Previous page Next page

Timings & File Sizes

The E-30 promises to offer much of the speed and responsiveness of the E-3 in a lighter more compact body at a lower price. In use it feels generally very responsive both in terms of AF speed and shot to shot performance, and as long as you stay away from xD cards, continuous shooting speed is quite acceptable compared to other cameras in this class.

Using live view will slow things down somewhat as you have to wait for the mirror to flip up and down all the time, but it is not so slow as to be unusable and is improved slightly from the E-3.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 4032 x 3024 JPEG SHQ (approx. 5,8000 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 512MB Fujifilm xD-Picture Card Type H
  • 2 GB Lexar Pro 133x CF card
  • 8 GB SanDisk Extreme IV CF card (UDMA)

Media comparison

Action
Time, secs
(4 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Time, secs
(512 MB Fuji xD)
Power Off to On *1 1.0 1.2 1.2
Power Off to Shot *2 1.0 1.2 1.2
Sleep to On 1.0 1.0 1.0
Power On to Off 1.2 1.2 1.2
Record Review RAW *3 0.9 0.9 1.0
Record Review JPEG *3 0.9 0.9 1.0
Play Image to Image RAW <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Play Image to Image JPEG <0.1 <0.1 <0.1

Live view off / on (8 GB SanDisk Extreme IV)

As you can see enabling live view adds between a half to one second to some operations, this is primarily due to the time it takes the camera to raise the mirror, open the shutter and initialize the sensor for live view.

Action
Time, secs
(Live view off)
Time, secs
(Live view on)
Power Off to On *1 1.0 1.6
Power Off to Shot *2 1.0 1.6
Sleep to On 1.0 1.1
Power On to Off 1.2 1.6
Record Review RAW *3 0.9 1.3 *4
Record Review JPEG *3 0.9 1.3 *4
Record to Play (JPEG) <0.1 0.7
Record to Play (RAW) <0.1 0.7

*1 This is the amount of time before the status screen is shown on the LCD monitor, as shown by the next measurement you can actually take a shot fractionally earlier than this.
*2 To test this we turn the camera on with the shutter button depressed (manual focus mode). This bypasses the SWF cycle.
*3 Time taken from the shutter release being pressed to the review image being displayed on the LCD monitor.
*4 Obviously this figure includes the time needed for the mirror movement before the shot is taken

Continuous Drive mode

To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/200 sec, F2.0), ISO 100. Measurements were taken from audio recordings of the tests. Media used were the same as above. (Note that we also tested with Noise Reduction on / off without any difference in performance). While Olympus quotes the E-30 as being able to achieve 5 fps in continuous shooting mode, in testing we were never able to achieve this speed.

The tests carried out below measured the following results for JPEG and RAW:

  • Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always around 4.5 fps (+/- 0.01 fps) for JPEG, dropping slightly with some cards in RAW mode.
  • Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst
  • Buffer full rate - Frame rate if shutter release held after burst (buffer full)

Burst of JPEG Super Fine images

Timing
8 GB SanDisk
Extreme IV
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x
512MB Fujifilm xD (Type H)
Frame rate (average) 4.5 fps 4.5 fps 4.5 fps
Number of frames 24 24 17
Buffer full rate 3.2 fps 3.2 fps 1.1 fps
Time to clear buffer 3.9 sec 3.9 sec 14.5 sec

Burst of RAW images

Timing
8 GB SanDisk
Extreme IV
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x
512MB Fujifilm xD (Type H)
Frame rate (average) 4.5 fps 4.5 fps 4.5 fps
Number of frames 18 15 12
Buffer full rate 2.4 fps 1.4 fps 0.4 fps
Time to clear buffer 5.1 sec 8.9 sec 27.2 sec

Burst of RAW+JPEG Super Fine images

Timing
8 GB SanDisk
Extreme IV
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x
512MB Fujifilm xD (Type H)
Frame rate (average) 4.5 fps 4.4 fps 4.5 fps
Number of frames 11 11 11
Buffer full rate 0.9 fps 0.66 fps 0.3 fps
Time to clear buffer 12.5 sec 16.8 sec 43.2 sec

The E-30 is quoted as being able to do 5 fps in continuous shooting mode. In testing we could never quite achieve this speed, the best being 4.5 fps even with the Sandisk Extreme IV UDMA card. Compared to the E-3 there is a distinct improvement in the buffer full rate, especially when shooting JPEG (which the E-30 can continue to do indefinately at the buffer full rate). As long as you stay away from xD cards, the E-30 will almost always be ready to take a picture when you are.

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card. Timing was taken from the instant the shutter release was pressed to the time the storage card activity lamp beside the compartment door went out. Media used were the same as above.

Image type
Time, secs
(8 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Time, secs
(512MB
Fuji xD)
Approx.
size
4032 x 3024 RAW + JPEG 'SF' 2.2 2.6 5.8 16,790 KB *1
4032 x 3024 RAW 1.2 1.7 3.6 10,980 KB
4032 x 3024 JPEG 'SF' 1.4 1.6 2.7 5,860 KB
4032 x 3024 JPEG 'N' 0.9 1.0 1.3 1,590 KB

*1 File size reported here is the size of the RAW and 'SF' quality JPEG files added together.

The E-30 has improved writing times across the board compared to the E-3 even with larger files to move around, and even with xD cards. It is still better to use CF cards then xD cards, especially if you plan to shoot RAW. There is a slight advantage to be gained by using a UDMA enabled card in the E-30, but in use you will hardly notice the difference in speed between the Sandisk IV UDMA and Lexar 133x cards.

USB transfer speed

To test the E-30's USB transfer speed we transferred approximately 350 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Extreme IV 8 GB CF card.

Method
Transfer rate
Olympus E-30 (MTP device mode) 4.0 MB/sec
Olympus E-30 (Mass storage device mode) 7.6 MB/sec
CardBus PCMCIA adapter 10.5 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader 17.1 MB/sec

The E-30 delivers decidedly average transfer rates in mass storage device mode. Switch to MTP (PTP) mode and as we see the transfer rate drops by a further 30%. The best performance was achieved using a relatively inexpensive SanDisk USB 2.0 card reader, and this would always be our recommendation.

Previous page Next page
127
I own it
6
I want it
54
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments