s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

Started Sep 19, 2010 | Discussions
PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

I did some timings to try to figure out what's the s95's fastest shooting mode (most responsive - least shutter lag, or more accurately the least "auto exposure and focusing" lag). Since I had to write down my results anyways, I thought I would post them here.

These numbers are all over a period of 30 seconds, and I tried to remember to use "Reset All" in the menu between each group of shots to eliminate the chance of settings interferring with the timings.

Manual Mode

In theory, you should be able to get zero autoexposure/autofocus lag in manual mode if you set everything yourself. If you set everything, in theory, you should be able to get the same amount of lag that you'd get if you half-press the shutter button, then take the picture. And since the small sensor means a large depth of field for anything that's not really really close to the camera, you could theoretically set the focus distance to infinity and have no lag.

I set the camera to M, iso to 640, shutter speed to 1/30, aperture f2.0, white balance to tungsten, and manual focus to infinity (and flash Off). If there's a setting I might have missed that you think of, please comment and let me know and I'll try it again.

Did reset all
Press-As-Quick-As-I-Can, RAW+JPG - 14 shots (barely)
Continuous (no af option possible in manual) RAW+JPG - 25 shots
Continuous, JPG Only - 57

Program Mode

Did reset all, set RAW+JPG
Press-As-Quick-As-I-Can - 12 shots
continous+af - 19 shots
continous no-af - 25 shot

12 shots in P to barely 14 shots in M, 25 shots for continuous mode for both - unfortunately, the s95 seems to run all the autofocus/autoexposure stuff anyways, and you get the same timings (about) as you do in P mode.

Did reset all, set RAW+JPG, Manual Focus
Press-As-Quick-As-I-Can - 12 shots (but focus seemed to be reset - half-press?)
Turned off Safety MF - 13 shots, focus didn't seem to reset itself
cont + af: can't do it

Turning on manual focus doesn't seem to shorten up any timings either.

(The pictures I took in P mode also metered out at the same settings I used for manual mode.)

Low Light Mode

Did reset all
Press-As-Quick-As-I-Can - 15 shots
continous+af - 33 shots
continous no-af - 106 shots
iso3200, tungsten, manual focus, safety mf off - 17 shots

Hmm. I forgot that Low Light Mode does jpg only. I just redid my tests for P vs Low Light, shooting jpg only with both.

Press-As-Quick-As-I-Can
P mode / Low Light mode - 14 / 16 shots.

Continuous + AF
P mode / Low Light mode - 22 / 33 shots

Continuous No-AF
P mode / Low Light mode 56 / 106 shots

For single shots, Low Light mode might be a little faster than P mode, but it's not a big difference. I'm kinda surprised at this, actually, but I redid the test a 2nd time, making sure to hit reset all between each test, and 14/16 are the results I kept on getting. For Continuous+AF, low light mode seems to be noticeably faster - 50% faster? For Continuous No-AF, Low Light Mode is twice as fast! Though since P mode is pretty fast already, I'm not sure how much more useful it would be.

Continuous + AF

Notes on continuous shot + af - I noticed quite a number of out of focus shots even this mode. I ran a separate test for this, started with something on my desk in focus, put camera in continuous shot + af mode, and held down the shutter button. The first 6 shots were all well in focus. Then I changed the camera to point at my tv, which is much farther away. The shots then went -
1. Very out of focus
2. Somewhat out of focus
3. A little out of focus
4. In focus
5. Pretty out of focus
6. Very out of focus

There were several more that came back into focus, then I moved where the camera was pointing to the kitchen table, and the sequence repeated itself - the shots became more and more in focus, then despite that the camera was still pointing at the same thing, they went back out of focus, then back into focus again. I switch the camera to P mode, did a Reset all, and tried the same thing - same results. Continuous + AF results in a lot of blurry shots if you actually change the focus significantly. And bizarrely randomly, to - one might expect blurry shots while moving, and then a couple while it tries to find the focus, but it actually finds the focus, then goes back out of focus on it's own when the subject hasn't even moved.

