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"Picky Details" for the Casio Exilim Z50 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 Casio Exilim Z50:

 

Casio Exilim Z50 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.0
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. Fairly fast.
Shutdown
2.7 - 5.5
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. A bit faster than average.
Play to Record, first shot
0.6 - 2.0
Lens retracts after 10 seconds in playback mode, extending the time to return to record mode. First time is quite fast, second time is rather slow.
Record to play
3.5 / 0.6
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. First time is on the slow side, second time is very fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.45/0.90
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Wide angle time is very fast, telephoto time is about average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.014
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Shutter lag, pan focus
0.066
Time to capture, pan focus mode set. Very fast.
Shutter lag, auto pan focus
0.160
Time to capture, auto pan focus enabled. A quick press of the shutter button without a pause to focus triggers pan focus. Very fast, great for sports and action shots. (Focus range may be limited though, be sure to check the range that's indicated on the LCD when you half-press the shutter button in this mode.)
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.07 /
0.99

First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. Buffer clears after each shot in TV mode, and almost immediately in large/fine mode. About average, but buffer clearing speed is very good.

Faster than average performance overall, but varies a fair bit by mode. The Casio Exilim EX-Z50 is a bit of a mixed bag in the performance department, but overall does better than average. Startup is quite quick, shutter lag in full autofocus mode ranges from a very fast 0.45 second at wide angle zoom settings to a more average 0.90 second at telephoto. Shutter delay when "prefocused" by half-pressing and holding the shutter button before the shot is a blazing 0.014 second, among the very fastest on the market, regardless of price range. With a shutter delay of 0.16 second, the Z-50's unique "Pan Focus" mode can largely beat the shutter lag bugaboo of digital cameras, but you need to pay careful attention to the focus range that the camera displays on the LCD screen when you half-press the shutter button in that mode. - If your subject doesn't lie between the near and far limits of that range, it won't be in focus. Cycle times from shot to shot of ~2.1 seconds are also pretty good for a compact digital camera.

 

Power

Absolutely exceptional battery life! The Casio Exilim Z50 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and connects to the AC power only through its cradle, so I couldn't conduct my normal exacting power measurements on it. I did conduct a "rundown" test on it, in its highest power-drain mode (capture mode, LCD turned on). The results amazed me, as the camera ran for almost exactly four hours (!), longer than almost any other consumer digital camera on the market, regardless of size or price point.

 

Storage Capacity

The Casio Exilim Z50 stores its photos on SD / MMC memory cards, or in 9.3 MB of internal memory. No memory card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 64 MB card, preferably a 128 MB one, as the internal memory is about limited to turning the camera on to check that it works.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored in the internal memory at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
9.3 MB internal memory
Fine Normal
Basic
2560 x 1920 Images
(Avg size)
4
2.4 MB
4
1.9 MB
6
1.4 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 8:1 10:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
5
1.8 MB
7
1.4 MB
13
716 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 7:1 13:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
8
1.2 MB
12
799 KB
23
409 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 7:1 14:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
12
768 KB
19
501 KB
33
285 KB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 7:1
13:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
45
215 KB
59
164 KB
94
102 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1
9:1

 

Download Speed

The Casio Exilim Z50 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 687 KBytes/second, a respectable if not exactly exciting 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.)

Z50 Review
Z50 Test Images
Z50 Specifications
Z50 "Picky Details"
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