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Fastest (ultra)compact

by jlfunder / December 25, 2005 6:56 AM PST

I am sick of missing pictures. I want something that goes in my shirt pocket that gets a picture FAST. Waiting for a digital cameras to think about things for 5 seconds has almost made me go back to film. It is hard to sort through the dozens of reviews and compare. Has anyone made a comprehensive study of what is fastest to focus in various light conditions?

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You will find the information you seek here
by mrobzo / December 25, 2005 9:03 AM PST
In reply to: Fastest (ultra)compact
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Shortest Shutter Lag
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / December 25, 2005 10:00 AM PST
In reply to: Fastest (ultra)compact

The camera manufacturers seldom advertise their shutter lag specifications.

I rely on reviews for that information.
Not all cameras have been reviewed.

The reviewers only measure lag to 0.1 of a second.

From my notes"

Cameras with shortest total shutter lag of 0.1 second:
Canon SD550
Casio Z50, Z55, Z750
Sony M1

Cameras with shutter lag of 0.2 second
Canon SD20, SD30, A610, A620, SD450
Casio X57
Kodak DX7440, DX7630, Z730, Z740
Konica Minolta Z3, Z5, Z6
Sony L1, F88, N1

There may be more, but that is all I have in my notes.


"Fastest to focus in various light conditions"
I can't help you with that.


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by jlfunder / December 25, 2005 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: Shortest Shutter Lag

"Fastest to focus in various light conditions"
I can't help you with that.

Boy, if you can't help how do I proceede? It's worse than buying running shoes!


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Some Help
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / December 25, 2005 11:38 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

"Fastest to focus in various light conditions"

There is no place you can find concise information of this type for all cameras.
No one has created such a database.
It would be a daunting task.

There is a way to get the focus information, but It will take a bit of reading.

Since you also want a camera with a short shutter lag.

Select one of the cameras that I listed.

Then go to:

Find a review for that camera and go to the page titled "Steve's Conclusion".

Read that entire page, any focus information will be there.


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Still Confused
by jlfunder / December 26, 2005 1:57 AM PST
In reply to: Some Help

I may be asking the wrong question. When I see a picture (with the camera already on), then point and push the button my Canon A80 takes 2-4 seconds to respond. With anything but still-life that's useless. I dont care what goes on inside the camera (shutter response, auto-focus whatever) I just want FAST RESPONSE. Is there technical term describes the time between button push and captured image? (no 'pre-focus' handwaving please- see, click, capture- all a single event). Reading user reports and my own experience suggests that this is a very important realworld issue with digicams. Hasn't anybody tried systematically to do some kind of comparitave quantification?

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Shutter Lag Time
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / December 26, 2005 5:53 AM PST
In reply to: Still Confused

When you press the shutter button, quite a few things happen:
The autofocus starts focusing.
The exposure mechanism chooses the shutter speed, aperture setting and ISO setting.

...When the focus locks:

The shutter activates the sensor and the image is writen to the buffer.


All of the above is the shutter lag time.


That list of cameras I gave you have the shortest lag times of all cameras that have been reviewed.

A lag time of 0.1 second is considered excellent.
A lag time of 0.2 second is just below excellent.
A lag time of 0.5 second is average for new cameras.
A lag time of 1.0 second is average for old cameras.


Now here is what lag time does not include:

1. Flash - the time to charge the flash capacitor.
This time varies, depending upon how far you are from the subject and how fresh your battery is.

2. Low light situations - it usually takes longer to autofocus in dim light.

3. How far optical zoom is set - It usually takes longer to autofocus if you optical zoom is set past about 5X.

As you can see, the last three items are variables depending upon conditions.

It is difficult to produce a comparison of cameras based on degrees of distance to subject, battery condition, variations in lighting and various zoom settings.

It is not impossible to do,
but I can't see anyone funding such a costly study.


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