Pentax Optio 330 Review
Timings & File Sizes
The Optio 330 is a quick camera, its single slowest action is power-up (thanks to the extending lens) and even that is quick for this kind of camera. Once you're powered up Auto Focus averages out at about 1.2 seconds, although this varies depending on zoom setting (its really quite quick at wide angle). Shot to shot times are also impressive, especially for a 3 megapixel ultra-compact.
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 1.2 MB per image).
The media used for these tests was a 256 MB Viking Compact Flash card. Note that this camera was loaded with firmware 1.1 (this firmware resolves an AF issue with the original camera firmware).
|Power: Off to Record||Lens extension||4.7|
Power: Off to Play *1
|Power: Record to Off||Lens extended||3.4|
|Power: Play to Off *1||Lens retracted||<0.5|
|Mode: Record to Play||Image displayed||<0.5|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens extended||0.7|
|Play: Magnify||4 steps to 4x magnification||3.2|
|Rec: Thumbnail view||9 images||0.7|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||Full zoom from 37 mm to 111 mm (3 x)||1.5|
|Auto Focus LAG||Wide angle (37 mm)||~0.7|
|Auto Focus LAG||Telephoto (102 mm)||~1.4|
|Shutter Release LAG||Using viewfinder||<0.1|
|Shutter Release LAG||Using LCD monitor||0.2|
|Total LAG||*3||0.9 - 1.7|
|Off to Shot Taken||5.5|
|Shot to Shot||Zoom at wide angle, record review set to 1 second||3.2|
|Shot to Shot||Zoom at wide angle, record review disabled||2.3|
|*1||You need to 'hold' the PLAY lever in its right most position for at least 1.3 seconds for the camera to recognize that as a change of power state (on or off), this is to avoid accidental knocks of the lever. The timings shown for this measurement are EXCLUDING this 1.3 seconds.|
|*2||AF was approximately 0.5 seconds slower at full telephoto and about 0.3 seconds faster at full wide angle. I did on a few odd occasions experience slower AF at telephoto, up to a second slower. If the AF assist lamp comes on this can add approximately 0.5 seconds to focus times.|
|*3||Depending on 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 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.
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. Timings taken using a 256 MB Viking Compact Flash card.
|Mode||Image Type||Frames per sec||Max no. of frames *1||
|Continuous||2048 x 1536||0.8 fps||2||3.3 sec|
|Continuous||2048 x 1536||0.8 fps||2||2.9 sec|
|Continuous||2048 x 1536||0.8 fps||-||-|
|Continuous||1024 x 768||0.8 fps||-||-|
|Continuous||640 x 480||0.8 fps||-||-|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release)|
|*2||You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").|
Although the Optio 330's continuous mode is definetly that, it couldn't really be classified as a 'burst' of shots. At whatever image quality setting the camera will take one shot every 1.3 seconds (thus 0.8 fps). Clearly the camera has enough buffer space for a couple of 2048 x 1536 Fine or Normal quality images, files smaller than this are written out to the CF card within the 1.3 seconds and so you can shoot as many as you like (assuming your CF card is fast enough).
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 LED beside the viewfinder 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". Timings taken using a 256 MB Viking Compact Flash card.
|No. on supplied 16 MB CF Card|
|2048 x 1536||4.1||2.0||1,500 KB||9|
|2048 x 1536||3.7||1.7||1,090 KB||13|
|2048 x 1536||2.2||1.0||440 KB||26|
|1024 x 768||1.8||0.7||230 KB||52|
|640 x 480||1.5||0.5||80 KB||157|
|*1||The Optio 330 uses a 'rough thumbnail' to give you an instant view of the image (it's VERY, VERY fast), it then loads a 'finer' version of the image from the CF card. The timings in this column represent how long it takes to load this finer version (required to magnify etc.)|
|*2||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.|
Again, the Optio 330 performs well, all write operations happen 'in the background' which allows you to continue shooting even if the last image hasn't yet been fully flushed to the Compact Flash card.
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
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
Average performance which is about what we expected from the Pentax's tiny battery. Notably it did do better than Canon's IXUS 300 (S300).
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