Timing & Performance

Although the P880 feels fairly responsive in use there are some issues - mainly the slow focusing (especially in low light) and slow card writing, which means shot-to-shot times of up to 14 seconds for raw and the best part of half a minute for tiff files. We also found the 'recovery time' (the wait between shots) was long enough to become annoying if we left the quick view option turned on and were trying to shoot quickly. Overall though, the P880 is a distinct improvement on previous generations of high end Kodak cameras.

Timing Notes

All times are calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3264 x 2448 JPEG image (approx. 3,375 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1.0GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.

Action Details
Time, secs
Power: Off to Record   1.8
Power: Off to Play cannot power up directly into playback mode *1 n/a
Power: Record to Off All activity ceased 1.1
Power: Play to Off When buffer is empty 0.9
Record Review Image displayed ~0.9
Mode: Record to Play   ~0.2
Mode: Play to Record Lens already extended ~1.1 
Play: Magnify To full magnification (10x) ~1.5 
Play: Image to Image Time to display each saved image ~0.25
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 1.1

Action Details
Time, seconds
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle ~1.4 *2
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto ~1.1 - 2.6 *3
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) LCD live view ~0.09
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) Viewfinder ~0.09
Full-press Lag (0->S2) LCD live view, wide angle ~1.2
Off to Shot Taken LCD live view ~3.7
Shot to Shot Flash off 2.2*4
Shot to Shot Flash on (with red eye reduction off) 2.3 *4
Shot to Shot Flash on (with red eye reduction on) 3.1*4

*1 You can, however, power up directly into 'Favorites' mode, which takes around 3.4 secs
*2 Average figure; in good light it's around 1.1 secs, in low light it can be as long as 1.6 secs.
*3 Due to the wide variation in focus times at telephoto we have included a range, rather than an average figure. The focus speed is directly linked to the brightness of the scene, and is slowest in low light. Note also the best focus speeds are obtained using continuous AF mode
*4 This includes focus time and is the very best shot-to-shot time you can expect when the buffer is empty.

Continuous mode

The tables below show 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. The media used for these tests was a 1.0GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/160 sec during these tests.

Continuous drive mode

The P880 has two 'burst' modes. The standard mode shoots at around 1.3fps - the number of pictures you can record depends on the file size/quality setting chosen - or you can choose 'Last Burst' mode, which shoots continuously until you take your finger off the shutter, when the last 6 or 7 frames (8MP Fine JPEG) are saved. The last burst mode averages around half the frame rate of the standard burst mode, and the number of frames saved is roughly the same (as shown below).

Image Type
Avg. frames
per sec
Frames in a burst *1
3264 x 2448 (8MP) JPEG Fine First Burst 1.3 fps 7 ~6.0s delay *3
3264 x 2448 (8MP) JPEG Std First Burst 1.3 fps 12 ~6.0s delay *3
3264 x 2448 (8MP) JPEG Basic First Burst 1.3 fps 19 ~6.0s delay *3
2560 x 1920 (5.0MP) JPEG Fine First Burst 1.3 fps 11 ~6.0s delay *3
2560 x 1920 (5.0MP) JPEG Std First Burst 1.3 fps 19 ~6.0s delay *3
2048 x 1536 (3.1MP) JPEG Fine First Burst 1.3 fps 17 ~6.0s delay *3

*1 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).
*2 Once the buffer is full the P850 freezes for around 6.0 seconds as the images are saved to the SD card. During this time no further pictures can be taken.
*3 This is how long you have to wait before another single shot can be taken. If you want to take another burst you need to wait for the buffer to clear completely, which takes around 35 seconds.

Not a terrible performance (and let's be honest, this is hardly the kind of camera chosen for 'sports' photography), but the frame rate is well below the 2.0 fps claimed in Kodak's marketing materials. Even turning off quick view and switching to manual focus only increases the frame rate to around 1.5 fps.

File Write / Display and Sizes

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when the activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 1.0GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.

Image Type
Time to store

Time to display

File size *1
Images on a *2
1.0GB Card
2592 x 1944 (5MP) TIFF ~28.5 ~0.2 23,486 KB 42
2592 x 1944 (5MP) RAW ~13.6 ~0.2 13,590 KB 65
3264 x 2448 (8MP) JPEG Fine ~3.5 ~0.2 3,375 KB 188
3264 x 2448 (8MP) JPEG Std ~2.8 ~0.2 2,650 KB 329
3264 x 2448 (8MP) JPEG Basic ~2.5 ~0.2 1,697 KB 516
2560 x 1920 (5MP) JPEG Fine ~3.0 ~0.2 2,680 KB 303
2048 x 1536 (3.1MP) JPEG Fine ~2.4 ~0.2 1,940 KB 473

*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 (detail and noise).
*2 Camera estimation.
*3 The P880 uses low res preview images to allow fast scrolling. There is a slight delay if you want to magnify images.

Aside from the huge tiff files and slow raw writing there's little cause for complaint here as the P880 has a fairly fast, fairly large buffer, meaning it rarely stalls when shooting JPEGs . The write speed - around 1.0 MB/s at best - is on the low side for a camera in this class, and a long way from the maximum speed of the card. Unless you intend to shoot a lot of extended movie clips, shoot raw or tiff or use the burst mode extensively I wouldn't worry about buying the fastest card you can.