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Timings & File Sizes

As we expected the results on this page are almost identical to those of the C-3030Z proving that nothing has changed so far as the cameras "engine" is concerned. Overall the C-3040Z is pretty quick, with a good internal buffer which means you won't be waiting around for it to write images away before taking the next shot. Noticeably the autofocus is showing it's age ranking now as only Average to Slow, a focus lag of 0.9 seconds isn't really acceptable.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 SHQ JPEG image (approx. 1.5 MB per image).

Action Details Time taken
(seconds)
Notes
Power: Off to Record   6.3 Lens takes 2.2 secs
Power: Off to Play   2.6 Image loading *1
Power: Record to Off   4.7 Lens retract
Power: Play to Off   1.8 Lens already retracted
Mode: Record to Play   1.0 Image loading *1
Mode: Play to Record   1.6  
Play: Magnify Per zoom level 0.7  
Rec: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 0.9  
Auto Focus LAG   0.9 - 1.4 Average to Slow
Shutter Release LAG   0.1 Fast
Total LAG   1.5 Average to Slow
Off to Shot Taken   9.0 Slow
Shot to Shot 2048 x 1536 JPEG FINE 3.6 Fast
Shot to Shot 2048 x 1536 JPEG STANDARD 3.4 Fast

*1 Screen goes black and information about the image is shown, about a second or two later the image itself is shown, you can interrupt the rest of the loading process by pressing the left or right cursor.


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.

Image Type Frames per sec Max no. of frames

Wait before
restarting *

2048 x 1536 SHQ 3.8 fps 5 11 secs
2048 x 1536 HQ 3.8 fps 5 11 secs
1600 x 1200 SQ1 Normal 3.8 fps 5 11 secs
1280 x 960 SQ1 Normal 3.8 fps 5 11 secs
1024 x 768 SQ2 Normal 3.8 fps 5 11 secs
640 x 480 SQ2 Normal 3.8 fps 5 11 secs

* The C-3040Z allows you to take a frame as soon as there is space for it in the internal buffer.

These results confirm what we found on the C-3030Z, Olympus have implemented a "Before Image Processing Buffer", that is a buffer which is fed with RAW data directly from the CCD, thus the final image size / quality doesn't alter the maximum number of frames or frame rate. It has the advantage of givinga very high frame rate, unfortunately it means that no matter what you do the maximum number of frames you can take in a burst is five.

I estimate the C-3040Z's internal buffer to be 20 MB - Maximum movie length is ~20 MB, and 5 x 2048 x 1536 x 10 bits = ~20 MB.


File Flush / Display Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the SmartMedia 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".

Note that these timings are for reference only, the C-3040Z doesn't stop you from taking the next shot (unless you use TIFF format), it implements a buffer which can write to the storage card in the background while the rest of the camera can continue shooting as normal.

Store file of type Time to store
(seconds)

Time to
display
(seconds)
Average
File size
Approx. images
on a 64 MB
SmartMedia card
2048 x 1536 TIFF 26.5 22.3 9,231 KB 6
2048 x 1536 SHQ JPEG 4.8 3.4 ~1,800 KB 35
2048 x 1536 HQ JPEG 2.8 1.7 ~750 KB 85
1600 x 1200 SQ1 JPEG HIGH 3.8 2.4 ~1,100 KB 58
1280 x 960 SQ1 JPEG HIGH 3.1 1.5 ~600 KB 106
1024 x 768 SQ1 JPEG HIGH 2.8 1.3 ~530 KB 120
640 x 480 SQ1 JPEG HIGH 2.1 0.8 ~240 KB 266

* 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

Battery life on the C-3040Z appears to be very good with a good set of NiMH batteries. I used the C-3040Z with 1600mAh GP NiMH's and could shoot for 4 hours (around 120 shots) turning the LCD off between shots before the batteries died. I think it's a real pity that Olympus have not shipped the C-3040Z with the charger and NiMH's seen on the C-2020Z. Now owners will have to source decent batteries and chargers themselves (not always an obvious task for someone new to digital cameras).

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