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Canon Powershot S70

By: Dave Etchells

With the same wide angle lens as its predecessor, the S70 boosts resolution with its 7.1 megapixel sensor, but holds the line on image noise.

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Page 7:Shutter Lag & Cycle Time Tests

Review First Posted: 9/30/2004

Shutter Lag and Cycle Times

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 Canon S70:

Canon PowerShot S70 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.9
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. Average.
Shutdown
2.5 - 48
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. Average: Long buffer-clearing corresponds to series of 11 large/fine JPEGs. (A large buffer.)
Play to Record, first shot
1.4
Time until first shot is captured. Fairly fast.
Record to play
3.4/0.9
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. On the fast side of average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.96/0.93
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. On the slow side of average. (Average is a range from 0.8-1.0)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.072
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.22 /
2.24

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 10 shots this fast, then slows to about 6 seconds per shot, and takes 46 seconds to clear the buffer with a Lexar 80x card. In TV mode, continues this fast for more than 50 shots, clears the buffer in 17 seconds after 50 shots. Pretty fast for a 7-megapixel camera, generous buffer capacity.
Cycle Time, RAW mode 2.84 Times are averages. Shoots 5 shots this fast, then slows to about 10 seconds per shot, and takes 38 seconds to clear the buffer with a Lexar 80x card. Quite fast for RAW-mode shooting, and a good buffer capacity.
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution 0.95
(1.05 fps)
Shoots large/fine files or TV mode files at about the same rate. Times are averages. Shoots 11 images in large/fine mode before slowing to 4.6 seconds per shot, and clears the buffer in 46 seconds with a Lexar 80x card. In TV mode, continues this fast for more than 100 shots, clears the buffer in 38 seconds after 100 shots. Not terribly fast.
Cycle Time , continuous Low mode, RAW 1.48 Times are averages. Shoots 5 shots this fast, then slows to about 10 seconds per shot, and takes 42 seconds to clear the buffer with a Lexar 80x card. Not bad for RAW mode.
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution 0.50 / 0.60
(2.0 / 1.67 fps)
Times are averages. Shoots 4 images in large/fine mode, then slows to 0.67 sec/frame for 5 more images, then finally slows to 4.0 seconds per shot, and clears the buffer in 33 seconds with a Lexar 80x card. Shoots 100+ images in TV mode, and clears the buffer in 35 seconds.
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, RAW 1.39 Times are averages. Shoots 5 shots this fast, then slows to an average of 8.5 seconds per shot (varying between 12.2 and 3.6 seconds), and takes 37 seconds to clear the buffer.

Overall, I'd rate the S70's timing performance as a bit better than average. It starts up and shuts down reasonably quickly, is reasonably fast from shot to shot, and has average shutter response times. It does excel in two areas though, namely prefocused shutter lag and RAW-format cycle times, both of which are quite a bit faster than average. All in all, not a first choice for sports photography, but not a bad performer either, and about the only reasonably compact option on the market for raw-format shooting, if you care at all about cycle times in that mode.

 

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