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"Picky Details" for the Olympus Stylus 300 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 01 second.) Here are the numbers I collected for the Stylus 300 Digital:

NOTE: My qualitative characterizations of camera performance below (that is, "reasonably fast," "about average," etc.) are meant to be relative to other cameras of similar price and general capabilities. Thus, the same shutter lag that's "very fast" for a low-end consumer camera might be characterized as "quite slow" if I encountered it on a professional model. The comments are also intended as only a quick reference: If performance specs are critical for you, rely on the absolute numbers to compare cameras, rather than my purely qualitative comments.

Olympus Stylus 300 Digital Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.91
Startup screen appears and lens moves into position. About average.
Shutdown
2.38
Lens retracts. A bit faster than average.
Play to Record, first shot
0.84
Time until first shot is captured. Fairly fast.
Record to play
1.96
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. About average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.82/0.85
First number is wide angle, second is full telephoto. On the fast side of average.
Shutter lag, prefocus

0.15

Delay after shutter button is half-pressed and held. Faster than average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
2.59/1.96
First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. About average. (No buffer memory, all shots take the same amount of time.)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
1.25/0.91
(0.8/1.11)
First pair of numbers is for large/fine, second set for small/basic files. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second. Not terribly fast, but not bad for a compact model.

Overall, the Stylus 300 is a fairly fast camera. It starts up and shuts down quickly, and its shutter lag is better than most. Cycle time is only average, but no worse than that. All in all, a good performance, particularly for a compact model.

Power
The Stylus 300 Digital uses a single, custom lithium-ion battery pack for its power source, and shows suprisingly good power consumption for a compact digicam. Battery life in capture mode with the LCD turned off is particularly impressive. Despite the excellent battery life though, I still strongly advise purchasing a second battery and packing it along on outings.

The table below shows the Stylus 300 Digital's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on a lithium-ion battery with a 1090 mAh capacity:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.8 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(One 1090 mAh Li-ion cell)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
474 mA
106
Capture Mode, no LCD
102 mA
496 (!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
509 mA
99
Half-pressed w/o LCD
312 mA
161
Memory Write (transient)
521 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1251 mA
n/a
Image Playback
803 mA
197

 

Storage Capacity
The Stylus 300 Digital stores its photos on xD-Picture Cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 32MB card, preferably a 64MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 16MB card at each size/quality setting, along with the average images sizes and approximate compression ratios..

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution 2,048 x 1,536 Images
(Avg size)
13
1,231 KB
40
400 KB
Approx.
Compression
8:1
24:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
-

49
327 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
18:1
1,280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
-
76
211 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
18:1
1,024 x 768
Images
(Avg size)
-
117
137 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
17:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
-
199
80 KB
Approx.
Compression
-
12:1

 

Download Speed
The Stylus 300 Digital connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to a dual 1-GHz PowerMac G4 (OS X, version 10.2.4), I clocked it at 364 KBytes/second. This is on the slow side as USB-connected cameras go. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 

Stylus 300 Review
Stylus 300 Test Images
Stylus 300 Specifications
Stylus 300 "Picky Details"
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