Canon EOS-1DCanon leaps into the professional SLR arena, with the fastest digital SLR on the planet!
<<Exposure & Flash :(Previous) | (Next): Operation & User Interface>>
Page 7:Shutter Lag & Cycle Time TestsReview First Posted: 12/08/2001
Shutter Lag / Cycle Times
When you press the shutter release on a camera, there's usually a lag time before the shutter actually fires. This time allows 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 almost never reported on, and can significantly affect the picture taking experience, we now routinely measure it using a special electronic test setup.
On -> First shot
to Record, first shot
lag, full autofocus, "awake"
AF time will
obviously vary greatly with lens. This was with 28-70mm L-series.
lag, full autofocus, "asleep"
AF time isn't
affected much when the camera is in it's "semi-sleep" mode.
lag, manual focus, "awake"
shutter lag Canon touts obviously applies only in manual focus mode. (Since
lens AF will be variable.)
lag, manual focus, "asleep"
though, that shutter lag in manual focus gets quite a bit longer when
the camera goes into its "semi sleep" mode after about 2 seconds
of no control actuation.
This is *really* fast: This is the time when the camera is prefocused
by half-pressing and holding the shutter before the shot itself.
single shot mode
fast - seemed to be more limited by how fast our finger was than by the
continuous "H" mode
fast! Just a shade off the 8.0 fps claimed by Canon. (We're happy to give
them 0.3 fps of leeway though.) 21 frame burst for most settings, 16 frames
for RAW mode, 14 frames for ISOs greater than 800. Buffer clears in 20
seconds with fast 12x memory card, 34 seconds with ordinary one. See
text below for odd behavior with fast/slow memory cards!
continuous "L" mode
3 fps as claimed.
Interestingly, a fast card gives much longer runs before buffer fills.
No question about it, the EOS-1D is the fastest pro SLR we've tested to date. Every parameter is fast, from shutter lag and AF performance to shot-to-shot cycle times.
We encountered some very interestingbehavior when we tested the 1D's performance with fast & slow memory cards. We used an old Kingston 64 megabyte card as the "slow" one, and a Lexar 256MB 12x card as the "fast" one. As you'd expect, the buffer cleared more quickly with the faster card, albeit not nearly in proportion to the difference in the cards' claimed write speeds. With the Kingston card, the buffer took about 34 seconds to empty vs 20 for the Lexar.
Where the real twist came in was when we shot in RAW or RAW/L modes (the latter being the mode that saves both a RAW and large/fine JPEG file at the same time). We were very surprised to find that the 1D would only capture 8 frames in RAW mode or 4 in RAW/L mode with the Kingston card when set to either motor drive speed! With the Lexar 12x card, we got the full 16 frames that Canon says the buffer is good for. This was very surprising because the buffer memory should eliminate any influence of card speed on the capture process. Memory card speed thus appears to be a very important consideration when using the 1D in motor-drive mode! (You heard it here first.)
A little less startling, although still underscoring the importance of high-speed memory cards for the EOS-1D, was our observation of the dependence of maximum run length on card speed in low-speed motor drive mode. Since the camera can write data to the memory card even while it's capturing new images, a fast memory card can extend run lengths considerably. In high-speed mode, there's little effect, but at the 3fps motor drive speed, we found that the Lexar card delivered run lengths of 30 shots, to the Kingston card's 22.