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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707

Wow! 5 megapixels, a super-sharp lens, Hologram AF, NightShot, NightFraming and more! Killer technology, great photos from Sony!

(Next): Executive Overview>>

Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 08/20/2001 (Full production model update 11/20/2001)

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5 megapixel CCD for resolution to 2,560 x 1,920 pixels
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Amazing NightShot and NightFraming see-in-the-dark technology
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Hologram Autofocus for sharp focus regardless of the light level
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Ultra-sharp 5x zoom lens (f/2.0-2.4 too!)
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Excellent color, automatic noise reduction

 

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Manufacturer Overview

Sony Electronics Inc. has long held a dominant position in the digicam marketplace, with a wide range of models enjoying enormous popularity with consumers. Last February (2001), the company announced six new units. Four of these models included members of the FD Mavica family, enormously popular because of their floppy disk (and now CD) storage media, while the other two came from Sony's DSC Cyber-shot line, which relies solely on Sony's proprietary Memory Stick storage media for capturing images. Since then, Sony has stayed ahead of the competition with increasingly sophisticated technical innovations, more competitive prices, and ever larger CCDs. The Cyber-shot DSC-S85, introduced in June, featured a 4.1-megapixel CCD with 14-bit digitizing and a 3x Carl Zeiss Zoom lens. Now (August, 2001), Sony has dropped another bombshell, with the 5-megapixel DSC-F707. This model will go down in history as the first "Night Vision" digicam, incorporating NightShot technology (borrowed from Sony's consumer camcorder line) and NightFraming IR mode for low-light and "no light" framing and shooting. Add to that a Hologram Autofocus feature that zeros in on difficult low-light, low-contrast subjects, and you've got one heck of cool camera! We expect that it will raise a lot of eyebrows among Sony customers (and competitors!). Read on for all the details, this is a hot one!


High Points

  • 5.24-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 2,560 x 1,920 pixels. (4.94 million effective pixels)
  • 1.8-inch color LCD monitor.
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with data display.
  • 5x optical zoom with 2x Precision Digital Zoom.
  • 9.7-48.5mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens, equivalent to a 38-190mm lens on a 35mm camera
  • High-tech Autofocus for challenging lighting situations (see below), plus Manual focus option.
  • Hologram AF assist light for low-light and low-contrast focusing.
  • NightShot and NightFraming IR modes for "no light" framing and shooting.
  • Through-the-lens (TTL) flash metering.
  • Adjustable apertures from f/2 to f/8.
  • Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus three preset Scene modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 30 seconds.
  • Adjustable ISO with sensitivity equivalents of Auto, 100, 200, and 400.
  • White Balance setting with three presets and a manual setting.
  • Multi-Pattern, Center-Weighted, and Spot metering options.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with four modes.
  • External flash "cold" shoe and connection socket.
  • Movie with sound recording mode.
  • "Burst 3," Auto Exposure Bracketing, E-Mail, Voice, and 10-second Self-Timer modes.
  • Uncompressed TIFF, GIF, and JPEG image file formats (movies saved as MPEG).
  • Image storage on Sony Memory Stick (16MB stick included).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • Power from Sony NP-FM50 lithium-ion battery pack or AC adapter (included).
  • AV Cable with NTSC and PAL format options
  • USB cable and software CD for quick connection to a computer.


Many of our readers will be familiar with Sony's earlier DSC-F505V camera. For those wondering exactly what's different in the new model, here's a table listing the changes:
Feature
DSC-F707
DSC-F505V
Lens
Carl Zeiss
f/2.0-2.4 to f/8
38-190mm equiv.
58mm threads
6-blade iris
Carl Zeis
f/2.8-3.3 to f/8
38-190mm equiv.
52mm threads
2-blade iris
Exposure
13 aperture settings
46 shutter speeds
30 - 1/1,000
Settable ISO 100-400
Full Manual mode added
Exp. Comp. on button
Three-frame auto-bracketing
AutoExposure Lock added
7 aperture settings
9 shutter speeds
8 - 1/1,000
Auto ISO only (100-300)
Exp. Comp. on menu
CCD
4.92 megapixel effective
(5.24 MP CCD)
2/3"
2.58 megapixel effective
(3.24 MP CCD)
1/1.8"
Viewfinder
Eyelevel LCD,
Rear-Panel LCD
Rear-Panel LCD
Only
Flash
TTL (through the lens) flash metering, using pre-flash
Cold shoe mount for proprietary external flash
Ordinary area-mode flash metering,
Connection for proprietary flash, no shoe mount though
Power
"M" series battery
(2.1x capacity)
In-camera charging, direct camera power connection
"S" series battery
External charger, "dummy battery" AC adapter connection
New Features "NightShot" and "NightFraming" IR-based see-in-the-dark photo modes.

Hologram AF projects a laser autofocus pattern for no-light focusing.

ClearColor Noise Reduction produces amazingly low noise in all shooting conditions.

Slow Shutter Noise Reduction provides additional NR for long exposures.

Burst 3 continuous-shooting mode

MPEG EX for continuous movie recording, to limit of card capacity.

Multi-pattern metering

14-bit A/D vs 12-bit for 505V

Updated Y2001 user interface
(Big improvement, IOHO!)
 

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