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"Picky Details" for the Nikon Coolpix 3700 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 01 second.) Here are the numbers I collected for the Canon SD10:

Nikon Coolpix 3700 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.6
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. About average for a camera with a telescoping lens.
Shutdown
2.7-31
Lens retracts to be stowed, memory buffer clears. First time is time for lens to retract, second time is worst-case time for buffer to clear before you can remove the card.
Play to Record, first shot
1.58
Time until first shot is captured. Fairly fast.
Record to play
0-0.5/1.2
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. "Zero" because the just-captured image shows in the viewfinder immediately after the shot. When switching from record to playback mode, the camera shows a low-res version of the image very quickly, then "fills in" with a higher-resolution display. Faster than average, in all modes.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.60/1.29
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Wide-angle time is much faster than average, telephoto time is a good bit slower than average. (Average ranges from 0.8-1.0 seconds.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.084
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.03 /
1.56

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In both modes, shoots this fast in bursts of 2 shots, with intervals of 6.2 seconds between bursts. In TV mode, the buffer holds 30+ frames. Buffer takes up to 31 seconds to clear, depending on how many images captured. Reasonably fast cycle times, but not extraordinary.
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution 0.30 / 0.30
(3.33 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" size images. Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.3 seconds for three frames, regardless of resolution. Buffer clears in 4 seconds for large/fine images, 5.3 seconds for lowest resolution. Quite fast for this class of camera.
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution 0.80 / 0.50
(1.25 / 2.00 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. Shoots this fast for 3 images in large/fine mode, or for 27 images with smallest file size. Buffer clears in 4 seconds for large/fine shots, in 51 seconds for "TV" sized images. This mode still only gives you 3 frames in large/fine mode, but you can shoot many more in sequence at the camera's lowest resolution. Not as fast though...
Cycle Time, continuous Multi 16 mode 0.41
(2.45 fps)
Camera captures 512 x 384 pixel images, stores them in 4x4 arrays inside normal 2048x1536 files. Interval between shots varies slightly, but averages 0.41 seconds for a frame rate of 2.45 frames/second. Every 16 shots, the camera pauses for 0.6 seconds to write the images to a file, after which it captures another 16 frames at the 2.45 fps rate. Very fast, and surprisingly so between groups of 16 frames.

The Coolpix 3700 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to shooting speed. Its shot to shot times are fairly good, and excellent in continuous mode, but the shutter lag very fast (0.60 seconds) at wide angle to quite slow (1.29 seconds) at telephoto. Prefocus shutter lag is very good though, at well under a tenth of a second. Overall, reasonable speed for a basic point & shoot camera, just remember to use the prefocus option (half-press and hold down the shutter button before actually tripping the shutter) if you need to capture a precise moment with the lens set to the telephoto end of its range.

 

Power
The Coolpix 3700 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. Lacking the "dummy battery" AC adapter, I didn't have the ability to conduct my usual detailed power measurements, but I did measure the worst-case battery life at 158 minutes, with the camera in capture mode and the LCD turned on. This is a good bit better than most compact digicams, although I still always recommend purchasing a second battery along with your camera for longer excursions.


Storage Capacity
The Coolpix 3700 stores its photos on SD memory cards, and a 32 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 32 MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
32 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
Basic
2,272 x 1,704 Images
(Avg size)
15
2.1 MB
27
1.2 MB
54
593 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 20:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
30
1.1 MB
54
593 KB
102
311 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 19:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
52
607 KB
93
344 KB
162
197 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 7:1
12:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
115
278 KB
177
180 KB
279
115 KB
Approx.
Compression
3:1 5:1
8:1

 

 

Download Speed
The Coolpix 3700 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to a Sony desktop running Windows XP, I clocked it at 553 KBytes/second. This is close to as fast as cameras with USB v1.1 interfaces get. (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.)

3700 Review
3700 Test Images
3700 Specifications
3700 "Picky Details"
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