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"Picky Details" for the Fujifilm FinePix E500 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)


When you press the shutter release on a camera, there's usually a lag time or delay before the shutter actually fires. This corresponds to the time required for the autofocus and autoexposure mechanisms time to do their work, and can amount to a fairly long delay in some situations. Since this number is rarely reported on (and even more rarely reported accurately), and can significantly affect the picture taking experience, I routinely measure both shutter delay and shot to shot cycle times for all cameras I test, 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 Fujifilm E500:

Fujifilm E500 Timings
Power On -> First shot
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. About average.
3.1 - 4.1
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. About average.
Play to Record, first shot
Time until first shot is captured. On the fast side of average.
Record to play
5.1 / 2.0
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card. First number is slow, second is about average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Faster than average. (Average is a range from 0.8 - 1.0 second.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.11 /

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. No buffer, each shot takes the same time. Good speed, if not exactly blazing.

With a shutter delay ranging from 0.65 - 0.83 second in full autofocus mode, the E500's shutter response is better than average. (Average for this class of camera is a range from 0.8 - 1.0 second, way too slow in my opinion.) When prefocused by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the shot itself, it's very fast at 0.08 second. Cycle times are good if not spectacular, at 2.1 seconds, regardless of image size or quality setting. That's not too impressive, but the E500 can maintain that pace until the memory card is full. (That is, there's no buffer memory to fill up, so all shots are equally fast or slow, depending on your perspective.) The E500 has no continuous shooting option. 



The Fujifilm E500 uses two AA batteries for power. It ships with a pair of alkaline AA cells, but as always, I strongly recommend using rechargeable NiMH cells. The table below shows projected run times based on NiMH cells with 1600 mAh true capacity.

Operating Mode
(@3.0 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
823 mA
Capture Mode, no LCD
240 mA
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
802 mA
Half-pressed w/o LCD
760 mA
Memory Write (transient)
1042 mA
Flash Recharge (transient)
1427 mA
Image Playback
302 mA

With a worst case run time of 93 minutes in capture mode with the LCD turned on, and running from "standard" 1600 mAh capacity NiMH cells, the E500's battery life isn't terrible, but isn't too impressive either. With the LCD off though, runtime in capture mode stretches to more than five and a half hours, and run time in playback mode is more than four hours. When the camera powers down to "sleep" mode after a period of inactivity though, it can stay on all day with almost no effect on battery capacity. (Note that all of the numbers above are based on 1600 mAh batteries, to facilitate comparison with cameras I've tested in the past. Modern NiMH cells with true (as opposed to advertised) capacities of 2100 mAh would stretch the worst-case run time to more than two hours.) As always, I strongly recommend purchasing a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH AA cells and a good charger to maintain them. (See my Battery Shootout page for test results from a variety of batteries, and read my review of the Maha C-204W to see why it's my new favorite AA-cell charger.)


Storage Capacity

The Fujifilm stores its photos on xD memory cards, and a 16 MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64 MB card, preferably a 128 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 16 MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
16 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2304 x 1728 Images
(Avg size)
4.0 MB
2.0 MB
3:1 6:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
 - 12
1.3 MB
 - 5:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
 - 17
931 KB
 - 4:1
640 x 480
(Avg size)
 - 62
256 KB
 - 4:1


Download Speed

The Fujifilm connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony desktop running Windows XP (Pentium IV, 2.4 GHz), I clocked it at 794 KBytes/second, a pretty good clip. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast v1.1 interfaces run as high as 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces run as fast as several megabytes/second.)


E500 Review
E500 Test Images
E500 Specifications
E500 "Picky Details"
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