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"Picky Details" for the Pentax Optio 330 GS 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 330 GS:

Pentax Optio 330 GS Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.86
Lens telescopes out, faster than average.
Shutdown
3.65
Lens retracts, about average.
Play to Record, first shot
0.66
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
0.9
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Fairly fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.96/0.87
First time is for lens at full wide angle, second is for telephoto position. About average. (Unusual, in that telephoto lag is shorter than that at wide angle.)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.28
A bit faster than average. (Most cameras are between 0.3-0.5 seconds)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.17
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Faster than average (Average is about 0.3 seconds.)
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.9-5.1
1.4
Top numbers are for large/fine files, bottom number is time for small/basic images. In large/fine mode, the camera can snap two shots 1.9 seconds apart, then waits for 5 seconds, then can take two more quickly. In small/basic mode, the camera can capture a large number of shots at 1.4 second intervals. Cycle time for first two large/fine shots is very good, but 2-shot limit is less than many models (admittedly higher-end ones.)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
1.81/1.38
0.5/0.7 fps
First number of each pair of is for large/fine, second is for small/basic files. Numbers beneath are corresponding frames per second. In large/fine setting, the camera only takes two consecutive images before pausing to write to the card, it can take a large number of small/basic ones. Good speed in small/basic mode, large/fine mode is rather slow.

The Optio 330GS is surprisingly quick for an entry-level model, with average shutter lag times in full autofocus, but faster than average times in manual or prefocus modes. Cycle time is reasonably fast for the first two shots in large/fine mode, but the limited buffer memory means you'll then have to wait for 5 seconds or so before you can snap the next two shots. Overall though, not bad for an inexpensive model.

 

Power
The Optio 330 GS uses either two AA-type batteries, a single CR-V3 battery pack (included) or an optional adapter, and displays good battery life. (Provided that is, that you 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 330 GS' power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on 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
(2 1600 mAh NiMH cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
850 mA
102
Capture Mode, no LCD
533 mA
162
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
861 mA
100
Half-pressed w/o LCD
542 mA
159
Memory Write (transient)
933 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1529 mA
n/a
Image Playback
559 mA
154


For a camera powered by only two AA cells, the 330GS shows surprisingly good battery life. Still, you'll definitely want to pack along extra batteries on any outing.

 

Storage Capacity
The Optio 330 GS stores its photos on CF (CompactFlash) memory 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.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16MB Memory Card
Best
Better
Good
2,048 x 1,536 Images
(Avg size)
9
1.7 MB
17
905 KB
34
460 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 20:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
14
1.1 MB
28
559 KB
62
254 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1
10:1
23:1
1,024 x 768
Images
(Avg size)
 26
608 KB
52
304 KB
92
172 KB 
Approx.
Compression
4:1  5:1 14:1 
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
52
304 KB
92
172 KB
130
123 KB
Approx.
Compression
3:1
5:1
8:1

 

Download Speed
The Optio 330 GS connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to a dual 1 GHz PowerMac G4 (OS X, version 10.2.3), I clocked it at 425 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.) 

P330GS Review
P330GS Test Images
P330GS Specifications
P330GS "Picky Details"
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