Taking pictures

The S10 is one of the nicest built, quality feeling digital cameras on the market, with it's all metal exterior and tiny proportions it's both convenient and rugged. Taking photos is a joy, the camera is fast and responsive, LCD is bright, clear and non-reflective (and about as big as you could expect in such a small camera).

The lack of an option to see a review of the image without holding your finger down on the shutter is a shame (some of us like that instant gratification), you can get around this by putting the camera in continuous mode.

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 compression.

File Size Notes: All file sizes as 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 wildly 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.

The estimated number of images per 8 MB Compact Flash card is given as a guide to beginners (as an 8 MB Compact Flash card is supplied with the camera).

Action Time taken
OFF to RECORD 2.9 (Lens extension)
OFF to PLAY 1.4 (LCD appears and "busy" is displayed)
RECORD to OFF 2.2 (Lens retraction)
RECORD to PLAY 2.7 (LCD appears and "busy" is displayed)
PLAY to RECORD 3.1  
PLAY: Image to Image <1.0  
PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view <1.0 Almost instant
PLAY: Zoom-in <1.0 Almost instant
Auto Focus LAG ~1.0 Fast by digital camera standards
Shutter Release LAG 0.1 VERY fast
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to "flush" the image out to the CF card. They in no way affect the ability of the camera to "recycle" and shoot again, the S10 has a very large internal buffer (I've estimated it to be around 4 MB) which means you can shoot even in Super-Fine mode and be ready to shoot the next image within about 1.5 seconds.
Action Time taken
File size Compression ratio Images on an
8 MB CF card
Store 1600 x 1200 Super-Fine 8.7 ~ 1,450 KB   1
Store 1600 x 1200 Fine 4.4 ~ 580 KB   8
Store 1600 x 1200 Normal 3.0 ~ 300 KB   17
Store 1280 x 960 Super-Fine 6.8 ~ 990 KB   1
Store 1280 x 960 Fine 3.7 ~ 400 KB   8
Store 1280 x 960 Normal 3.0 ~ 210 KB   17
Store 800 x 600 Super-Fine 3.8 ~ 480 KB   1
Store 800 x 600 Fine 3.0 ~ 220 KB   8
Store 800 x 600 Normal 2.5 ~ 110 KB   17

Battery life

Again, kudos to Canon for providing a rechargeable battery and charger. I found the battery life on the S10 to be pretty variable, the manual claims around 55 shots with the LCD on and 230 with it off, I slightly managed more (about 60) with the LCD on after the third or fourth charge although I did find the battery fading sometimes after the 40th shot, it's a shame they didn't decide to include two battery packs with the camera and I'd guess that would be the first item on my accessory list if I bought it.