Sony Cybershot DSC-F828 Review
The Cybershot DSC-F828 was announced on 15th August, this new camera is very obviously a development of the DSC-F717 design. Just under a year since the F717 and Sony's flagship prosumer digital camera has certainly undergone a large number of changes, not least of which is the switch from the electronically zoomed five times lens of the F707/F717 to an all new mechanical zoom seven times lens with Carl Zeiss T* coating and a wide angle 28 mm equiv. capability. Sony has also chosen to go with their latest sensor, the all new eight megapixel four-color (RGBE) 2/3" type (8.8 x 6.6 mm) CCD. Ignoring all other changes this makes a formidable combination, a high quality mechanically linked zoom lens combined with the resolution of an eight megapixel CCD. This camera is arguably the most important prosumer digital camera this year.
Timeline, a little history
It's worth remembering that Sony first introduced this unusual large lens, split body swivel design back in August 1999 with the DSC-F505 (the 13th camera ever reviewed on this site!). Back then the F505 had a 35 - 190 mm five times optical zoom lens and two megapixel sensor, this camera was developed into the F505V in April 2000 which used 2.6 megapixels of a three megapixel sensor. The five megapixel DSC-F707 appeared in August 2001 (IFA 2001), this was updated to the DSC-F717 in September 2002 (Photokina 2002).
- Sony DSC-F505: August 1999
- Sony DSC-F505V: April 2000
- Sony DSC-F707: August 2001
- Sony DSC-F717: September 2002
- Sony DSC-F828: August 2003
Sony DSC-F828 vs. DSC-F717
|Sensor||2/3" type (8.8 x 6.6 mm)
RGBE color filter array
2.7 µm pixel pitch
|2/3" type (8.8 x 6.6 mm)
RGB color filter array
3.4 µm pixel pitch
|Effective pixels||8.0 million||5.0 million|
|Lens||Carl Zeiss T*
28 - 200 mm equiv. (7x zoom)
F2.0 - F2.8
38 - 190 mm (5x zoom)
F2.0 - F2.4
|Zoom||7x zoom||5x zoom|
|Auto focus||Single, Continuous, Monitor||Single|
|Program AE min shutter||1 sec||1/30 sec|
|Continuous modes||Speed Burst, Framing Burst, Multi Burst||Burst 3|
|Continuous||2.5 / 2.3 fps, 7 images max||2.5 fps, 3 images|
|Image parameters||Color, Sharpness, Contrast||Sharpness|
|Movies||640 x 480, 30 fps, no limit *
640 x 480, 16 fps, no limit
160 x 112, 8 fps, no limit
* With MS Pro or Microdrive only
|320 x 240, 16 fps, no limit|
|External flash||Advanced Hot-shoe, ACC terminal||Basic Hot-shoe, ACC terminal|
|Storage||Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Compact Flash Type I/II, Microdrive||Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro|
|Electronic viewfinder||235,000 pixels||180,000 pixels|
|LCD monitor||1.8", 134,000 pixels||1.8", 123,000 pixels|
|AC adapter / charger||Sony AC-L15||Sony AC-L10|
|Weight (inc. batt)||906 g (2.0 lb)||659 g (1.45 lb)|
|Dimensions||134 x 91 x 156 mm
(5.3 x 3.6 x 6.1 in)
|120 x 67 x 148 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 5.8 in)
|Design / Control differences|
|Body||Black, heavy gauge metal case||Silver, thinner metal case|
|Battery / MS compart.||Base of hand grip||Side of hand grip|
|CF compartment||Side of hand grip||None|
|Status LCD display||Yes, backlit||No|
|EVF dioptre control||Below eyepiece||Above eyepiece|
|4-Way controller||Joystick style||4-way pad|
|Command dial||Rear of hand grip||Jog-dial in front of shutter release|
|Control method||Hold button and roll command dial||Press button|
|Zoom control||Mechanically linked ring||Electronically driven buttons
Zoom by wire ring
|Top controls||Shutter Release, White Balance, Exposure Compensation, Status Backlight, Shooting Mode, Power||Jog-Dial, Shutter Release, Exposure Compensation, Night Shot, Shooting Mode, Power|
|Under thumb controls||Menu, 4-way Joystick, AE Lock / Erase, Command Dial||Display, Thumbnail, Menu, 4-way Pad (Quick Review, Flash Mode, Macro Focus, Self-Timer)|
|Rear controls||EVF/LCD, Display, Self-Timer / Thumbnail, Magnify, Quick Review, CF / MS||EVF/LCD|
|Lens barrel controls||Flash Open, Flash Mode, Metering Mode, Macro Focus, Burst / Bracket Mode, Focus Mode, Night Shot||Focus Mode, Zoom, AE Lock, Metering Mode, White Balance, White Balance Preset|
Sony ICX456 eight megapixel four color CCD
On June 11 news surfaced of a new Sony sensor with an amazing eight megapixels. This sensor took the same 2/3" type size (8.8 x 6.6 mm) of the previous five megapixel sensor used in the DSC-F717. At this size and resolution the pixel pitch (distance between pixels) is just 2.7 µm, extremely small and this raised questions of noise and sensitivity, those answer we will only be able to deliver in our full review.
Just a month later on July 16 Sony announced that they had developed a new four color RGBE color filter array (at the time we noted that it would be likely used on the new eight megapixel CCD but had no confirmation of this fact). Instead of the traditional RGB color filter array the new CFA is made up of Red, Green, Blue and Emerald (like Cyan) color filters. Sony claim that this expands the gamut of color which the sensor can capture and greatly improves color response.
|3-color filters (RGB)||4-color filters (RGBE)|
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.
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This article is Copyright 2004 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey