Sony DSC-N2 Review

 
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Sony DSC-N2 Performance


Timing and Performance

Very good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.8 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
2.0 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
4 seconds
(in Burst LF JPEG)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.2 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
3.9 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.2 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.29 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.69 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.012 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.28 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.21 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.67 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.50 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.17 second (0.85 frames per second);
3 frames total;
4 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.98 second (1.02 frames per second);
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
4 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
2247 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Sony N2's performance ranges from quite good to a little slow, depending on what it is you're trying to do. Startup time is fast enough at 1.8 second, and shutter lag is very good at both wide angle and telephoto lens settings. "Prefocusing" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are blazingly fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.012 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are a little better than average, at about 1.67 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures frames continuously at this rate. Continuous-mode speed is on the slower side, at less than one frame/second, for up to three shots in succession. For small JPEGs (640 x 480 pixels), the rate speeds up only a little to 1.02 frames per second, though the camera captures frames continuously at this rate. That said, the Sony N2 does offer a Multi-Burst mode as well, which captures at a much faster frame rate, though at a smaller resolution. Flash recycling time is pretty fast, at only four seconds. Connected to a computer, download speeds are exceptionally fast, so you won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the Sony N2 is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities, but its standard continuous shooting mode is a bit slow for sporting events or catching children.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Excellent battery life.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery, LCD on 300

The Sony N2 uses a single rechargeable LiIon battery pack for power, and a battery and a charger are included with the camera. I strongly recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Sony N2 accepts Memory Stick Duo cards, though no card is included; 25MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
25MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,468 x 2,736 Images 5 10
File Size 5.2 MB 2.6 MB
3,264 x 2,448 Images 6 12
File Size 4.0 MB 2.2 MB
2,592 x 1,944 Images 10 19
File Size 2.6 MB 1.4 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 16 29
File Size 1.6 MB 906 KB
1,632 x 1,224 Images 26 49
File Size 1.0 MB 537 KB
640 x 480 Images 158 396
File Size 168 KB 67 KB

We strongly recommend buying at least a 512MB card for the Sony N2, preferably a 1GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

 

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