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Image Sharpening

The DSC-F505V offers control over the internal sharpening algorithms of the camera, you can choose from five different levels of sharpening The samples below are 100% crops of different sharpening levels for the same scene.

Sharpening -2 (Soft) Sharpening -1 (Soft)
Sharpening 0 (None) Sharpening +1 (Hard)
Sharpening +2 (Hard)  

Digital Zoom

Readers of my reviews will know I'm not a huge fan of digital zoom as it's often a badly implemented and seldom used (by owners) marketing "ploy" to sell cameras which don't have an optical zoom. The DSC-F505V features the largest optical zoom of any 3 megapixel digital camera (at the time of writing this review), on top of this it has a smooth range of digital zooms which can be used on top. They are however simply cropping (selecting the mid part of the image) and sampling-up, the only advantage in doing digital zoom inside the camera is (a) if you don't have any photo software to magnify (and interpolate) the image or (b) to digitally zoom without zooming the JPEG artifacts.

Full optical zoom (190mm as 35mm equiv. focal length)
Full optical zoom + 2 x digital zoom (380mm as 35mm equiv. focal length)
Full optical zoom + 2 x Photoshop Bicubic resample

Here I've included a Photoshop 2.0x Bicubic image, simply resampled 200% then cropped to 1856 x 1392, results are fairly close to the in-camera interpolation (probably also Bicubic).

Manual Focus

The DSC-F505V is unique in having the fly-by-wire manual focus ring at the front of the lens barrel. When switched to manual focus mode (small switch near focus ring) you can smoothly focus (by turning the ring) from about 2 cm (0.8 ") up to 10 m (32 ft), distances after that are treated as Infinity. During focusing the F505V indicates the focus distance (to the nearest 10 cm up to 2 m then in gradually larger increments) at the same time it magnifies the center of the viewing frame (like a 2 x loupe) to make accurate focusing easier, a normal view returns about 1.5 seconds after the focus ring stops moving).

During focusing, Manual Focus indicator turns yellow, view is magnified x 2 After focusing display returns to normal (Manual Focus indicator turns white)

Aperture Priority Mode

Aperture priority is where you designate the aperture and the camera calculates the best shutter speed, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the aperture will flash on the LCD screen. Used properly Aperture Priority can be invaluable as it has a direct effect on depth of field (the distance in front and behind the focal point which will be in focus when taking the shot).

The DSC-F505V offers a usable ange of apertures. Good in good light, but crippled in medium to low light because of a lower shutter speed limit of 1/30s in Aperture Priority mode... Why, I'm not sure, but it means that unless you have good light you'll not be using small apertures. Available apertures:

  • Wide: F2.8, 3.4, 4.0, 4.8, 5.6, 6.8, 8.0
  • Tele: F3.4, 4.0, 4.8, 5.6, 6.8, 8.0

Aperture Priority mode is accessed through the Program AE button. A basic example of aperture priority is shown below for more read my digital photography glossary:

Exposure: 1/30s, F3.4
(Less depth of field)
Exposure: 1/4s, F8.0
(More depth of field)

As you can see in this example we've managed to increase the depth of field slightly, unfortunately digital cameras tend to be limited to fairly large (by SLR film camera standards) apertures (normally F8.0 as with the F505V) this limitation is due to the relative size of the imaging area (CCD) and focal lengths used. It's also worth noting that I DIDN'T use Aperture Priority mode to achieve the shots above (I used Shutter Priority), that's because we wouldn't have been able to take the second shot at 1/4s, in Aperture mode the lowest shutter speed the camera will produce is 1/30s...

Shutter Priority Mode (S)

Shutter priority is where you designate the shutter speed and the camera calculates the correct aperture, if the exposure is outside of the cameras range (either over or under exposing) the shutter speed will flash on the LCD screen.

[samples coming soon, sorry]

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