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"Picky Details" for the Kyocera Finecam S4 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 Kyocera Finecam S4:

NOTE: My qualitative characterizations of camera performance below (that is, "reasonably fast," "about average," etc.) are meant to be relative to other cameras of similar price and general capabilities. Thus, the same shutter lag that's "very fast" for a low-end consumer camera might be characterized as "quite slow" if I encountered it on a professional model. The comments are also intended as only a quick reference: If performance specs are critical for you, rely on the absolute numbers to compare cameras, rather than my purely qualitative comments.

 

Kyocera Finecam S4 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.83
About average for a camera with a telescoping lens.
Shutdown
1.88
Fairly fast.
Play to Record, first shot
1.99
Time until first shot is captured after returning to record mode. About average.
Record to play
2.31
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. About average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.34/1.35
First time is for wide angle zoom setting, second is for telephoto. Both times are on the slow side of normal.
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.37
A bit faster than average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.31
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. About average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
3.17-10.65/3.3
First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. The S4 has a two-shot buffer (small by current standards), so can capture two large/fine images within 3.17 seconds of each other. You have to wait 10.6 seconds for the third shot, and then you can shoot about once every 8 seconds. - A little slow, overall.

 

The S4 is a bit below average speed-wise. Its autofocus is a little slow, but it's a bit faster than average in manual focus mode. Shot to shot cycle times are on the slow side of average, and it has only a 2 shot buffer memory, so you'd better plan your shots.

 

Power
The S4 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for its power source.

The table below shows the S4's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack rated at 900 mAh capacity:

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(900 mAh lithium-ion cell)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
630 mA
62
Capture Mode, no LCD
420 mA
92
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
634 mA
61
Half-pressed w/o LCD
424 mA
92
Memory Write (transient)
675 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1029 mA
n/a
Image Playback
355 mA
110

 

Like most subcompact cameras, the S4's battery life is rather short, and it gets only about 50% better with the LCD screen turned off. Definitely plan on purchasing an extra battery to pack along on extended outings! 

Storage Capacity
The S4 stores its photos on SD-type memory cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 32MB card, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. These days memory cards are so cheap, there's no reason not to get a 64MB card, which could store 32 images at maximum size and quality!) 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
Super
Fine
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution 2,272 x 1,704 Images
(Avg size)
8
2,000 KB
16
985 KB
N/A
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1 N/A
Half Resolution 1,280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
N/A
N/A
52
308 KB
Approx.
Compression
N/A
N/A
12:1

 

 

Download Speed
The S4 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my 500 MHz PowerMac G4 (OS 9.1), I clocked it at 344 KBytes/second, a little on the slow side. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)

 


Back to the Main Kyocera S4 Review

 

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