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Old Jan 25, 2005, 4:38 PM   #1
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I'm looking at buying a new camera and wondering if there is any industry standard to measure lag time. The very annoying long lag time of my current camera and the memories of missed shots is very frustrating to say the least. thanks bluesails
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 5:18 PM   #2
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Point and shoot cameras tend to have more shutter lag than DSLRs. I really enjoy the almost nil lag with my EOS 20D. It's day and night compared to my old Canon Pro90. The only lag I get now is focus time. I suspect some of the newer p&s cameras are improving, but you'll have to try out the ones you're considering. I concur that shutter lag is a real pain...

The DSLR option is pretty expensive, but prices are coming down. Be sure to save a lot of money for lenses :-)
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 2:20 AM   #3
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the kyocera m410r has a mighty low lag.... i have been very impressed with the speed of it..... prices are ridiculously cheap now (boss has just bought one for £227)

steve has done a review on the camera.... its worth checking out!


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Old Jan 26, 2005, 1:39 PM   #4
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Some reviews will specifically discuss "shutter lag" (the time it takes for the shutter to operate after you press the shutter button).

(See, e.g., http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/20d.html

and http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/exp600.html)

But that time is only relevant if the picture is prefocused and the camera indicates that the picture is ready to take. There is often noticeable shutter lag in consumer digicams; nearly none in dSLRs.

(See, e.g., http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcame...=2230&p=13comparing shutter lag times of three, prefocused, compact cameras and finding shutter lag times between .09 and .29 seconds)

However, the much LONGER lag comes in focusing -- cameras can take a number of seconds to search and focus (which, of course, may occur even after you press the shutter fully). dSLRs with poor quality lenses can take longer than consumer digicams. Low light kills autofocus (cameras with a focus assist lamp generally do a little better with autofocus speed).

No, I don't believe there's an "industry standard" to measure lag times (just the people who do the tests like Steve, etc timing them). Sometimes you have to hunt to find lag time figures (although reviews often talk about focus time, sometimes in general rather than specific terms). But if you're thinking about trading up cameras, check to see if it's focusing or true shutter lag that's the problem.
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Old Jan 27, 2005, 8:48 PM   #5
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Steve's reviews often give an approximate lag time. Point and shootsare considered pretty fast if they have lag times of 1/10th of a second prefocused and about 3/10ths of a second without pre-focus.

Other reviewers measure the delay in milliseconds for pre-focused shots or without prefocus. How they measure those lag times I have no idea.

Another lag time I don't hear mentioned much is brain lag time. By the time you think its about rightto press down the shutter, to the point your finger responds and fully depresses the shutter buttonis a lag time. Nobody I know has talked about the milliseconds of brain delay followed by the mechanical time to press down a shutter button.

The bottom line is the camera contributes to lag as well as our brain/finger. Definitely the less lag time on behalf of the camera, the better.

If someone knows how reviewers are measuring shutter lag in milliseconds, I'd sure like to know.

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