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"Picky Details" for the Pentax Optio 33WR digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)  

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, 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 Optio 33WR:

Optio 33WR Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.7
LCD turns on. Fairly fast, as there's no wait for the lens to telescope into position.
Shutdown
0 - .85
Internal lens allows immediate shutdown. Memory buffer typically clears in under a second though. Very fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.1
Time until first shot is captured. Reasonably fast.
Record to play
0 - 4.1
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. "Zero" because the just-captured image shows in the viewfinder immediately after the shot. It takes 4.1 seconds to display the most recent image, upon switching to playback mode. The time of 4.1 seconds is fairly slow.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.2/1.1
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Well on the slow side of average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.16
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Quite fast.

Cycle Time, autofocus, max/min resolution

2.0/
2.1

Times are averages. First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. In large/fine mode, cycle time is 2 seconds for five frames, then 5.3 seconds for successive shots. Not very fast by current standards.
Cycle Time, continuous 0.98 Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.98 seconds for a burst of five frames. Buffer clears in about 20 seconds, then another burst can be taken. Not very fast by current standards.

Overall, the Optio 33WR is no speed demon. It's not terrible in any parameter, and fairly fast in some, but its performance overall is on the slow side of average. Not your first choice for fast-paced action, but the good shutter response when you prefocus by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button prior the the shot itself could be a saving grace.

Power

The Optio 33WR uses a a pair of AA cells for power, meaning you can find batteries to run it most anyplace you might happen to be. I do strongly advise using rechargeable NiMH AA cells though, as this will save you quite a bit of money over time.

The table below shows the power consumption and projected run times of the 33WR in various operating modes:


Operating Mode
Power
(@3.0 volts on the ext. power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
728 mA
106
Capture Mode, no LCD
589 mA
131
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
730 mA
105
Half-pressed w/o LCD
599 mA
128
Memory Write (transient)
801 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1329 mA
n/a
Image Playback
385 mA
200


The Optio 33WR's battery life is pretty good for a camera running from only two AA cells, but it's still fairly short. - And using the optical viewfinder instead of the rear-panel LCD saves only a little power. I definitely recommend buying at least two sets of high-capacity NiMH cells and a good charger, and keeping a spare set ready at all times. Click here to read my "battery shootout" page to see which batteries currently on the market are best, or here for my review of the Maha C-204F charger, my longtime favorite.

Storage Capacity
The Optio 33WR stores its photos on Comact Flash 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 32 MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
Basic
2,048 x 1,536 Images
(Avg size)
7
2.1 MB
13
1.1 MB
20
790 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 8:1 12:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
12
1.3 MB
21
736 KB
29
542 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 8:1 11:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
27
593 KB
48
328 KB
61
262 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 7:1
9:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
57
278 KB
88
180 KB
108
147 KB
Approx.
Compression
3:1 5:1
6:1

 

Download Speed
The Optio 33WR connects to a host computer via
a USB interface. Downloading files to a Sony desktop running Windows XP. I clocked it at 313 KBytes/second. This is about as slow as most cameras with USB v1.1 interfaces get. (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.) If you plan on really extensive picture-taking with the 33WR, you may want to invest in an external card reader, which could transfer files at least twice as fast.

 

33WR Review
33WR Test Images
33WR Specifications
33WR "Picky Details"
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