Sony DSC-P5 and *DSC-F707* FULL reviews posted!|
(Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 09:18 EDT)
Few cameras this year have excited the sort of pre-release "buzz" of Sony's new DSC-F707. No need for rumors any more, we've got the full skinny on them!
Wow! Few cameras have excited as much rumor, interest, or speculation on the internet than Sony's new DSC-F707, and with good reason. We've had our hands on a preproduction model of the new camera, and it figuratively knocked our socks off! A follow-on to the DSC-F505V, a camera which attracted something approaching a "cult" following, the new DSC-F707 includes dramatic improvements in just about every aspect of camera performance, as well as some never-before-seen digicam features. The new model sports a lens that's a full stop faster (f/2.0-2.4), a 5.2 megapixel CCD (5.04 effective), bigger battery, fantastic color, very low image noise, and an electronic eyelevel viewfinder. Not enough? How about the ability to "see" and focus in total darkness? Sony's adapted their infrared-based "NightShot" technology from their videocamera line, including both NightShot and a new mode called NightFraming (read the review for the details). They've also included an optional "Hologram Autofocus" feature, that projects a focusing pattern on the subject using a visible-light laser diode and diffraction grating. All in all, the F707 expands the digicam state of the art in unforeseen directions, while simultaneously raising the bar on image quality. Oh - and all this will sell for $999 MSRP in the US, not the $1400-1500 that's been rumored! We predict that this camera will be a huge factor in the market it's literally one of the best we've seen at any price. (Save your pennies, this beauty will be hitting US retail sometime in September.) Check out the review for all the details!
While it won't make as big a splash in the market as the DSC-F707, we suspect this model may actually sell more units: Sony's announced an update to their very popular subcompact camera, the DSC-P1. The new DSC-P5 sports many of the same features, but is much thinner, thanks to a two-part telescoping 3x zoom lens. The resulting camera is a bit less than an inch and a half thick (36mm), but is otherwise the same size as the original P1. The new model has all the Y2001 Sony improvements though, in terms of internal electronics and improved color. The net result is an ultra-compact 3 megapixel, 3x-zoom digicam that snaps great pictures while carrying the Sony trademark style. As noted, while the F707 is perhaps bigger news, we think the P5 is actually going to sell more units, as it's very much in the mainstream of consumer interests. And at an MSRP in the US of $599, it's quite affordable for a 3 megapixel camera. (Look for this model on store shelves in September also.) Check out the review for all the details!
Reviews on other sites:
Phil Askey has also posted two of his as-always-excellent reviews on the P5 and F707:
Phil's P5 review
Phil's F707 review
...and our friend Jeff Keller over at the DCRP has also posted a preview of the F707:
Jeff's F707 preview
Finally, our friend Steve from Steve's Digicams has now also posted "first look" reviews of the F707 and P5:
Steve's P5 review
Steve's F707 review