Nikon Coolpix 4500 Review
Timings & File Sizes
The Coolpix 4500 weighed in around the average in our performance tests. Startup times are respectable enough, especially with a good CF card (not Microdrive). Auto Focus wasn't as fast as we'd hope but is much in line with what we've seen from other cameras, oddly the 4500 took longer to focus at wide angle than telephoto (the opposite of what we're used to). One surprise was the fairly long shutter release lag, the 4500's 0.3 second shutter release lag was one of the slowest we've seen for a while.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2272 x 1704 FINE JPEG image (approx. 1.2 MB per image).
The media used for these tests were:
- 256 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card
- 512 MB SanDisk Ultra Type I Compact Flash card
- 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II Compact Flash card
|Noticeably faster||Noticeably slower|
|Power: Off to Record||Zoom @ wide||7.2||7.8||8.7|
|Power: Off to Record||Zoom @ tele||3.6||4.2||5.3|
|Power: Record to Off *1||1.7||1.7||1.7|
|Mode: Record to Play *2||2.1||2.8||4.0|
|Mode: Play to Record *3||1.7||1.7||1.7|
|Play: Thumbnail view 2 x 2||0.5||0.8||1.8|
|Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3||0.8||1.3||3.2|
|Auto Focus LAG||Full wide angle (38 mm equiv.) *4||1.2|
|Auto Focus LAG||Full telephoto (155 mm equiv.) *4||1.0|
|Shutter Release LAG||LCD monitor, pre-focused (shutter rel. half-pressed)||0.3|
|Shutter Release LAG||Viewfinder, pre-focused (shutter rel. half-pressed)||0.3|
|Shutter Release LAG||LCD monitor, full press of shutter release *5||1.1|
|Shutter Release LAG||Viewfinder, full press of shutter release *5||1.1|
|Off to Shot Taken||Media: 256 MB Viking CF card||5.5|
|Shot to Shot||Display mode: Monitor On *5||2.5|
|*1||No images remaining in internal buffer. Timer is stopped when top LCD display disappears.|
|*2||The Coolpix 4500's play mode is accessed by pressing the Quick View button twice. This timing is was taken from the Quick View displayed to the 2272 x 1704 JPEG FINE image displayed at full resolution. It actually takes around 0.5 seconds to go from Quick View to Play mode and you can interrupt the loading of the full resolution image at any time.|
|*3||A half-press of the shutter release is all that's required to return to record mode.|
|*4||Measurement taken in good light with a fairly contrasty subject. Add up to 0.8 seconds for medium light levels. Coolpix 4500 doesn't seem to be able to auto focus well in low light situations because of its lack of AF assist lamp.|
|*5||Includes time to calculate Auto Exposure and perform Auto Focus|
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.
Low Light Focus
This test measures the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.
Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).
This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), you should consider the results below the best you could expect to achieve.
|Lens position||Aperture||Lowest light focus|
|Wide angle (38 mm)||F2.6||1.0 EV (5.0 Lux, 0.5 foot-candle)|
|Telephoto (155 mm)||F5.1||3.0 EV (20.0 Lux, 1.9 foot-candle)|
Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)
The timings above were made with AF Area Mode set to 'Auto', we soon discovered that setting AF Area Mode to manual (where you select one of the five AF points) and a detrimental effect on low light AF, requiring at least another stop of light.
Low light auto focus is not the Coolpix 4500's strong point, at wide angle with AF Area Mode set to 'Auto' the camera can focus in approximately 1.0 EV of light (on a contrasty subject), however zoom to telephoto and the F5.1 maximum aperture means you'll need a lot more light to auto focus. What the Coolpix 4500 really needs is an auto focus lamp, and I can't believe with so many new cameras coming out with this basic feature that Nikon haven't yet delivered this on their top end digital cameras.
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. Media used for these tests was the 256 MB Viking CF card.
