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"Picky Details" for the Sony DSC-P9 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

 

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times for cameras I test, using a special test system I built for the purpose. Here are the numbers I collected for the Sony DSC-P9:

 

Sony DSC-P9 Timings
Operation
Time (secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
3.1
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
1.4-4.9
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. About average. (First number is for when camera has already finished saving the image to the memory card. Second number is for immediate switch to playback mode after capture.)
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.78-1.05
About average. (Average is 0.8-1.0)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.48
About average. (Average is ~0.5)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.21
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Somewhat faster than average. (Average is ~0.3)
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
2.03/1.97
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 P9 is a pretty fast camera, about average in startup and shutdown times, but very quick between shots. Shutter delay is about average.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
Like other recent Sony digicams, the P9 is also very fast when it comes to downloading images from it to a host computer. I clocked it at 659 KBytes/second on my aging Pentium II workhorse, making it one of the very fastest cameras on the market in terms of file transfer.

 

Power
Like most other Sony digicams, the P9 uses an InfoLITHIUM battery. The camera reports time remaining, so the numbers below for capture and playback modes with the LCD enabled are based on the camera's own estimates. (Which I've generally found to be quite accurate.) The figure for capture mode with the LCD turned off is based on power measurements made via the external power jack.

 

Operating Mode
Est. Minutes
(Sony NP-FC10 battery pack)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
69
Capture Mode, no LCD
120
Image Playback
130

 

Overall, this is pretty good performance for a subcompact camera, although record time with the LCD enabled is still pretty short. As always though, I strongly recommend purchasing a second battery.

 

Storage Capacity
The DSC-P9 stores its photos on a Sony Memory Stick. A 16MB stick is shipped with it. The chart below shows the number of images at each size/quality that can be stored on a 16MB stick.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
8 MB Memory Card
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution 2272 x 1704 Images
(Avg size)
8
2.0 MB
15
1.1 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 11:1
High Resolution 1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
16
970 KB
30
525 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1
11:1
Medium Resolution
1280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
25
640 KB
46
344 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1
11:1
Low Resolution
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
97
164 KB
244
66 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1
14:1

 

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