'Dark Angel'

The 2 megapixel DSC-F505 was originally revealed back in August 1999, and we were the first site to review it. In April 2000 Sony announced an upgraded camera named the DSC-F505V, it was essentially the same lens and camera engine but with a 3.3 megapixel sensor. Because the lens system wasn't altered the F505V couldn't cover the required 3.14 megapixels, instead it produced a 2.6 megapixel (1856 x 1392) image.

So here we are some 16 months after the F505V, and some two years since the F505, Sony has revealed the 5 megapixel F707. This digital camera has the same lens / swivelled body design of the F505, indeed at first glance their are a lot of similarities, look closer and you'll see that this camera is an impressive evolution in the best sense of the word.

The F707 still features a 'Carl Zeiss' lens, of course this time focal lengths have had to change, the F707 uses a larger 2/3" CCD compared to the original 1/2" CCD (2 megapixel F505). The old lens had a focal length range of 7.1 - 35.5 mm (5x, 38 - 190 mm equiv.), the new lens has a focal length range of 9.7 - 48.5 mm (5x, 38 - 190 mm equiv.). Also of interest is that the new lens is quite a bit faster than the old, the old lens had maximum aperture of F2.8 at wide angle and F3.3 at telephoto, the new lens has a maximum aperture of F2.0 at wide angle and F2.4 at telephoto (that's a stop faster).

Review update (5th September 2001)

This review was originally based on a pre-production DSC-F707. I have now completed updating this review with results from a full production DSC-F707. As well as fully verifying the review text I have also re-shot a lot of samples and updated test results etc. For those who read the review before this update here's a log of changes:

Section Item Action Notes
Introduction Review update Add Added this item
Body/Design All Verify Green dot on nightshot switch
Operation Top controls Update Updated text and image
Timings & Sizes Performance Verify Faster: power up, shot to shot
Features ISO Re-shoot  
Features Flash Re-shoot Identical result
Features Night Shot Re-shoot Better night shots, almost no 'black holes'
Image Quality Resolution Chart Re-shoot Identical result
Image Quality White Balance Re-shoot No more green cast on daylight AWB
Image Quality Clipped reds Verify Now with comparison to Canon G2, red is better
Compared to.. DiMAGE 7 Update Added 'pre-production' notice, moved to end
Compared to.. New page - G2 Shoot Added compared to Canon G2
Compared to.. 4-way comparison Update  
Conclusion All Update  
Samples New Gallery Replace Replaced gallery with production gallery

F707 vs. F505V

Here's a quick summary of the primary differences between the DSC-F505V and the DSC-F707.

Sony DSC-F707

Sony DSC-F505V
CCD pixels Click for help 5.24 megapixels 3.3 megapixels
CCD effective output Click for help 4.92 megapixels 2.6 megapixels
CCD size** Click for help 2/3" 1/1.8"
CCD Colour Filter Array Click for help G - R - G - B G - R - G - B
Max resolution   2560 x 1920 1856 x 1392
Lens max aperture   F2.0 - F2.4 F2.8 - F3.3
Lens thread   58 mm 52 mm
Auto Focus   Contrast AF, NightFraming, Hologram AF (laser) Contrast AF (no AF assist lamp)
ISO sensitivity   Auto & ISO 100, 200, 400 Auto (ISO 100 - 300)
Exposure modes   Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Full Manual, Scene Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Scene
Metering   Multi-Segment, Center-Weighted Average, Spot Center-Weighted Average, Spot
AE-Lock button   Yes (one shot) None
Exp. compensation   Button Menu
Shutter speed range   30 - 1/1000 sec 8 - 1/1000 sec
Noise reduction   Clear Color and Slow Shutter None
Night mode   NightShot (removes IR filter) None
Continuous shooting   Burst 3 - 2.8 fps, 3 frames None
Exposure bracketing   Yes, 3 frames None
Movie mode   MPEG EX only limited by storage MPEG time limited
External flash   Dummy shoe 'holder', sync port Sync port
Viewfinder   EVF None
LCD   1.8" LCD with anti-reflective coat 2.0" Sunlight Hybrid
Power   InfoLithium M (8.5 Wh) InfoLithium S (4.1 Wh)
Zoom controller   Side of lens barrel (dual speed) Rear of main body (dual speed)
Misc.   Jog-dial, No Position Sensor Position Sensor

4.92 megapixels

The DSC-F707 becomes the second digital camera we've reviewed which uses the new 2/3" 5.24 mp Sony ICX282 CCD. The camera outputs a 4.92 megapixel image (2560 x 1920) from this CCD. Coming from the 2.6 megapixel F505V this is certainly a big step up, the diagram below will give you a visual scale display of the difference between 2.6 megapixels and 4.92 megapixels.

Here are a few other ways of thinking about the increase in resolution (compared to the F505V's 2.6 megapixel image):

  • The output image is 704 pixels wider and 528 pixels taller
  • The output image has 2.33 million more pixels
  • Prints at 150 dpi would cover an extra 4.7 inches horizontally and 3.5 inches vertically

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X, Y, and Z and ideally A, B, and C.

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