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"Picky Details" for the Canon PowerShot S80 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 Canon PowerShot S80:

 

Canon PowerShot S80 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.5
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
2.1 - 3
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
Play to Record, first shot
1.4
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
1.9 / 1.3
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.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.75 / 0.76
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.071
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Shutter lag, flash
0.90
Time from shutter button press to image capture. (Metering pre-flash usually slows shutter response slightly when the flash is enabled.)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.268
Manual focus is usually faster than full autofocus, but slower than when the camera is "prefocused."
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

1.43 /
1.28

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In both modes, shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures 7 (Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.61 / 0.45
(1.64 / 2.22 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In both modes, shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.


 

Power

The Canon PowerShot S80 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. Because it doesn't have a standard external power connector, we weren't able to conduct our usual power consumption tests on it. Relying instead on Canon's published specs (based on the CIPA battery-life standard) the camera should be able to provide about 200 shots on a fully charged battery with its LCD on, or about 700 shots with its LCD off. Playback time on a fully charge battery is about 300 minutes.

 

Storage Capacity

The Canon PowerShot S80 stores its photos on SD / MMC 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
Basic
3264 x 2448 Images
(Avg size)
8
3.6 MB
14
2.1 MB
30
1.0 MB
Approx.
Compression
7:1 11:1 23:1
2592 x 1944 Images
(Avg size)
12
2.6 MB
21
1.5 MB
43
744 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 20:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
18
1.7 MB
33
943 KB
66
479 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 20:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
30
1.1 MB
53
595 KB
101
314 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 18:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
113
281 KB
176
182 KB
276
116 KB
Approx.
Compression
3:1 5:1
8:1
 

 

Download Speed

The Canon PowerShot S80 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 2043 KBytes/second. (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.)

S80 Review
S80 Test Images
S80 Specifications
S80 "Picky Details"
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