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Timings & File Sizes

The E-410's overall performance was on the whole good, in use the camera focused relatively quickly and had short shutter lag. Good buffering means that you can 'pump' the shutter release button firing off one shot each time. Continuous shooting was actually better than specified and media write times were short. The only negative side could be the slightly longer than average startup time (primarily due to the SSWF sequence) and the delay introduced when using live view (see the differences in the second table below).

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3648 x 2736 JPEG HQ (approx. 2,100 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 2 GB SanDisk Extreme IV CF card
  • 2 GB Lexar Pro 133x CF card
  • 16 GB SanDisk Extreme III CF card

Media comparison

Action
Time, secs
(2 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Time, secs
(16 GB SanDisk)
Power Off to On *1 1.3 1.5 1.4
Power Off to Shot 1.1 1.4 1.1
Sleep to On 1.2 1.2 1.2
Power On to Off <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Record Review RAW *2 1.0 1.0 1.0
Record Review JPEG *2 1.0 1.0 1.1
Play RAW <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Play JPEG 0.8 0.8 0.8
Play Image to Image RAW <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Play Image to Image JPEG 0.8 0.8 0.8

Live view off / on (2 GB SanDisk Extreme IV)

As you can see enabling live view adds between a half to one second to most 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 1.3 1.8
Power Off to Shot 1.1 2.0
Sleep to On 1.2 1.5
Power On to Off <0.1 1.0
Record Review RAW *2 1.0 1.8
Record Review JPEG *2 1.0 1.8
Play RAW <0.1 0.7
Play JPEG 0.8 1.2

*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 Time taken from the shutter release being pressed to the review image being displayed on the LCD monitor.

Continuous Drive mode

To test continuous mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, Manual Exposure (1/400 sec, F4.0), ISO 200. 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).

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

  • Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always 3.3 fps (+/- 0.01 fps)
  • 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 HQ images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme IV
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x
16 GB SanDisk
Extreme III
Frame rate (average) 3.3 fps 3.3 fps 3.3 fps
Number of frames - - 18
Buffer full rate - - 2.0 fps

Burst of RAW images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme IV
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x
16 GB SanDisk
Extreme III
Frame rate (average) 3.3 fps 3.3 fps 3.3 fps
Number of frames 10 9 8
Buffer full rate 1.7 fps 1.6 fps 1.1 fps

It's a refreshing change to find a camera which out-performs its specification, the E-410 does just that in its continuous shooting, firing at 3.3 frames per second versus the specified 3.0 frames per second. With a fast card you can shoot continuously JPEG HQ at full speed until the card is full, with slightly slower cards you will manage around 18 frames until the shooting rate slows.

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
(2 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Time, secs
(16 GB SanDisk)
Approx.
size
3648 x 2736 RAW + HQ 2.2 2.2 2.7 11,600 KB *1
3648 x 2736 RAW 1.7 1.7 2.0 9,500 KB
3648 x 2736 JPEG SHQ 1.7 1.8 2.1 6,500 KB
3648 x 2736 JPEG HQ 1.2 1.3 1.5 2,100 KB

*1 File size reported here is the size of the RAW and HQ quality JPEG files added together.
*2 The E-410 begins writing around 0.5 seconds after the shutter release is pressed so you must subtract 'processing time' from the timing to get the actual write time.

The E-410 delivers extremely fast write times with high performance cards such as these, an approximation based on the above times would be around 7 MB/sec for RAW and RAW+JPEG images, in addition the camera also has good buffering which allows you to 'pump' the shutter release and get a shot every time.

USB transfer speed

To test the E-410's USB transfer speed we transferred approximately 128 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Extreme IV 2 GB CF card.

Method
Transfer rate
Olympus E-410 (MTP device mode) 3.0 MB/sec
Olympus E-410 (Mass storage device mode) 4.6 MB/sec
CardBus PCMCIA adapter 10.5 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader 13.3 MB/sec

The E-410 delivers average if not stunning transfer rates ins mass storage device mode. Switch to MTP (PTP) mode and as we've seen with other cameras the transfer rate drops by about 40%. As you can see the best performance (some three times faster) was achieved using a relatively inexpensive SanDisk USB 2.0 card reader, this would always be our recommendation.

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