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Timings & File Sizes

In operation the Coolpix 5000 never leaves you waiting, a good sized internal buffer which appears to be capable of holding half a dozen or more images means that almost as soon as the live view returns to the LCD you can take the next shot. Other operational functions are relatively quick, the 5000 uses a 'rough thumbnail' view in playback mode to give you an instant image as you're browsing through, wait a second or two and this is replaced with a higher resolution version. About the only annoying delay is camera startup which can take up to 7 seconds.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2560 x 1920 FINE JPEG image (approx. 1.6 MB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 256 MB Viking Type I CompactFlash card
  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 16x Type I CompactFlash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card
  Noticeably quicker   Significantly slower

Action Details Time, seconds
(Viking CF)
Time, seconds
(Lexar 16x CF)
Time, seconds
(Microdrive)
Power: Off to Record   5.9 6.3 7.6
Power: Off to Play Initial image 3.0 3.3 5.8
Power: Record to Off Lens out 3.7 3.7 3.7
Power: Play to Off Lens in 1.3 1.6 1.3
Mode: Record to Play Lens out 1.2 1.2 3.2
Mode: Play to Record Lens out 2.3 2.3 2.3
Play: Magnify to x6.0 25 steps 4.3 4.3 5.4
Play: Image to Image Initial image 0.7 0.8 2.1
Rec: Thumbnail view 2 x 2   0.7 0.7 2.8
Rec: Thumbnail view 3 x 3   1.2 1.2 4.9

Action Details Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele Full zoom from 28 mm to 85 mm (3x) 1.8
Auto Focus LAG Normal AF *1 0.8 - 1.3
Auto Focus LAG Macro AF *1 1.5 - 2.5
Shutter Release LAG Using viewfinder <0.1
Shutter Release LAG Using LCD monitor 0.1
Total LAG Normal AF (average) ~1.1
Off to Shot Taken Using 256 MB Viking Type I CF card 6.1
Shot to Shot Record review enabled 1.9
Shot to Shot Record review disabled 1.9

*1 Generally using continuous auto focus will at least "prepare" the cameras focus system to be close to the ideal focus point.

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

As with the 990 and 995, the 5000 offers a wide range of different continuous (or burst) shooting modes, everything from full 5 megapixel continuous shooting down to 320 x 240 ultra high speed bursts. New to the 5000 are separate Continuous H and Continuous L modes.

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.

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

Wait before
next shot
*2

Continuous H 2560 x 1920 FINE 3.0 fps 3 11.3 sec
Continuous H 2560 x 1920 NORMAL 3.0 fps 3 9.5 sec
Continuous H 1024 x 768 NORMAL 3.0 fps 3 4.6 sec
Continuous L 2560 x 1920 FINE 1.5 fps 8 6.1 sec
Continuous L 2560 x 1920 NORMAL 1.5 fps 12 6.5 sec
Continuous L 1024 x 768 NORMAL 1.5 fps 68 3.8 sec
Multi-shot 16 16 x 640 x 480 *3 3.7 fps 16 4.4 sec
HS seq. *4 1280 x 960 NORMAL 1.6 fps 37 6.0 sec
HS seq. *4 1024 x 768 NORMAL 1.6 fps 67 3.8 sec
Ultra HS *5 320 x 240 JPEG 30.0 fps 100 52.8 sec
Movie *6 320 x 240 MOV (MJPEG) 15.0 fps n/a 22.0 sec

*1 In a single "burst", finger held down on shutter release until camera stops shooting (internal buffer is full)
*2 You can take another shot as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").
*3 Sixteen 640 x 480 images on a single 2560 x 1920 image
*4 LCD shows each frame as it is recorded, you can shoot at 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768 or 640 x 480
*5 The same bug I discovered in the 995 has come over to the 5000. In Ultra HS mode image quality is degraded if you leave auto focus confirmation set to "On", the sharpened image is recorded, rather than the "normal" image.
*6 Only Digital Zoom is possible during movie recording however camera does not refocus. Audio is recorded at 7.8 Khz, 8-bit, Mono.

