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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:

  1. Dramatically faster AF/reduced shutter lag. - The new F717 has the distinction of being the fastest-focusing consumer-level digicam I've yet tested.
  2. Much better color rendering, although my final judgement on that will have to await my testing of a production model.
  3. Awesome auto white balance, one of the best I've yet seen on a digicam.
  4. Zoom control via the lens collar (the ring on the front of the lens now doubles as focusing and zoom control).
  5. A Hot Shoe(!) for attaching generic flash units.
  6. ISO now goes to 800.
  7. MPEG HQX, allowing high-quality movie recording limited only by card capacity.
  8. "Live" Histogram in both record and play modes.
  9. Full auto exposure mode.
  10. USB 2.0 interface.
  11. (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 Pixels2/3 " 5.2 MP CCD
Effective Pixels5.0 Megapixel
Lens / Optical Zoom, ApertureCarl Zeiss, 5X f2 - 2.4
Focal Length9.7 - 48.5mm
35mm Equivalency38 - 190mm
Digital ZoomPrecision, 2X
Lens Thread58mm
Lens CoverCap
Auto FocusContrast Detect
Manual FocusYes, Continuous Ring
Multi-Point AFAuto/Manual, 5 Area
Visual Focus ConfirmOn LCD W/Magnifier
AF Illuminator LightHologram AF
Normal Minimum Focus19.7 Inch (50cm)
Macro Minimum Focus0.8 Inch (20mm)
A/D Conversion14-bit DXP
ISOAuto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800
White BalanceAuto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, 1 Push
Exposure MeteringMulti-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 NRYes, 1/25 - 30 Sec
Clear Color / Luminence NRYes / Yes
Manual ExposureYes, W/EV Indicator
Scene ModesTwilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape
Exposure Value Compensation+/- 2, 1/3 EV Increments
In-Camera Sharpening+/-2, 1 Step Increments
Flash ModesAuto / Forced / Off
Red-eye ReductionOn / Off (All Modes)
Flash Level AdjustmentAuto / High / Low
Flash W/Slow ShutterYes, Twilight Portrait
Flash Range1.6 - 16.4 Feet (0.5 - 5m)
Flash ShoeYes, Hot for Ext. Sync
External TerminalFor HVL-F1000 / RM-DR1
LCD / Viewfinder
LCD1.8 Inch 123k Pixel
LCD BacklightAdjustable
Auto Bright MonitoringYes
Eye Level Viewfinder180k LCD, Through Lens
Shots Taken / RemainingYes / Yes
Battery Remaining IndicatorAccu-Power Meter
Recording MediaMemory Stick
Still Image FormatsJPEG / GIF / TIFF
5MP Image2560 x 1920
QXGA Image2048 x 1536
SXGA Image1280 x 960
VGA Image640 x 480
3:2 Image2560 x 1712
Compression (Quality)Standard / Fine
Burst Mode3 Frames, 2 fps
Auto Exposure Bracketing3 Frames, +/- 0.3 / 0.7 / 1 EV
Email ModeYes, Adds 320 x 240
Voice Memo ModeYes
Picture EffectsSolarize, Sepia, Negative Art
MPEG Movie ModesVideo Mail, Presentation, HQX Modes, Extended Function, With Audio
Multi-Burst Mode16 Frame 320 x 240
Clip Motion Animated GIF160 x 120, 120 x 108
Index Display9 Frame
Review / Quick DeleteYes / Yes
Playback ZoomYes, 1.1 - 5X
Trimming / ResizingYes / Yes
MPEG 6X Q / ReviewYes, EX and HQ
Storage Supplied32Mb Memory Stick
ConnectionsAV / USB / AC Power
Battery RequirementInfoLithium M
Battery SuppliedNP-FM50
AC Adapter / Charger SuppliedAC-L10
Supplied SoftwarePixela 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 Media1 lb., 9.5 oz (696g)
More Photos

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