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"Picky Details" for the Pentax Optio 43WR 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 43WR:

Optio 43WR Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.6
LCD turns on. Fairly fast, as there's no wait for the lens to telescope into position.
Shutdown
0 -22
Internal lens allows immediate shutdown. Memory buffer typically clears in 2 seconds or so (quite fast), but can take as long as 22 seconds after a long sequence of small/basic shots in continuous mode.
Play to Record, first shot
1.1
Time until first shot is captured. Reasonably fast.
Record to play
0 - 5.7
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 5.7 seconds to display the most recent image, upon switching to playback mode. The time of 5.7 seconds is fairly slow.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.92/1.14
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. On the slow side of average.
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.52
About average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.22
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Fairly fast.

Cycle Time, autofocus, max/min resolution

2.44/
2.37

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. This fast for only two shots, then slows to 4.3 seconds per frame for large/fine images, or 3.7 seconds for small/basic ones. Rather slow by current standards, and the two-shot buffer is limiting.
Cycle Time, continuous 1.31/
0.88
Times are averages. Cycle time is 1.31 seconds for a burst of three large/fine frames, or 0.88 seconds for up to 56 shots in small/basic mode. Buffer clears in only 3 seconds when shooting large/fine files, but as long as 22 seconds for sequences of small/basic images.

Overall, the Optio 43WR 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 decent 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 43WR 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 43WR 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
823 mA
93
Capture Mode, no LCD
739 mA
104
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
833 mA
92
Half-pressed w/o LCD
760 mA
101
Memory Write (transient)
1031 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1521 mA
n/a
Image Playback
465 mA
165


The Optio 43WR'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 43WR stores its photos on SecureDigital (SD) 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 16 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)
6
2.6 MB
11
1.4 MB
16
952 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 9:1 12:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
12
1.2 MB
21
740 KB
29
542 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 8:1 11:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
27
591 KB
48
328 KB
60
263 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 7:1
9:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
57
279 KB
88
181 KB
108
148 KB
Approx.
Compression
3:1 5:1
6:1

 

Download Speed

The Optio 43WR connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to a Sony desktop running Windows XP, I clocked it at 940 KBytes/second. While this is at the slow end of the range for cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces, it's still very fast (faster than any camera with a USB v1.1 interface can download). You shouldn't find any need for an external card reader with the Optio 43WR. (Cameras with slow USB v1.1 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.)

 

43WR Review
43WR Test Images
43WR Specifications
43WR "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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