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. We also disabled all sounds. 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 Program mode. The startup sound used in our test is the factory default setting.

Startup time (seconds)
Sony DSC-F88 1.73
Casio QV-R51 2.58
Nikon Coolpix 5200 3.34
Pentax Optio X 3.37

Although the Optio X has the slowest startup time in our comparison above, 3.37 sec. is a relatively decent time (with the startup sound disabled). The startup time is nearly half a second longer when the default startup sound is enabled (3.83 sec). We also recorded times with and without the startup screen, but it does not appear to cause a startup delay like the sound does.

Shutter Lag

To record shutter lag, we perform two tests with the lens at its widest angle setting. 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)
Sony DSC-F88 0.08 0.41
Nikon Coolpix 5200 0.08 0.82
Pentax Optio X 0.09 0.92

The Optio X puts in a relatively disappointing shutter lag performance compared to some of its competitors. When pre-focused, the shutter lag is a fairly normal 0.09 sec. However, when we included focusing time, the lag lengthened to a below-average 0.92 sec. We tested the camera with the setting "Focus Limiter" enabled and disabled, but we found no definable difference between the two times in our test.

Write Times

We recorded 4 different write times with a PNY 512 SD card. We were unable to record a single shot time for the Optio X because the camera does not have a precise activity light:

Shot To Shot (STS) - The time until the second shot can be taken after the first (shutter to shutter).
Shot To Shot w/Flash - The time that it takes 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 has been 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.

   Resolution (pixels)  Quality setting  Avg. file size (MB)
Pentax Optio X 2560x1920 Best 2.51 MB
Sony DSC-F88 2592x1944 Fine 2.10 MB
Nikon Coolpix 5200 2592x1944 Fine 1.69 MB
Casio QV-R51 2560x1920 Fine 0.90 MB

   Shot To Shot  Shot to Shot w/Flash  Shot to Shot w/Buffer Full  Clear Buffer
Pentax Optio X 4.39 5.96 N/A N/A
Sony DSC-F88 1.46 6.92 N/A N/A
Nikon Coolpix 5200 2.17 3.02 N/A N/A
Casio QV-R51 4.24 8.51 2.51 N/A

The Optio X puts in a decent performance with respect to write times. Because of its low compression (larger-sized files), its shot-to-shot time is a somewhat slow 4.39 sec. Although this time is slow compared to other cameras in its class, it is important to note that the Optio X can shoot at this rate until the memory fills up - it never slows down. When the flash is enabled, the shot-to-shot time slows down by about 1.5 seconds to 5.96 sec. between shots. However, this is a bit better than the average time that we've seen in other camera's which we have reviewed. In continuous drive mode, the Optio X can shoot an unlimited number of frames (2560x1920/Best) at 0.34 fps (2.90 sec. between shots). The frame rate gets faster if the quality or resolution is decreased. While the Optio X isn't the fastest camera that we've reviewed, we certainly wouldn't call it slow. Also, we are impressed to see that it avoids any buffer slowdown at the highest quality setting.

Battery Performance Resolving Fine Lines
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  • vshah - Thursday, February 10, 2005 - link

    my dad has the s410, i have the optio x. i have to admit, the canon is faster and has better image quality. usually what i end up doing is setting the res to 4mp, which is still plenty for printing. this speeds up the camera a bit...

    why use 4mp on a 5mp camera you ask? i just love the design, and this thing is so easy to carry around with you. i end up taking a lot more photos than i would with another camera. my primary purpose for taking photos (with this camera) is to record memories, and it excels at that.
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    thanks Souka, that camera looks sweet
    here in the uk it is about £200 btw.
    Reply
  • Souka - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    #4 Look at the Canon S410. Great image quality, small size, li-ion recharageable batt, CF cards, durable, and good software to boot.

    I see pricing at about $240 on-line from a variety of vendors....



    Reply
  • Quiksel - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    nice pix of NCSU.... :-D

    i miss my state days... :'(

    ~niko ^_^
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    from last paragraph on page:
    "However, considering all the downfalls and a price tag of $300+, it might be a better idea to consider other cameras."
    what other cameras? i'm absolutely clueless when it comes to cameras. all i know is that i don't want a thin (compact) camera because that means high price and lower quality. i don't care too much about video and a rechargeable battery is a big plus for me. any ideas?
    Reply
  • kcma - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    maybe there'll be a cheaper 3/4 MP version that's almost as good in image quality =P Reply
  • Souka - Sunday, February 06, 2005 - link

    Why buy a high MP camera if image quality is poor?

    Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Sunday, February 06, 2005 - link

    310 bucks is cheap for a 5 MP camera. Promising, though it seems to lack some image quality. Reply

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