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"Picky Details" for the Sony DSC-P71 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

 

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, using a special test system I built for the purpose. Here are the numbers I collected for the Sony DSC-P71:

Sony DSC-P71 Timings
Operation
Time (secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
3.8
About average for telescoping lens camera.
Shutdown
2.3
About average for telescoping lens camera.
Play to Record, first shot
0.78
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
1.2
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. About average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.76-0.86
Somewhat faster than average. (Average is 0.8-1.0)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.44
Slightly faster than average. (Average is ~0.5)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.17
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Quite fast. (Average is ~0.3)
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.72/1.67
Quite fast. First number is for large/fine files, second is for small/normal ones. There's either no buffer memory, or it has a capacity of more than 13 shots: There was no slowdown up to 13 shots.

Overall, the P71 is a pretty fast camera, about average in startup and shutdown times, but very quick between shots, and with better than average shutter delay.While I didn't try to exercise it beyond a 13-shot series, it appears that there's either no buffer memory, or the buffer holds more than 13 large/fine shots. Whatever the case, up to at least the 13 shot limit I tested, there was no slowdown in the very fast 1.7 second shot to shot cycle time. Quite impressive.

 

File Download
The P71 is also very fast when it comes to downloading images from it to a host computer. I clocked it at 632 KBytes/second on my aging Pentium II workhorse, making it one of the fastest cameras on the market in terms of file transfer.

 

Power
Unlike most Sony digicams, the P71 uses two AA cells for its power source. This normally means rather short run times, but Sony seems to have done an unusually good job of controlling power consumption in these latest P-series cameras. Worst-case runtime is about an hour and a half with high-capacity NiMH batteries and the camera operating in capture mode with the LCD left on. With the LCD off, capture-mode power drops by about half, yielding nearly 3 hours of run time in that mode. Playback time is also a bit over 3 hours. Not bad at all, but as always, I strongly recommend buying several sets of high-capacity NiMH batteries and a good charger.

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.2 volts)
Est. Minutes
(2 1600mAh AAs)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
586 mA
93
Capture Mode, no LCD
289 mA
189
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
497 mA
110
Half-pressed w/o LCD
305 mA
179
Memory Write (transient)
614 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1156 mA
n/a
Image Playback
282 mA
193

 

Overall, not too bad for a 2-battery camera. Get an extra set of high-capacity NiMH batteries and you'll be able to shoot for quite a while on one charge.


Storage Capacity
Here's a table showing the number of images that can be stored on the included 16 MB Memory Stick, the corresponding file sizes, and the approximate compression ratios.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Stick
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution 1600x1200 Images
(Avg size)
10
1600 KB
18
865 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
XGA Resolution 1024x768 Images
(Avg size)
16
970 KB
30
525 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1
11:1
VGA Resolution 640x480
Images
(Avg size)
25
640 KB
46
342 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1
11:1
  Images
(Avg size)

98
163 KB

245
65 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 14:1

 

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