The Timing Tests

* NOTE: For all of our time tests, the camera is reset to its factory default settings and set to record using the highest resolution and quality setting. It is set to record in Auto mode. A PNY 512MB SD card was used.

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

Startup Time

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

 Startup time (seconds)
5.89

The M307 isn't going to set any records for startup speed at 5.89 seconds. In fact, this is the second slowest startup time that we have seen so far, starting up just faster than the Kodak DX4530 at 6.02 seconds and a bit slower than the Olympus C-50 Zoom at 5.70 seconds.

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 that it takes the camera to take a picture after the shutter button is pressed. The second test measures the time that 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 0.93

For pre-focus shutter lag, the M307 puts in a good performance at 0.09 sec. However, without pre-focusing, the camera takes a lengthy 0.93 sec. to take a picture. At nearly a full second for general shutter lag, you will most likely want to pre-focus whenever possible.

Write Times

We recorded 5 different write times with a PNY 512 SD card:

Single Shot - The time that it takes for a single picture to be written completely to the flash card (the time that 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 that it takes for the camera to take two pictures with the flash, starting from the moment that the first flash is fired to the moment that the second is fired.
Shot To Shot w/Buffer Full - The time between taking the last shot that fills the buffer to the moment that the shutter sounds again.
Clear Buffer - The time that it takes the camera to clear the buffer after a full burst of pictures is taken.

We performed each test three times and averaged the results. Below are the resolution, quality setting, and average file size used for the tests.

2048x1536, Best, Avg. file size = 1.7 MB

 Single Shot  Shot To Shot  Shot to Shot w/Flash  Shot to Shot w/Buffer Full  Clear Buffer
6.02 3.02 5.65 8.12 23.00

It's always a bad sign to see a camera take a long time to write a single image. With the M307, it takes 6.02 seconds to do just that. On the bright side, the camera has a 4-shot buffer, so you don't have to wait 6 seconds for each shot. However, a 3.02 second Shot to Shot time is not very impressive. With the flash enabled, the time slows to 5.65 seconds between shots, which is on the slow side of average. After the buffer fills with 4 shots, shooting slows to 8.12 seconds between shots. In Burst mode, the M307 is able to shoot 4 frames at 2.04 fps. This is a relatively impressive speed for an entry-level camera. Unfortunately, there is a hefty price to pay for this shooting speed. Clearing the buffer of all 4 shots takes 23 seconds. Keep in mind, though, that you only have to wait 8.12 seconds to shoot another shot. In short, the M307 leaves much to be desired with its performance speed.

Battery Performance Resolving Fine Lines
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  • MadAd - Monday, November 29, 2004 - link

    320x240 for video? Thats worse than a creative 1mp camera that i picked up over 2 years ago, that did 352x288 back then. Why are the manufacturers not moving on with movie clip mode like they have done with the photo eye?

    If the eye in a similar priced cam is now 4-6 Mp for stills, why is movie mode not at least 640x480? Sure its a chunk more memory, so just buy a bigger card or switch the mode down to what they have now??

    I guess theres something im missing here, I just dont understand it.
    Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Monday, November 29, 2004 - link

    It is nice to see a review be a little more negative, however this comment near the end really left a bad taste in my mouth:

    "there is a bright side. Firstly, the Photosmart M307 is priced very reasonably at ~$165."

    No its not! For $165 its total junk. It is like right at the end of the article they just had to throw somethign in to make people think that all camera for less than $200 are junk :(
    Reply
  • DukeN - Sunday, November 28, 2004 - link

    HP = terrible cameras. Avoid like the plague!

    Then again people do buy Fords, and Compaqs so they will buy HPs as well...
    Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Saturday, November 27, 2004 - link

    I must concur that HP cameras suck in general. Now I have never had the opportunity to play with a "top model" HP digicam. I own three digicams for home use, two for sucky eBay pictures and one for personal nice quality pics. I chose to get two Olympus D-520 Zoom cams for my ebay cams (These are very good for ebay pictures as you can get very close to an object without it loosing focus, though it only shoots upto 2.0 MP's and over-all aquality of the picture is not grainy but still mediocre.) For my persoal cam I when with a Minolta Dimage F100 4.0 MP camera. IT is nice and compact and takes beautiful pictures (though not as close as the olympus cams) My only beef is that it is a tad slow and the flash is positioned so that your finger will always be in front of it and block it if you do not think about it. (The autofocus is a little crazy too with up close objects and its a toss up whether or not it will be in focus at the time the shutter clicks open.) But overall I have never owned a better picture quality cam. I would kill for a digital SLR cam but they are a little outta my price range.

    But yeah, avoid HP! Prices may tempt you but you get what you pay for (and in HPs case you get a little less ussually)
    Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, November 27, 2004 - link

    What I dislike most about digital cameras is the laggy shutter delay. Prefocus sometimes doesn't work if you move around a bit or the subject of you picture is. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Saturday, November 27, 2004 - link

    I had the displeasure of working with a 2 year old HP 2 MP, no zoom 315 model and it's preety horrible even for a 2 year old camera. I had hoped they had changed, but I guess they haven't. Too bad. Reply
  • Bonesdad - Saturday, November 27, 2004 - link

    I have never been impressed with HP digicams. We are forced to use them at work, at least until I made an executive decision and bought a Canon A75 (which the last time I checked was about $199). I hope people do their research when looking for a good camera and avoid HP. Reply
  • Souka - Saturday, November 27, 2004 - link

    Get a Canon SD100 for that money....

    If looking at the 4mp Kodak model, go for the Canon S410 or SD300. (S410 better pic quality, SD300 TOP notch video...60fps capable!)

    Reply

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