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"Picky Details" for the Olympus Camedia D-390 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 Camedia D-390:

NOTE: My qualitative characterizations of camera performance below (that is, "reasonably fast," "about average," etc.) are meant to be relative to other cameras of similar price and general capabilities. Thus, the same shutter lag that's "very fast" for a low-end consumer camera might be characterized as "quite slow" if I encountered it on a professional model. The comments are also intended as only a quick reference: If performance specs are critical for you, rely on the absolute numbers to compare cameras, rather than my purely qualitative comments.

Olympus Camedia D-390 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.36
Olympus startup screen appears. A little slow for a camera without a telescoping lens.
Shutdown
1.86
Time to finish writing a large/fine image to the memory card. Fairly fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.35
Time until first shot is captured. Fairly fast.
Record to play
1.31
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Fairly fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.878
At full wide-angle. On the fast side of average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.203
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. A bit faster than average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
4.81 / 3.91
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. Rather slow, as the D-390 appears to have no buffer memory to speed cycle times.


The D-390 is a bit faster than average in terms of shutter lag, but is fairly slow from shot to shot, due to its lack of buffer memory. On the whole, not a bad performer, but certainly not your first choice for sports shooting. ;-)

Power
The Camedia D-390 uses two AA batteries for power, but can also use NiMH, lithium, or NiCd batteries, as well as a single CR-V3 lithium-ion battery pack (all sold as accessories).

The table below shows the Camedia D-390's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on two NiMH batteries with a (true, not advertised) 1600 mAh capacity. With modern 2000 mAh capacity batteries, your run times would be 25% longer than those shown here:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@3.4 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes

Capture Mode, w/LCD
669 mA
101
Capture Mode, no LCD
279 mA
243
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
842 mA
80
Half-pressed w/o LCD
407 mA
167
Memory Write (transient)
707 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1,136 mA
n/a
Image Playback
700 mA
97

The D-390's battery life is fairly good for a camera powered by only two AA cells. Its capture-mode run time with the LCD turned on, running from a set of 1600 mAh  (true, not advertised) NiMH AA cells is just over 100 minutes, not bad given the limited power source. (Note too, that modern NiMH batteries are available with true capacities as high as 2000 mAh, so you'll get better battery life that that described here. - I use the 1600 mAh (true) cell capacity as a benchmark, to maintain a constant standard of reference with older reviews on this site.) The good news is that its power drain decreases markedly when the LCD is turned off, with run time stretching to over four hours in capture mode when using only the optical viewfinder. (Which, happily, is accurate enough that it really is a viable option for framing your pictures.) You'll definitely want to get a couple of sets of good, high-capacity NiMH cells though, and a good charger to accompany them. Click here to read my "battery shootout" page to see which batteries currently on the market are best, or here for my review of the Maha C-204F charger, my longtime favorite.


Storage Capacity
The Camedia D-390 stores its photos on xD-Picture Cards, and comes with a 16MB card. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64MB card to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 16MB card at each size/quality setting.


Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
11
1,455KB
34
471KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 12:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
83
193KB


Approx.
Compression
12:1


640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
212
75KB


Approx.
Compression
12:1



 

Download Speed
The Camedia D-390 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. I clocked it at 103 KBytes/second. (This is uinusually slow: Cameras with slow USB interfaces generally run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 

D390 Review
D390 Test Images
D390 Specifications
D390 "Picky Details"
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