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The Good

It's probably the sharpest, clearest best balanced and detailed digital camera yet from Sony. It's up there and comparable (read competition to) the Nikon Coolpix 950 and Olympus C2000Z. It doesn't have some of the nasties found on those cameras, there's no Chromatic Aberrations and no Barrel Distortion. There's a great optical zoom capacity (all the way up to 190mm) combined with that sharp clear Carl Zeiss lens.

Artifacts / Errors

Yes, there was low-light noise (samples of which can be seen on the previous "features" page). However for normal shooting in normal circumstances the F505 did an excellent job.

Focus problems

Strangely the F505 gave me the "green light" (indication of a good focus lock) almost every time, even if it DIDN'T actually have a good focus lock. I also found it focusing on background objects instead of the subject in the foreground (still a little tuning required there Sony).

Comparison with Nikon Coolpix 950

The shots below were taken within a minute or so of each other on a fixed tripod with automatic settings on both cameras and JPEG modes set to the lowest compression (FINE - note the 950 will have the advantage here as its FINE mode is half the compression of the F505.. However, I consider it a fair comparison as it's still the BEST JPEG you can get out of the camera). The 3D test subject (wine bottle and glasses was shot with BOTH cameras set to Aperture Priority with an aperture of F5.6 to give a little more depth of field).

The F505 will seem sharper than the 950 for two reasons, it's got a bigger clearer lens and does have some in-camera sharpening (unlike the 950). If you get down to the nitty gritty pixels the 950 still has the edge (very slightly) but it's oh-so-close. And often the F505 did a much better job of calculating the correct white balance and getting the focus perfectly sharp.

Note: It may seem as though I zoomed in further for the 950, but I used the LCD on both cameras to align with the edges of the subject matter, the F505 seems to only give a 95% view on the LCD where as the 950 gave almost 99%.

Sony DSC-F505 Nikon Coolpix 950

Poster shot

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Poster shot

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Sony DSC-F505 Nikon Coolpix 950

3D objects shot (DOF)

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

3D objects shot (DOF)

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Sony DSC-F505 Nikon Coolpix 950

Hair / Fur detail

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Hair / Fur detail

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

January 2000 Update: Production DSC-F505

I've re-shot some of the samples and a new sample shot of a watch for comparison between a production DSC-F505 and the Nikon Coolpix 950 (Firmware 1.3). Results are pretty much the same as above, apart from the 950 getting the white balance wrong on the sample poster shot.

Sony DSC-F505 Nikon Coolpix 950

Poster shot

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Poster shot

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Sony DSC-F505 Nikon Coolpix 950

Semi-macro shot (DOF)

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

Semi-macro shot (DOF)

Cropped area, blown up 200%:

 

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Comments

Total comments: 2
Planet y

Yes a great camera it was, ways ahead at the beginning of the 21 century.
I recently posted some pictures on 500px These pictures i took during my Wordtrip with this camera. It was equiped with a very expensive 128 mb memory stick wich costed me a stunning 350 $ during these days .
http://500px.com/WvZ/store

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Geoff Brown

My model went to the great camera collection in the sky many years ago, but what a wonderful camera it was for that time.

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Total comments: 2