Never shy of giving the consumer an almost bewildering array of choices, in May 2004 Sony added yet another (its fifth) 5 megapixel, 3x zoom camera, the DSC-F88 to its 2004 range. Seasoned Sony watchers will immediately recognize the inner swivel lens design, which has made several appearances in Sony's product lineup since the DSC-F1 back in 1996. What makes the F88 slightly different to its predecessors is the inclusion of a 3x Carl Zeiss zoom lens (which uses the same folded optics as the Cyber-Shot T1) and an optical viewfinder; it is also a little larger than the F1/F5/F55/F77 models that came before it. Specification-wise the F88 is very similar to the T1 and W1, save for a smaller screen and the aforementioned swivelling lens, which rotates through 300 degrees, giving considerable shooting versatility and the ability to take perfect self-portraits. As well as a wealth of scene modes the F88 has a smattering of real photographic controls (including a full manual exposure mode) and a very capable movie mode (640x480 pixels, though only at 16fps). Here's a quick run-down of the key features:

  • 5.1 Million effective pixels Super HAD CCD
  • 3x Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lens
  • 10 scene modes
  • InfoLITHIUM stamina battery
  • Optional wide angle converter lens and docking station
  • MPEG1 movie mode
  • 1cm 'magnifying glass' mode
  • 300 degree rotating lens

Key specifications

Street price • US: $409
• UK: £285
Body Material Metal and plastic
Sensor • 1/2.4 " CCD, 5.25 million total pixels
• 5.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 2,592 x 1944
• 2,048 x 1,536
• 1,280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640x480 pixels @ 16fps
• Duration only limited by card capacity (streaming)
• MPEG1 with sound
Lens

• 38 - 114mm equiv. (x optical zoom)
• F3.5-4.2
Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar

Focus • TTL Autofocus
• 5-area multi point AF
• Centre-AF
• Single shot or Monitoring AF (continuous)
• 8cm macro mode (Wide), 25cm (Tele)
• 1cm 'Magnifying Glass' mode
• Manual focus (6 presets)
Shooting mode

• Auto
• Program
• Manual
Scene modes:
Magnifying Glass
• Twilight
Twilight Portrait
Landscape
Soft Snap
Snow
Beach
High-speed shutter (sports)
Fireworks
Candle
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO100,200,400
White Balance • Auto
• 4 presets
Image parameters • Saturation (3 levels)
• Contrast (3 levels)
• Sharpness (3 levels)
Picture effects (Black & White, Sepia)
Continuous 1.6 fps, up to 9 frames (5MP fine mode)
Flash • Built-in
• Auto, Manual on/off, Red-eye reduction: on/off, Slow sync: on/off
• Range (ISO auto): W 0.15 - 2.2 m (0.5 - 7 ft), T 0.25 - 2 m (9.5 - 6.5 ft)
• Compensation (+, normal, -)
Storage • Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO
• 32 MB MS supplied
Viewfinder • Optical Real Image type
LCD monitor • 1.8" TFT, 134,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 High Speed
• A/V out (via multi connector or dock)
• DC-IN
Power • InfoLITHIUM NP-FR1 rechargeable (in-camera charging)
• (includes AC adapter)
Other features

Spot & Multi metering
Multi burst mode
300 degree rotating lens
Live Histogram

Weight (inc batt) 163 g (5.7 oz)
Dimensions 97.8 x 74.4 x 25.6mm (3 7/8 x 1 3/16 x 3 1/4in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area