Standard continuous drive mode
Standard continuous drive mode shoots as quickly as the camera can respond, between each shot the LCD live view returns momentarily before the next shot is taken. HI (TIFF) mode is not available when continuous drive mode is selected.
per sec *1
|Frames in one burst *2||
|2272 x 1704 Fine||1.20 fps||5||4.7 sec|
|2272 x 1704 Normal||1.15 fps||9||4.5 sec|
|2272 x 1704 Basic||1.10 fps||17||4.4 sec|
|1600 x 1200 Normal||1.14 fps||20||3.8 sec|
|1280 x 960 Normal||1.14 fps||29||3.7 sec|
|1024 x 768 Normal||1.14 fps||46||3.7 sec|
|640 x 480 Normal||1.14 fps||100||120.0 sec *4|
|*1||Timings as per monitor set to 'Monitor On', 'Review Only' or 'Preview Only'. With monitor set to 'Monitor Off' (no display on the rear LCD monitor at all) continuous shooting rate was approximately 20% faster.|
|*2||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release), exact number of frames may vary depending on size of JPEG file (detail in the image).|
|*3||You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").|
|*4||The camera appeared to 'max out', 100 frames appears to be its limit. Upon reaching this limit it would not allow me to take any more shots until ALL frames had been written away.|
Other continuous drive modes
In addition to the standard continuous shooting mode the Coolpix 4500 also features the Multi-shot 16 and Ultra HS modes we've seen on Coolpix cameras for a while now. These unique modes allow you to capture a continuous sequence in different ways. Multi-shot 16 captures a 4x4 grid of images onto a single 2272 x 1704 image. Ultra HS creates a new folder on the CF card and writes 70 images at 320 x 240 recorded at very high speed.
|Frames in one burst|
|Multi-shot 16 (sixteen 568 x 426 on a 2272 x 1704 image)||2.6 fps||16|
|Ultra HS (seventy 320 x 240 images in a folder)||32.1 fps||70|
File Flush 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 on the LCD screen disappeared. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". Note that in HI (TIFF) mode you must wait for the image to be saved before the next shot can be taken, in all other modes you can shoot as long as there is space in the buffer (up to five 2272 x 1704 Fine JPEG images).
The media used for these tests were:
- 256 MB Viking Type I Compact Flash card
- 512 MB SanDisk Ultra Type I Compact Flash card
- 1 GB IBM Microdrive Type II Compact Flash card
to store *1
|Viking CF||SanDisk CF||Microdrive|
|2272 x 1704||HI TIFF||23.5||24.3||21.7|
|2272 x 1704||Fine JPEG||4.8||5.7||6.1|
|2272 x 1704||Normal JPEG||4.1||5.1||5.3|
|2272 x 1704||Basic JPEG||3.4||4.4||4.7|
|1600 x 1200||Fine JPEG||3.7||4.6||4.9|
|1280 x 960||Fine JPEG||3.4||4.2||4.6|
|1024 x 768||Fine JPEG||3.4||4.2||4.5|
|640 x 480||Fine JPEG||3.4||4.2||4.3|
No surprises here, the ever quick Viking card does very well followed by the SanDisk and the Microdrive. While the Microdrive did take longer than the Viking card you wouldn't necessarily notice this small difference in real life as the write process happens in the background.
Here's a comparison of the average byte size of each of different image size / quality combinations.
(~ = approx.)
1 GB Microdrive
|2272 x 1704||HI TIFF||11,435 KB||91|
|2272 x 1704||Fine JPEG||~1,400 KB||556|
|2272 x 1704||Normal JPEG||~900 KB||1,095|
|2272 x 1704||Basic JPEG||~450 KB||2,190|
|1600 x 1200||Fine JPEG||~750 KB||1,095|
|1280 x 960||Fine JPEG||~570 KB||1,643|
|1024 x 768||Fine JPEG||~390 KB||2,527|
|640 x 480||Fine JPEG||~140 KB||5,476|
|*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.|
|*2||As reported by the camera, divide this value for approx. images on other capacity cards.|
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, when on LCD is also on)
- 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:
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
Aug 16, 2002
May 29, 2002
Aug 8, 2005
Aug 11, 2005
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|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
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