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Konica Minolta Dynax Maxxum 7D

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Page 7:Shutter Lag & Cycle Time Tests

Review First Posted: 11/27/2004, Updated: 02/01/2005

Shutter Lag/Cycle Times

When you press the shutter release on a digital camera, there's a delay or lag time before the shutter actually fires. This time allows the autofocus and autoexposure mechanisms to do their work and can amount to a significant delay in some situations. Likewise, the delay from shot to shot can vary greatly, and is also important to the picture-taking experience. Since these numbers are rarely reported by manufacturers or reviewers (and even more rarely, reported accurately), I routinely measure both shutter lag and cycle times using an electronic test setup I designed and built for the purpose. (Crystal-controlled timing, with a resolution of 0.001 second.) Here are the numbers I collected for the 7D:

Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.4
Lens AF syncs, card is accessed. Fairly fast, not amazingly so for a digital SLR though.
Shutdown
2 - 87
Card access LED takes its time on shutdown. Longest time corresponds to clearing nine RAW-mode files from the buffer memory.
Play to Record, first shot
0.2
Very fast.
Record to play
1.5 / 0.6
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. Both times are fairly fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.266
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Quite fast.
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus
0.268
Little or no benefit to continuous AF with stationary subjects, but no penalty either.
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.253
Not especially fast for a digital SLR.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.117
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Fairly comparable speed to its competition.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

0.61

Shoots at about the same rate for large/fine images or "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 14 frames this fast, then slows to about 4.5 seconds per shot. In TV mode, maintains this rate indefinitely. Buffer clears in 46 seconds in large/fine mode, but only 2 seconds in TV mode. Average speed for a digital SLR of its class, good buffer capacity. (Times measured with a Lexar 80x CF card.)
Cycle Time, RAW

0.68

Times are averages. Shoots 9 frames this fast, then slows to about 7.3 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in 60 seconds. Average speed for this level d-SLR, rather slow buffer-clearing time. (Times measured with a Lexar 80x CF card.)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.36
(2.75 fps)
Shoots at about the same rate for large/fine images or "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 15 frames this fast, then slows to about 3.1 seconds per shot. In TV mode, shoots 65 shots this fast, then slows only slightly. Buffer clears in 47 seconds in large/fine mode, 11 seconds in TV mode. Again, average speed for its class. (Times measured with Lexar 80x CF card.)

Cycle Time, continuous RAW

0.36

Times are averages. Shoots 9 frames this fast, then slows to about 7.4 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in 85 seconds. Average speed for its class.

The word that comes to mind when thinking about the Maxxum 7D's speed is "average." - But that's not a bad thing, given the field it's playing in. Full-autofocus shutter lag is actually faster than most d-SLRs, at about 0.27 second, although its manual focus lag is only slightly better. At 0.61 second, shot to shot cycle times are decent and its 14-shot JPEG buffer capacity should be enough for most users. At 2.75 frames/second, continuous-mode shooting speed is also right on par with its primary competitors. Overall, a very workmanlike performance.

 

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