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"Picky Details" for the Panasonic DMZ-LZ2 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 Panasonic DMZ-LZ2:

 

Panasonic DMZ-LZ2 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
 
Power On -> First shot
2.0
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
 
Shutdown
2.4 - 5
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
 
Play to Record, first shot
0.5
Time until first shot is captured.
 
Record to play
1.9 / 1.2
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.
 
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.75 / 0.86
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.  
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.013
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.  
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.4 / 2.1

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In both modes, clears the buffer after each shot. User must wait for "writing" indicator to clear before pressing shutter button again.  
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution 0.34
(2.96 fps)
Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.34 seconds regardless of resolution. Shoots a burst of 3 large/fine frames or 5 TV size frames, then stops until files are written to card. Buffer clears in 2.8 seconds for large/fine images, 2.5 seconds for lowest resolution.  
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution 0.64
(1.57 fps)
Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.64 seconds regardless of resolution. Shoots a burst of 3 large/fine frames or 5 TV size frames, then stops until files are written to card. Buffer clears in 2.7 seconds for large/fine images, 2.4 seconds for lowest resolution.  
Cycle Time, continuous "infinite" mode, max/min resolution 0.73
(1.36 fps)
Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.64 seconds regardless of resolution. Shoots 29 large/fine frames before slowing slightly to 1.2 fps, and continues for over 100 shots. Maintains this pace indefinitely in TV mode. Clears the buffer in 1 second in either mode.  

 

Power

The Panasonic DMZ-LZ2 uses a two AA batteries for power, and ordinary alkaline batteries are included with the camera. The table below shows the power drain I measured in various operating modes, and the corresponding run times to be expected from a standard set of 1600 mAh NiMH cells.

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@3.4 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
552 mA
139
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
604 mA
127
Memory Write (transient)
635 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1115 mA
n/a
Image Playback
247 mA
311

 

Storage Capacity

The Panasonic DMZ-LZ2 stores its photos on SD / MMC memory cards or in approximately 14.6 MB of internal memory, and no 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 in the internal memory at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
14.6 MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2560 x 1920
Images
(Avg size)
5
2.5 MB
11
1.3 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1
2048 x 1536
Images
(Avg size)
9
1.6 MB
17
835 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
14
998 KB
27
524 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
1280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
22
655 KB
40
360 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
68
213 KB
111
131 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 7:1

 

Download Speed

The Panasonic DMZ-LZ2 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 595 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.)

LZ2 Review
LZ2 Test Images
LZ2 Specifications
LZ2 "Picky Details"
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