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"Picky Details" for the Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 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 Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50:

 

Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.4
Time from startup until first shot is captured. Very fast.
Shutdown
0.25 - 9
First time is simple shutdown, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. You can stow the camera immediately after shutting down, as there's no lens to retract. Nine seconds for worst-case buffer clearing is pretty good too, given the X50's generous buffer memory.
Play to Record, first shot
1.5
Time until first shot is captured. Fairly fast.
Record to play
3.0 / 0.9
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. First time is a little slow, second is quite fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.79 / 0.81
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Just on the fast side of average. (Most consumer digital cameras have shutter lag figures running from 0.8 to 1.0 second.) Very good for a subcompact model.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.071
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.31 /
2.34

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots six shots this fast, then slows to about 3.1 seconds per shot. In TV mode, shoots at this rate indefinitely. Buffer clears in 3 seconds in large/fine mode, 1 second in TV mode. Not as fast as some full-sized digital cameras, but pretty good for a subcompact model.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution 0.55
(1.83 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" size images. Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.55 seconds for four frames, regardless of resolution. Rate then slows to 2.6 seconds per shot for large/fine mode, or 1.9 seconds per shot for TV mode. Buffer clears in 6 seconds for large/fine images, 3 seconds for lowest resolution. Quite good for a subcompact digital camera, and a reasonably generous buffer capacity.
Cycle Time, Ultra High Speed mode 0.09 (11.76 fps) Times are averages. Shoots a burst of eleven 1280x960 shots. Buffer clears in 8 seconds. Very fast.
Cycle Time, Multi Frame mode 0.81
(1.24 fps)
Camera captures nine small images and stores them in a 3x3 array inside normal size files. Shoots at the same rate regardless of resolution. Buffer clears in 8.5 seconds for large/fine images, 6.7 seconds for lowest resolution. Fast, but I'm surprised it isn't as fast as the UHS mode, which shoots larger, 1280x960 images.

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 performed surprisingly well for a subcompact digital camera. Its 0.8 second shutter lag (regardless of zoom setting) is on the fast side of average, and its 0.07 second lag when "prefocused" by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button prior to the shot itself is positively blazing. At 2.3 seconds/frame, its shot to shot cycle time is likewise OK, but actually quite good for a subcompact model. Speed in continuous mode is excellent, at 1.83 frames/second, and the Ultra High Speed mode is just that, capturing 11 1280x960 images in less than a second.

 

Power

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power.

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.7 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(rechargeable LiIon battery)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
542 mA
58
Capture Mode, no LCD
9.2 mA
57 hours(!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
562 mA
55
Half-pressed w/o LCD
500 mA
62
Memory Write (transient)
646 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
2062 mA
n/a
Image Playback
308 mA
101


Like most subcompact digital cameras, the Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 has rather short battery life when its rear-panel LCD is used as the viewfinder. At just 58 minutes in this mode, battery life is shorter than most cameras in its class, so you'll definitely want to buy a spare battery right along with the camera. On the other hand, when run with its LCD off, run time stretches to a phenomenal 57 hours. Unfortunately, the rather tight optical viewfinder means that you'll need to rely on the power-hungry LCD screen more often than not.

 

Storage Capacity

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 stores its photos on SD / MMC 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
Basic
2560 x 1920 Images
(Avg size)
5
2.8 MB
11
1.5 MB
21
755 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 20:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.8 MB
16
957 KB
31
515 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 18:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
13
1.6 MB
26
607 KB
45
350 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1
17:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
66
239 KB
96
166 KB
144
110 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1
8:1

 

Download Speed

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 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 808 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.)

X50 Review
X50 Test Images
X50 Specifications
X50 "Picky Details"
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