Conclusion

After all this, I think the conclusion is that there isn't much you can do to speed up your single shot time. Low light only speeds the shots up slightly. Switching to just JPG rather than RAW+JPG speeds things up a little bit, but not a lot.

If you're trying to take a bunch of pictures in a row, Continuous+AF has better speeds but if anything actually moves significantly the autofocus might give you pretty poor results and lots of blurry pictures.

Continuous No-AF is the fastest mode for shot-to-shot time. Switching to JPG doubles your shot-to-shot time, though it's already improved significantly in RAW+JPG.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any way, no matter what you set, to reduce the autofocus/autoexposure lag for single shots.

OP PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

Just in case this got lost for some people because I posted it over the weekend...bump.

Michael Barker Senior Member • Posts: 1,966
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

PaulRivers wrote:

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any way, no matter what you set, to reduce the autofocus/autoexposure lag for single shots.

Wow - surprising, but believable I guess. Thanks!

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emutier Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

thanks for your work
and tell if you find IT

bounce New Member • Posts: 2
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

Has anyone done a similar test on the s90?

emutier Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

bounce wrote:

Has anyone done a similar test on the s90?

no - but I think no need to.I feel like the S90 behaves almost like the S95 in most situations. both cameras do "something" when half pressing the shutter, even when in manual, manualfocus, manual whitebalance, no nothing and none etc. - the display goes brighter like measuring something, exactly like in no-M-mode. I think it should be possible to avoid that (firmware), but as it is I see no way to change it, even using CHDK. Maybe you should ask in the CHDK Forum if someone has an idea...

Johan Borg Senior Member • Posts: 2,508
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

PaulRivers wrote:

I set the camera to M, iso to 640, shutter speed to 1/30, aperture f2.0, white balance to tungsten, and manual focus to infinity (and flash Off). If there's a setting I might have missed that you think of, please comment and let me know and I'll try it again.

Only thing I can think of would be to turn off IS?

OP PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

Someone in another thread suggested I try following the procedure on page 90 of the manual, which entails half-pressing the shutter then pressing left on the control pad on the back - this runs autofocus once, sets the manual focus to that distance, and leaves it there until you turn the camera off or something.

I checked that Safety MF (redefines manual focus when you half press) was off, and turned image review off.

In P Mode shooting JPG -
Regular Settings - 15 shots over 30 seconds
Half-press Shutter, Press Left - 15 over 30 seconds

In P Mode shooting RAW -
Regular Settings - 13 shots over 30 seconds
Half-press Shutter, Press Left -- 13 shots over 30 seconds

I did verify that the focus distance is not changing after the first shutter press - I pointed the camera at the far end of the room, half-pressed the shutter then left on the arrow pad, and the little focus meter says 5. I pointed it at the keyboard in front of me and took a couple of pictures and the distance stayed at 5 and the pictures were all blurry (as they should be).

OP PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

Johan Borg wrote:

PaulRivers wrote:

I set the camera to M, iso to 640, shutter speed to 1/30, aperture f2.0, white balance to tungsten, and manual focus to infinity (and flash Off). If there's a setting I might have missed that you think of, please comment and let me know and I'll try it again.

Only thing I can think of would be to turn off IS?

Hey, thanks for the suggestion!

At the moment, I'm just tired of rerunning the tests though, lol.

richarddd
richarddd Senior Member • Posts: 2,982
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

When I shoot in MF mode, the S95 sometimes resets the focus distance after a shot, sometimes not (in both cases, it would have reset distance if in AF mode). It always turns on the focus assist beam if I'm in dim light when I press the shutter halfway.

The MF symbol and the focus sidebar continue to be there, so I should be staying in MF mode throughout.

EDIT: I just noticed I had Safety MF set to on. With Safety MF set to off, it does not reset and does not use the autofocus assist beam.
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TarasDzedzey New Member • Posts: 1
Re: s95 - made timings for most responsive (least lag) mode

I have idea: if you have shutter button half-pressed (hiperfocal focusing), you'll be able to catch what you want. I know this is not very good idea, but with the CHDK and remote... http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/USB_Remote_Cable you'll be able to lock half-pressed button.

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