Today I was lucky enough to take delivery of a brand new Sony DSC-F505 which is on loan for review. This camera has created quite a stir these last couple of weeks with a clever marketing campaign executed by Sony and a huge interest shown in the camera.

Sony DSC-F505: 2.11 megapixel (1600x1200), 5 x Carl Zeiss lens (rotatable), MemoryStick storage, No viewfinder, Hybrid (indoor/outdoor) LCD, Manual features, InfoLithium batteries.

Here are my first hours impressions. (to be followed by a full review)

Sony DSC-F505 (click for larger image)
(Click for larger image)

Design: First impressions of the F505 are, wow small, then wow weird, then wow, nice (in that order). It's MUCH smaller than these pictures make out, to show that I've taken a side by side of the F505 and its no-zoom sibling the F55.

It fits nicely into the hand, majority of the weight coming from that big lens, all the controls are at your fingertips, the screen (back) side of the camera swivelling up to face you on a tight well-built swivel joint.

Operation: Camera operation is fast, even writing to the memory stick is considerably faster than I've previously experienced, menu system is very similar to that found on the F55 and FD-88 with lots of added functionality (I'll go into that in more depth in the review). Overall it feels and operates very well. Nice 5x zoom in playback and smooth scrolling (neat "cropping" feature which allows you to crop a 640x480 portion from your high res image). Nice quick image review by hitting the right hand cursor in capture mode. Good location of macro, whitebalance and spot meter buttons right there on the lens barrel.

Image Quality: Ah, the crux of the matter. So far so good, although I've not really shot enough pictures to be really confident on giving any kind of opinion, having only had the camera for about four hours.

Some Samples: Please no comments, they're not my best but just a snippet of whats to come, I'll be working on the review flat out and hope to have it up next week.

Macro shot of the side of the F55 My "now famous" Martini bottle (good whites)
Landscape shot (full wide) Same position (full tele; 5x)