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"Picky Details" for the Fujifilm FinePix A330 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)  

 

Timing

When you press the shutter release on a camera, there's usually a lag time or delay before the shutter actually fires. This corresponds to the time required for the autofocus and autoexposure mechanisms time to do their work, and can amount to a fairly long delay in some situations. Since this number is rarely reported on (and even more rarely reported accurately), and can significantly affect the picture taking experience, I routinely measure both shutter delay and shot to shot cycle times for all cameras I test, using a test system I designed and built for the purpose. (Crystal-controlled, with a resolution of 0.001 second.) Here are the numbers I collected for the Fuji A330:

 

Fuji FinePix A330 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.3
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. About average.
Shutdown
1.9/4.2
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. About average.
Play to Record, first shot
2.1
Time until first shot is captured. About average.
Record to play
3.5/1.5
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card. Average for this class of camera.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.74/0.87
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Average to slightly better than average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.172
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Pretty fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.15 /
1.70

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for lowest resolution (1,280 x 960).. Times are averages. There's no buffering at any image size, all shots at a given resolution take the same amount of time, regardless of how many exposures are in the series. Average times, not bad for an inexpensive digital camera..

Slightly better than average shutter lag, good cycle times. Provided it has enough light to focus with (see my comments in the main review about night shooting), the Fuji FinePix A330 focuses and shoots a bit more quickly than most of the competition. With a full-autofocus shutter delay (the time between when you press the shutter button and when the shutter actually fires) of 0.74 - 0.87 second, it's just a bit faster than the average range of 0.8 - 1.0 second. While this still isn't fast enough to capture fast-breaking action, if you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the shot itself, the shutter delay drops to 0.17 second, a quite acceptable number. Shot to shot cycle times are decent if not blazing, at 2.15 seconds per shot for large/fine images. Overall, a surprisingly responsive camera, given the A330's entry-level pricing.

 

Power

The Fuji A330 uses a pair of AA-size batteries for power. The runtime estimates below are based on rechargeable NiMH cells with a true (vs advertised) capacity of 1600 mAh. Current (early 2005) high-capacity NiMH cells have true capacities of 2100 mAh and higher, so you may proportionately longer run times with high-capacity batteries..

Operating Mode
Power
(@3.0 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
559 mA
137
Capture Mode, no LCD
244 mA
315
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
615 mA
125
Half-pressed w/o LCD
573 mA
134
Memory Write (transient)
656 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1156 mA
n/a
Image Playback
340 mA
226

With a worst-case run time of 137 minutes in capture mode with the LCD enabled, the Fuji A330 shows surprisingly good battery life for a camera powered by only two AA cells. With the LCD off, run time stretches to over five hours, and operating time in playback mode is just under four hours. (These times are based on "standard" 1600 mAh NiMH cells, the camera will do proportionately better with modern high-capacity NiMH batteries.) While these run times are very good, I still highly recommend purchasing a good battery charger and a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH cells, so you'll always have a spare set charged and ready to go. Read my review of the Maha C-204W battery charger to see why it's my current favorite, and check out my NiMH Battery Shootout page for a rundown on the true capacities of various brands and models, based on actual test data.

 

Storage Capacity

The Fuji FinePix A330 stores its photos on Compact Flash memory cards, and a 16 MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64 MB card, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 16 MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
32 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2,016 x 1,512 Images
(Avg size)
10
1.5 MB
20
771 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
25
626 KB
-
Approx.
Compression
9:1 -
1,280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
34
465 KB
-
Approx.
Compression
8:1 -

 

Download Speed

The Fuji A330 connects to a host computer via a USB v2.0 interface. Downloading files to my Sony desktop running Windows XP (Pentium IV, 2.4 GHz), I clocked it at 780 KBytes/second, a pretty good speed. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast v1.1 interfaces run as high as 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces run as fast as several megabytes/second.)

A330 Review
A330 Test Images
A330 Specifications
A330 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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