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 512 MB SanDisk Ultra II CF 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)
Canon 20D 0.23
Canon 350D 0.31
Canon 300D 2.76

As the table above demonstrates, the 350D is able to start up nearly instantaneously. The 300D takes nearly 9 times as long at 2.76 seconds. It is exciting to see that all the major digital SLRs are starting to incorporate "instant-on" capabilities, even on their entry-level models.

Auto-Focus and 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. We used a Canon 50mm Macro lens for the Focus and Lag tests. The cameras were set to Shutter-priority at 1/640th sec. For more information regarding our testing procedures, please refer to our Testing Procedures page.

   With Pre-focus (seconds)  Without Pre-focus (seconds)
Canon 350D 0.09 0.21
Canon 20D 0.09 0.23

There is no doubt that the 350D has a very fast shutter lag. It took just 0.09 sec. to take a picture when we pre-focused the lens. When we included focusing in the time, it took just 0.21 seconds to focus and take the picture. This is a very impressive speed. We found a very slight difference between the focus lag times of the 350D and the 20D, but this is well within the margin of error. Keep in mind that the amount of time needed to focus can vary greatly depending on the lens you are using.

Write Times

We recorded 5 different write times with a SanDisk Ultra II 512 MB CF 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 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 (from flash to flash).
Shot To Shot w/Buffer Full - The time between the last shot of a burst 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.

 Setting  Resolution (pixels)  Average file size (MB)
JPEG (Large/Fine) 3456x2304 5.66
RAW 3456x2304 9.22

 Setting  Resolution (pixels)  Average file size (MB)
JPEG (Large/Fine) 3504x2336 5.13

   Single Shot  Shot To Shot  Shot To Shot w/Flash  Shot to Shot w/Buffer Full  Clear Buffer
350D (JPEG) 0.72 0.36 1.17 0.99 5.78
20D (JPEG) 0.69 0.41 1.14 0.94 14.22
350D (RAW) 1.34 0.36 1.62 1.47 6.44

It is clear by looking at the table above that the 350D and the 20D perform nearly the same when it comes to cycle times and writing JPEG images. The 350D is able to write a single 5.66 MB JPEG file in just 0.72 sec. When shooting without the flash, the camera takes just 0.36 sec. between frames. With the flash enabled, the 350D takes 1.17 seconds between frames. In Continuous Drive mode, we were able to shoot 8 frames at 3.33 fps. Occasionally, the camera was able to take 10 frames instead of 8. The number of frames that you can achieve will depend largely on the speed of your media and the detail in your image (file size). We used a 512 MB Ultra II SanDisk CF card that is able to write images at 60x (9 MB per second). With a faster card, you should be able to fit more frames in a burst because of the higher write speed. After we filled the buffer with 8 frames, the camera needed nearly a second (0.99 sec.) between frames. In order to clear the buffer of all 8 frames, the camera took 5.78 seconds.

When we shot images with the 350D in RAW mode, the results were very impressive as well. It takes just 1.34 sec. to write a single 9.22 MB RAW file. We found the same 0.36 sec. shot-to-shot time in RAW mode. With the flash enabled, the camera took 1.62 sec. between frames. When we set the camera to Continuous Drive mode, it took 5 frames at 3.42 fps. Again, the number of frames that you can take in one burst will depend on file size and the speed of your flash media. With the buffer full, the 350D took 1.47 seconds between additional frames. The 350D took 6.44 seconds to flush the full buffer out to the flash card. Unfortunately, we don't have comparison numbers for the 20D in RAW mode because in our 20D review, we had the 20D set to RAW +Small/Normal JPEG and the 350D doesn't have this option.

Overall, the 350D is incredibly fast at processing images. This is thanks to the DIGIC II image processor (same as the 20D). Unfortunately, we couldn't get our hands on the original Rebel to make a direct comparison and our testing methods have changed a bit since our original review of the 300D. For a good idea of how the 350D would compare to the 300D, take a look at our 20D VS 10D timing table. The 10D has the same image processor as the 300D and therefore, has a very similar performance.

Battery Performance Resolving Fine Lines


View All Comments

  • roibm - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    Aren't you guys ashamed of your javascript skills?
    The "on mouse over" behavior for ISO?00 works only in IE. Great... get your paycheck from m$ or what?
  • stephencaston - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    Thanks for all the kind comments! The D70 is certainly a great contender, but it can't beat the price of the Rebel XT. Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    you know, everytime you do a camera review, I end up using at least one of the pictures on my computer... your stop sign from the first guide to taking photos if my picture on my xanga site, and now the nihgt time picture of the building in long exposure has just replaced my desktop!

    seriosly, you take some really neat pictures! Keep up the good work!
  • DVad3r - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    I just bought a Rebel XT a few days ago, but can't use it cause I'm waiting for my CF card lol. Anyways nice review, I am glad I got the camera, can't wait to take some pictures!!! Reply
  • NFS4 - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    You'll have to pry my D70 away from my cold dead hands. Reply
  • apriest - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    I'm a Nikon D70 fan myself (I own one). I'll admit, Canon has made a great camera for the price here. If you already own Canon glass, it's a great entry level pro-sumer digital camera, or a great backup camera. If you don't already have an investment of lenses however, I think the Nikon D50, D70, or D70S is a better bargain. The D70 is a difficult camera to beat without spending a LOT of dough. Very good review of the 350D though, thanks. Reply
  • salimpepo - Wednesday, January 02, 2013 - link

    this review is nice but was repeated ? Reply

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