Timings & File Sizes

Overall the Coolpix 2500 was an average performer. Its startup time is notably quicker than some 'extending lens' digital cameras but slower than others. Its average startup time is down to the fact that despite the 2500's lens being internally enclosed it still 'parks' the lens at power off and must reset it at power on. Other functions are again average for a camera at this level, AF takes about one second and there is a measurable 0.2 second shutter release LAG, which was surprising for a 'new' camera.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 1600 x 1200 Fine JPEG image (approx. 720 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 256 MB Viking CF card.

Action Details Time, seconds
Power: Off to Record   4.5

Power: Off to Play *1

Image displayed 4.1
Power: Record to Off   2.2
Power: Play to Off *1   2.2
Mode: Record to Play Image displayed 1.0
Mode: Play to Record   2.1
Play: Thumbnail view 4 or 9 images <1.0
Play: Image to image 1600 x 1200 FINE <0.5

Action Details Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele Full zoom from 37 mm to 111 mm (3 x) 1.8
Auto Focus LAG Wide angle (37 mm) *1 0.9
Auto Focus LAG Telephoto (111 mm) *1 1.0
Shutter Release LAG   0.2
Total LAG *2   0.9 - 1.6
Off to Shot Taken   5.4
Shot to Shot   2.1

*1 Add approximately 0.8 seconds for low light situations
*2 Depending on focus and light levels

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.

Continuous modes

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. The media used for these tests was a 256 MB Viking CF card.

Mode Image Type Frames per sec Max no. of frames *1

Wait before
next shot

Continuous 1600 x 1200 Fine 1.66 fps 4 2.9 sec
Continuous 1600 x 1200 Normal 1.66 fps 7 2.9 sec
Continuous 1280 x 960 Normal 1.66 fps 11 2.9 sec
Continuous 640 x 480 Normal 1.66 fps 33 2.9 sec
Multi-shot 16 *3 400 x 300 (16 of) 3.81 fps 16 n/a

*1 In a single "burst", finger held down on shutter release until the camera stops shooting.
*2 You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer, writing continues "in the background".
*3 Multi-shot 16 shoots 16 images and records them in a single image 'contact sheet' style

Again, an average performance for this level of camera, keep the file size down (either with image size or quality) and you can shoot continuously at 1.6 fps for around 10 frames. The Coollpix 2500's continuous shooting ability is similar to the Coolpix 775 which came before it.

File Write / Display and Sizes

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 on the LCD 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 was a 256 MB Viking CF card.

Image Type Time to store
Time to display
File size *4
Approx no. on
16 MB CF Card
1600 x 1200 Fine 3.0 1.0 ~720 KB 21
1600 x 1200 Standard 2.5 1.0 ~360 KB 43
1280 x 960 Standard <1.5 *2 0.8 ~230 KB 67
640 x 480 Standard <1.5 *2 0.6 ~80 KB 194

*1 Timings taken with 'Instant Playback' disabled. With Instant Playback enabled you can add 2.5 seconds to these times.
*2 Because the 2500 doesn't have a write indicator lamp it was very difficult to take 'time to store' timings, the only indicator available was the green activity indicator on the LCD display and this was only visible if you interrupt the record review. Thus timings faster than 1.5 seconds were not measurable.
*3 Display of images in playback mode is virtually instant, this timing is the amount of time it took the camera to replace the 'rough' image with a more detailed image which can be magnified etc.
*4 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.

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

An amazing performance from this little Coolpix, it managed to just about outlast its older siblings the 775 and 885 who were using the larger, heavier EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion battery. Very impressive.