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"Picky Details" for the Panasonic DMC-LS2 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)



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, we routinely measure both shutter delay and shot to shot cycle times for all cameras we test, using a test system Dave designed and built for the purpose. (Crystal-controlled, with a resolution of 0.001 second.) Here are the numbers we collected for the Panasonic DMC-LS2:


Panasonic DMC-LS2 Timings
Power On -> First shot
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
2.1 - 4
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.*
Play to Record, first shot
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
1.5 / 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, 5-Area, full autofocus Wide
This is the default mode, with 5 active AF areas; decreasing the active areas can speed it up, as shown below
Shutter lag,
1-Area full AF Wide
Switching to 1-Area AF speeds matters up a bit
Shutter lag,
1-Area, full AF Tele
Zooming to telephoto slows down again
Shutter lag,
1-Area High Speed full AF Wide
The fastest AF mode is 1-Area High Speed mode
Shutter lag,
3-Area full AF Wide
3-Area AF mode is still pretty fast, and might be a good compromise between speed and intelligent AF
Shutter lag, prefocus
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus
As usual, continuous AF mode offers little or no increase in speed for static subjects. It might help with a moving subject, but we have no way to consistently measure performance with moving subjects.
Shutter lag, manual focus
Cycle Time, max/min resolution


Shoots at about the same speed regardless of resolution. Buffer clears after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures 8 (Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution 0.37
(2.7 fps)
Shoots at about the same speed regardless of resolution. Shoots 3 frames this fast, then slows to about 2 seconds per shot. Buffer clears after each shot.*
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution 0.63
(1.6 fps)
Times are averages. Shoots 3 frames this fast, then slows to about 2 seconds per shot. Buffer clears after each shot.*
Cycle Time, continuous "infinite" mode 0.77
(1.3 fps)
Shoots at about the same speed regardless of resolution. Shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.*
* Note - These timings were collected with a fast 133x Kingston Ultimate 1GB SD memory card. Slower cards could result in shorter run lengths in continuous mode and longer buffer clearing times.



The Panasonic DMC-LS2 uses two AA batteries for power, and ordinary alkaline batteries are included with the camera.

The table below shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. (See below for a discussion of the CIPA battery-life standard.)

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries
AA oxyride batteries

Storage Capacity

The Panasonic DMC-LS2 stores its photos on SD / MMC memory cards or in approximately 14MB of internal memory, and no 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 at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
14 MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2560 x 1920 Images
(Avg size)
2.6 MB
1.3 MB
6:1 11:1
2048 x 1536 Images
(Avg size)
1.7 MB
850 KB
6:1 11:1
1600 x 1200 Images
(Avg size)
1.0 MB
533 KB
6:1 11:1
1280 x 960 Images
(Avg size)
684 KB
366 KB
5:1 10:1
640 x 480
(Avg size)
216 KB
133 KB
4:1 7:1


Download Speed

The Panasonic DMC-LS2 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 649 KBytes/second. (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.)

Notes regarding battery life and the CIPA battery-life standard.

Back when Imaging Resource first began, there were no standards for specifying battery life in digital cameras, and the battery life numbers published by some manufacturers were, shall we say, wildly optimistic. To counter this, Imaging Resource led the way in performing actual power-drain measurements of the cameras we tested, in various operating modes. With unrealistic battery life figures thus shown up for what they were, manufacturers considerably moderated their claims, but there was still no agreement on a common standard for measuring battery life.

In late 2003, the Japanese Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) established a standard test methodology for determining the number of shots a camera could capture under specific conditions and usage patterns. While not initially followed by every manufacturer, as of 2006, it's safe to say that the vast majority of camera models now have CIPA battery-life numbers available for them. There's still some room for erroneous reporting (no one outside the manufacturers themselves verifies or validates the numbers), but we've observed that published CIPA battery life numbers tend to correlate well with our own power-drain measurements and experience in actually shooting the cameras involved.

The standard CIPA test procedure is as follows (abbreviated for clarity):

  1. Power up the camera, set to default focus and image-quality settings, turn on LCD monitor
  2. Wait 30 seconds
  3. Take a picture
  4. Zoom from wide to tele or tele to wide, as appropriate
  5. Turn the flash from off to on, or on to off, as appropriate
  6. Make sure LCD is still lit, if it has gone out, turn it back on again
  7. Wait until 30 seconds has elapsed from previous shot
  8. (If 10 minutes has elapsed since the camera was last turned on, turn it off and back on again)
  9. Loop back to step (3), until batteries are exhausted and camera shuts down

The number of shots captured under the above conditions then becomes the CIPA battery-life figure.

Battery life is going to be highly dependent on the operating mode of the camera, which is why we never published our power-consumption data in the form of "number of shots" as CIPA does. The CIPA methodology will miss certain camera behavior that can bring considerable benefits to the user, such as cameras with very low power drain in capture mode with the LCD disabled, or with very low power consumption in "sleep" modes from which the camera can waken quickly. A camera with only modest battery life under the CIPA test conditions could show exceptional battery life when used with its optical viewfinder rather than its LCD. (In years past, Olympus cameras were particularly notable in this regard.) Likewise, few consumers routinely use flash for every other photo they take. It's much more likely that they'd either use it on no photos (daylight conditions), or every photo (indoors or at night).

While the CIPA methodology is far from perfect or truly comprehensive, we feel that it currently serves as a "good enough" standard to give consumers a fair idea of how long different cameras will operate from a set of batteries or on a single charge of a rechargeable battery pack. Because of this, we've elected to discontinue our earlier power-drain measurements and simply pass along the CIPA numbers generated by the manufacturers. (A note to the manufacturers though: We will be spot-checking cameras here or there, following the CIPA standard, to insure that these values are and continue to be reported accurately.)

Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document)

LS2 Review
LS2 Test Images
LS2 Specifications
LS2 "Picky Details"
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