Sony announces the DSC-F717: A significant upgrade to the F707, AND a detailed First Look review!|
(Monday, September 2, 2002 - 00:25 EDT)
Sony makes a number of tweaks, adds features to the F707, to come up with the just-announced DSC-F717...
Dave here, pinch-hitting for News Editor Mike T, who apparently just broke his arm tonight. (Not a good thing for a News Editor to do.) Hence, some of the details of this piece could be a bit garbled, given that I'm putting this article together simultaneous with trying to get my First Look review tweaked and in place as well.
I think this is pretty big news - Sony has announced an upgrade to last year's wildly successful DSC-F707, making a number of significant improvements in the process.
Rather than spend time I unfortunately don't have just now detailing the improvements, I'll list a few of the most significant, and point out that most of the others are highlighted in blue in the specs table below. Here's the short list:
- Dramatically faster AF/reduced shutter lag. - The new F717 has the distinction of being the fastest-focusing consumer-level digicam I've yet tested.
- Much better color rendering, although my final judgement on that will have to await my testing of a production model.
- Awesome auto white balance, one of the best I've yet seen on a digicam.
- Zoom control via the lens collar (the ring on the front of the lens now doubles as focusing and zoom control).
- A Hot Shoe(!) for attaching generic flash units.
- ISO now goes to 800.
- MPEG HQX, allowing high-quality movie recording limited only by card capacity.
- "Live" Histogram in both record and play modes.
- Full auto exposure mode.
- USB 2.0 interface.
- (Doubtless several others I'm forgetting in my sleep-deprived state. ;-)
For more information, see my *detailed* First Look review.
The new model is being announced in Japan today, the formal US announcement (including US pricing) will come Wednesday, due to the US Labor Day holiday.
Here's the specs as we have them currently, and a few photos (more photos and much more info in the review itself)
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F717|
|Lens & Imager|
|Imager, Gross Pixels||2/3 " 5.2 MP CCD|
|Effective Pixels||5.0 Megapixel|
|Lens / Optical Zoom, Aperture||Carl Zeiss, 5X f2 - 2.4|
|Focal Length||9.7 - 48.5mm|
|35mm Equivalency||38 - 190mm|
|Digital Zoom||Precision, 2X|
|Auto Focus||Contrast Detect|
|Manual Focus||Yes, Continuous Ring|
|Multi-Point AF||Auto/Manual, 5 Area|
|Visual Focus Confirm||On LCD W/Magnifier|
|AF Illuminator Light||Hologram AF|
|Normal Minimum Focus||19.7 Inch (50cm)|
|Macro Minimum Focus||0.8 Inch (20mm)|
|A/D Conversion||14-bit DXP|
|ISO||Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800|
|White Balance||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, 1 Push |
|Exposure Metering||Multi-pattern / Center Weighted / Spot|
|Aperture Priority (Range)||F2.0 - 8.0, 13 Step|
|Shutter Priority (Range)||30 - 1/1000, 46 Step (To 1/2000 in full auto mode)|
|Slow Shutter NR||Yes, 1/25 - 30 Sec|
|Clear Color / Luminence NR||Yes / Yes|
|Manual Exposure||Yes, W/EV Indicator|
|Scene Modes||Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape|
|Exposure Value Compensation||+/- 2, 1/3 EV Increments|
|In-Camera Sharpening||+/-2, 1 Step Increments|
|Flash Modes||Auto / Forced / Off|
|Red-eye Reduction||On / Off (All Modes)|
|Flash Level Adjustment||Auto / High / Low|
|Flash W/Slow Shutter||Yes, Twilight Portrait|
|Flash Range||1.6 - 16.4 Feet (0.5 - 5m)|
|Flash Shoe||Yes, Hot for Ext. Sync|
|External Terminal||For HVL-F1000 / RM-DR1|
|LCD / Viewfinder|
|LCD||1.8 Inch 123k Pixel|
|Auto Bright Monitoring||Yes|
|Eye Level Viewfinder||180k LCD, Through Lens|
|Shots Taken / Remaining||Yes / Yes|
|Battery Remaining Indicator||Accu-Power Meter|
|Recording Media||Memory Stick|
|Still Image Formats||JPEG / GIF / TIFF|
|5MP Image||2560 x 1920|
|QXGA Image||2048 x 1536|
|SXGA Image||1280 x 960|
|VGA Image||640 x 480|
|3:2 Image||2560 x 1712|
|Compression (Quality)||Standard / Fine|
|Burst Mode||3 Frames, 2 fps|
|Auto Exposure Bracketing||3 Frames, +/- 0.3 / 0.7 / 1 EV|
|Email Mode||Yes, Adds 320 x 240|
|Voice Memo Mode||Yes|
|Picture Effects||Solarize, Sepia, Negative Art|
|MPEG Movie Modes||Video Mail, Presentation, HQX Modes, Extended Function, With Audio|
|Multi-Burst Mode||16 Frame 320 x 240|
|Clip Motion Animated GIF||160 x 120, 120 x 108|
|Index Display||9 Frame|
|Review / Quick Delete||Yes / Yes|
|Playback Zoom||Yes, 1.1 - 5X|
|Trimming / Resizing||Yes / Yes|
|MPEG 6X Q / Review||Yes, EX and HQ|
|Storage Supplied||32Mb Memory Stick|
|Connections||AV / USB / AC Power|
|Battery Requirement||InfoLithium M|
|AC Adapter / Charger Supplied||AC-L10|
|Supplied Software||Pixela Image Mixer for Sony V1.0, SPVD-008 USB Driver |
|Dimensions (Inch)||6 5/16 x 4 7/8 x 2 5/8"|
|Dimensions (mm)||124 x 68 x 162mm|
|Weight W/Battery and Media||1 lb., 9.5 oz (696g)|