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"Picky Details" for the Pentax Optio 430 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

 

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, using a proprietary Imaging Resource test system. Here are the numbers I collected for the Pentax Optio 430:

 

Pentax Optio 430 Timings
Operation
Time (secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.9
About average for a camera with a zoom lens.
Shutdown
3.2
About average for a camera with a zoom lens.
Play to Record, first shot
1.1
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
1.0
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Pretty fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.86/1.20
First time is for wide angle zoom setting, second is for telephoto. Wide angle time slightly slower than average, tele time is a bit worse.
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.19
Time to capture in manual focus mode. Faster than average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.21
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Faster than average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
5.0/1.93
First number is for large/fine files, second number is for small/basic images. Quite slow between shots in large/fine mode. Fast between shots at small/basic resolution.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
4.11/1.62
First time is for large/fine, second for small/basic files. Apparently no buffer memory, so pretty slow between shots at best resolution/quality setting.

 

The Optio 430 is slightly slower than average in its shutter response, but quite slow from shot to shot when used at its highest resolution/quality setting. Definitely not a first choice for sports photos, you'll need to decide whether 4-5 seconds between shots is a hindrance for routine shooting. (This is slower than most competing cameras these days, as the Optio 430 apparently lacks any "buffer" memory to hold images between shots until the memory card can accept them.)

Download Speed
The Optio 430 sports a "storage class" USB port for rapid downloading of images. (Well, at least "rapid" relative to older serial-connected cameras.) I tested its download speed on my 500 MHz PowerMac, and found it moved the files at a rate of 571 KBytes/second, placing it among the fastest cameras I've tested in this regard.

 

Power
The Optio 430 uses a tiny custom LiIon cell for its power source, with the shorter run times this generally implies. It's helped quite a bit though, by circuitry that dissipates nearly no power when the LCD is turned off. Thus, you can leave the 330 in record mode with the LCD off all day, without worrying about draining your battery. As always, I *strongly* recommend buying a spare battery though. The table below shows the Optio 430's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based the 900 mAh rated life of its 3.7v LiIon battery pack:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(w/provided LiIon battery pack)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
710 mA
63
Capture Mode, no LCD
12 mA
(~59 hours!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
720 mA
62
Half-pressed w/o LCD
570 mA
78
Memory Write (transient)
860 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1010 mA
n/a
Image Playback
530 mA
84

 

Overall, battery life is on the low side, even for an ultra compact camera. The (very) good news though is the incredibly long battery life if you just stay off the LCD.

 

Storage Capacity
The Optio 430 stores its images on Type I CompactFlash cards, and a 16 MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least 32MB card, preferably a 64 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. Even a 128 MB card wouldn't be too much, as it'd let you store 44 images at best resolution/quality without having to download to your computer.) 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
16 MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
Economy
Full Resolution 2048x1536 Images
(Avg size)
5
2.91 MB
11
1.46 MB
15
1.03 MB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 8:1
11:1
XGA Resolution 1024x768 Images
(Avg size)
22
719 KB
31
516 KB
62
257 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1
6:1
11:1
VGA Resolution 640x480
Images
(Avg size)
62
257 KB
104
154 KB
195
82 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1
6:1
10:1

 

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