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"Picky Details" for the Fuji FinePix S3100 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

 

Timing

When you press the shutter release on a camera, there's usually a lag time or delay before the shutter actually fires. This corresponds to the time required for the autofocus and autoexposure mechanisms time to do their work, and can amount to a fairly long delay in some situations. Since this number is rarely reported on (and even more rarely reported accurately), and can significantly affect the picture taking experience, I routinely measure both shutter delay and shot to shot cycle times for all cameras I test, 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 Fuji FinePix S3100:

Fuji FinePix S3100 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.8
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. Fairly fast.
Shutdown
4.7 - 6.5
First time is time to retract lens, second time is shutdown immediately after capturing an image. A little slow.
Play to Record, first shot
2.4
Time until first shot is captured. A little slow.
Record to play
4.0 / 2.5
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card. A little slow.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.68/1.11
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Ranges from faster than average to slower than average, but pretty good overall for a long-zoom model.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.117
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.24 /
2.54

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. No buffer memory to clear, every shot is this fast. Average.

Good to slightly slow shutter lag, average cycle times. With shutter lag that ranged from 0.68 to 1.11 second, the Fuji S3100 spanned the range from faster than average to a bit slower than average. - But it did pretty well when compared with other long-zoom digicam models. Prefocus lag was 0.12 second, a very good number. Shot to shot times were average, at 2.2 seconds/shot for large/fine images. (All shots happened that fast though, there was no delay after a buffer memory filled.) The S3100 has no continuous shooting mode.

 

Power

The Fuji FinePix S3100 uses four AA batteries for power. Here are its power consumption and projected run times in various operating modes:

Operating Mode
Power
(@5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(four 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
344 mA
268
Capture Mode, w/EVF
354 mA
260
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
354 mA
260
Half-pressed w/EVF
364 mA
253
Memory Write (transient)
469 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
750 mA
n/a
Image Playback
187 mA
316

Really excellent battery life. With a worst-case run time of 4.3 hours with "standard" 1600 mAh NiMH cells, and a run time of over 8 hours in playback mode, the Fuji S3100's battery life is much better than average. I still recommend that you purchase a good set of high-capacity NiMH batteries and a good-quality charger, but the S3100 does much better than average in the battery life department.

 

Storage Capacity

The Fuji FinePix stores its photos on Compact Flash memory cards, and a 32 MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64 MB card, preferably a 128 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 32 MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
32 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2,272 x 1,704 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.9 MB
16
962 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1
1,600 x 1,200 Images
(Avg size)
 - 25
626 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 9:1
1,280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
 - 34
465 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 8:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
 - 124
128 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 7:1

 

Download Speed

The Fuji FinePix connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony desktop running Windows XP (Pentium IV, 2.4 GHz), I clocked it at 814 KBytes/second, a pretty good rate. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast v1.1 interfaces run as high as 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces run as fast as several megabytes/second.)

S3100 Review
S3100 Test Images
S3100 Specifications
S3100 "Picky Details"
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