Timings & File Sizes

The 812 did feel slow by modern day standards. Power on was in line with what we'd expect of an 'extending lens' compact. However almost every other function took longer than we would expect. Most noticeable was the camera's autofocus which almost always took longer than 1.5 seconds. On top of that the 812 also had a consistent 0.2 second shutter release lag, which again is slower than most modern cameras.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2272 x 1712 JPEG image (approx. 1.1 MB per image). The media used for these tests was a 128 MB SanDisk SD card.

Action Details Time, seconds

Power: Off to On

Lens extension 4.7
Power: On to Off Lens extended 4.2
Mode: Play image Image displayed 1.2
Play: Magnify 4x magnification 5.3

Action Details Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele Full zoom from 37 mm to 111 mm (3 x) 1.5
Auto Focus LAG Wide angle (37 mm) *1 1.5 - 2.2
Auto Focus LAG Telephoto (102 mm)  *1 1.7 - 2.2
Shutter Release LAG Using viewfinder 0.2
Shutter Release LAG Using LCD monitor 0.2
Total LAG *2 1.5
Off to Shot Taken   5.5
Shot to Shot Zoom at wide angle, record review set to 1 second 4.5
Shot to Shot Zoom at wide angle, record review disabled 4.5

*1 AF was slightly quicker (about 0.2 secs) with the LCD monitor turned off.
*2 Interestingly a full depress of the shutter release and the camera responded quicker than the amount of time it took for a half-press (of the same scene) to come back with a confirmed AF lock. That is, if you just half-press it took approximately 1.7 seconds to come back with the green [ ] brackets. However if you simply fully depress the entire sequence (exposure, AF, shot taken) took around 1.5 seconds

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 after autofocus, 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'd take if you were in one of those spur-of-the-moment situations. This timing is an average.

File Write / Display and Sizes

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the SD 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 SD compartment returned to green colour. 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 was a 128 MB SanDisk SD card.

Image Type Time to store
Time to magnify
File size *2
No. on supplied 16 MB CF Card
2272 x 1712 26.4 9.5 2,300 KB 7
2272 x 1712 19.9 5.2 1,100 KB 15
1136 x 856 17.4 2.8 500 KB 30
1136 x 856 15.9 2.0 250 KB 60

*1 Image playback is almost immediate, the only way to test 'load time' is to magnify the image. Selecting magnify forces the camera to load the full resolution image from the SD card.
*2 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.

The above write times are some of the slowest I've seen on any digital camera. It takes a whole twenty six seconds to write a 2.3 MB file, that's an incredibly slow 90 KB/sec. Luckily the 812 does have a fairly large buffer which allows you to shoot up to 5 x quality images in a row without having to wait for the camera. As soon as the buffer fills the camera will display 'PROCESSING...'.

Battery life

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
  • Repeat

Batteries are 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

Here's somewhere the 812 did really well. On just two AA batteries the camera lasted well over two hours in our test. This is probably down to the fact that the camera turns off the LCD monitor after one minute of inactivity (and there aren't any other power save options).