Canon PowerShot S45 Review
Timings & File Sizes
The S40 was a fast little camera and I'm happy to report that overall the S45 is even quicker. Although startup time is identical (as you would expect considering the identical lens mechanism) most other functions are quicker, auto focus feels much more responsive than any other compact four megapixel, shutter release lag is almost non existant and shot to shot times are very respectable. Once it's powered up and the lens is extended the S45 won't ever leave you waiting.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2272 x 1704 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 1.8 MB per image).
Power on tests were carried out with the lens cover 'almost fully open', there's a notch at the end of the covers travel, past this notch the camera powers up. Play power on test was carried out with the lens cover closed by simply sliding the 'PLAY lever' to the right.
The media used for these tests were:
- 512 MB SimpleTech Type I CompactFlash card
- 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card
|Power: Off to Record||Lens extension||4.2||3.9|
Power: Off to Play *1
|Power: Record to Off||Lens extended||2.3||2.2|
|Power: Play to Off *1||Lens retracted||0.5||0.5|
|Mode: Record to Play *2||Image displayed||2.1 / 0.5||3.5 / 0.5|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens extended||2.0||2.0|
|Play: Magnify||To 10x magnification||1.0||1.0|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||1.2||1.8|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||Full zoom from 35 mm to 105 mm (3 x)||2.0|
|Auto Focus LAG||Wide angle||0.7 - 0.9|
|Auto Focus LAG||Telephoto||0.8 - 1.2|
|Shutter Release LAG||Using viewfinder||<0.1|
|Shutter Release LAG||Using LCD monitor||0.1|
|Total LAG||Wide angle *3||0.8 - 1.0|
|Total LAG||Telephoto *3||0.8 - 1.4|
|Off to Shot Taken||Using 512 MB SimpleTech CF||4.4|
|Shot to Shot||Identical with or without record review||1.9|
|*1||You need to 'hold' the PLAY lever in its right most position for at least 1.0 second for the camera to recognize that as a change of power state (on or off), this is to avoid accidental knocks of the lever. The timings shown for this measurement are excludiing this 1.0 second.|
|*2||The S45 appears to buffer an image once displayed in play mode. This means that if you return to play mode for a second time the display time is just half a second, compared to two seconds for the first display of a new image.|
|*3||The S45's Auto focus proved to be very fast, especially if the subject distance was near or the same as the previous shot taken. Even at telephoto zoom Total LAG was less than a second if the subject distance was similar.|
Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to autofocus (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 from the moment you fully depress the shutter release button, measured both as a time including auto focus and a time assuming you have already pre-focused by holding a half-press of the shutter release.
The S45 has two different continuous drive modes. The first (Continuous) shoots at approximately 1.5 fps and displays each frame on the LCD monitor as it is taken. The second (Continuous H) shoots at approximately 2.5 fps but blanks out the LCD monitor while shooting.
The table below shows the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. Timings taken using a 512 MB SimpleTech Type I CompactFlash card.
|Mode||Image Type||Frames per sec||Max no. of frames *1||
|Continuous||2272 x 1704 Super-Fine||1.48 fps||8||2.5 secs|
|Continuous||2272 x 1704 Fine||1.48 fps||14||2.9 secs|
|Continuous||1024 x 768 Fine||1.48 fps||64||4.7 secs|
|Continuous H||2272 x 1704 Super-Fine||2.23 fps||10||3.8 secs|
|Continuous H||2272 x 1704 Fine||2.23 fps||15||2.9 secs|
|Continuous H||1024 x 768 Fine||2.23 fps||65||4.9 secs|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release)|
|*2||You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").|
The higher speed Continuous H mode turned out to be slower than the specified 2.5 fps but still respectable. Overall the S45 delivers good continuous shooting for its size and class with good buffer depth providing up to 15 images at full resolution and Fine JPEG compression.
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 the 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".
The media used for these tests were:
- 512 MB SimpleTech Type I CompactFlash card
- 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II CompactFlash card
|2272 x 1704||RAW||6.3||7.2||0.8||0.9|
|2272 x 1704||Super-Fine||3.2||4.2||1.8||2.3|
|2272 x 1704||Fine||2.5||3.2||1.3||1.3|
|1024 x 768||Fine||1.8||2.2||0.8||1.3|
Performance is very similar to the S40, the difference between using solid state flash storage and hard disc based Microdrive is very slim and in reality you wouldn't notice it. Write times do not affect the camera's ability to take the next shot, writing from the buffer continues in the background.
