The Timing Tests

* NOTE: For all of our time tests, the camera is reset to its factory default settings. The E550 was set to Auto mode. We also disabled all sounds. A Fujifilm 512MB xD-Picture card was used.

Before reading our results, please refer to our Testing Procedures page.

Startup Time

The startup time is recorded from the moment the power button is pushed to the moment the shutter sounds. The camera was set to record in Auto mode.

 Startup time (seconds)
1.94

When the power button is pressed on the E550, the telescoping lens lurches out of the body and is fully extended after approximately 0.72 seconds. The camera can actually take a picture just 1.94 seconds after the power button is pressed. This includes a full auto-focus. The Sony DSC-F88 had a startup time of 1.73 sec. However, the F88 does not have an external telescoping lens. Considering this, the start up time on the E550 is nothing short of amazing.

Shutter Lag

To record shutter lag, we perform two tests. For the first test, we pre-focus the lens and measure the amount of time it takes the camera to take a picture after the shutter button is pressed. The second test measures the time it takes for the camera to take a picture after we press the shutter button without pre-focusing. Each test is performed 3 times and the results are averaged. For more information regarding our testing procedures, please refer to our Testing Procedures page.

 With Pre-focus (seconds)  Without Pre-focus (seconds)
0.09 0.38

The E550 showed a very good shutter lag performance. When the camera was pre-focused, the lag was only 0.09 seconds. The full shutter lag (without pre-focusing) resulted in a time of 0.38 seconds. As far as full lag goes, the E550 has the best time of any compact digicam that we have tested so far.

Write Times

We recorded 5 different write times with a Fujifilm 512MB xD-Picture card: Single Shot, Shot to Shot, Shot to Shot w/Buffer Full, Shot to Shot w/Flash, and Clear Buffer for Next Burst.

Single Shot - The time it takes for a single picture to be completely written to the flash card (the time the "activity light" is on).
Shot To Shot (STS) - The time until the second shot is able to be taken after the first (shutter to shutter).
Shot To Shot w/Flash - The time it takes for the camera to take two pictures with the flash starting from the moment the first flash is fired to the moment the second is fired.
Shot To Shot w/Buffer Full - The time until the camera is able to take another picture when the buffer is full.
Clear Buffer for Next Burst - The time it takes the camera to clear the buffer for the next burst in "Top 4" continuous drive mode.

To give an idea of the performance differences, we ran our tests in 6M, 12M F, and RAW modes. We performed each test three times and averaged the results. Below are the resolutions and average file sizes used for the tests.

 Setting  Resolution (pixels)  Average file size (MB)
2M 1600X1200 0.6
6M 2848x2136 1.5
12M F 4048x3040 (interpolated) 4.5
RAW CCD 2848x2139 12.7

   Single Shot  Shot To Shot  Shot to Shot w/Buffer Full  Shot to Shot w/Flash  Clear Buffer for Next Burst
6M (JPG) 2.78 1.19 1.84 6.35 10.03
12M F (JPG) 4.24 1.18 2.27 7.41 11.94
RAW CCD 6.34 5.91 - 11.99 -

In general, the images shot in 6M mode had faster times than those shot in 12M mode due to the larger file size of the 12M images. Although the single shot write times for JPG images are not very fast, the Shot to Shot times were fairly impressive. In 6M mode, the camera can take 3 shots at 1.19 sec. per frame before slowing to 1.84 sec. between images. In 12M mode, the camera takes 3 shots at 1.18 sec. per frame before slowing to 2.27 sec. between images. When it comes to Shot to Shot w/Flash, the camera slows down considerably to 6.35 sec. in 6M mode and 7.41 sec. in 12M mode.

As you would expect with a file size of 12.7 MB, in RAW mode, the times were much slower than in JPEG mode. Although the Shot to Shot time averaged out at 5.91 seconds, we feel that the RAW mode is still quite usable. This is actually a fairly fast time for a consumer camera. Where the E550 really slows down is when shooting flash images in RAW mode, with a Shot to Shot time of nearly 12 seconds.

In "Top 4" continuous drive mode, the E550 is capable of shooting 4 frames at 3.7 fps in both 6M and 12M mode. The camera is able to clear its buffer after 10.03 sec. in 6M mode and after 11.94 sec. in 12M mode. Continuous shooting is unavailable in RAW mode. In "40 frames" mode, the camera automatically sets the resolution to 2M (1600x1200). In this mode, the camera can shoot 40 frames at 0.91 fps.

Battery Performance Resolving Fine Lines
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  • dugweb - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - link

    This was my first digital cam. I really like it. Ive hesitated buying a digital camera because i hate the lag times in between shots, and before shots, and startup... This camera hardly has lag (except flash to flash pics)

    im very happy with it.
    Reply
  • inbeechwood - Saturday, March 26, 2005 - link

    I owned the Fuji FinePix 550 and I agree that it offered a lot of bang for the buck. The picture quality was excellent and the movie mode was very impressive also.
    However, I think everyone considering buying this camera should know that it does not offer a focus assist lamp and as a result, it has a very hard time (read impossible) of focusing in low light conditions. Also, the LCD screen is nearly impossible to see in dimly lit rooms. Forget about using this camera in a church or at a wedding reception. I returned the camera for this reason.
    Reply
  • Souka - Saturday, October 16, 2004 - link

    Ok... I've read the first sentence...I'm already annoyed/ticked to post....but hey, It's just me.

    Why?

    "Fujifilm stands out amongst other digital camera companies because of its research in sensor technology."

    Like their earlier cameras that say 4mp, but are really 3mp? (I remeber it having to do with some sort of pixel shifting....can't remember exactly, but that always made me distrust fuji digi-cams).

    Anyhow....I'm sure this is nice enuf of a camera...as I"ll soon find out from reading.

    :)

    Reply

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