Olympus C-5060 Wide ZoomOlympus makes a strong update to the top of their prosumer lineup
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Page 7:Shutter Lag & Cycle Time TestsReview First Posted: 11/21/2003
Shutter Lag/Cycle Times
When you press the shutter release on a camera, there's usually a lag time before the shutter actually fires. This time is to allow 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 only rarely reported on, and can significantly affect the picture taking experience, I routinely measure it using a test setup I designed and built for the purpose. (Crystal-controlled timing, with a resolution of 0.001 second.) The results are listed in the following chart.
NOTE: My qualitative characterizations of camera performance below (that is, "reasonably
fast," "about average," etc.) are meant to be relative to
other cameras of similar price and general capabilities. Thus, the same
shutter lag that's "very fast" for a low-end consumer camera might
be characterized as "quite slow" if I encountered it on a professional
model. The comments are also intended as only a quick reference: If performance
specs are critical for you, rely on the absolute numbers to compare cameras,
rather than my purely qualitative comments.
| || |
|Power On -> First shot|| || |
Lens extends. Rather slow.
|Shutdown|| ||Lens retracts. About average.|
|Play to Record, first shot|| || |
|Record to play|| |
Top set of numbers are for large/fine files, bottom set for small/basic. First number in each pair is for immediate switch to playback after capturing an image, second number is for switch to playback mode after camera has finished processing last shot captured. About average.
|Shutter lag, full autofocus|| ||First number is for wide-angle, second is for telephoto. Quite fast, noticeably better than average in its class.|
|Shutter lag, manual focus||0.50||On the slow side.|
|Shutter lag, prefocus|| || |
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding Shutter button. Also a little slow for this class of camera.
|Cycle Time, max/min JPEG resolution|| ||First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. (Oddly, large/fine images are processed slightly more quickly.) Both numbers are quite fast. The buffer memory holds a minimum of about four large/fine shots before the camera slows to roughly 2.9 seconds per frame (with a range of variation from 1.6-4.0 seconds). In small/basic mode with a fast card, the camera can keep up with the shooting, regardless of the sequence length. In large/fine mode, the buffer clears in about 5.3 seconds, although it would likely take longer with a slower memory card. (Tests were performed with a 24x Lexar CF card.)|
|Cycle Time, RAW mode||9.25||No buffer memory in single-shot RAW mode, each shot takes this long, controls are locked until camera is done writing to the card. Moderately fast for a 5MP camera, although likely slower with a slower card.|
|Cycle Time, TIFF mode||16.21||No buffer memory in single-shot TIFF mode, each shot takes this long, controls are locked until camera is done writing to the card. Moderately fast for a 5MP camera, although likely slower with a slower card.|
|Cycle Time, normal continuous mode, max/min JPEG resolution|| ||First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Interval between first two shots is longer, 0.95 seconds for large/fine, 0.67 for small/basic. 7 shot buffer in large/fine, essentially unlimited in small/basic. Buffer clears in 10.5 seconds in large/fine mode, camera stops writing in ~27 seconds in small/basic. (Card-write times likely longer with slower memory card.)|
|Cycle Time, AF continuous mode, max/min JPEG resolution||1.34/1.21||(Continuous mode with Autofocus before each shot.) First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Interval between first two shots is longer, 1.57 seconds for large/fine, 1.30 for small/basic. 7 shot buffer in large/fine, essentially unlimited in small/basic. Buffer clears in 10.5 seconds in large/fine mode, camera stops writing in ~27 seconds in small/basic. (Card-write times likely longer with slower memory card.)|
|Cycle Time, high-speed continuous mode, max/min JPEG resolution||0.33 |
|High-speed continuous mode is much faster, but limited to four shots. After four shots, cycle time stretches to 3-7 seconds (highly variable).|
|Cycle Time, high-speed continuous mode, RAW files||0.33 |
|Same speed for high-speed continuous mode with RAW files. After four shots, camera waits to completely empty buffer (33-35 seconds with a fast card) before it lets you capture the next series of 4.|
Overall, the C-5060 Wide Zoom is a pretty fast camera. It starts up and shuts down a little slowly, but its full-autofocus shutter lag is better than average relative to other cameras in its class, and shot to shot cycle times are quite good as well, at about 1.5 seconds per frame, with a buffer that holds a minimum of four shots in single-shot mode, and seven shots in low-speed continuous. Continuous shooting speed is a little mixed, merely average at 1.3 seconds/frame in normal continuous mode (buffer size of 7 large/fine frames), but very fast at 3 frames/second in high-speed continuous mode (buffer size of 4 frames, regardless of resolution). All in all though, a fairly impressive performance, a good if not exceptional choice for sports and other action shooting. (A few cameras have higher-speed continuous modes, as well as modes that capture images continuously before you release the shutter button. That's a handy feature that the 5060 lacks, but its performance otherwise is very good indeed, particularly its autofocus speed.)