Nikon P80 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix P80 Performance


Timing and Performance

Slow to fast timings for a consumer digital camera, depending on the task.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.6 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

1.6 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

3 seconds
(3 seconds buffer clearing after LF JPEG)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.*

Slow startup, but about average shutdown and buffer clearing times.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

0.7 second

Time to display a large/superfine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

0.9 second

Time to display a large/superfine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching times are better than average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.546 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.649 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus Wide
Flash

0.800 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position, flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.005 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.525 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.353 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Shutter response is on the faster side of average for long zoom digital cameras at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.55s and 0.65s respectively, and prefocusing the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in an impressive lag time of only 0.005 second. Great results here.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.64 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

2.00 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.85 second (1.18 frames per second);
5 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640 x 480 JPEG

0.65 second (1.53 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
1 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

5.6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are a little slow, at about 2.64 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, but the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) Also a consideration here is the camera's 3,648 x 2,736-pixel maximum resolution, which is a lot of data to handle. The Nikon P80's continuous speeds are also on the slower side at maximum resolution (1.18 fps), and the camera can only snap about 5 frames before slowing. However, at the lowest resolution, things pick up to about 1.53 fps, and the camera captured over 20 frames at this rate. The flash takes 5.6 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is good, considering how powerful it is.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

736 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are actually quite slow, and you might feel the need for a speedier card reader.


Bottom line, the Nikon Coolpix P80 is reasonably responsive for a long zoom, though its cycle times are just a bit sluggish. Download speeds are also a drag, and many users may opt for a card reader to speed things up a bit. The camera's continuous modes aren't a match for extremely fast action, but may be sufficient to get good pictures of moving children. Overall, the P80 is responsive enough for average conditions.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD On
(CIPA standard)
250
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD Off
(CIPA standard)
250

The Nikon Coolpix P80 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is average, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Nikon Coolpix P80 accepts SDHC/SD memory cards, and includes about 50MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
50MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal Basic
3,648 x 2,736
Images
10
19
38
File Size
4.9 MB
2.6 MB
1.3 MB
3,264 x 2,448
Images
12
24
47
File Size
4.1 MB
2.1 MB
1.1 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
19
37
73
File Size
2.6 MB
1.3 MB
678 KB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
30
59
112
File Size
1.6 MB
843 KB
446 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
49
94
168
File Size
1.0 MB
529 KB
298 KB
1,280 x 960
Images
75
137
252
File Size
661 KB
364 KB
198 KB
1,024 x 768
Images
112
201
336
File Size
446 KB
248 KB
149 KB
640 x 480
Images
252
378
662
File Size
198 KB
132 KB
75 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Nikon P80

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