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"Picky Details" for the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-U60 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, 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 DSC-U60:

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.


Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-U60 Timings
Power On -> First shot
Displays startup screen, then shoots. Not bad, but I'd have expected faster for a simple camera with no telescoping lens to extend.
Time till camera turns off after hitting power button. First time is for shutdown just after snapping large image, second time is for camera in quiescent state. Pretty fast. (And you can pocket it immediately anyway, as there's no lens to retract.)
Play to Record, first shot
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
Time to display a large/fine file after capture.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
Shutter delay in normal autofocus operation. Very fast.
Shutter lag, prefocus
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. Faster than average.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Large/fine showed significant variation between shots, ranging from 1.8 to 2.6 seconds. No buffer memory, all shots are more or less the same speed.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
1.91 fps
Numbers for Burst mode, which captures five successive frames. Number beneath is corresponding frames per second.

Overall, the U60 is a pretty speedy little camera. Shutter lag is much better than most digicams, while cycle time is quite respectable, if not anything to write home about. Startup is fairly fast at a shade under 3 seconds, and shutdown is a non-issue, since you can stick it into your pocket at any time, thanks to the lack of a telescoping lens design.



The DSC-U60 uses two AAA cells for its power source. The camera unfortunately does not have an AC adapter or DC In connector terminal, so I was unable to make my usual power readings here. I did however, take the rather unscientific approach of simply running the camera continuously with its LCD on in capture mode (the worst-case power-drain mode) on a freshly charged set of batteries, and found that they lasted 76 minutes. This isn't anything to write home about, but isn't bad for such a compact digicam. (And the U60's excellent LCD can be run outdoors with the backlight turned off, which should save a little power.) Definitely plan on purchasing a couple of extra sets of AAA NiMH cells, but the run time is impressive for a camera with such a modest power source.



Storage Capacity
The DSC-U60 stores its photos on Sony Memory Sticks, and an 8MB card is included with the camera. (I strongly recommend buying at least a 32MB or 64MB card, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 8MB card at each size/quality setting.


Image Capacity vs
8MB Memory Card
Full Resolution
1,632 x 1,224
(Avg size)
525 KB
VGA Resolution
640 x 480
(Avg size)
98 KB


Download Speed
The DSC-U60 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony VAIO desktop, 2.4 GHz Pentium IV, running Windows XP ("VAIO"), I clocked it at 401 KBytes/second. (Cameras with slow USB interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s.)


U60 Review
U60 Test Images
U60 Specifications
U60 "Picky Details"
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