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Timings & File Sizes

In use the K10D feels responsive and lives up to it's "semi-pro" billing very well. While power on times weren't instant they were as good as, the only in-use delay we could actually sense is the second and a half it takes to display an image after it's taken, we would like to see this closer to a second to give a really "instant hit" feel. Other than this (nitpicking) the K10D delivers good performance, is responsive in both shooting and menu / playback and has good buffering which means you can get on with using the camera even if images are still being written to the SD card.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3872 x 2592 JPEG Fine (approx. 3,200 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   0.6 0.6
Power Off to Shot   0.6 0.6
Sleep to On *1   <0.1 <0.1
Power On to Off   <0.1 <0.1
Record Review *2
RAW
1.6 1.6
Record Review *2
JPEG
1.5 1.5
Play
RAW
0.3 0.3
Play
JPEG
0.3 0.3
Play Image to Image
RAW
<0.2 <0.2
Play Image to Image
JPEG
<0.2 <0.2

*1 Time from the power switch being turned to the On position to status information shown on the LCD monitor (this happens to be the same amount of time as Off to Shot taken).
*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.

We found the K10D's continuous shooting to be less consistent than we're used to. On average it produced about 3.1 frames per second but the time between each frame wasn't constant, it varied plus or minus 0.15 fps (which sounds insignificant but is still worth knowing).

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

  • Frame rate - On average 3.1 fps (+/- 0.15 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 card (indicator goes out)

Burst of JPEG Large Fine images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme III SD
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x SD
Frame rate (average) 3.1 fps 3.1 fps
Number of frames Limited only by storage Limited only by storage
Buffer full rate - -
Next burst - -

Burst of RAW images

Timing
2 GB SanDisk
Extreme III SD
2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x SD
Frame rate (average) 3.1 fps 3.1 fps
Number of frames 10 10
Buffer full rate 1.2 fps 1.2 fps
Next burst 7.1 sec 6.2 sec

Apart from its inconsistent frame rate (which to most won't be a problem) the K10D put in a good three frames per second and was limited only by the amount of space remaining on the SD card in JPEG mode (assuming a fast card). In RAW (not that many shoot continuous RAW) the camera managed a good ten frames and then slows to just over one frame per second.

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 on the LCD monitor disappears (note that this is unlikely to be as accurate as an LED lamp). Media used were the same as above.

Image type
Time, secs *1
(2 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs *1
(2 GB Lexar)
Approx.
size
3872 x 2592 RAW + JPEG Fine 3.2 (1.4) 3.1 (1.3) 14,800 KB *2
3872 x 2592 RAW 2.3 (0.7) 2.3 (0.7) 11,600 KB
3872 x 2592 JPEG Best 1.9 (0.4) 1.8 (0.3) 3,200 KB
3872 x 2592 JPEG Better 1.7 (0.2) 1.7 (0.2) 2,050 KB

*1 The 'processing delay' varies depending on the file format, the first number is the total time from pressing the shutter release to the write process completing, the second number (in brackets) is the actual write time.
*2 File size reported here is the size of the RAW and JPEG files added together.

The K10D posted very fast write times of over 10MB/sec for RAW files using fast cards such as those used here. The slightly longer than average write delay of between 1.5 and 1.8 seconds doesn't ever get in the way in a normal shooting environment thanks to the K10D's good buffering, all image processing and card write occurring in the background.

USB transfer speed

To test the K10D's USB transfer speed we transferred approximately 128 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Extreme III 2 GB SD card. Mass storage device mode produced very good results, almost nine megabytes per second is 'good' USB 2.0 reader territory (the SanDisk Extreme IV reader here is exceptional).

Method
Transfer rate
Pentax K10D (PTP device) * 3.4 MB/sec
Sony built-in SD card reader (Vaio TX) 6.7 MB/sec
Pentax K10D (Mass storage device) 8.9 MB/sec
Panasonic CardBus PCMCIA adapter 10.7 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader 10.9 MB/sec

* JPEG only, as per the PTP specification

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Comments

D1N0
By D1N0 (4 months ago)

WTF, no gold?

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