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"Picky Details" for the Kodak DX4530 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
Since they're rarely reported on but very important to the picture-taking experience, I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times for all the cameras I review, 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 Kodak DX4530:

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.

Kodak DX4530 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
5.62
Time from power-up to first shot captured. Rather slow.
Shutdown
3.55/12.14
Lens cover closes before shutdown. First time is for camera in quiescent state, second number is time it takes to clear a full memory buffer. First time is about average, second is on the slow side.
Play to Record, first shot
2.04
Time until first shot is captured. About average.
Record to play
2.77/2.52
Time to display an image immediately after capture. First number is for large/fine, second is for small/economy. Both times are somewhat slow. If camera has finished processing just-captured images, times drop to just under a second.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.777/1.166
First time is with lens at telephoto, second for wide angle. Both times are solidly in the "average" range, which roughly spans the range from 0.8 to 1.0 seconds. (All of which is far too slow IMHO, but that's just where the digicam market seems to be now.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.218
Time to capture, after half-pressing Shutter button. About average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
3.13/2.95
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Both times are pretty good for an inexpensive five-megapixel camera. You can capture up to 6 shots this quickly regardless of images size/quality, after which the cycle time slows to 8.9 seconds for large images, 5.2 seconds for small ones.


The DX4530 turned in solidly average numbers in every performance category. It's good for up to 6 shots at its roughly 3-second cycle time before you have to wait for its buffer to empty. - Not bad for an inexpensive 5-megapixel camera, but not the first camera you'd pick for sports photography, either.

Power
The DX4530 is powered by two AA cells, or the two-cell NiMH rechargeable pack that comes with the optional EasyShare Dock 4000. As always, I highly recommend using NiMH rechargeable cells, rather than conventional alkaline AA cells.

The table below shows the DX4530's actual power drain in various operating modes, and projected battery life, based on a (true, not rated) 1600 mAh battery capacity. - This is a level of cell capacity I standardized on some time back, to provide a basis of comparison between the cameras I tested. Current NiMH AAs are available with true capacities of 2000 mAh and above, so you could see better battery life under actual use than shown here.

Operating Mode
Power
(@3 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(2.4v, 1600 mAh dual NiMH AA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
965 mA
80
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
990 mA
78
Capture Mode, w/o LCD 90 mA 14.2 hours(!)
Half-pressed shutter w/o LCD 641 mA 120
Memory Write (transient)
500 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1219 mA
n/a
Image Playback
406 mA
189

 

Battery life with the LCD on is somewhat worse than average, but with the LCD off, it's outstanding. If the optical viewfinder were more accurate than average, this would be excellent news, but as it is, with a typical 85% coverage viewfinder, you're likely to find yourself relying on the LCD more often than not. As always, I strongly advise purchasing at least a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries and a good charger along with the camera, to avoid running out of juice at an inconvenient moment. (See my Battery Shootout for the latest ratings of high-power NiMH AA cells, or read my review of the Maha C-204F charger to see why it's my longtime favorite.)

Storage Capacity
The DX4530 stores its photos either in its 32 MB of internal memory, or on SD (Secure Digital) memory cards. While the 32 MB of internal memory is more generous than the typical allotment, I still strongly recommend buying at least a 64MB memory card, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the internal 32MB memory at each size/quality setting, and the approximate amount of image compression applied in each mode. (The more image compression that's applied, the smaller the image files, but the lower quality the photos will be.)

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
32MB Internal Memory
2,580 x 1,932 Images
(Avg size)
20
1,561 KB
Approx.
Compression
10:1
2,032 x 1,524
Images
(Avg size)
32
985 KB
Approx.
Compression
9:1
1,288 x
966
Images
(Avg size)
76
420 KB
Approx.
Compression
9:1

 

Download Speed
The DX4530 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony VAIO desktop (2.4 GHz) running Windows XP, I clocked it at 569 KBytes/second. This is well at the upper range of USB v1.1 digicams I've tested. (Cameras with slow USB 1.1 interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones top-out around 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB 2.0 interfaces run from 600 KB/s up to several MB/second.)

 

DX4530 Review
DX4530 Test Images
DX4530 Specifications
DX4530 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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