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"Picky Details" for the Sony Cyber-shot T9 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 Sony Cyber-shot T9:

Sony Cyber-shot T9 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.6
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
~0 - 7
First time is time to simply snap lens cover shut, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
Play to Record, first shot
0.2
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
2.2 / 1.0
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
0.38 / 0.46
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.013
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus
0.37
Generally no faster than standard autofocus for stationary subjects, and we have no way of reliably testing with moving subjects.
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.32
On the slow side for manual focus, which is usually noticeably faster than autofocus.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

1.44 / 1.50

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 5 (Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.77 / 0.65
(1.3 / 1.54 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" size images. Times are averages. Shoots 7 frames this fast in large/fine mode, then stops to clear the buffer. Shoots over 50 frames this fast in TV mode without slowing. Buffer clears in 6 seconds for large/fine images, 7 seconds for lowest resolution.
Cycle Time, continuous Multi 16 mode 0.03
(30 fps)
Camera captures sixteen 320x240 pixel images, stores them in 4x4 arrays inside normal 1280x960 files. Frame rate can be set to 30,15, or 7.5 fps. Buffer clears in about a second.

 

Good speed for a subcompact consumer camera, very fast shutter response.
The T9's performance is pretty good, with a fairly fast startup time and very fast shutter response. The lag time of 0.38 second at wide angle is quite fast, and the telephoto shutter lag is still only 0.46 second. If you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, it's exceptionally fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.013 second, among the fastest on the market. Shot to shot cycle times are pretty good as well, at about 1.44 seconds for large/fine JPEGs. Continuous-mode speed is slightly slow however, at a bit over one frame/second, for up to seven shots in succession. The flash takes about five seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, a little slow, but in line with the performance of other subcompact camera models.

 

Power

Operating Mode
Battery Life
Still-image capture mode
LCD on
121 minutes
Image playback
LCD on
192 minutes
Movie capture mode
LCD on
86 minutes

 

Excellent battery life for a subcompact.
The Sony DSC-T9 uses a Sony NP-FT1 3.6V 2.4Wh LiIon battery for power and has no external power connector. We were unable to usual direct measurements of power consumption, but we've found Sony's own InfoLITHIUM system reports battery runtime estimates with pretty good accuracy, so we've filled in what the camera says it expects after a full charge. 121 minutes of capture time for the Sony T9 is excellent considering the super-compact body and tiny battery size.

 

Storage Capacity

The Sony Cyber-shot T9 stores its photos on Memory Stick Duo memory cards or in approximately 58MB of internal memory, and no card is included with the camera. (We strongly recommend buying a large capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo, at least a 128 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored internal memory at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
58 MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2816 x 2112 Images
(Avg size)
19
3.2 MB
35
1.7 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
37
1.6 MB
66
929 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
90
688 KB
163
378 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
360
172 KB
901
69 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 13:1

 

Download Speed

The Sony Cyber-shot T9 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 3360 KBytes/second, a very fast clip. (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.)

T9 Review
T9 Test Images
T9 Specifications
T9 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

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