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Old Apr 9, 2008, 9:35 PM   #11
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Yalcton wrote:
Thanks guys I appreciate the help. When I get I chance I'll go try some of those out in person for myself before I decide anything.

Also, mostly for my curiosity, what is it that makes taking a picture fast, or take a while? Shutter speed right? Is there any standard measurement that would be under the specifications of a camera to help you know how fast it is? If so how would I go about understanding that? Thanks in advance... ~Clayton
There are a # of factors that contribute to a camera's performance:

1) Boot up time - the amount of time from turning the camera "on" to it being prepared to take a picture.

2) Focus speed - this is actually 2 separate measurements. The shutter button of digicams are 2-stage buttons. If you press the button 1/2 way down, you allow the camera to "pre-focus", and then you depress the button to actually take the picture. Once pre-focussed, depress the button the rest of the way, and the picture is taken. The time from depressing the button all the way to beginning the shutter actuation is typically 0.1 to 0.3 sec. The pre-focus speed varies by camera and by light. In great light, a fast performer will take less than 1/2 sec. In dim light, the camera may take several seconds, or simply give up.

2A) Focus speed part 2 - this is the "mash the button" method. You point the camera and mash the shutter button all the way. This is not recommended, because you are more likely to move the camera, and they camera could possibly mis-focus.

3) Shot-to-shot speed. This is the amount of time between shots. A responsive camera will take 1 or 2 seconds between shots, without a flash. If flash is used, the time may increase to 3-7 seconds as the flash recharges. Also, the time it takes to write the photo data to your memory card is included in this time. Many camera also have a continuous shooting mode, where it will take several pictures per second for something like 3-10 seconds, until the camera's internal memory buffer is filled. After the camera's buffer is filled, it may take 10 seconds or more to write all the data to your memory card, at which time the camera is inoperable.

Please note that all of these measurements are not true universal specifications, but are merely measurements made by a tester or reviewer. It's like when car magazines rate a vehicle's 0 to 60 mph time; magazine A could say the BMW XXX goes from 0 to 60 in 6.4 seconds, while for magazine B it could be 6.9 seconds. Steve can find a Canon G13 boots up in 1.6 seconds, while Jeff over at DCResource finds it at 1.3 seconds.

Finally, and unrelated, there is shutter speed - the amount of time the shutter is open to let in light. Generally expressed as a whole # by your camera, i.e., if your camera's LCD reads "60", your shutter speed is 1/60 second. The lower the shutter speed, the more likely there is to be blur in your photo, either because the camera moved, or the subject moved.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 2:12 AM   #12
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That is an excellent explanation.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 10:15 AM   #13
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Thank you, Sarah. I bet you go over this a whole bunch during your classes. :-)

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Old Apr 10, 2008, 11:48 AM   #14
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Thank you so much, that helped tons. ~Clayton
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