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"Picky Details" for the Pentax Optio 230 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 Pentax Optio 230:

 

Pentax Optio 230 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
5.83
Lens has to advance into position.
Shutdown
2.88
 
Play to Record, first shot
1.97
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
1.29
Time to display a large/fine file after capture.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.14/1.29
First number is at wide angle, second at telephoto.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.22
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
2.7/1.74
First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
2.46/
1.55 ( fps)
First pair of numbers is for large/fine, second set for small/basic files. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second. Without any buffer memory, the P230 saved each image individually.

 

Cycle times for TIFF files were approximately 20+ seconds.

Power
The Optio 230 uses two AA cells for its power source. (Use high-capacity NiMH cells, coupled with a good charger. Read my NiMH Battery Shootout page for the latest on actual battery performance, or my review of the Maha C204F to see why it's my favorite charger.)

The table below shows the Optio 230's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based a set of NiMH batteries with a (true, not advertised) 1600 mAh capacity:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@3 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(Two 1600 mAh NiMH cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
876 mA
88
Capture Mode, no LCD
525 mA
146
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
884 mA
87
Half-pressed w/o LCD
535 mA
143
Memory Write (transient)
1024 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
199q mA
n/a
Image Playback
620 mA
124

 

 

Storage Capacity
The Optio 230 stores its photos on CF (CompactFlash) memory cards, and does not come with a memory card. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 16MB card, preferably a 32MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.With memory cards so cheap these days, there's no reason not to get a 64MB card.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on a 16MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Card
Uncompressed
Fine
Normal
Basic
Full Resolution 1600x1200 Images
(Avg size)

KB

KB

KB

KB
Approx.
Compression
1:1 :1 :1 :1
XGA Resolution 1024x768 Images
(Avg size)

KB

KB

KB

KB
Approx.
Compression
1:1
:1
:1
:1
VGA Resolution 640x480
Images
(Avg size)

KB

KB

KB

KB
Approx.
Compression
1:1
:1
:1
:1

 

Download Speed
The Optio 230 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my 500 MHz PowerMac G4 (OS 9.1), I clocked it at 417 KBytes/second. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 


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