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"Picky Details" for the Minolta Dimage X digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, using a proprietary Imaging Resource test system. Here are the numbers I collected for the Minolta Dimage X:

 

Minolta Dimage X Timings
Operation
Time (secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.72
Very fast for a camera with a zoom lens.
Shutdown
2.0
Can be pocketed immediately (no lens to retract), this is the time to finish saving a large/fine file to the memory card. Very fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.96
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
1.0/2.2
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. First time with file already saved, second time counting from immediately after capture. Very fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.09/1.67
First time is for wide angle zoom setting, second is for telephoto. Wide angle time is slightly slower than average, tele time is quite slow.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.110
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
2.0/1.9
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Very fast. (8 MB memory card supplied limited test to 7 large/fine, 117 small/basic files. No change in speed, apparently no buffer used, just very fast electronics.)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
0.45/0.38
(2.2/2.6 fps)
First time is for large/fine, second for small/basic files. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second. Very fast. No sign of buffer limitations, but test card was only 8 MB.

 

Overall, the Dimage X is a very fast camera, helped greatly in its startup and shutdown times by not having a telescoping lens to extend or retract. Its shot to shot times are a good bit faster than average, apparently without the need for a buffer memory. The only fly in the ointment is the rather slow shutter lag times, particularly with the len set to its telephoto position.

Power
The Dimage X uses a tiny custom LiIon cell for its power source, with the shorter run times this generally implies. It's helped quite a bit though, by the fact that it consumes almost no power when the LCD screen is turned off. - You can confidently leave the camera powered on all day without the slightest worry about draining your batteries. (As long as you leave the LCD off!) As always, I *strongly* recommend buying a spare battery though. The table below shows the Dimage X's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based the 750 mAh rated life of its 3.7v LiIon battery pack:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.7 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(w/provided LiIon battery pack)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
510 mA
69
Capture Mode, no LCD
6 mA
(~118 hours!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
510 mA
69
Half-pressed w/o LCD
340 mA
104
Memory Write (transient)
390 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
810 mA
n/a
Image Playback
330 mA
107

 

Overall, not too bad for an ultra compact camera. he best news is the incredibly long battery life if you just stay off the LCD.

Storage Capacity
The Dimage X stores its photos on SD (Secure Digital) memory cards, and an 8 MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least another 16MB card, preferably a 32 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. - Heck, these days memory cards are so cheap, there's no reason not to get a 64 MB card, which could store 46 images at maximum size and quality!) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 8 MB card at each size/quality setting.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
8 MB Memory Card
Super
Fine
Fine
Normal
Economy
Full Resolution 1600x1200 Images
(Avg size)
1
5.7 MB
6
1.3 MB
13
615 KB
25
320 KB
Approx.
Compression
1:1 5:1 10:1
20:1
XGA Resolution 1024x768 Images
(Avg size)
1
3.7 MB
10
800 KB
20
400 KB
39
205 KB
Approx.
Compression
1:1
5:1
10:1
20:1
VGA Resolution 640x480
Images
(Avg size)
1
920 KB
39
205 KB
68
118 KB
117
68 KB
Approx.
Compression
11
5:1
8:1
14:1

 

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