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Timings & File Sizes

The K100D is acceptably quick in most everyday respects but doesn't feel as snappy as you would expect from a modern digital SLR. The biggest disappointments would probably be the lack of instant startup, relatively sluggish record review and a virtually pointless continuous shooting mode (just four JPEG frames).

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3008 x 2000 JPEG *** (approx. 3,000 KB per image).

The media used for these tests were:

  • 2 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card
  • 2 GB Lexar Pro 133x SD card
Action
Details
Time, secs
(2 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Power Off to On *1   1.4 1.5
Power Off to Shot   1.2 1.3
Sleep to On   1.4 1.5
Power On to Off   0.5 0.5
Record Review *2
RAW
1.9 1.8
Record Review *2
JPEG
1.8 1.8
Play
RAW
0.7 0.7
Play
JPEG
0.7 0.7
Play Image to Image
RAW
0.3 0.3
Play Image to Image
JPEG
0.3 0.3

*1 This is the time from power on to the recording information display being shown on the LCD monitor. Note that this is slightly slower than the Off to Shot time.
*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 (1/320 sec, F5.6), ISO 200. Measurements were taken from audio recordings of the tests. Media used were the same as above.

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

  • Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always 2.9 fps (+/- 0.05 fps)
  • Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst
  • Buffer full rate - Frame rate if shutter release held after burst (buffer full)
  • Next burst - How soon after the burst it is fully written to the CF (indicator goes out)

Burst of JPEG Large/*** images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme III SD
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x SD
Frame rate (average) 2.6 fps 2.6 fps
Number of frames 4 4
Buffer full rate 1.2 fps 1.2 fps
Next burst 4.4 sec 4.8 sec

Burst of RAW images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme III SD
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x SD
Frame rate (average) 2.6 fps 2.6 fps
Number of frames 3 3
Buffer full rate 1 every 3.7 sec 1 every 3.9 sec
Next burst 11.4 sec 11.4 sec

Lets just say that the K100D won't be winning any awards for its high speed shooting capabilities, it managed 2.6 frames per second (less than specified) and for just four JPEG frames or 3 RAW frames. By today's standards (compared to many other digital SLR's) this is fairly poor, although obviously if you don't shoot much continuously then it will have less relevance.

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 indicator went out. The activity indicator light comes on around 0.7 seconds after shutter release, hinting at the time taken to process an image. Writing continues 'in the background' and doesn't affect any camera function. Media used were the same as above.

Image type
Time, secs
(2 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)
Approx.
size
3008 x 2000 RAW 5.9 5.9 10,700 KB
3008 x 2000 JPEG *** 2.4 2.4 3,000 KB
3008 x 2000 JPEG ** 2.1 2.1 1,600 KB

*1 The K100D begins writing approximately 0.7 seconds after the shutter release is pressed so you must subtract this 'processing time' from the timings above to get the actual write time.

Not a hugely impressive performance by today's standards, around two megabytes per second for a RAW image. That said the K100D's buffering is good enough that this should never realistically be a problem, even during RAW writes you can continue to use the camera and take another shot.

USB transfer speed

To test the K100D's USB transfer speed we transferred approximately 128 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Extreme III 2 GB SD card.

Method
Transfer rate
Pentax K100D (PTP device) 1.2 MB/sec
Pentax K100D (Mass storage device) 5.3 MB/sec
Sony built-in SD card reader (Vaio TX) 6.7 MB/sec
Panasonic CardBus PCMCIA adapter 10.7 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader 10.9 MB/sec

A good performance in 'mass storage device' mode, at just over five megabytes per second, as the results show, avoid PTP mode if you're just transferring images. The best performance was posted by a CardBus adapter and the new SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader.

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