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Timings & File Sizes

Overall the Coolpix 5700 performed well, its slowest function being startup and that because of the extending lens design. One surprise was the extremely fast wide angle auto focus time of just 0.6 seconds, telephoto focusing was also relatively quick so long as the subject distance is similar to the last shot. In low light however the 5700's auto focus system can really struggle, no AF assist lamp penalizes the camera here.

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. 1,700 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 256 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card
  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 24x Type I Compact Flash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II Compact Flash card
  Noticeably faster   Noticeably slower

Action Details Time, seconds
(Viking CF)
Time, seconds
(Lexar CF)
Time, seconds
(Microdrive)
Power: Off to Record *1   4.4 4.4 5.9
Power: Record to Off *2   3.8 3.8 3.9
Mode: Record to Play *3 Play switch 2.2 2.2 4.0
Mode: Record to Play *3 Quick view 1.9 1.9 4.0
Mode: Play to Record *3 Play switch 2.3 2.3 2.7
Mode: Play to Record *3 Quick view *4 1.6 1.6 2.2
Play: Thumbnail view 2 x 2   0.5 0.5 1.9
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3   0.7 0.7 3.1

Action Details Time, seconds
(average)
Auto Focus LAG Full wide angle (35 mm equiv.) *5 0.6
Auto Focus LAG Full telephoto (280 mm equiv.) *5 1.0
Shutter Release LAG LCD monitor, pre-focused (shutter rel. half-pressed) 0.1
Shutter Release LAG EVF, pre-focused (shutter rel. half-pressed) 0.1
Shutter Release LAG LCD monitor, full press of shutter release *6 0.8
Shutter Release LAG EVF, full press of shutter release *6 0.8
Off to Shot Taken Media: 256 MB Viking CF card 5.0
Shot to Shot Shutter Release Speed: Normal, Review: On 2.3
Shot to Shot Shutter Release Speed: Quick, Review: On *7 1.2
Shot to Shot Shutter Release Speed: Normal, Review: Off 2.3
Shot to Shot Shutter Release Speed: Quick, Review: Off *7 2.1

*1 LCD / EVF image appears within 2.8 seconds but you can not take a shot until the display overlay appears (as timed). The camera appears to autofocus on startup whether you have focus mode set to continuous or single AF.
*2 No images remaining in internal buffer. Timer is stopped when top LCD display disappears.
*3

You can access play mode by two methods: flip the rec/play switch to the play position or press the quick view button twice. The first timing is the time taken from flicking the rec/play switch to the display of the full resolution image, the second timing is the time taken from the quarter picture size quick view to play mode (second button press) display of the full resolution image. It actually only takes approximately 0.5 seconds to enter play mode in each case, the additional time is the time taken for the camera to load the full image (required for zooming etc.). You can interrupt the load of the full resolution image at any time.

*4 A half-press of the shutter release is all that's required to return to record mode.
*5 Measurement taken in good light with a fairly contrasty subject. At wide angle times can go up to 1.0 seconds in lower light. At telephoto times can be as fast as 0.7 seconds (similar focus distance) and a slow as 5 seconds (low light). Time to focus at telephoto depends on how similar the subject distance is to the last shot (how far the focusing lens elements have to be moved).
*6 Includes time to calculate Auto Exposure and perform Auto Focus
*7 When Shutter Release Speed is set to 'Quick Response' and you quickly re-press the shutter release after taking a shot the camera does not re-calculate Auto Exposure and Auto Focus. Note that this function only appears to work if you have Review Options set to 'Review On'.

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.


Low Light Focus

This test measures the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.

Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).

This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), you should consider the results below the best you could expect to achieve.

Lens position Aperture Lowest light focus
Wide angle (35 mm) F2.8 1.8 EV (8.7 Lux, 0.8 foot-candle)
Telephoto (280 mm) F4.2 3.0 EV (20.0 Lux, 1.9 foot-candle)

Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)

The timings above were made with AF Area Mode set to 'Auto', we soon discovered that setting AF Area Mode to manual (where you select one of the five AF points) and a detrimental effect on low light AF, requiring at least another stop of light.

The Coolpix 5700 exhibited below average low light focusing ability, especially at any point from half zoom to telephoto. At full telephoto the auto focus took almost five seconds and only locked 50% of the time (at the light level noted above). What I said in my 4500 also applies here, the Coolpix 5700 really needs is an auto focus lamp, and I can't believe with so many new cameras coming out with this basic feature that Nikon haven't yet delivered this on their top end digital cameras.


Continuous 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. Media used for these tests was the 256 MB Viking CF card. Shutter speed during these tests was always 1/250 sec or faster (slower shutter speeds will affect frame rate).

