayed
Power: Record to Off Lens at wide angle 5.0 Lens retract
Power: Play to Off Lens at wide angle 5.0 Lens retract
Record: Zoom Wide to Tele / Tele to Wide 3.7 Slow
Mode: Record to Play   1.7 Image is displayed
Mode: Play to Record   1.7  
Play: Magnify To x1.5 0.8  
Play: Browse delay Delay between images 1.1  
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 2 thumbnails 1.0  
Auto Focus LAG Wide angle 1.0 Average
Auto Focus LAG Telephoto 1.2 Average
Shutter Release LAG   0.1 Fast
Total LAG   1.0 Average
Off to Shot Taken   6.6 Average to Slow
Shot to Shot *1 2272 x 1704 JPEG FINE 2.2 Average

*1 Instant playback disabled.

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 from the moment you fully depress the shutter release button, measured both as a time including auto focus and a time assuming you have already pre-focused by holding a half-press of the shutter release.


Continuous drive mode

The table below shows the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames at a selection of image resolution / quality settings and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take the next shot. A Viking 128 MB Secure Digital card was used for this test.

Image Type Frames per sec
Max no. of frames

Wait before
next shot
*1

2272 x 1704 FINE 1.6 fps 5 7.2 sec
2272 x 1704 STANDARD 1.6 fps 8 3.4 sec
1600 x 1200 STANDARD 1.6 fps 11 3.8 sec
1280 x 960 STANDARD 1.6 fps 24 2.5 sec
640 x 480 STANDARD 1.6 fps 102 2.0 sec

*1 You can take a frame (holding your finger on the shutter release) as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer, writing continues "in the background".

Again another good implementation of a writing buffer on a Minolta digital camera. The F100 operates seemlessly with data in its write buffer, at no time does the camera feel 'bogged down' with images being written out to the storage card. A good performance for such a compact camera, a respectable frame rate (albiet not blistering) and a fairly good buffer size.


File Flush / Display Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the Compact Flash 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. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". A Viking 128 MB Secure Digital card was used for this test.

Image Type Time to store
(seconds)
*1
Time to
display
(seconds)
*3
Approx.
File size
*4
Approx. images
on a 128 MB
Secure Digital card
2272 x 1704 S.FINE TIFF *2 17.5 33.5 11,357 KB 11
2272 x 1704 FINE 3.1 1.2 ~1,300 KB 65
2272 x 1704 STANDARD 2.7 1.0 ~850 KB 128
2272 x 1704 ECONOMY 2.5 0.9 ~550 KB 252
1600 x 1200 FINE 2.8 0.9 ~880 KB 130
1280 x 960 FINE 2.5 0.7 ~580 KB 200
640 x 480 FINE 1.8 0.5 ~150 KB 712

*1 Instant playback disabled. Even with instant playback enabled writing starts immediately.
*2 The first 9.2 seconds of this are taken up by camera processing, so the file write itself takes just 8.3 seconds, thus 1.3 MB/sec write speed - impressive. Playback load speed is less impressive.
*3 The F100 doesn't buffer or pre-load images, the camera loads the image from the SD/MMC card every time you press the left or right arrows to browse.
*4 With JPEG it's difficult to predict the exact size of an image file 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.

We found the overall processing & write performance of the F100 to be very good, around three seconds for a high quality four megapixel image is very good. We did notice a difference between brands of SD card, the Viking 128 MB SD card used for the tests above proved to be approximately 30% faster than the same capacity SanDisk SD card.


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
Compact / Ultra compact
Battery Power Battery life Number of shots
Kyocera S3 BP-800S 2.1 Wh 54 mins 95
Canon PowerShot S300 NB-1L 2.5 Wh 1 hr 26 mins 155
Pentax Optio 430 D-LI2 3.3 Wh 1 hr 33 mins 160
Olympus C-40Z 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.6 Wh 1 hr 33 mins 165
Nikon Coolpix 3100 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.6 Wh 1 hr 42 mins 175
Minolta DiMAGE F100 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.3 Wh 1 hr 42 mins 175
Minolta DiMAGE X NP-200 2.8 Wh 1 hr 45 mins 180
Pentax Optio 330 D-LI2 3.3 Wh 1 hr 48 mins 185
Canon PowerShot S330 NB-1LH 2.5 Wh 1 hr 48 mins 185
Sony DSC-P71 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.6 Wh 1 hr 50 mins 185
Kodak DX4900 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.5 Wh 1 hr 51 mins 190
Sony DSC-P5 NP-FC10 2.4 Wh 1 hr 51 mins 190
Nikon Coolpix 3500 EN-EL2 4.1 Wh 1 hr 54 mins 195
Sony DSC-P9 NP-FC10 2.4 Wh 1 hr 59 mins 200
Nikon Coolpix SQ EN-EL2 3.7 Wh 2 hr 03 mins 210
Minolta DiMAGE Xt NP-200 2.8 Wh 2 hr 12 mins 225
Canon PowerShot S400 NP-1LH 2.5 Wh 2 hr 17 mins 230
HP Photosmart 812 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.6 Wh 2 hr 21 mins 240
Nikon Coolpix 885 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 21 mins 240
Nikon Coolpix 775 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 27 mins 250
Canon PowerShot SD100 NB-3L 2.9 Wh 2 hr 29 mins 250
Pentax Optio S D-LI8 2.6 Wh 2 hr 33 mins 260
Nikon Coolpix 2500 EN-EL2 4.1 Wh 2 hr 33 mins 260
Fujifilm FinePix F601Z NP-60 3.7 Wh 2 hr 47 mins 275
Casio EXILIM EX-Z3 NP-20 2.5 Wh 2 hr 48 mins 285
Casio EXILIM EX-S3 NP-20 2.5 Wh 2 hr 48 mins 285
Olympus C-50Z LI-10B 4.0 Wh 2 hr 54 mins 295
HP Photosmart 935 2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 3.6 Wh 3 hr 09 mins 320
Canon PowerShot A70 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 5 hr 08 mins 515
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

The DiMAGE F100 lasted relatively well, certainly in line with other double AA powered digital cameras. That said you may wish to carry a spare pair of batteries with you on longer shooting trip.

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