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Timings & File Sizes

The CD300 did well, much better indeed than the CD1000. Sony took note of comments made in the reviews and fitted out the CD300 with a buffer which allows you to take the next shot while the camera writes the image away to the disc, this now makes CD-R/RW storage far more acceptable as a digital camera storage format (if you can get over the size of the camera).

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 FINE JPEG image (approx. 1.3 MB per image). We performed all the tests below for both CD-R and CD-RW discs in case there was any performance difference, as it turns out for the majority of actions there was none.

Action     Time taken
(seconds)
Notes
Power: Off to Record   CD-R 6.4 Lens takes 3.4 secs
Power: Off to Record   CD-RW 6.4 Lens takes 3.4 secs
Power: Off to Play   CD-R 9.0 Image loading *1
Power: Off to Play   CD-RW 9.0 Image loading *1
Power: Record to Off   CD-R 4.9 Lens retract
Power: Record to Off   CD-RW 4.9 Lens retract
Power: Play to Off   CD-R 2.1 Lens already retracted
Power: Play to Off   CD-RW 2.1 Lens already retracted
Mode: Record to Play   CD-R 3.0 Image loading *1
Mode: Record to Play   CD-RW 3.0 Image loading *1
Mode: Play to Record   CD-R 0.5  
Mode: Play to Record   CD-RW 0.5  
Play: Magnify From x1 to x5.0 CD-R 7.4 (17 steps)
Play: Magnify From x1 to x5.0 CD-RW 7.4 (17 steps)
Rec: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails CD-R 6.7  
Rec: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails CD-RW 7.2  
Auto Focus LAG     0.7 - 1.4 Average
Shutter Release LAG     0.1 Fast
Total LAG     1.1 Average to Slow
Off to Shot Taken     6.6 Average
Shot to Shot 2048 JPEG FINE CD-R 3.7 Fast
Shot to Shot 2048 JPEG FINE CD-RW 3.7 Fast

*1 Camera displays rough image (enough detail to see what the image is), you can interrupt the rest of the loading process by pressing the left or right cursor or rolling the jog-dial.


Burst 3 Mode

One thing missing on all Sony digital cameras was any form of continuous shooting mode, the CD300 extends the S75's 2 shot burst to "Burst 3 " shooting mode which allows you to take three frames in a burst (0.8 secs apart; 1.3 fps equiv.) it's there, I'm not sure how useful it is but at least Sony have recognised their weakness and have at least partially addressed it. To summarise:

  • Three frames 0.8 secs apart, wait 26 seconds before you can take the next burst.


File Flush / Display Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the disc, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed (mirror noise was heard) and stopped when ACCESS LED below the LCD 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".

Unlike the S70/S75 the CD300 will allow you to take the next shot before the current one has been written away (except for TIFF and TEXT format), shot-to-shot times can be found in the table above. All the timings below are dependent on the time it takes the disc to ready, thus some of the "lead-in" to these timings will include the half second or so it takes the disc to spin up and laser to be in the correct position (this can be more clearly seen in the time to display timings).

For CD-R discs:

Store file of type Time to store
(seconds)

Time to
display
(seconds)
Average
File size
Approx. images
on a 156 MB
CD-R
2048 x 1536 TIFF 44.4 5.9 9,219 KB   11
2048 x 1536 TEXT (GIF) ** 29.3 38.8 ~160 KB   800
2048 x 1536 JPEG FINE 6.6 4.9 ~1,300 KB  81
2048 x 1536 JPEG STANDARD 5.1 4.9 ~800 KB   147
1600 x 1200 JPEG FINE 5.4 4.9 ~900 KB   132
1600 x 1200 JPEG STANDARD 4.9 4.9 ~480 KB   237

For CD-RW discs:

Store file of type Time to store
(seconds)

Time to
display
(seconds)
Average
File size
Approx. images
on a 156 MB
CD-RW
2048 x 1536 TIFF 58.0 5.9 9,219 KB   11
2048 x 1536 TEXT (GIF) ** 29.3 38.8 ~160 KB   800
2048 x 1536 JPEG FINE 9.5 5.9 ~1,300 KB  81
2048 x 1536 JPEG STANDARD 6.8 5.0 ~800 KB   147
1600 x 1200 JPEG FINE 6.8 4.8 ~900 KB   132
1600 x 1200 JPEG STANDARD 6.0 4.5 ~480 KB   237

* 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.

** Majority of this time is spent processing (generating) the GIF file.


Battery life

Surprisingly good for a device with a mechanical / magneto-optical storage system, on a days outing the battery lasted well over two hours with careful use of the DISPLAY button (to power the LCD backlight off when not using it). Obviously performing regular playback, intialize or finalize takes a heavier toll on the battery. The CD300 uses the same powerful NP-FM50 "M series" InfoLithium (Lithium-Ion) battery we saw in the S70 (rated at 7.2V 8.5Wh, 1200mAh).

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