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"Picky Details" for the Kodak EasyShare Z740 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 Kodak EasyShare Z740:

Kodak EasyShare Z740 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.8
LCD turns on and lens extends forward. About average.
Shutdown
3.0 - 27
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time. Average lens-retraction speed, slow clearing of buffer.
Play to Record, first shot
0.6
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
1.5 / 0.5
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. Fairly fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.45 / 0.99
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto. Focus time slows appreciably (~20%) if a shot is attempted during the 8+ seconds required to write the previous shot to memory. First time is quite fast, second is about average.

Shutter lag, continuous autofocus

0.319
Faster than average.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.077
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution

2.93 /
3.16

First number is for the largest images, second number is time for lowest resolution images. Times are averages. In both modes, captures 2 shots this fast, then shoots at a very irregular rate of about 7.5 seconds per shot. Camera may or may not take a shot while writing previous shot, with no reliable indication on screen of readiness. Buffer takes about 17 seconds to clear. All cycle times are rather slow, problematic for any sort of fast action. (Times measured with Lexar 32x SD card.)
Cycle Time, burst mode, max/min resolution 0.50
(2.0 fps)
Times are averages. Cycle time is 0.5 seconds for four frames, regardless of resolution. Camera then slows to a completely unpredictable rate of one or two shots about every 8-9 seconds, with no reliable indication of readiness for the next shot. Buffer clears in 24 seconds for large images, 21 seconds for lowest resolution. Fairly fast shot to shot, and buffer capacity is probably OK for most consumers, but the buffer clearing is rather slow. (Times measured with Lexar 32x SD card.)

Average to better than average shutter response, cycle times are rather slow though, and buffer memory clears slowly. The Z740 starts up and shuts down with average speed, and its shutter response ranges from excellent at the wide angle end of its zoom range to merely average at the telephoto end. Its biggest limitation is its shot to shot cycle time in single-shot mode, its roughly 3 seconds between shots falling in the slow range among current digital cameras. (And it can only grab two shots even that quickly, before slowing to about 7.5 seconds/shot for any beyond that, at least until the memory card can catch up.) Continuous-mode shooting speed is pretty good at two frames/second for up to four shots, but it takes the camera a long time (~24 seconds) to get ready for the next burst of shots.

 

Power

The Kodak EasyShare Z740 uses a custom pack of two NiMH AA batteries, or other AA types for power.

Operating Mode
Power
(@3 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(two 2100 mA cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
938 mA
108
Capture Mode, w/EVF
729 mA
138
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
917 mA
110
Half-pressed w/EVF
698 mA
144
Memory Write (transient)
531 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1490 mA
n/a
Image Playback
500 mA
202

OK battery life, but a spare pair of NiMH AA cells wouldn't hurt. With a worst-case run time of about 108 minutes on a fully-charged battery pack, the Z740's battery life is average to a bit below average relative to competing camera models. This is somewhat balanced by the convenience of the battery dock which makes it likely that the Z740's batteries will always be fully charged. The Kodak battery pack that comes with the dock/camera bundle (the only way the camera is currently being sold, as this is written in April, 2005) has a rated capacity of 2100 mAh, and measured capacity of ~2030 mAh. This compares to roughly 2300 mAh true capacity for the best cells currently on the market (which are rated at 2500 mAh), so buying a set of high-quality 2500 mAh cells could boost the Z740's run time to a bit over 2 hours. - I highly recommend purchasing a pair of high-capacity NiMH AA cells to use as backups. (The Kodak Printer Dock should charge these cells just fine.)

 

Storage Capacity

The Kodak EasyShare Z740 stores its photos on SD/MMC memory cards, or in approximately 29 MB of internal memory. No memory card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 128 MB card, preferably a 256 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored in the internal memory card at each size setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
29 MB Internal Memory
2576 x 1932
Images
(Avg size)
17
1.6 MB
Approx.
Compression
9:1
2304 x 1728
Images
(Avg size)
21
1.3 MB
Approx.
Compression
9:1
2048 x 1536
Images
(Avg size)
27
1.1 MB
Approx.
Compression
9:1
1552 x 1164
Images
(Avg size)
43
660 KB
Approx.
Compression
8:1

 

Download Speed

The Kodak EasyShare Z740 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 883 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 fast USB v2.0 interfaces run as fast as several megabytes/second.)

Z740 Review
Z740 Test Images
Z740 Specifications
Z740 "Picky Details"
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