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"Picky Details" for the Nikon Coolpix P1 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 Nikon Coolpix P1:

Nikon Coolpix P1 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.3
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
3.7 - 22
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
Play to Record, first shot
1.4
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
3.6 / 0.3
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.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.67 / 0.75
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.

Shutter lag, continuous autofocus

0.66
Rarely any faster than normal autofocus, at least for stationary subjects. (We have no way of reliably testing shutter lag with moving subjects.)
Shutter lag, limited focus range, telephoto
0.69
Slightly faster than normal autofocus with the lens at telephoto focal lengths.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.074
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

3.17 / 3.03

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 continuously. In large/fine mode, buffer fills slowly, and clears in 13 seconds. In TV mode, buffer clears after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures 6 Flash at maximum power output.
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution 0.44
(2.2 fps)

Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.44 seconds for five frames, regardless of resolution. After a pause of 7 seconds in large/fine mode, it slows to about 3.2 seconds per shot. After a pause of 6 seconds in TV mode, it slows to about 2 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in 7 seconds for large/fine images, 6 seconds for lowest resolution.

Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution 0.56
(1.8 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. Shoots 11 frames this fast in large/fine mode, or over frames in TV mode. Buffer clears in 10 seconds for large/fine shots, in 6 seconds for TV mode images.
Cycle Time, Multi 16 mode 0.60
(1.66 fps)
Camera captures sixteen 816 x 622 pixel images, stores them in 4x4 arrays inside normal 3264x2448 files. Buffer clears in about a second.
Cycle Time, Ultra High Speed mode 0.03
(30.3 fps)
Times are averages. Shoots up to 100 640x480 images at 30 fps. Buffer clears in 18 seconds.
Cycle Time, 5-shot Buffer mode 1.17
(0.86 fps)
Shoots at this rate continuously while shutter button is depressed, and records only the last five frames after the button is released. Buffer clears in 7 seconds.


Power

The Nikon Coolpix P1 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, so we were unable to perform our usual power measurements. Using the CIPA standard, Nikon claims approximately 180 shots on a fully charged battery for it, a number that's a bit on the low side. - And WiFi usage undoubtedly takes more power to drive the radio link. (We managed to completely drain a fresh battery in just over an hour of playing with the camera, with WiFi active about half of the time.) Overall, our standard recommendation that you purchase a second battery right along with the camera applies doubly to the P1.

 

Storage Capacity

The Nikon Coolpix P1 stores its photos on SD / MMC memory cards or in approximately 29 MB of internal memory, and no card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 128 MB card, preferably a 256 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored in the internal memory at each size/quality setting.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
29 MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
Basic
3264 x 2448
Images
(Avg size)
7
4.1 MB
14
2.1 MB
27
1.1 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1 23:1
2592 x 1944
Images
(Avg size)
11
2.6 MB
22
1.3 MB
43
678 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1 22:1
2048 x 1536
Images
(Avg size)
17
1.6 MB
34
843 KB
65
446 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1 22:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
29
1.0 MB
55
529 KB
104
281 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1 22:1
1280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
44
661 KB
84
347 KB
147
198 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1 19:1
1024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
65
446 KB
118
248 KB
197
149 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 16:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
147
198 KB
253
116 KB
358
82 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 8:1 11:1

 

Download Speed

The Nikon Coolpix P1 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 493 KBytes/second. (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.) Transfers via the WiFi connection are a little slower. We clocked the P1 at about 350 Kbytes/second on a purely "G" WiFi network, and about 225 Kb/sec when both B and G devices were active.

P1 Review
P1 Test Images
P1 Specifications
P1 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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