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"Picky Details" for the Fuji FinePix F700 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
Because they're such critical performance parameters (that are so seldom reported on), I routinely 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 F700:

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.

Fuji FinePix F700 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.63
Startup screen appears and lens extends forward. Unusually fast.
Shutdown
1.79
Lens retracts. Also quite fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.4
Time until first shot is captured. Very fast.
Record to play
0.79
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Much faster than average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.55/0.61
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Both times are much faster than average. (Average is 0.8 seconds and above.)
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus 0.62 As is often the case, continuous AF is actually slower for stationary subjects that normal AF. (It might be faster for moving subjects, but I have no good way to test for that.)
Shutter lag, manual focus 0.33 Slightly faster than average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.121
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Quite fast.
Cycle Time, max/min JPEG resolution
1.0/1.0
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. Both times are very fast, and there either isn't any buffer to become filled, or the buffer holds more than a dozen large/fine shots.
Cycle Time, RAW file format 5.44 Quite fast for RAW-mode capture.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min JPEG resolution
0.24/0.24
(4.1/4.1 fps)
First number is for large/fine, second is for small/basic files. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second. Same cycle time/frame rate regardless of image size. In both sizes, the camera should capture 5 shots without pausing, but I found it often captured 6 shots in a sequence at minimum resolution. After five shots are captured, delay before next sequence can be acquired is 4.8 seconds for large/fine files, 3.6 seconds for small/basic ones. All times are very fast.
Cycle Time, long-sequence continuous mode. 0.58
(1.72 fps)
Long-sequence continuous mode is only available when the mode dial is set to the "Auto" position, and it forces the resolution to the 1M setting. (1280x960 pixels) Exposure is adjusted for each shot, but focus is fixed by the first. Shot to shot time is very consistent, at 0.58 seconds. Up to 40 shots can be captured in a single sequence, and there's almost no buffer-clearing time required before you can capture the next series. (Very impressive.)


I have to say that the F700's remarkable shooting speed was one it the biggest surprises when I tested it. Overall, its one if the fastest consumer cameras I've tested to date, in virtually every aspect of operation. (Startup/shutdown, shutter lag, and cycle time.) It's unique "First 5" and "Last 5" continuous modes offer a blazing frame rate of four frames/second, and the "Last 5" mode in particular will be very useful for people shooting sports and other fast-paced action. (Since the camera effectively captures up to 5 frames immediately before you tell it to, neatly compensating for any sluggishness in your own reflexes.) All in all, an excellent performance, likely to be reason enough for many people to decide in favor of it.

Power
The FinePix F700 uses a small, flat "NP-40" rechargeable LiIon battery pack for power. Normally, I wouldn't expect much run time at all from such a paltry power source, but the F700 does surprisingly well with it. (I'd still strongly recommend purchasing a second battery along with the F700, as digicam batteries always run out of juice at the worst possible moment.)

The table below shows the FinePix F700's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on the stated 710 mAh capacity of the NP-40 battery pack.

Operating Mode
Power
(@5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(3.6v
710 mAh
NP-40 battery)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
357 mA
88
Capture Mode, no LCD
153 mA
207
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
356 mA
89
Half-pressed w/o LCD
335 mA
94
Memory Write (transient)
488 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
927 mA
n/a
Image Playback
252 mA
137

While the F700's battery life is surprisingly good, considering the tiny size of its battery, it's very much on the short side of average. I always recommend purchasing an extra battery along with your digicam, but in the case of the F700, that recommendation applies doubly. (Battery life is actually quite good when the LCD is left off in Record mode, but the F700's poor optical viewfinder accuracy means that you're likely to find yourself resorting to the LCD to frame your shots more often than not.)


Storage Capacity
The FinePix F700 stores its photos on xD Picture memory cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64MB card, preferably a 128MB one, 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. (As a side note, I think that all these compression ratios are a bit on the high side, for a top-grade digicam. - I wish Fuji had offered some "fine" JPEG modes, with less compression applied to the images.)

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16MB Memory Card
RAW
Normal
2,832 x 2,128 Images
(Avg size)
1
14,222 KB
10
1.5 MB
Approx.
Compression
1.3:1 12:1
2,048 x 1,536 Images
(Avg size)
- 20
790 KB
Approx.
Compression
- 12:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
-
25
627 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
9:1
1,024 x 768
Images
(Avg size)
-
34
465 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
8:1

 

Download Speed
The FinePix F700 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my 2.4 GHz Sony VAIO desktop (Windows XP), I clocked it at 741 KBytes/second. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast USB 1.1 ones run as high as 600 KB/s. The F700 evidently has a high-speed USB 2.0 interface, so it's faster than any cameras with a v1.1 interface, although not as fast as others with v2.0 connections.)

 

F700 Review
F700 Test Images
F700 Specifications
F700 "Picky Details"
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