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"Picky Details" for the Olympus Stylus Verve 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 Olympus Verve:

Olympus Stylus Verve Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.9
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. Fairly fast.
Shutdown
2 - 21
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. Fairly fast for lens retraction, slow for buffer clearing, but buffer capacity of 7 large/fine files is pretty generous.
Play to Record, first shot
0.5
Time until first shot is captured. Very fast.
Record to play
5.3 / 1.6
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. Somewhat slow for immediate display, fairly fast for image that's already been processed.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.22 / 0.78
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Somewhat slow, but not surprising for a subcompact digicam. (Average range for full-sized cameras is 0.8 - 1.0 second.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.11
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding down the shutter button prior to the shot itself. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.17 /
1.92

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, takes 7 shots this fast, then slows slightly to 2.77 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in 9 seconds. In TV mode, shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot. Not too fast by current standards, but not too bad either, particularly for a compact digicam.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.82 / 0.78
(1.21 / 1.28 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, takes 7 shots this fast, then slows to 3.38 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in 19 seconds. In TV mode, shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot. Fairly fast, 7-shot buffer capacity is pretty generous.

Slower than average shutter response, average cycle times. Like many subcompact digicams, the Verve is a little slow in terms of shutter lag, with the delay between pressing the shutter and the camera capturing the photo ranging from 0.78 - 1.22 seconds. (Average is a range from 0.8 - 1.0 seconds, which is still too slow in my opinion.) When prefocused by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the shot itself, the shutter lag drops to just 0.11 second, which is quite fast. At right around two seconds per shot, the shot to shot cycle time is average for a camera of its class. Its continuous-mode speed of 1.2 frames/second is also about average.

 

Power

The Olympus Verve uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. Like many subcompact digicams, the Verve's battery life is its weakest point. There's no external power connector, so I couldn't perform my usual direct power measurements, but a simple test of rundown time showed a battery life of 78 minutes in capture mode with the LCD turned on. This is quite short, so I'd highly recommend purchasing a second battery along with the camera, to use as a spare.

 

Storage Capacity

The Olympus Stylus Verve stores its photos on Xd 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
2272 x 1704 Images
(Avg size)
5
3.0 MB
15
1.0 MB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 11:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
19
839 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 11:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
 - 22
703 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 8:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
 - 35
445 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 8:1
1024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
 - 54
291 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 8:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
 - 84
188 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 5:1

 

Download Speed

The Olympus 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 436 KBytes/second, rather slow by current standards. (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.)

 

VERVE Review
VERVE Test Images
VERVE Specifications
VERVE "Picky Details"
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