Samsung Digimax V700 Review
Timing & Performance
When comparing digital cameras the general rule is that the lower the price the slower the overall performance; fast processors and large buffers can add considerably to the bottom line, so are rarely used in budget models. The V700 is by no means a slow camera, but there are a couple of aspects of its performance that leave something to be desired - most specifically the prefocus shutter lag, which (when using the LCD screen) is at least 3x longer than virtually all the V700's competitors. Burst mode is also unimpressive, though at this kind of price it would be surprising if it wasn't, and the minimum shot-to-shot time (non-burst mode, autofocus) of just over three seconds is a little longer than we'd like. On the positive side focus is fast, as is image playback and general operation, including navigating the extensive menu system.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072x2304 Fine JPEG Super Fine image (approx. 3,430 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card.
|Power: Off to Record||2.0|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||1.4|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||1.9|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens retracted||~0.0|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens extended||1.9|
|Record Review||Image displayed||~1.3|
|Mode: Record to Play||~0.2|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||~0.4|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (12x)||4.0|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||~0.2 *1|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||~0.7|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||38 to 114 mm (3 x)||0.9|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle||~0.4|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto||~0.65|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD live view||~0.3|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Viewfinder||~0.1|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||~0.7|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||~2.6|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||3.1|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (with red eye reduction on)||3.4|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (with red eye reduction off)||3.6|
|*1||The V700 uses low-res previews to speed up scrolling. You can scroll through images at high speed, but if you want to magnify you need to wait around 1.5 seconds whilst the full resolution image is loaded|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show 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 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/160 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
The V700 has one burst mode that offers - at best - around 0.8 frames a second for a maximum of three frames (unless you drop down to 5 megapixels or less). Annoyingly the screen blanks out when shooting a burst sequence, and if you're shooting at 6 or 7 megapixels you can't use the best TIFF or Super Fine JPEG settings at all in burst mode.
Frames in a burst *1
|3072 x 2304 (7MP) JPEG Fine||Burst||0.7 fps||3||~1.9-2.5s delay|
|3072 x 2304 (7MP) JPEG Normal||Burst||0.8 fps||3||~1.9-2.5s delay|
|2816 x 2112 (6MP) JPEG Fine||Burst||0.7 fps||3||~1.9-2.5s delay|
|2048 x 1536 (6MP) JPEG Normal||Burst||0.7 fps||3||~1.9-2.5s delay|
|2592 x 1944 (5MP) JPEG Fine||Burst||0.8 fps||unlimited||~1.9-2.5s delay|
|2592 x 1944 (5MP) JPEG Standard||Burst||0.8fps||unlimited||~1.9-2.5s delay|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||Once the buffer is full the V700 will pause for between 1.9 and 2.5 seconds before another burst of shots can be taken - most of this time is taken up with the process of autofocus and auto exposure.|
So there you go - three frames in a period of around 3.75 seconds (unless you drop the resolution significantly when you can shoot 0.8 frames per second until the card is full). It's nothing special - and with the screen blanking out for the entire duration of the sequence you'll not be doing any serious action photography with the V700.
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card.
Time to store
Time to display
File size *1
Images on a *2
|3072 x 2304 (7MP) TIFF||~7.0||~3.6 *3||20,834 KB||22|
|3072 x 2304 (7MP) JPEG S. Fine||~2.4||~1.5*3||3,430 KB||163|
|3072 x 2304 (7MP) JPEG Fine||~2.1||~1.3*3||1,760 KB||261|
|3072 x 2304 (7MP) JPEG Normal||~1.9||~1.3*3||1,132 KB||406|
|2816 x 2112 (6MP) JPEG S.Fine||~2.4||~1.5*3||2,870 KB||177|
|2592 x 1944 (5MP) JPEG Fine||~2.6||~1.3*3||2,370 KB||190|
|*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 (detail and noise).|
|*1||The V700 uses low-res previews to speed up scrolling. You can scroll through images at high speed; the figures shown are for loading the full resolution image (needed if you want to magnify the picture).|
At around 3.6 seconds to write and process a 20MB TIFF image, the V700 is pretty speedy when it comes to getting information processed and written to the SD card - around 3MB/s.
May 24, 2005
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