Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P200 Review
Timing & Performance
Like its predecessor (which produces almost identical figures), the P200 feels very, very fast in use, and the test results bear this out. Startup time, shot to shot times and shutter lag are all outstanding, whilst focusing is not only incredibly fast, but also pretty reliable (especially at the wide end of the zoom). Zooming is slow (as it always is with Sony cameras), but this is more to do with Sony's desire to make the zoom both super-smooth and silent than a performance issue. Overall you cannot help but be impressed with the performance of the camera in everyday snapping. Burst mode (continuous shooting) is less impressive; how much of a problem this presents depends on how often you are likely to want to shoot extended action sequences.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072 x 2304 Fine JPEG image (approx. 2,600 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512MB Sony Memory Stick PRO.
|Power: Off to Record||1.4|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||2.3|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||1.3|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens retracted||~0.0|
|Record Review||Image displayed||~0.8|
|Mode: Record to Play||~0.4|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||~0.4|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens not extended||1.3|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (5x)||3.0|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||~0.2|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||~0.5|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||38 to 114 mm (12 x)||1.9|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle||~0.3|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto||~0.5|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD live view||0.1|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Viewfinder||~0.06|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||~0.4|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||~1.8|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||1.5|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (with red eye reduction on)||2.9|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (with red eye reduction off)||2.0|
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 Sony Memory Stick PRO card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
The P200 has a single burst mode plus a 'multi burst' setting, which produces a single 1280x960 pixel image containing a grid of 16 consecutive exposures in around 0.5 seconds. The burst mode is nothing special - at best managing around 1.1 frames per second (7MP, standard JPEG). You can only take a limited number of shots in a single burst - 5 at the 7MP/fine setting, rising to 9 at 3MP/fine. Incidentally, if you drop the resolution all the way to 1MP you can shoot in burst mode indefinitely.
Frames in a burst *1
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine||Burst||1.0 fps||5||~6s delay *3|
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Standard||Burst||1.09 fps||8||~6s delay|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||Burst||0.9 fps||6||~6s delay|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine||Burst||1.0 fps||9||~6s delay|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||Once the buffer is full the P200 stops for around 6 seconds, displaying the word 'recording' as the images are saved to the Memory Stick.|
|*3||This figure falls to around 4 seconds with a faster Sandisk 512MB Ultra II (aka Extreme) Memory Stick PRO card. All other measurements were identical with the faster card.|
Not a terrible performance, but disappointing given the lightning fast responses the P200 has in just about every other department. Clearing the buffer is obviously a bottleneck, and though there are cameras that will make you wait longer, it's still a shame. Note that the time to clear the buffer will depend on the speed of card you are using; expect a longer delay with a standard Memory Stick, and a shorter one if using a fast SanDisk card (see *3 above).
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 Sony Memory Stick PRO card.
Time to store
Time to display
File size *1
Images on a *2
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine||~2.9||~0.2||2,666 KB||141|
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Standard||~2.9||~0.2||1,128 KB||277|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||~2.9||~0.2||1,896 KB||194|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine||~2.9||~0.2||1,294 KB||311|
|*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).|
Write times are fast for the big 7MP files, but strangely no quicker as you reduce file size, which would imply that the majority of the time is taken with processing, not the actual writing of the files to the card. Again, the speed of the card will have a direct impact on how long it takes to store each file; when we tried a faster SanDisk Ultra II card the time reduced to around 2 secs. Note also that the camera is ready to take another picture within around 0.9 seconds, as long as the buffer is not full.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.
Snapchat's camera-equipped 'Spectacles' aren't so difficult to get anymore. You can now pick up a pair through Amazon for $130.
A group of thieves has made away with tens of thousands in camera gear through a carefully orchestrated scam through Venmo and Facebook Marketplace.
A portrait lens from 1910 might be coming back to life if two photographers from Germany succeed in a new Kickstarter project—the latest development in the craze to remake vintage optics.
The updated version of Google Glass is called the Enterprise Edition and, as the name suggests, it's not meant for personal use.
Charles Ommanney was once a photographer for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, now he's working for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Image compression software JPEGmini Pro was just updated to handle files up to 128MB. They're calling it "The 1 Feature Hasselblad Owners
Apple was just granted a patent for a camera system that prods, coaxes and manipulates users into taking better group and solo selfies.
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a better camera than its predecessor, but how much better? Should you buy one?
The winners of the 2017 Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards have been announced. Here are the six photographers who took home the top prize in their respective categories.
A NASA study has confirmed what your ears have been telling you: people HATE drone noise. In fact, it was ranked more annoying than that of "any ground vehicle."
This floating bird video isn't edited in post-production. It's the result of the birds wing flap matching the camera's 20fps frame rate.
Adobe released a major update to Lightroom Mobile for both iOS and Android users today.
Could the future of photo and video storage be... alive? Scientists at Harvard have managed to encode a GIF of a galloping horse into a live sample of E. coli.
Recently appointed Photokina manager Christoph Menke has provided some background on the decision to try out an annual schedule and other changes in a Q&A session.
Japan's space agency has released an adorable floating drone ball on the International Space Station, and for the first time ever we get to see what's it's been recording.
Outraged about the latest photo theft scandal? Great. PhotoShelter founder Allen Murabayashi suggests you put that frustration to good use and register your damn copyright.
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is an update to the Selphy CP1200 and comes with a larger 3.2" tiltable LCD display, an improved user interface, and some neat new features.
MyGearVault, the all-in-one app for tracking, organizing, and protecting your photography gear created by Jared Polin, is now available on Android.
Japanese paper artist Kamihasami has recreated the Olympus OM-D E-M5, a few lenses, and several accessories using nothing but paper and paste.
Could Sigma's new 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens become the new standard for shooting the night sky? Our resident astrophotographer, José Francisco Salgado, took it on assignment and tells us what he discovered.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 is a fast, wide lens that holds particular appeal for astrophotographers. We sent it to Badlands National Park in South Dakota to get some dark sky photos.
In this video, photographer Manny Ortiz shares his top five reasons for choosing a Dell XPS 15 over a MacBook Pro for his photo and video editing needs.
The new PocketWizard MultiMAX ll offers a total of 52 channels including 20 dedicated to ControlTL devices, as well as improved features for time-lapse and sequential triggering.