High / Low speed continuous drive modes

Standard continuous drive mode shoots as quickly as the camera can respond, between each shot the LCD live view returns momentarily before the next shot is taken. HI (TIFF) and RAW modes are not available when continuous drive mode is selected.

Image Type Continuous
mode
Frames
per sec
*1
Frames in one burst *2

Wait before
next shot
*3

2560 x 1920 Fine High 3.8 fps 3 6.4
2560 x 1920 Normal High 3.8 fps 3 5.9
1600 x 1200 Normal High 3.8 fps 3 4.6
1280 x 960 Normal High 6.0 fps 3 3.5
1024 x 768 Normal High 6.0 fps 3 3.4
2560 x 1920 Fine Low 1.2 fps 8 5.8
2560 x 1920 Normal Low 1.2 fps 12 5.1
1600 x 1200 Normal Low 1.3 fps 31 4.6
1280 x 960 Normal Low 1.3 fps 46 4.2
1024 x 768 Normal Low 1.3 fps 71 4.2

*1 Monitor options did not affect frame rate. Frame rate for image sizes of 1600 x 1200 or larger were consistent, at 1280 x 960 or 1024 x 768 frame rate varied between 5.8 fps and 6.3 fps.
*2 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release). In Continuous High mode the maximum frames you can shoot is always 3. In Continuous Low mode the maximum frames is a function of the cameras buffer size and the write speed of your Compact Flash card (how quickly images are coming out of the buffer). These tests were carried out using the fast 256 MB Viking card, so expect our results to be about the best you can expect.
*3 You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").

Other continuous drive modes

In addition to the standard continuous shooting mode the Coolpix 5700 also features the Multi-shot 16 and Ultra HS modes we've seen on Coolpix cameras for a while now. These unique modes allow you to capture a continuous sequence in different ways. Multi-shot 16 captures a 4x4 grid of images onto a single 2560 x 1920 image. Ultra HS creates a new folder on the CF card and writes 100 images at 320 x 240 recorded at very high speed.

Continuous Mode Frames
per sec
Frames in one burst
Multi-shot 16 (sixteen 640 x 480 on a 2560 x 1920 image) 3.3 fps 16
Ultra HS (seventy 320 x 240 images in a folder) 31.0 fps 100


File Flush 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 on the LCD screen disappeared. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". Note that in HI (TIFF) mode you must wait for the image to be saved before the next shot can be taken, in all other modes (including RAW) you can shoot as long as there is space in the buffer.

The media used for these tests were:

  • 256 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card
  • 512 MB Lexar Pro 24x Type I Compact Flash card
  • 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II Compact Flash card
Image Type Time to store *1
(seconds)
Viking CF Lexar CF Microdrive
2560 x 1920 RAW 23.8 21.2 22.2
2560 x 1920 HI TIFF 18.7 16.7 16.6
2560 x 1920 Fine JPEG 4.8 4.7 5.8
2560 x 1920 Normal JPEG 3.8 3.8 5.1
1600 x 1200 Fine JPEG 3.2 3.3 4.5
1280 x 960 Fine JPEG 2.9 2.9 4.1
1024 x 768 Fine JPEG 2.5 2.5 3.8
640 x 480 Fine JPEG 2.5 2.5 3.8

Despite the large price difference between the Lexar Pro 24x and Viking card both appear to perform identically with the Coopix 5700. The Microdrive was slower than the others only for smaller JPEG files, and you wouldn't necessarily notice this small difference in real life as the write process happens in the background. Not sure why it took longer to write a RAW file than a TIFF file...


File Sizes

Here's a comparison of the average byte size of each of different image size / quality combinations.

Image Type File size *1
(~ = approx.)
No. on *2
1 GB Microdrive
2560 x 1920 RAW 7,836 KB 134
2560 x 1920 HI TIFF 14,511 KB 72
2560 x 1920 Fine JPEG ~1,700 KB 438
2560 x 1920 Normal JPEG ~1,100 KB 864
1600 x 1200 Basic JPEG ~860 KB 1,095
1280 x 960 Fine JPEG ~560 KB 1,643
1024 x 768 Fine JPEG ~310 KB 2,527
640 x 480 Fine JPEG ~120 KB 5,476

*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.
*2 As reported by the camera, divide this value for approx. images on other capacity cards.


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, when on LCD is also on)
  • 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

Not a bad performance, but not the best either. The Coolpix 5700 didn't last as long in our tests as its smaller sibling the 4500 (by about 20 minutes). Clearly the larger body, EVF and bigger zoom have higher power requirements than the 4500. I'd recommend getting at least one spare EN-EL1 with your Coolpix 5700. Note that Auto Focus was set to 'Single Focus', in Continuous Focus mode the focus stepper motor is almost always 'jittering' and this will obviously have an impact on battery life.

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