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"Picky Details" for the Fujifilm A340 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 Fujifilm A340:

 

Fujifilm A340 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.7
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. About average.
Shutdown
2.1 - 3.6
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. Fairly fast.
Play to Record, first shot
2.1
Time until first shot is captured. About average.
Record to play
4.3 / 1.7
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. A little slow.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.68/0.83
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Surprisingly fast for an entry-level camera. (But note that the A340 doesn't focus well in dim lighting.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.19
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Quite fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.20 /
1.57

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for lowest resolution mode images. Times are averages. Buffer clears after each shot. About average.

Provided it has enough light to focus with (see my comments in the main review about night shooting), the Fuji FinePix A340 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 0.68 - 0.83 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 0.19 second, a quite acceptable number. Shot to shot cycle times are decent if not blazing, at 2.2 seconds per shot for large/fine images. Overall, a surprisingly responsive camera, given the A340's entry-level pricing.

 

Power

The Fujifilm A340 uses two AA batteries for power.

Operating Mode
Power
(@3.0 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
620 mA
124
Capture Mode, no LCD
212
361
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
667 mA
115
Half-pressed w/o LCD
573 mA
134
Memory Write (transient)
854 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
990 mA
n/a
Image Playback
279 mA
275

With a worst-case run time (capture mode, with the rear panel LCD turned on) of 124 minutes, the Fuji A340's battery life is on the good side of average, especially for a camera powered by only two AA cells. With the LCD off, run time stretches to just over 6 h ours, and is over four and a half hours in playback mode. (All times are based on the use of 1600 mAh NiMH batteries. With modern cells having true capacities of over 2000 mAh, your own run times should be longer.) I do still strongly recommend that you plan on purchasing a good-quality NiMH battery charger and a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable AA cells right along with the camera though. Read my review of the Maha C-204W to learn about my favorite charger, and check out my NiMH Battery Shootout page for actual performance data on a wide range of batteries.

 

Storage Capacity

The Fujifilm A340 stores its photos on xD memory cards, and a 16 MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64 MB card, preferably a 128 MB one, 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
16 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2272 x 1704 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.9 MB
16
962 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
25
626 KB
Approx.
Compression
9:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
34
465 KB
Approx.
Compression
8:1


 

Download Speed

The Fujifilm A340 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony desktop running Windows XP (Pentium IV, 2.4 GHz), I clocked it at 780 KBytes/second, a very respectable rate, especially for an inexpensive digital camera. (Digital 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.)

 

A340 Review
A340 Test Images
A340 Specifications
A340 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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