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"Picky Details" for the Olympus D-560 Zoom 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-560 Zoom:

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 D-560 Zoom Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
3.79
Lens extends. About average.
Shutdown
2.96
Lens retracts. About average.
Play to Record, first shot
1.67
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
2.27
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.925/1.137
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. (Average is 1.0 to a bit lower.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.113
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Faster than average. (Average is about 0.3)
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
2.15 / 2.17
First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. The D-560 seems to have about a 6-frame buffer memory in its highest resolution/image quality mode. After that number of shots, the cycle time stretches to about 4 seconds. In the lowest resolution mode, all shots have the same cycle time.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
0.70 / 0.67
(1.42 / 1.48 fps)
First number is for large/fine, second is for small/basic files. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second. Fairly fast for an entry-level camera. Buffer holds 6 shots at highest resolution, 70 shots at lowest before you must wait for the memory card to catch up. Interval between first two shots is slower, about 0.97 seconds at high resolution, 0.83 for low.

Overall, the D-560 Zoom is a moderately fast camera for a more or less entry-level model. Shutter lag is about average, but cycle time is better than many competing models. Prefocus shutter lag is very brief.

Power
The D-560 Zoom uses two AA batteries, one Li-Ion non-rechargeable battery or an AC adapter for power. The most cost-effective solution is clearly a pair of high-capacity rechargeable NiMH AA cells. As always, I highly recommend that you pick up a couple of sets of these cells and a good-quality charger. 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.

The table below shows the power drain I measured in various operating modes, and the projected run times with a pair of 1600 mAh (true, not advertised) capacity NiMH AA cells. (1600 mAh cells have been the standard I've used for years now for comparing camera power consumption, but the best current cells now show true capacities of more than 2000 mAh. - You could thus easily experience run times as much as 25% longer than those shown.)

Operating Mode
Power
(@3.4 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(Two 1600 mAh NiMH cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
649 mA
104
Capture Mode, no LCD
5.9 mA
190 hours (!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
656 mA
103
Half-pressed w/o LCD
506 mA
134
Memory Write (transient)
698 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1545 mA
n/a
Image Playback
348 mA
195

Overall, the D-560 Zoom has pretty good battery life, particularly for a camera running on only two AA cells. As with most Olympus digicams though, the big news is its near-zero power drain in record mode when the LCD is left turned off. You can safely leave the camera powered up all day, without worrying about reducing the battery life at all. This makes it doubly unfortunate that the optical viewfinder isn't more accurate., as you'll have to revert to using the LCD display for any photos requiring accurate framing.

 

Storage Capacity
The D-560 Zoom stores its photos on CompactFlash memory cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64MB card, preferably a 128MB one, 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
2,048 x 1,536 Images
(Avg size)
6
2,462 KB
20
800 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 12:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
-
76
209 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
11:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
-
165
97 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
10:1

 

Download Speed
The D-560 Zoom connects to a host computer via a USB interface. I clocked it at 616 KBytes/second, pretty fast as USB-connected cameras go. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run 600 KB/s.)

 

D-560 Review
D-560 Test Images
D-560 Specifications
D-560 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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