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Top of camera controls

Not much has changed on the top of the F717, the only noticeable differences are the MPEG MOVIE HQX label and the addition of the Program AE mode which switches the function of the old icon to a full Auto exposure mode. This is useful when handing the camera to someone else to take a quick shot, all settings are returned to default and the menu is more basic.

The power switch is mounted around the camera mode dial, just in the right position for a flick from your thumb. Beside the mode dial is the cameras microphone, used to record audio in movie mode. Just below the microphone is the NightFraming / NightShot switch.

Toward the front of the camera is the shutter release button, tilted slightly forwards and it is a soft half-press, click full-press type. Next to this is the exposure compensation button, directly in front of that is the camera's jog-dial which is used to to set exposure compensation, aperture / shutter speed in manual modes and scroll through images in playback mode. I personally found the jog-dial location to be a bit awkward, it would have been better to the left of the shutter release, on the rear of the camera or the front of the hand grip.

Exposure / Camera Mode Dial

Movie Mode

The F717 features the MPEG HQX movie mode which allows you to record movie clips which are only limited by the amount of space on your Memory Stick. MPEG HQX is recorded at 320 x 240, 16 fps, 10 Khz audio. Optionally you can also choose from MPEG EX (320 x 240 or 160 x 112) which records at only 8 fps.

Playback

Enters playback mode, this displays the last image/movie recorded. Cursor arrows or jog-wheel can be used to scroll through images (other functions described later).
Auto Exposure ('Auto Adjustment' mode)

Automatic exposure mode, camera meters the scene and selects best combination of aperture and shutter speed and ISO sensitivity to properly expose the image. You can not change ISO, white balance, exposure compensation etc.
P Program Auto Exposure

Automatic exposure mode, camera meters the scene and selects best combination of aperture and shutter speed (and ISO if set to Auto) to properly expose the image. Additionally you can compensate the exposure by either +/-2.0EV in 0.3 EV steps. The F717's program AE mode is not flexible (ability to select equal exposures by rolling the command dial).
S

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to select the best aperture for a proper exposure. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD, click once then roll the jog-dial to select different shutter speeds. As you change the shutter speed the cameras exposure system recalculates and displays the appropriate aperture, there is no warning if the exposure is outside the camera's exposure range. The LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image at this exposure. Available shutter speeds:

30, 25, 20, 15, 13, 10, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 1/1.3, 1/1.6, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000 s

* Exposures of 1/25 sec or slower are indicated as 'NRx' where x is the shutter speed, noise reduction automatically enabled.

A

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will attempt to select the best shutter speed for a proper exposure. Aperture is displayed on the LCD, click once then roll the jog-dial to select different apertures. As you change the aperture the cameras exposure system recalculates and displays the appropriate shutter speed, there is no warning if the exposure is outside the camera's exposure range. The LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image at this exposure. Available apertures:

Wide: F2.0, F2.2, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
Tele: F2.4, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0

M Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Use the jog-dial to switch between shutter speed or aperture, click then roll it again to change the value. The LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image at this exposure. The exposure compensation readout now displays the difference between the selected exposure and the metered exposure up to a maximum of +/-2.0 EV.
SCN

Special Scene Exposure

"Scene Exposure mode" is set through the SETUP menu, you can choose from three exposure modes which preset certain camera settings to ensure the best possible exposure in those scene modes:

 • Twilight (low light shots, long exposures)
 • Twilight Portrait (low light shots, long exposures, slow sync flash)
 • Landscape (focus locked to infinity, small apertures, flash cancel)
 • Portrait (large apertures)

SET
UP
Setup

Enters camera setup mode (described in more detail later).

Buttons

Exposure Compensation

Enables exposure compensation, click the jog-dial then roll between compensations of : (+/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps)

-2.0, -1.7, -1.3, -1.0, -0.7, -0.3, 0, 0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0 EV

NightFraming / NightShot switch

NIGHT
FRAMING

NightFraming

NightFraming can only be used in Auto exposure mode, it allows you to use the light sensitive NightShot mode to frame the subject before taking the final shot in normal mode (flash exposure). Exposure sequence:

  • Switch to NightFraming, a small click is heard as the IR filter is removed from the CCD, IR lights on the front of the lens come on and screen turns 'NightShot Green'.
  • Use this 'NightShot' view to frame the subject.
  • Half-press shutter release and IR filter is replaced screen returns to full colour, (if enabled) Hologram AF (laser focus) will lock focus on subject, IR filter is again removed and screen returns to 'NightShot' view, flash pops up if not already up .
  • Fully depress shutter release, IR filter is replaced, flash fires and full colour image is taken.
  • Screen returns to 'NightShot' type view.
Normal shooting

In this mode the camera operates as a normal digital camera, the Infrared filter remains in front of the CCD at all times. However, Hologram AF (laser) may be used in low light circumstances if set to Auto in the Setup menu. (Note that the label for this mode has changed from the word OFF on pre-production cameras to the green dot - this avoids confusing this switch for the power switch).
NIGHT
SHOT

NightShot

NightShot can only be used in Auto exposure mode. Exposure sequence:

  • Switch to NightShot, a small click is heard as the IR filter is removed from the CCD, IR lights on the front of the lens come on and screen turns 'NightShot Green'.
  • Frame subject.
  • Half-press shutter release and AE and AF lock (Hologram AF is NOT used in this mode).
  • Fully depress shutter release and shot is taken in 'NightShot' mode (green sepia B&W).
  • The flash can not be enabled in this mode, the slowest possible exposure is 1/8 sec.
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