Kyocera Finecam S3 Review
Timings & File Sizes
The Finecam S3 isn't the fastest digital camera, it's primary problems are related to start-up time (around eight seconds) and MMC write speed. The camera does feature an internal buffer which is used to queue images being written to the card but it doesn't take long to fill this.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. A Dane-Elec 64MB MMC card was used for timings involving file transfer. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 FINE JPEG image (approx. 700 KB per image).
|Power: Off to Record||8.1||Lens takes 3.2 secs *1|
|Power: Off to Play||1.9||Card access icon *2|
|Power: Record to Off||3.3||Lens retract|
|Power: Play to Off||<0.5|
|Mode: Record to Play||1.9||Card access icon *2|
|Mode: Play to Record||2.0|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||3 x 2 thumbnails||<0.5|
|Auto Focus LAG||Normal AF||1.0 - 1.5||Average|
|Auto Focus LAG||Macro AF||1.8 - 2.6||Average|
|Shutter Release LAG||0.1||Fast|
|Total LAG||1.2 - 1.8||Fast to Average|
|Off to Shot Taken||8.7||Average to Slow|
|Shot to Shot||2048 x 1536 JPEG FINE||5.6||Slow|
|*1||There is a 2.6 second delay between turning the power dial to 'ON' and the lens beginning its extension.|
|*2||Camera shows animated 'card access' icon. Image appears a few seconds later.|
|*3||Time taken to display the 'rough thumbnail' after pressing the up or down arrows.|
File Flush / Display Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the MMC card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed (shutter noise was heard) and stopped when activity indicator LED beside the MMC slot went off. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task".
|Store file of type||Time
File size *1
on a 16 MB
|2048 x 1536 TIFF||120.2||<0.2||9,280 KB||1|
|2048 x 1536 Super Fine||13.0||<0.2||~1,430 KB||8|
|2048 x 1536 Fine||7.4||<0.2||~600 KB||16|
|1024 x 768 Normal||5.0||<0.2||~200 KB||63|
|*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 (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.|
|*2||The Finecam S3 is particularly fast at displaying images in play mode, the image is displayed almost as quickly as you can press the left and right buttons.|
It took a whole two minutes to save a TIFF file, and this probably speaks volumes for MMC's main problem, it does not have a fast data transfer bus. Using the file sizes and time to store it's easy to calculate transfer rates were around 90 KB/sec, that's nearly four times slower than Compact Flash (eight times slower than some cameras).
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:
|Camera||Battery||Power||Battery life||Number of shots|
|Kyocera S3||BP-800S||2.1 Wh||54 mins||95|
|Canon Digital IXUS 300||NB-1L||2.5 Wh||1 hr 26 mins||155|
|Nikon Coolpix 775 *1||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 24 mins||220|
|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|
|Canon PowerShot G1||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 00 mins||300|
|Sony DSC-S75||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 15 mins||330|
|Sony DSC-S85||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 50 mins||400|
The Kyocera S3 takes the slowest, top position on our battery test table, and that means it's got the shortest battery life of any camera we've tested. Lasting just 54 minutes in our test, real life use supported these results as the Kyocera often died far sooner than you'd expect. Interesting to note that it's battery is only slightly less powerful than the Canon NB-1L used in the IXUS 300 which managed to last half an hour longer. The S3 also tends to get noticeably hot during long sessions of use.
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