Considering the large size of each image (and thus the amount of data which must be processed) the 5000 does a relatively good job in continuous mode. Certainly if you're willing to drop down to the 1.5 fps option you can shoot around 12 frames at 5 megapixel, NORMAL JPEG. The lower resolution continuous modes offer longer shooting times at higher speeds for capturing that all important moment. Kudos Nikon.

Continuous mode Flush Timing

The timings above represent the speed of the camera and its internal buffer, however the speed of the Compact Flash card will also have an impact on shooting continuously, it defines how long we must wait before the ENTIRE "burst" of frames are written away to the card (flushed). During the flush process (which happens in the background, you can still take a shot as long as there is space in the internal buffer) certain camera operations are blocked; such as playback and entering the menu. Continuous L mode was used for these tests.

  Noticeably quicker   Significantly slower

Image Type No. images Time, seconds
(Viking CF)
Time, seconds
(Lexar 16x CF)
Time, seconds
(Microdrive)
2560 x 1920 NORMAL 12 43.2 46.2 59.2
1024 x 768 NORMAL 67 151.9 168.0 219.1
Movie (60 secs) n/a 22.0 21.5 23.4
Calculated   Viking CF Lexar 16x CF Microdrive
Max. write speed *1   836 KB/sec 822 KB/sec 760 KB/sec

*1

BEST CASE. This performance figure was calculated by dividing the size of the movie file on the card (approx. 17.2 MB) by the number of seconds to write that file.

It's worth noting that writing a lot of smaller files proved to be MUCH harder (slower) work for the Coolpix 5000 than writing one single large file (of say equal size to the multiple small files). This is probably less to do with the speed of the CF card and more to do with the cameras CPU ability to process and generate each image.


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".

The media used for these tests were:

  • 256 MB Viking Type I CompactFlash card
  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 16x 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)
Viking Lexar Microdrive   Viking Lexar Microdrive
2560 x 1920 HI TIFF *3 22.1 23.4 25.8   30.0 30.8 21.7
2560 x 1920 FINE 5.5 5.6 6.5   1.9 2.1 4.8
2560 x 1920 NORMAL 4.2 4.5 5.6   1.6 1.8 4.8
2560 x 1920 BASIC 3.3 3.6 4.3   1.4 1.7 4.7
1600 x 1200 FINE 3.8 4.1 5.1   1.5 1.8 4.7
1600 x 1200 NORMAL 2.7 3.1 3.8   1.3 1.5 4.7
1024 x 768 FINE 2.4 2.7 3.5   1.2 1.4 4.7

*1 This is the amount of time it takes to write a single image away, it is taken from the moment of shutter release to the CF activity indicator on the LCD monitor disappearing. In any mode other than TIFF you can take further shots during this write period (assuming there is space in the camera's buffer).
*2 The 5000 displays a "rough image" almost immediately after moving to another image in play mode, the time here is the time for the camera to load the full resolution image which it then applies over the rough image. You can't magnify an image until the full resolution image has been loaded.
*3 The display TIFF images is handled a little differently, they are displayed immediately and are only loaded if you press the magnify button.


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
256MB CF Card
No. on
1 GB Microdrive
2560 x 1920 HI TIFF 14,511 KB 17 72
2560 x 1920 FINE JPEG ~ 1,600 KB 104 438
2560 x 1920 NORMAL JPEG ~ 1,100 KB 208 864
2560 x 1920 BASIC JPEG ~ 650 KB 411 1792
1600 x 1200 FINE JPEG ~ 980 KB 260 1095
1600 x 1200 NORMAL JPEG ~ 440 KB 503 2053
1024 x 768 FINE JPEG ~ 340 KB 600 2527

*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.


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

Once more Nikon's small, lightweight EN-EL1 turned in an impressive performance. With a virtually identical life to the Coolpix 995 with the same battery Nikon have obviously managed to squeeze every drop of power out of that moderately powerful 4.8 Wh battery. Kudos.

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