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"Picky Details" for the Kyocera L4v digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
Because they're so important to the use of a digital camera, but so rarely reported on (and even more rarely, reported accurately), I measure cycle times and shutter delay times for all the 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 Kyocera L4v:

 

Kyocera L4v Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
5.5
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. Rather slow.
Shutdown
2.7 - 4.7
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case time for buffer to clear (camera to finish writing to the memory card) and the lens to retract. Fairly fast.
Play to Record, first shot
2.5
Time until first shot is captured. A little slower than average.
Record to play
6.0/0.7

First number is time required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second number is time to display after the camera is has finished processing it after capture. First time is quite slow, second is pretty fast.

Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.25/1.30
First time is with lens at full wide-angle, second at full telephoto. Both times are quite a bit slower than average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.32
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. On the slow side of average these days, but still radically better than the full-autofocus lag times.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

4.79 /
3.95

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. There doesn't seem to be any buffer memory, as all shots are close to these times, regardless of how many captured. Both times are quite slow by current standards.

Some of Kyocera's most recent models boast their "Rtune" technology, said to greatly increase the speed with which the camera can write to its memory card. The L4v is one of the prior generation though, so its performance in timing tests is a good bit slower than average, on all fronts. Shutter lag numbers are among the slowest I've measured in recent memory, while its shot to shot cycle times are similarly slow. Definitely not a first choice for sports or other fast-paced action.

Power

The Kyocera L4v uses either a single-use CR-V3 lithium battery (included) or a pair of AA batteries for power. Kyocera recommends NiMH rechargeable AA batteries, and not ordinary alkaline batteries, a wise choice, given the L4v's power-hungry ways. The table below shows the power drain I measured for the L4v in various operating modes, together with projected run times for the 1600 mAh-capacity NiMH cells I've used as a standard for the last several years.

Operating Mode
Power
(@3.4 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
1135 mA
70
Capture Mode, no LCD
708 mA
112
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
1156 mA
69
Half-pressed w/o LCD
1135 mA
70
Memory Write (transient)
718 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
3125 mA
n/a
Image Playback
677 mA
228

Operating time in playback mode isn't too bad, at almost three and three-quarter hours, but the rest of these times are very short. (Note though, that while I base these run time numbers on 1600 mAh NiMH cells for the sake of consistency across the years of testing I've done, current cells are available with true (vs advertised) capacities of 2000 mAh and higher. You could thus expect to see run times as much as 25-30% longer than those shown here.)

The L4v is definitely a camera that needs the best, highest-capacity batteries that you can feed it. See my Battery Shootout page to see what NiMH cells have the highest capacity, based on actual tests, or my review of the Maha C-204F charger, to see why it's my longtime favorite.

Storage Capacity
The Kyocera stores its photos on SD memory cards, and a 16 MB card is included with the camera. (Given the L4v's 4-megapixel resolution, 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
32 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2,304 x 1,728 Images
(Avg size)
7
2.1 MB
15
1.1 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
15
1.0 MB
29
545 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1,280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
23
681 KB
43
372 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
73
219 KB
112
142 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1

 

Download Speed
The Kyocera connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to a Sony desktop running Windows XP. I clocked it at 252 KBytes/second. This is very slow by current standards. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces gennerally run as low as 300 KB/s (and the L4v is slower still), 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.)

 

L4V Review
L4V Test Images
L4V Specifications
L4V "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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