Canon DIGITAL IXUS 330 (PowerShot S330) Review
Timings & File Sizes
For an ultra-compact the IXUS 330 did a commendable job, as is usual with compact extending lens cameras there is an additional delay at startup to allow the lens to extend. The IXUS 330 also requires at least a 1.3 second hold of the power button before it will begin to start up (a safety feature), so although we measured the total startup time as 3.8 seconds (time from first pressing the power button) the camera actually only takes 2.6 seconds to go through its start up sequence. Other timings are very respectable especially shot-to-shot and shutter release LAG using the LCD monitor.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. A Viking 256 MB Compact Flash card was used for timings. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 1600 x 1200 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 960 KB per image).
|Power: Off to Record||Lens always defaults to wide||3.8||Lens takes 1.2 secs *1|
|Power: Off to Play||3.1||Image is displayed|
|Power: Record to Off||2.7||Lens retract *2|
|Power: Play to Off||Lens already retracted||0.6|
|Mode: Record to Play||1.9||Image is displayed *3|
|Mode: Play to Record||2.5|
|Play: Magnify||To x10.0||1.4|
|Play: Browse delay||Delay between images||1.1||Maximum *4|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.7|
|Auto Focus LAG||Wide angle||0.8 - 1.2||Fast *5|
|Auto Focus LAG||Telephoto||1.2 - 2.2||Average *5|
|Shutter Release LAG||Using LCD montior||0.1||Fast|
|Shutter Release LAG||Using viewfinder||0.1||Fast|
|Total LAG||1.0 - 2.0||Average|
|Off to Shot Taken||4.4||Fast *1|
|Shot to Shot||AiAF Auto Focus||2.5||Fast *6|
|Shot to Shot||AF-Lock||1.8||Very Fast *6|
|*1||You must hold the power button for at least 1.3 seconds for the 'power on' action to register.|
|*2||Power off takes 5.2 seconds if lens is at telephoto position.|
|*3||Same whatever the image size / compression.|
|*4||Depends on image size / compress (see below).|
|*5||Add approximately 0.5 seconds if the AF assist lamp comes on.|
|*6||Record review set to Off.|
Continuous drive mode
The table below shows the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames at a selection of image resolution / quality settings and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take the next shot. A Viking 256 MB Compact Flash card was used for this test.
|Image Type||Frames per sec
|Frames per sec
(LCD off) *1
|Approx. max frames *2||
|1600 x 1200 Super-Fine||1.2 fps||2.9 fps||5||2.5 sec|
|1600 x 1200 Fine||1.1 fps||2.8 fps||9||3.2 sec|
|1024 x 768 Fine||1.1 fps||2.6 fps||18||3.3 sec|
|640 x 480 Fine||1.1 fps||2.6 fps||47||3.2 sec|
|*2||Maximum number of frames in a single burst will vary depending on image content (larger JPEG file, less frames). Maximum number of frames is also reduced when shooting with LCD off (because of the higher frame rate).|
|*3||You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").|
The IXUS 330 performs very differently with the LCD monitor switched off. Leave the monitor on and shoot continuously and you'll only get around 1.1 frames per second frame rate. However, switch the LCD monitor off (press DISP) and the camera will happily shoot at up to 2.9 frames per second.
File Flush / Display Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the Compact Flash card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed (shutter click was heard) and stopped when activity indicator LED beside viewfinder stopped blinking. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". A Viking 256 MB Compact Flash card was used for this test.
on a 256 MB
Compact Flash card
|1600 x 1200||Super-Fine||3.6||1.3||960 KB||257|
|1600 x 1200||Fine||3.0||0.9||600 KB||402|
|1600 x 1200||Normal||2.3||0.7||300 KB||800|
|1024 x 768||Fine||2.5||0.7||260 KB||821|
|640 x 480||Fine||1.8||0.6||120 KB||1642|
|*1||With JPEG it's difficult to predict the exact size of an image file because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (ISO speed and 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.|
We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is designed to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
- Take 4 shots without flash
- Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
- Take 1 shot with flash
- Wait 1 minute
All batteries had been fully discharged and recharged before the test and all cameras were reset to their factory default settings. Here are the results:
Compact / Ultra compact
|Battery||Power||Battery life||Number of shots|
|Kyocera S3||BP-800S||2.1 Wh||54 mins||95|
|Canon PowerShot S300||NB-1L||2.5 Wh||1 hr 26 mins||155|
|Pentax Optio 430||D-LI2||3.3 Wh||1 hr 33 mins||160|
|Olympus C-40Z||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.6 Wh||1 hr 33 mins||165|
|Nikon Coolpix 3100||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.6 Wh||1 hr 42 mins||175|
|Minolta DiMAGE F100||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.3 Wh||1 hr 42 mins||175|
|Minolta DiMAGE X||NP-200||2.8 Wh||1 hr 45 mins||180|
|Pentax Optio 330||D-LI2||3.3 Wh||1 hr 48 mins||185|
|Canon PowerShot S330||NB-1LH||2.5 Wh||1 hr 48 mins||185|
|Sony DSC-P71||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.6 Wh||1 hr 50 mins||185|
|Kodak DX4900||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.5 Wh||1 hr 51 mins||190|
|Sony DSC-P5||NP-FC10||2.4 Wh||1 hr 51 mins||190|
|Nikon Coolpix 3500||EN-EL2||4.1 Wh||1 hr 54 mins||195|
|Sony DSC-P9||NP-FC10||2.4 Wh||1 hr 59 mins||200|
|Nikon Coolpix SQ||EN-EL2||3.7 Wh||2 hr 03 mins||210|
|Minolta DiMAGE Xt||NP-200||2.8 Wh||2 hr 12 mins||225|
|Canon PowerShot S400||NP-1LH||2.5 Wh||2 hr 17 mins||230|
|HP Photosmart 812||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.6 Wh||2 hr 21 mins||240|
|Nikon Coolpix 885||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 21 mins||240|
|Nikon Coolpix 775||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 27 mins||250|
|Canon PowerShot SD100||NB-3L||2.9 Wh||2 hr 29 mins||250|
|Pentax Optio S||D-LI8||2.6 Wh||2 hr 33 mins||260|
|Nikon Coolpix 2500||EN-EL2||4.1 Wh||2 hr 33 mins||260|
|Fujifilm FinePix F601Z||NP-60||3.7 Wh||2 hr 47 mins||275|
|Casio EXILIM EX-Z3||NP-20||2.5 Wh||2 hr 48 mins||285|
|Casio EXILIM EX-S3||NP-20||2.5 Wh||2 hr 48 mins||285|
|Olympus C-50Z||LI-10B||4.0 Wh||2 hr 54 mins||295|
|HP Photosmart 935||2 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||3.6 Wh||3 hr 09 mins||320|
|Canon PowerShot A70||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||5 hr 08 mins||515|
|Other test notes:|
| LCD monitor is left on during
the battery test
The camera is powered off half of the time and left on half of the time (switch every 10 iterations)
There are now higher capacity AA NiMH batteries available, however in the interests of fair
comparison we will continue to use our 1600 mAh test set
The IXUS 330 uses an updated version of the Lithium-Ion battery used in the IXUS 300 (note the H suffix on the new battery). Capacity has gone up from 680 mAh to 840 mAh, this has provided an additional 22 minutes of battery life in our test (very good considering the small dimensions and weight of this battery).
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