Timings & File Sizes

Overall the Optio 430 was a fairly "nippy" camera, it made fairly good use of its (limited) buffer which ensured the camera live view returned fairly quickly after taking a shot. The camera's single slowest action is power-up, thanks to the extending lens. Auto focus, as we'd expect, was quicker at wide angle but never really slower than a second and a half even at tele.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2240 x 1680 Super-Fine JPEG image (approx. 1.3 MB per image).

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

Action Details Time, seconds
Power: Off to Record Lens extension 4.7

Power: Off to Play *1

Image displayed 1.5
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 3.5
Rec: Thumbnail view 9 images 1.0

Action Details Time, seconds
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 *4 Zoom at wide angle, record review set to 1 second 4.5
Shot to Shot *4 Zoom at wide angle, record review disabled 4.5

*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
*4 The 430 was hindered by a 'bug' which means you can't fully press the shutter release until the camera has finished flushing the current image (the red activity light beside the viewfinder has stopped blinking). If you do it will simply lock focus and stop (not take the shot).

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 Optio 430's continuous mode is pretty slow, even with the smallest file size combination selected you can only shoot at 0.7 fps. It appears to buffer very little data but instead allows you to take the next shot as soon as soon as the current shot has been flushed to the CF card. Below you will find a 'frame to frame' measurement and what frames per second this equates to for a sample of image size / quality combinations. Timings taken using a 256 MB Viking Compact Flash card.

Image Type Frame to frame Frames per sec
2240 x 1680 3.6 sec 0.3 fps
2240 x 1680 2.0 sec 0.5 fps
2240 x 1680 1.4 sec 0.7 fps
1120 x 840 1.4 sec 0.7 fps
640 x 480 1.4 sec 0.7 fps

Once more the actual speed at which you can take the next shot in continuous mode is dependent mostly on the final size of the JPEG file and the speed of your Compact Flash card.

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.

Image Type Time to store
Time to display
File size *2
No. on supplied 16 MB CF Card
2240 x 1680 4.7 2.3 1.6 MB 5
2240 x 1680 4.5 1.8 1.2 MB 11
2240 x 1680 3.2 1.4 780 KB 15
1120 x 840 2.5 1.0 430 KB 31
640 x 480 1.9 0.5 110 KB 104

*1 The Optio 430 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.

The Optio 430 makes good use of its limited buffer space, after you take a shot the live view returns relatively quickly and the actual writing of the image to the Compact Flash card continues in the background. Actual write speeds are just below average for this level of camera.

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

The Optio 430 appears to use a little more power than the 330 (not much though), not a bad performance for such a tiny little battery. Notably the front of the camera got quite warm during our battery life test. I'd recommend anyone contemplating the 430 to opt for an additional battery.