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Nautico Apr 25, 2004 3:20 AM

Shortest next shot delay?
Which 3-5MP cameras have the shortest next shot delay as proven by independent testing. Are there any with a next shot delay of less than 1 second?

JimC Apr 25, 2004 8:16 AM


Give us a better idea how you plan on using the camera.

There are several other factors that need to be taken into consideration: autofocus lag, shutter lag after prefocused, cycle time, number of frames before a pause, etc.).

Also, many cameras have an internal buffer that allows a finite number of photos in a "burst" (usually at more than 1 frame per second). However, there are drawbacks to these modes. You have to put the camera into a burst or continuous mode operation, and the camera only focuses and meters for the first shot in the burst. You are also limited to the number of frames in the burst with most models (then the camera must pause to "flush" the buffer to media).

If you're taking photos indoors, you must also consider flash recycle times (which usually adds several seconds or more to the cycle times). So, burst or continuous shooting is not possible when using flash.

If you look at the Conclusion Section of the reviews here, you'll find some comments on a camera's speed (startup time, autofocus lag, cycle time, etc.).

Dave Etchells tests are another good resource (see the "picky details" section of his reviews at ). He measures startup time, autofocus lag, shutter lag, cycle times, etc. for the cameras he reviews.

I'd give some details on what you need from a camera (shooting conditions), and you'll probably get better responses.

eric s Apr 25, 2004 8:18 AM

I bet there are some cameras that can take 2 or 3 shots per second. I don't know which ones they are (I have never used a 3-5MP camera) but I bet that Steve's reviews as that information in them.


Nautico Apr 25, 2004 8:50 AM

I have owned an Olympus Z-40 Zoom (4MP) for the last two years and like it a lot. I shoot both indoors and outdoors, though no fast action stuff. My next shot delay is 2-3 seconds, unless I'm in sequential shooting mode, and that moves at the rate of 2 frames/sec up to 8 frames with one depression of the shutter release button. I use the sequential setting very rarely.

I would like to find camera that features a much shorter next shot delay, 1 second or less. A sequential shooting mode does not compensate for a higher next shot delay when taking single shots, at least not for me.


JimC Apr 25, 2004 9:31 AM

Great. I see that you understand how they work.

Well, you'll need to figure out how much you are willing to spend.

You can get something like the Fuji F700 for a bit over $300.00 from most vendors. It's very fast for a non-DSLR camera, with a cycle time right at one second:

Prices go up from there. For example -- you can get something like the Nikon D2H (4 megapixels) for bit over $3,000.00 from most vendors (body only, no lenses). It's cycle time is only .25 seconds:

I don't know of a list of cameras with a cycle time of a second or less, but most DSLR's would be faster than you'd need. Prices start at around $900.00 for a Digital SLR.

The least expensive models now are the Canon Digital Rebel (EOS-300D), and the new Nikon D70 (both are around 1 grand for the body). Cycle times are quite good with these (even though they are the least expensive DSLR's on the market). Just pay attention to the number of frames before they slow down.

In the consumer (non DSLR) lines, I've heard that a couple of the new Kyoceras are pretty fast (but I haven't seen any controlled tests yet).

Nautico Apr 25, 2004 9:36 AM


Yes, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for, but would like to see a list of consumer non-DSLR cameras ranked by next shot delay time. Since next shot delay is the one aspect of digital cameras that consumers seem to complain most about, I would have thought that such a list would be readily available.

-- Bob

JimC Apr 25, 2004 9:43 AM


I don't know of a list like that (sorted by cycle time).

Cycle Times of under 1 second in a consumer (non DSLR) model are going to be quite rare (unless you're in burst/continuous mode).

I looked up the F700 because I remembered from previous reading that it was pretty darn fast.

Perhaps more users will respond with other camera choices to look at.

LewTwo Apr 26, 2004 2:31 AM

>>> I've heard that a couple of the new Kyoceras are pretty fast (but I haven't seen any controlled tests yet). <<<

"The SL300R's shooting performance is exceptional by consumer digicam standards."

And continues with the real world numbers.

JimC Apr 26, 2004 5:28 AM

Well, the continuous mode is fast, but the normal mode (what he's interested in) is not as fast as he is looking for:

"Shot-to-shot delay averaged about 2 seconds"

He wants a cycle time in normal mode of under 1 second.

So far, the fastest non-DSLR I've seen numbers for is the Fuji F700 (for shot to shot delay in Normal Mode versus Continuous Mode). It's right at 1 second (as measured by Dave Etchells). Although, Steve's review measures it at 1.3 seconds:

Nautico Apr 28, 2004 8:29 AM

The current issue of the Sharper Image catalog includes an ad for the Casio Exilim EX-Z40 4MP camera. The blurb states "there's virtually no lag between shots--just wait 0.01 seconds and shoot again."

In Steve's Conclusions about this model, however:

The EX-Z40 is ready go in approximately 2 seconds when using the internal memory only. Since most of our testing was done with a 512MB SD card, our timings may differ. When pre-focused, the EX-Z40 is quite the performer with a very minimal 0.2 sec. shutter lag. From first press of the shutter to full auto focus requires approx. 0.5 second. The EX-Z40 has no Continuous mode, but I was able to shoot 10 frames at an interval of approximately 2.1 seconds per frame with preview on. With preview off the interval was around 1.8 seconds per shot. The camera is very robust when reviewing your images. By holding down either the Left or Right buttons on the 4-way selector, you can zip through your images at lightning speed (approx. 12 frames/sec.).

I can understand why Sharper Image would want to puff this camera's low next shot delay time, but the difference beween its claim (0.01 secs) and Steve's test results (1.8-2.1 secs) is a little much!

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