Here's a comparison of the average byte size of each of different image size / quality combinations.
|Image Type||Image format||File
1 GB Microdrive
|2272 x 1704||RAW||CRW||3,800 KB||272|
|2272 x 1704||Super-Fine||JPEG||1,800 KB||512|
|2272 x 1704||Fine||JPEG||1,000 KB||910|
|1600 x 1200||Fine||JPEG||580 KB||1726|
|1024 x 768||Fine||JPEG||250 KB||2982|
|640 x 480||Fine||JPEG||120 KB||5468|
|*1||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.|
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
This test routine was carried out on five different cameras simultaneously. 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:
Prosumer / SLR-Like
|Battery||Power||Battery life||Number of shots|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||1 hr 14 mins||125|
|Minolta DiMAGE 5||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||1 hr 56 mins||195|
|Nikon Coolpix 5700||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 08 mins||215|
|Canon PowerShot S40||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 13 mins||225|
|Minolta DiMAGE S304||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 18 mins||235|
|Canon PowerShot S45||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 28 mins||240|
|Nikon Coolpix 4500||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 27 mins||250|
|Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z||NP-80||4.1 Wh||2 hr 29 mins||250|
|Nikon Coolpix 990||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 30 mins||255|
|Nikon Coolpix 995||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 30 mins||255|
|Nikon Coolpix 5000||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 32 mins||260|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 33 mins||260|
|Canon PowerShot Pro1||BP-511A||10.2 Wh||2 hr 36 mins||265|
|Canon PowerShot S50||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Minolta DiMAGE S404||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Sony DSC-V1||NP-FC11||2.8 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Olympus C-7000 Zoom||LI-12B||4.5 Wh||2 hr 44 mins||280|
|Nikon Coolpix 8700||EN-EL1||5.0 Wh||2 hr 45 mins||280|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7i||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 46 mins||270|
|Olympus E-20||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 48 mins||285|
|Canon PowerShot G1||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 00 mins||300|
|Nikon Coolpix 5400||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||3 hr 06 mins||315|
|HP Photosmart 850||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 12 mins||325|
|Sony DSC-S75||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 15 mins||330|
|Nikon Coolpix 8800||EN-EL7||8.1 Wh||3 hr 27 mins||350|
|Fujifilm FinePix S602Z||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 29 mins||350|
|Canon PowerShot G2||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 32 mins||355|
|Casio QV-4000||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 38 mins||365|
|Olympus C-5050 Zoom||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 48 mins||380|
|Casio EXILIM EX-P700||NP-40||4.5 Wh||3 hr 48 mins||385|
|Sony DSC-S85||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 50 mins||400|
|Sony DSC-F717||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||4 hr 02 mins||405|
|Pentax Optio 750Z||D-LI7||6.6 Wh||4 hr 03 mins||415|
|Sony DSC-V3||NP-FR1||4.4 Wh||4 hr 05 mins||415|
|Nikon Coolpix 8400||EN-EL7||8.1 Wh||4 hr 09 mins||420|
|Sony DSC-F707||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||4 hr 20 mins||440|
|Fujifilm S7000 Zoom||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||4 hr 23 mins||445|
|Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2||NP-400||11.1 Wh||4 hr 26 mins||450|
|Canon PowerShot G3||BP-511||8.1 Wh||4 hr 32 mins||455|
|Canon PowerShot G5||BP-511||8.1 Wh||4 hr 33 mins||460|
|Pentax Optio 550||D-LI7||6.6 Wh||4 hr 36 mins||465|
|Minolta DiMAGE A1||NP-400||11.1 Wh||5 hr 02 mins||515|
|Leica Digilux 2||BP-DC1-E||10.1 Wh||5 hr 05 mins||515|
|Sony DSC-F828||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||5 hr 28 mins||540|
|Fujifilm FinePix S5000||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||5 hr 31 mins||555|
|Canon PowerShot G6||BP-511A||10.3 Wh||5 hr 38 mins||570|
|Olympus C-8080 WZ||BLM-1||10.8 Wh||5 hr 52 mins||595|
|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
As we expected the PowerShot S45 lasted slightly longer than the S40 (another fifteen minutes to be precise), power savings made thanks to Canon's new more efficient DiGiC processor. All in all a good performance considering the size, weight and capacity of the battery.
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