Timings & File Sizes

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 1600 x 1200 JPEG image @ Fine quality (around 720KB per image).

File Size Notes: 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.

Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.

Action Time taken
OFF to Record (P) T 3.8 Lens extension takes 1.1 seconds
OFF to Play T 1.0 "Busy" is displayed
Record (P) to OFF 1.8 Lens retraction takes 1.6 seconds
Record (P) to Play < 0.5 Instant, "Busy" is displayed
Play to Record (P) (lens extended) 1.4 Preview image is displayed
Play to Record (P) (lens not extended) 2.2 Lens extension takes 1.1 seconds
Play: Image to Image (Super-Fine) 1.5  
Play: Image to Image (Fine) 0.8  
Play: INDEX thumbnail view 0.7 Full page of 9 thumbnails displayed
Play: Zoom-in < 0.5 Almost instant
Auto Focus LAG 0.5 - 1.0 Dependent on focus subject *
Shutter Release LAG 0.05 - 0.1 Very fast *
Total LAG ~1.5 No pre-focus, one complete press *
OFF to SHOT TAKEN 7.1 Switch ON + Press Shutter Release

T Timing includes the 1 second hold required to power-up
(to protect against accidental power-ups).

* LAG times are often misunderstood and so are described below:

Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to auto focus (a half-press and hold of the shutter release button), this timing is normally the most variable as its affected by the subject matter, current focus position, still or moving subject etc. This timing is an average.

Shutter Release LAG is the amount of time it takes to take the shot after auto focus, this timing assumes you have already focused (half-pressed the shutter release) and now press the shutter release button all the way down to take the shot. This timing is an average.

Total LAG is the total time it takes (not just the two above added together) if you haven't pre-focused, that is no finger touching the shutter release button, press it all the way down in one movement, this new timing is how long it would take if you were in one of those spur-of-the-moment situations. This timing is an average.

Maximum shots in a row

The table below defines the maximum number of shots which can be taken in a row before the camera makes you wait (measured as "wait before restarting") for space to become available in the internal buffer.

Size / Resolution
Maximum shots
in a row
Wait before restarting
1600 x 1200 Super-Fine 3 3.3 secs
1600 x 1200 Fine 9 2.6 secs
640 x 480 Fine 45 5.1 secs

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to "flush" the image out to the CompactFlash card (when the activity light next to the viewfinder stops blinking). The Digital IXUS continues to write data out from the internal buffer to the CompactFlash card in parallel to your shooting the next shot/

The estimated number of images per 8 MB CompactFlash card is given as a guide to beginners (as that's what's bundled with the camera - bundle may differ).

Action Time taken
File size
Images on a
8 MB CF card
Store 1600 x 1200 Super-Fine 6.1 ~ 1,650 KB 4
Store 1600 x 1200 Fine 3.1 ~ 720 KB 11
Store 640 x 480 Fine 2.1 ~70 KB 110

Continuous drive mode

The Digital IXUS has a drive mode, the results of which are pretty much tied to the "maximum shots in a row" results above, though you do get different results depending on whether the LCD review is on or off (DISP button).

Mode Frame Size File Quality Approx. frames
per sec
(LCD on)
Approx. frames
per sec
(LCD off)
Max no. of frames
Drive 1600 x 1200 Super-Fine 0.6 fps 1.0 fps 3
Drive 1600 x 1200 Fine 0.7 fps 1.5 fps 9
Drive 640 x 480 Fine 1.1 fps 1.7 fps 45

For such a tiny digicam it performs fairly well, Super-Fine mode generates such huge images (about 1.6 MB each) that it's hardly surprising we can't take more than 3 frames at a time. All in all not a bad performance for a camera that's not designed with high speed performance in mind.

Battery life

I was a little skeptical about the new battery, sure they're Lithium-Ion but they are really tiny, only a little bigger than the battery pack which fits my Nokia 8810 and rated at just 3.7V 680mAh... However, they did perform.. With judicious use of the DISP button (to turn off the power sapping LCD when you're not using it) the battery can last for around 70-80 images in an hours shooting, and that is pretty impressive.. Though I would still recommend most people to buy a spare battery pack (it's not as though you can pick them up in a corner store in the event your main battery runs flat).