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"Picky Details" for the Olympus D-380 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 Olympus D-380:

 

Olympus D-380 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.16
Pretty fast, thanks to no telescoping lens to wait for.
Shutdown
0.99
Time until done writing large/fine image to memory card. Quite fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.59
Time until first shot is captured. Fairly fast.
Record to play
1.06
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Pretty quick.
Shutter lag, no "prefocus"
0.58
Very fast,sinceit's actually a fixed-focus lens, hence no autofocus to wait for.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.15
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. A bit faster than average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.6-3.8
1.1-1.7
First numbers are for large/fine files, second set are times for small/basic images. Shorter time is for first few shots, saving to buffer memory, longer times are after buffer has filled. (Buffer holds about 3 large/fine images.) A bit faster than average.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
0.64- 3.84
(1.56 fps)
0.34-1.59
(2.22 fps)
First pair of numbers is for large/fine, second set for small/basic files. 3 frames in large/fine mode, then slows. Up to 43 shots in small/basic mode. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second.

 

The D-380 is a surprisingly fast little camera. While its fixed-focus lens restricts its focusing range somewhat, the benefit is there's no autofocus system to wait for, making shutter lag times quite short. Cycle time is quite good also, particularly for the first 3 or so large/fine images, which are saved very quickly to the buffer memory.

Power
The D-380 uses four AA cells for its power source, and displays good to excellent battery life. (Provided that is, that you use high-capacity NiMH cells, coupled with a good charger. Read my NiMH Battery Shootout page for the latest on actual battery performance, or my review of the Maha C204F to see why it's my favorite charger.)

The table below shows the D-380's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based a set of NiMH batteries with a (true, not advertised) 1600 mAh capacity:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@6 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(4 1600 mAh NiMH cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
749 mA
103
Capture Mode, no LCD
152 mA
504
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
235 mA
327
Half-pressed w/o LCD
404 mA
190
Memory Write (transient)
474 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1024 mA
n/a
Image Playback
405 mA
167

 

Overall, really good battery life for a fairly compact camera. Battery life is excellent if you can make do with the optical viewfinder most of the time. (Still, I strongly(!) recommend high-capacity NiMH batteries and a good charger.)

 

Storage Capacity
The D-380 stores its photos on SmartMedia memory cards. (I strongly recommend buying a 32MB card, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. - Memory prices are so cheap these days that there's really no reason to skimp on card size.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on a 16MB card at each size/quality setting.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution 1600x1200 Images
(Avg size)
11
1.3 MB
32
500 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 12:1
XGA Resolution 1024x768 Images
(Avg size)
58
233 KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
9:1
n/a
VGA Resolution 640x480
Images
(Avg size)
90
360 KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
5:1
n/a

 

Download Speed
The D-380 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. As noted in the main review, the D-380 incorporates Olympus' "AutoConnect USB" technology, which means you can plug it directly into computers running Windows Me, XP or 2000, or Macs running OS 8.6 or later, and the camera will show up on the desktop as a removable hard drive. - No driver software needed. Downloading files to my 500 MHz PowerMac G4 (OS 9.1), I clocked the D_380 at 549 KBytes/second. This is pretty fast among the cameras I've tested, a very good performance for an entry-level camera. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 

 

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