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"Picky Details" for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
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 Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400:

Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.2
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. Very fast, if not quite as fast as Konica Minolta claims for it.
Shutdown
2.2 - 14
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. Pretty quick also.
Play to Record, first shot
0.6
Time until first shot is captured. Very fast.
Record to play
3.4/1.4
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. About average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.78/0.90
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Slightly on the fast side of "average."
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.056
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Unusually fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.96 /
2.97

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. About the same speed for either size image. Buffer clears in 2 seconds for large/fine images, 1 second for "TV" size images. Only moderately fast, but there doesn't appear to be any buffer memory used: All images are this fast, regardless of how many have been shot in rapid sequence.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 1.24 / 1.31
(0.81 / 0.76 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" size images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 6 shots this fast, then slows slightly to 1.6 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in 4 seconds for large/fine images, and never fills in "TV" mode. Pretty fast...
Cycle Time, "Super Continuous" mode 0.41 (2.47 fps) Shoots a burst of three large/fine files, waits about 9 seconds for the buffer to clear, and is ready for three more. Very fast, particularly for a consumer-level model.

The G400's shutter response in full autofocus mode is slightly on the fast side of average, with a range of 0.78 to 0.90 seconds, and the same is true of its cycle time for maximum-quality images, at just under 3 seconds between shots. The one surprise though, was its exceptional speed when you "prefocus" it, by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the actual moment of the exposure. In this mode, the shutter delay was a blazing 0.056 second (56 milliseconds), competing with digital SLRs in that mode. Continuous-mode times are not terribly fast, but there's no buffer memory involved, so there's no slowdown, regardless of how many shots you snap in sequence. "Super Continuous" mode is very fast, but only for 3 shots at a time.


 

Power

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. Because it doesn't have a standard external power connector, I couldn't perform my usual detailed power-consumption measurements for it. I did measure its run time in its worst-case power-drain mode (capture mode with the LCD turned on), and found that it ran for 97 minutes (23 minutes short of 2 hours) in that mode. This isn't bad, particularly for a compact camera, but I still highly recommend that you purchase a second battery along with the camera.


Storage Capacity
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400 stores its photos on SD/MMC 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
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2,272 x 1,704 Images
(Avg size)
9
1.8 MB
18
883 KB
Approx.
Compression
7:1 13:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
36
441 KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
13:1  
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
124
128 KB
n/a
Approx.
Compression
7:1  

 

Download Speed
The Konica Minolta DiMAGE G400 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 892 KBytes/second. (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.)

G400 Review
G400 Test Images
G400 Specifications
G400 "Picky Details"
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