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"Picky Details" for the Nikon Coolpix 2100 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, 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 Nikon Coolpix 2100:

 

Nikon Coolpix 2100 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.1
Coolpix startup screen appears and lens extends forward. A bit slower than average.
Shutdown
2.8
Lens retracts. About average.
Play to Record, first shot
1.32
Time until first shot is captured. A bit faster than average.
Record to play
1.01
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Faster than average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.92
Time shown for wide angle lens setting only, prototype model tested didn't zoom). About average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.069
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Quite a bit faster than average. (Average is 0.2-0.3 seconds.)
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
2.51/3.44
First numbers is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. The camera displays an auto review of each shot, which cannot be canceled, and there doesn't seem to be any buffer memory. About average.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
0.62/0.62
(1.6 fps)
First pair of number is for large/fine, second is for small/basic files. Number beneath is corresponding frames per second. Captures ~7 files in large/fine mode this fast, then slows, captures ~50 files in small/basic mode. Fairly fast for a compact camera.

Overall, the Coolpix 3500 is fairly fast for a compact model, coming out a bit faster than average on most measures, apart from the somewhat leisurely startup time. Shutter lag is about average. (I do consider the average shutter lag of digicams to be *much* too slow, but the 2100 is no worse than most.) Cycle times are about average, although there doesn't appear to be any buffer memory involved - The cycle time is average, but never gets slower than that, regardless of how many shots you snap. Continuous-mode cycle time is pretty good at about 1.6 frame/second, but many full-sized cameras are twice that fast. All in all though, decent performance figures for a compact digicam.


Power
The Coolpix 2100 can use a pair of rechargeable NiMH AA batteries, one CRV3 lithium battery or two LR6 AA nickel manganese batteries for power.

The table below shows the Coolpix 2100's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on a pair of NiMH batteries with a (true, not advertised) 1600 mAh capacity:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.2 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(2 true 1600 mAh capacity NiMH AA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
509 mA
108
Capture Mode, no LCD
10 mA
~ 4 days (!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
513 mA
107
Half-pressed w/o LCD
416 mA
132
Memory Write (transient)
507 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1,482 mA
n/a
Image Playback
338 mA
162

 

The Coolpix 2100's battery life is a bit better than average for a compact digicam. (And my projected run times shown above are a little conservative these days, given that they're based on rechargeable AA cells with a true capacity of 1600 mAh - Cells are currently available with true capacities as high as 1800 mAh.) The extremely low power drain in record mode with the LCD turned off is particularly welcome, although the optical viewfinders on most digicams aren't accurate enough to rely on them for critical framing.

As always, I highly recommend picking up a couple of sets of high-capacity rechargeable batteries, and keeping a spare set freshly charged at all times. Click here to read my "battery shootout" page to see which batteries currently on the market are best, or here for my review of the Maha C-204F charger, my longtime favorite.


Storage Capacity
The Coolpix 2100 stores its photos on CompactFlash memory cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64MB card, preferably a 128MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 16MB card at each size/quality setting.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
16
985KB
31
512KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
-
69
230KB
Approx.
Compression
-
10:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
-
144
111KB
Approx.
Compression
-
8:1

 

Download Speed
The Coolpix 2100 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to a dual 1 GHz PowerMac G4 (OS X, version 10.2.3), I clocked it at 456 KBytes/second. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 

2100 Review
2100 Test Images
2100 Specifications
2100 "Picky Details"
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