Timings & File Sizes

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2048 x 1536 JPEG image (around 1,300KB per image).

File Size Notes: 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.

When the DSC-P1 displays an image in play mode it displays a blue screen (or "Cybershot" banner if from off to play) and the Image details first (filename, date & time) then displays the photo a few seconds later, this can be interrupted by pressing the 4-way controller left or right.

Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.

Action Time taken
OFF to REC 4.2 Lens extension take 2.8 seconds
OFF to PLAY 6.8 Image displayed
REC to OFF 2.8 Lens retraction takes 2.8 seconds
REC to PLAY 5.0 Image displayed
PLAY to REC <1.0 Lens already extended
PLAY to REC 3.55 Lens not extended, takes 2.8 secs
PLAY: Image to Image 4.0  
PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view 2.3 Page of 6 thumbnails displayed
PLAY: Zoom-in <0.5 Almost instant (5.5 sec to 5 x zoom)
Auto Focus LAG 1.2 - 1.8 Dependent on focus subject *
Shutter Release LAG (viewfinder) 0.2 Average / Fast *
Shutter Release LAG (LCD) ** 0.4 Slow *
Total LAG (viewfinder) 1.0 No pre-focus, one complete press *
Total LAG (LCD) ** 1.2 No pre-focus, one complete press *
OFF to SHOT TAKEN 5.8 Switch on + Press shutter release

** LCD timings indicate the delay if using the LCD to frame the shot and thus include the LCD display delay (around 0.2 sec).

Fairly quick, although it's obvious that the engine inside the P1 isn't as fast as the S70 or F505V (and not that they're particular fast). Total LAG time was pretty slow, if you see something and haven't pre-focused there'll be a 1.0 - 1.4 second delay before the shot is taken (depending on focus speed).

* LAG times are often misunderstood and so are described below:

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.

Maximum Shots in a Row

The as with other Sony digital cameras the P1 doesn't seem to have very much internal buffer (if any) which means you can't "click click click" like you would with some of the competitions cameras (Coolpix 990, Olympus C-3030Z come to mind). You have to wait between shots, that combined with the slow Auto Focus system means that the quickest shot-to-shot time (at 2048 x 1536) is 3.9 seconds.

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to return the camera back to the users control, ready for the next shot. The estimated number of images per 8 MB Memory Stick is given as a guide to beginners.

Action Time taken
File size
Images on a
Store 2048 x 1536 TIFF 28.2 9,219 KB 0
Store 2048 x 1536 JPEG 2.7 ~ 1,280 KB 6
Store 2048 x 1536 TEXT (GIF) 24.5 ~ 35 KB 228
Store 1600 x 1200 JPEG 2.7 ~ 850 KB 9
Store 1280 x 960 JPEG 2.7 ~ 560 KB 14
Store 640 x 480 JPEG 2.7 ~ 65 KB 123

Sadly, again, Sony provide only an 8 MB Memory Stick with the camera, this leads to the unfortunate situation of only being able to shoot 6 images at the cameras default resolution (2048 x 1536). Firstly it would have been nice to see an optional full resolution JPEG mode which produces slightly lower quality but smaller file sizes (around 850 KB) and secondly it would have been good for Sony to break the mould a little and provide a decent (or at least usable) 16 or 32 MB. Most users will find themselves purchasing a 32 or 64 MB Memory Stick either with the camera or later.

Battery life

Thanks to Sony's excellent InfoLithium battery pack (the same one used on the F505V), battery life of the P1 is pretty good (by digital cameras standards), especially if you're shooting outside had can turn off the backlight. It's not however as good as the DSC-S70 which we also reviewed which features the larger "M" style batteries. That said you'll get about 60 minutes with the backlight on and about 90 with it off (and the smaller battery makes the camera smaller and lighter).