The Times

* NOTE: For all of our time tests, the camera is reset to its factory default settings and set to record using the highest quality setting. The flash is turned off unless otherwise noted. For the CP5200, we disabled the "Welcome screen" and the camera's startup and shutter 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 the power button is pushed to the moment the shutter sounds.

 Startup time (seconds)

The startup time for the CP5200 was a little faster than average at 3.34 sec., less than a second longer than the super-fast Casio QV-R51 (reviewed previously). With the "Welcome screen" and startup sounds enabled, the time jumped to about 5-1/2 seconds.

Shutter Lag

Note: We have updated our testing method for our shutter lag tests to a more accurate one (starting with the Coolpix 5200). To record a camera's shutter lag, we start a stopwatch and perform 2 separate tests. For the first test, we pre-focus the camera on the stopwatch display and press the shutter button as soon as the stopwatch displays a new second. This first test will give us the time it takes the camera to actually take a picture after the shutter button is pressed. For the second test, we do not pre-focus the camera. Instead, we fully press the shutter button as soon as the stopwatch displays a new second. This records the time it takes the camera to focus and take a picture. We perform both of these tests 3 times and review the pictures. The 3 times for each test are averaged.

 Shutter Lag excluding focus (seconds)  Shutter Lag including focus (seconds)
.08 .82

When we pre-focused the CP5200, the shutter lag was very impressive at just .08 sec. When we included the focusing time in the test, we got an average time of .82 sec. This time is going to vary depending on the lighting conditions. In low light situations, the camera will have to use its AF assist lamp to focus, causing a longer delay. Given that our test did not require use of the AF assist lamp, .82 sec. is not a terribly impressive time. Although the CP5200 did not blow us away with its speed, its lag time is just about average for current digicams.

Write Times

We recorded 4 different types of write times for both the internal memory and with a PNY 512 SD card: Single Shot, Shot to Shot, Shot to Shot w/Flash, and Shot to Shot w/Buffer full.

Single Shot - The time it takes for a single picture to be completely written to the flash card.
Shot To Shot (STS) - The time between the first and second shots.
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 (Buffer Full) - The time it takes the camera to capture another picture after the in-camera buffer is full.
We set the camera to the highest quality setting and ran 4 tests. We performed each test three times and averaged the results. Below is the quality setting and average file size used for the tests.

5M/FINE, 2592x1944; Avg. file size = 1.69MB

 SD card (seconds)
 Single Shot  Shot To Shot  Shot To Shot w/Flash  Shot To Shot w/Buffer Full
.41 2.17 3.02 2.51

The Single Shot write time was very impressive at just .41 sec. For the Shot To Shot times, the camera slows down a bit. However, at 2.17 sec. without the flash and 3.02 sec. with the flash, the CP5200 is by no means slow. In fact, since the camera can write images to the flash card at .41 sec per image (roughly 2.5 fps), you can keep shooting at the Shot to Shot times without ever filling up the buffer. With the Continuous drive feature, it was 2.51 sec. from the moment the 6th picture was taken until we were able to take the next picture.

 Internal memory (seconds)
 Single Shot  Shot To Shot  Shot To Shot w/Flash  Shot To Shot w/Buffer Full
4.76 2.50 3.12 N/A

As our Single Shot results show, the internal memory is extremely slow compared to the SD card. The Shot To Shot times with the internal memory were just a bit slower than with the SD card. Unfortunately, we were unable to fill up the buffer using the internal memory, since it would only hold 6 pictures at the highest quality setting. Since the internal memory is so small (12MB) and so much slower than an SD card, it would be a shame to own this camera and not buy at least a 128MB card. Overall, we were very impressed by the CP5200's times with a flash card.

Battery Performance Resolving Fine Lines


View All Comments

  • FFS - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    There much better sites over Internet for DigiCams reviews... You just could not compete with there competence.
    Do not make the same mistake as TomsHardware guide did.
    What would be next - Games... :(((
    That is my POINT OF VIEW
    And I'm also very disappointed (to say at least)
    Thou not about english, my is not perfect as well.
  • WooDaddy - Friday, July 23, 2004 - link

    Ok.. I guess..

    You might not what to make up a phrase like that and instead just call it what it is; play to record transition. That's the term that is widely accepted and would prevent confusion.

    From other reviews I've seen on the 5200, this 'feature' exists and there are timings for this as well. Maybe try a full press .. or read the manual. Nikon probably uses a different method for switching between play and record modes. Each manufacturer is different... and their customers know this.

    It's upsetting that I have to look to other reviews to validate or invalidate what you're written.

    (Also, it's "Timing", not "The Times". Simple 8th grade grammar. And yes, I'm pissed again..)
  • stephencaston - Friday, July 23, 2004 - link

    WooDaddy: When I say shooting priority, I am not referring to Shutter Priority. I am referring to when a half-press of the shutter button will switch the camera back to shooting mode from playback mode, menus, etc. Shooting priority means the camera's priority is to take pictures as opposed to reviewing pictures or changing menu options.

    Sorry for the confusion
  • WooDaddy - Friday, July 23, 2004 - link

    You know I had to say something...

    Better, has potential. A few comments though:

    The garbage dumpster in the parking lot... Come on man. That's a horrible subject. You can do better. Would you show that to your friends and say "Hey look at this cool picture!". I think not.

    Shooting-priority - There is no such thing. You probably saw it somewhere but it is a poorly chosen marketing term. There are only four types of exposure based shooting: aperture, SHUTTER, manual and full auto. Think about it.. Shooting-priority. Shooting priority over what? Not shooting? It's a marketing term gone awry.

    Even though you are showcasing the Nikon, you should still have a reference point from another similarly marketed camera from another company. I mentioned this in my last post. Even though this is not a camera roundup, it still applies here as well.

    I can tell from your subjects (the subjects in your photos) and your commentary that you are still new to photography as a whole. A REALLY OUTSTANDING book is Photography by Barbara London and John Upton. It's about $86 but it is a great book for beginners and pros alike. It's the standard textbook that all photographers use. If you want some suggestions for subjects, I can be of help. PM me and I promise not to bite.

    The final word didn't really convince me. The features you mentioned as being good are features that most 5mp have or should have and nothing that stands out. Try out the Minolta G500 as it is a similar camera. Compare them and I bet you'll see what I mean. Also, use Compare their reviews to steves-digicams and You'll see the WIDE difference between them from The level of professionalism and inherent photography skill vs gadget love is obvious. I want you to decide which side you want to be on. It seems like you'd like to be a dpreview editor but I think based on AT's focus, you might just want to focus on prices, features and that's it. Most of us know about dpreview and will go there.

    It'll take some time, but you'll get there...

    And I promise, I'll be less harsh as time goes on. Us photogs can be ruthless ;)
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, July 23, 2004 - link

    For about $100 less, one can get the Fuji Finepix S5000, which has lower resolution (3.1MP) but compensates by having a 10x optical zoom, aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual, as well as a digital TTL viewfinder. It has 6MP resolution with interpolation, which I wouldn't use, but I think you get more for the money overall. Reply

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