Olympus E-10 Review
Timings & File Sizes
The E-10 is a quick camera, not stunningly fast, but quick, faster than most prosumer digital cameras. All the timings below were carried out using a Delkin 128MB CompactFlash Type I card, I chose not to test the camera with Microdrive as Olympus don't officially support it (thus I'd not encourage using one with this camera). Note that I also reprogrammed the HQ quality to 1/4 JPEG, this produced the best compromise between JPEG artifacts and file size, weighing in at around 1.6 MB per image it's the file size most likely to be chosen by users and about the size I'd expect of a 4 megapixel JPEG.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2240 x 1680 HQ JPEG (set to 1/4) image (approx. 1.6 MB per image).
|Power: Off to Record||5.1|
|Power: Off to Play||5.4||Image loading *1|
|Power: Record to Off||1.6|
|Power: Play to Off||1.6|
|Mode: Record to Play||2.4||Image loading *1|
|Mode: Play to Record||1.8|
|Play: Display image||2240 x 1680 TIFF||99.1||(12 MB)|
|Play: Display image||2240 x 1680 RAW||2.3||Half size review image *2|
|Play: Display image||2240 x 1680 JPEG SHQ (1/2.7)||4.7|
|Play: Display image||2240 x 1680 JPEG HQ (1/4)||4.5|
|Play: Display image||2240 x 1680 JPEG HQ (1/8)||2.7|
|Play: View histogram||1.6|
|Play: Magnify||x1 -> x1.5||4.9||Very slow *3|
|Play: Magnify||x1.5 -> x2.0||4.0||"|
|Play: Magnify||x2.0 -> x2.5||2.6||"|
|Play: Magnify||x2.5 -> x3.0||2.6||"|
|Play: Magnify||x3.0 -> x4.0||2.2||"|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||2 x 2 thumbnails||2.5|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||2.8|
|Auto Focus LAG||0.4 - 1.4||Quite fast|
|Shutter Release LAG||< 0.1||Very, very fast|
|Total LAG||0.4 - 0.7||Very, very fast|
|Off to Shot Taken||5.4||Fairly fast|
|Shot to Shot (single drive)||LCD "Record View" Auto||4.0||*4|
|Shot to Shot (single drive)||LCD "Record View" Off||1.1||*4|
|*1||Camera displays date & time and frame number of shot while loading the image|
|*2||When reviewing a RAW you get a half size image in the middle of the display, this review image can NOT be magnified like TIFF / JPEG images.|
|*3||For some reason magnifying images is very slow, with each stage of magnification the camera goes back to the storage card and loads more data, this makes magnifying images for inspection a tedious process.|
|*4||Time between actually shutter release, achieved by pumping the shutter release button immediately after taking the first shot.|
The table below shows the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames at a selection of image resolution / quality settings, how long you would have to wait before you could take the next shot and the total time taken to flush the maximum number of frames to the storage card.
|Max no. of frames||
|2240 x 1680 TIFF||3.7||4||26.3 secs||97.3 secs|
|2240 x 1680 RAW||3.7||4||12.8 secs||45.6 secs|
|2240 x 1680 SHQ (1/2.7)||3.7||4||8.5 secs||25.1 secs|
|2240 x 1680 HQ (1/4)||3.7||4||7.7 secs||22.7 secs|
|2240 x 1680 HQ (1/8)||3.7||4||5.6 secs||15.5 secs|
Again the digital side of the camera lets down the photographic side, the actual release mechanism and capture systems running very fast, capturing 3.7 frames per second into a "Before Image Processing Buffer" (thus a maximum of 4 frames whatever the image quality / size), but the storage system is really quite slow taking 15 seconds to flush 4 HQ images totalling 2.56 MB, that equates to just 174 KB/s write speed.
File Flush Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage media, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed (mirror noise was heard) and stopped when activity indicator LED on the compact flash door went out. 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 E-10 continues to process images in the buffer and write data out to the storage media in parallel to you composing the next shot, writing is paused during the actual exposure time (shutter open/close).
|Store file of type||Time
on a 64 MB
|2240 x 1680 TIFF||26.5||Compact Flash||12,072 KB||5|
|2240 x 1680 TIFF||31.2||SmartMedia|
|2240 x 1680 RAW||13.2||Compact Flash||7,437 KB||8|
|2240 x 1680 RAW||13.7||SmartMedia|
|2240 x 1680 SHQ (1/2.7)||8.4||Compact Flash||~ 2,300 KB||27|
|2240 x 1680 SHQ (1/2.7)||9.0||SmartMedia|
|2240 x 1680 HQ (1/4)||7.9||Compact Flash||~ 1,650 KB||38|
|2240 x 1680 HQ (1/4)||8.4||SmartMedia|
|2240 x 1680 HQ (1/8)||6.3||Compact Flash||~ 700 KB||90|
|2240 x 1680 HQ (1/8)||6.5||SmartMedia|
* 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.
** These timings were taken with Rec View (LCD review of last image taken) set to "Auto", if you disable Rec View by setting it to "Off" the time to store is about 1.5 seconds less.
Relatively good, I didn't test the camera with the supplied Lithium CR-V3 batteries because I'm not a big fan of overpriced non-rechargeables. Instead I used the camera with the excellent Olympus 1450 mAh NiMH's, because you typically use the E-10 with its LCD turned off life is much better than you'd get from a prosumer "LCD view" digital camera. On several occasions I was out shooting for over 4 hours without need for a recharge.
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