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"Picky Details" for the Fuji FinePix F401 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
Shutter lag and shot to shot cycle times are important camera performance parameters that are rarely measured or reported on. 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 Fuji FinePix F401:

 

Fuji FinePix F401 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot 2.8 From power on until first shot is captured. Average to a bit faster than average for a camera with a telescoping lens.
Shutdown 2.5 Time to shut down after last shot captured. A bit faster than average.
Play to Record, first shot 2.7
Time until first shot is captured after returning to record mode. About average.
Record to play 3.1
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus 0.73/0.93 Somewhat faster than average. (Most digicams are in the range of 0.8-1.1)
Shutter lag, prefocus 0.16
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Quite fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution 2.91/2.18 First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Average. Some variation in times between shots, but the 401 doesn't appear to use any buffer memory. (That is, the first few shots are no faster than subsequent ones.)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.23
(4.3 frames/sec)
Same speed for both large/fine and small/economy files. Captures four shots this fast, then must wait about 5 seconds for the buffer to clear before you can grab the next series of four.)

 

The F401 is pretty average in its shooting speed, although its shutter delay is noticeably less than many cameras out there. The continuous-mode cycle time is quite fast, for four shots. (Oddly, although it appears to have a four-shot buffer, as evidenced by the continuous-mode performance, the 401 doesn't appear to make use of it in normal, noncontinuous mode.)

Power
The F401 uses a single lithium-ion battery pack for its power source, and displays good to excellent battery life.

The table below shows the F401's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based a lithium-ion battery with a (true, not advertised) 1035 mAh capacity. (We haven't tested the LiIon cells used in the 401 though, so don't know whether they actually deliver the claimed 1035 mAh or not.)

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(3.7v, 1035 mAh cell)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
355 mA
130
(2hrs, 10 min)
Capture Mode, no LCD
104 mA
443
(7 hrs, 13 min!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
354 mA
130
(2hrs, 10 min)
Half-pressed w/o LCD
247 mA
186
(3hrs, 6 min)
Memory Write (transient)
403 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1032 mA
n/a
Image Playback
220 mA
209
(3hrs, 19 min)

 

Overall, surprisingly good battery life for a fairly compact camera. The best news is how well it does when you leave the LCD off - You could shoot just about all day on a single charge, if you just leave the LCD turned off. Regardless though, I still strongly recommend purchasing an extra battery and keeping it charged and available: Digicam batteries obey Murphy's Law, and always run out of juice at the most inopportune moment.

Storage Capacity
The F401 stores its photos on SmartMedia memory cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 32 or 64MB card, 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
8 MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution 2,304 x 1,728 Images
(Avg size)
9
1,778KB
19
842KB
Approx.
Compression
7:1
14:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
39
410KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
14:1
n/a
1,280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
49
327KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
11:1
n/a
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
122
131KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
7:1
n/a

 

Download Speed
The F401 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my 500 MHz PowerMac G4 (OS 9.1), I clocked it at 483 KBytes/second. This is a fairly typical figure. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 

F401 Review
F401 Test Images
F401 Specifications
F401 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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