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"Picky Details" for the Pentax Optio WP 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 Pentax Optio WP:

Pentax Optio WP Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
 
Power On -> First shot
2.4
 
Shutdown
~0.2 - 47
First time is simple shutdown, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
 
Play to Record, first shot
1.3
Time until first shot is captured.
 
Record to play
6.3 / 1.8
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.
 
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.92 / 1.16
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.  

Shutter lag, continuous autofocus

1.53
 
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.586
 
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.149
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.  
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.30 / 2.23

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 7 frames this fast, then slows to 4 seconds per shot. In TV mode, continues at this pace for over 50 shots. Buffer clears in 13 seconds in large/fine mode, 4 seconds in TV mode.  
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 1.27 / 1.10
(0.79 / 0.91 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 6 frames this fast, then slows to 3 seconds per shot. In TV mode, continues at this pace for over 100 shots. Buffer clears in 12 seconds in large/fine mode, 47 seconds in TV mode.  
Cycle Time, "High Speed" mode, max/min resolution 0.29
(3.49 fps)
Image size is fixed at 1280x960 pixels. Times are averages. Shoots 7 frames at an irregular pace, clears the buffer in 5 seconds, and is ready for another burst.  

 

Power

The Pentax Optio WP uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power.

Operating Mode
Power
(@6.5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(four 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
536 mA
126
Capture Mode, no LCD
500 mA
100
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
533 mA
127
Half-pressed w/o LCD
420 mA
161
Memory Write (transient)
702 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1350 mA
n/a
Image Playback
297 mA
228

 

 

Storage Capacity

The Pentax Optio WP stores its photos on SD / MMC memory cards or in approximately 11 MB of internal memory, and no 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 in the internal memory at each size/quality setting.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
Basic
2560 x 1920
Images
(Avg size)
3
3.4 MB
6
1.8 MB
10
1.0 MB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 8:1 14:1
2304 x 1728
Images
(Avg size)
4
2.6 MB
8
1.4 MB
11
950 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 9:1 13:1
2048 x 1536
Images
(Avg size)
5
2.1 MB
9
1.1 MB
14
758 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 8:1 12:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.2 MB
15
737 KB
20
540 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 8:1 11:1
1024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
18
589 KB
33
327 KB
42
262 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 7:1 9:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
39
278 KB
61
180 KB
75
147 KB
Approx.
Compression
3:1 5:1 6:1

 

Download Speed

The Pentax Optio WP 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 751 KBytes/second. (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.)

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