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"Picky Details" for the Fujifilm FinePix S5100 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 Fujifilm FinePix S5100:

Fujifilm FinePix S5100 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Shutdown
3.9 - 7
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. A little slow, but not too bad.
Play to Record, first shot
3.7
Time until first shot is captured. A little slow.
Record to play
2.9 / 1.6
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. About average for this class of camera.
Shutter lag, Full Autofocus
0.83/0.79
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. About average, not bad for a long-zoom digicam.
Shutter lag, Continuous Autofocus 0.98 As is usually the case, continuous AF doesn't help at all with static subjects, and actually slows shutter response somewhat. (Rather slow.)
Shutter lag, Manual Focus 0.57 On the slow side for manual focus.
Shutter lag, Prefocus
0.055
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

1.94 /
1.82

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. No buffer to fill/clear, all shots are this fast. Not blindingly fast, but not too bad, either.
Cycle Time, "Top 3" mode 0.29
(3.45 fps)
Shoots a burst of 3 images at the same rate in large/fine mode or "TV" mode. Times are averages. Buffer clears in 4.9 seconds for large/fine images, 3.4 seconds for lowest resolution. Very fast.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.81 / 0.67
(1.23 / 1.49 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Times are averages. Shoots up to 40 images in either resolution and clears the buffer in about a second. Fairly fast, particularly considering that it can shoot more or less indefinitely at this rate.

 Average shutter lag and cycle times. With full-autofocus shutter lag times ranging from 0.79 - 0.83 second, and shot to shot cycle times for large/fine images just under two seconds, the Fuji S5100 comes is a pretty average performer - neither greatly faster nor greatly slower than much of its competition. It's very fast when "prefocused" by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button prior to the shots itself (a shutter lag of only 0.055 second), and cycle times in its "Top 3" continuous-shooting mode are very fast at 3.45 frames/second, albeit only for three frames. Overall, not a bad camera, performance-wise, and potentially very useful for sports shooting, if you can take advantage of its fast prefocus response and good speed in Top 3 continuous mode.

 

Power

The Fujifilm FinePix S5100 uses four AA batteries for power.

Operating Mode
Power
(@5 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(four 1600 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
396 mA
233
Capture Mode, no LCD
365 mA
253
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
427 mA
216
Half-pressed w/o LCD
396 mA
233
Memory Write (transient)
563 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
687 mA
n/a
Image Playback
206 mA
447

Really excellent battery life! With a worst-case run time of just under four hours with a "standard" set of 1600 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries (and proportionately longer with modern, high-capacity cells), the Fuji S5100 has some of the best battery-life numbers of any camera currently on the market. (Run time in playback mode is an astonishing 7.45 hours.) You'll still want a couple of sets of good-quality NiMH batteries and a good battery charger, but the S5100 will run a long time on a single charge.

 

Storage Capacity

The Fujifilm FinePix stores its photos on xD memory cards, and a 16 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 16 MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
16 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
2272 x 1704 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.9 MB
16
962 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 12:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
 - 25
626 KB
Approx.
Compression
 - 9:1
1280 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 Fujifilm 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 932 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.)

S5100 Review
S5100 Test Images
S5100 Specifications
S5100 "Picky Details"
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