Throwback Thursday: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707
Sony's camera designers have never been shy about trying something different, which explains a lot about the DSC-F707. Introduced in 2001, it was a follow-up to the DSC-F505V, running with that camera's 'swiveling lens attached to a body' design. The F707 appears to be more lens than camera, resulting in what we called 'a surprisingly usable and ergonomic design' when we reviewed it. Here's what the F707 had going for it:
- 5MP 2/3" CCD sensor
- 38-190mm equiv. F2-2.4 lens
- 1.8", 123k-dot LCD
- Built-in EVF
- 2.8 fps burst (capped at 3 frames)
- ISO 100-400
- Memory Stick slot
The F707 had more than a few tricks up its sleeves, something you might guess from its Swiss Army Knife-like appearance. So just what set it apart?
Frickin' laser beams
The camera was capable of focusing in total darkness thanks to a Hologram AF feature, which throws a Class 1 laser pattern onto its subject and uses that to acquire focus. We found it required some workarounds when trying to focus on certain subjects. And sure, AF assist lamps get the job done now reasonably well, but they're not nearly as cool as lasers (though nearly as blinding.)
|The F707 projected a cross-type pattern with its onboard laser, which it used to focus.||The top two "holes" on the list are IR blasters, while the laser can be found toward the right side.|
Sadly, NightShot disappeared after the DSC-F717 that followed the F707. Why that happened is unclear, though one wonders if people just didn't feel comfortable having a laser shined in their eyes.
Night vision... sure, that's not creepy
The F707 offered Night Framing and Night Shot modes, flipping the Infrared filter out of the way and engaging two IR lamps on the front of the lens. The image on the LCD would turn green, just like night-vision goggles. NightShot mode actually took 'green' photos which, while cool, was of limited use. Night Framing, on the other hand, could capture regular color (flash) photos in total darkness. You composed your shot in 'green' and when you pressed the shutter release, up came the flash and a color photo was taken.
|Here's the NightShot version of a sunflower, taken in total darkness. Photos by Jeff Keller.||And here's the results you get using Night Framing.|
NightShot is probably most famous - or infamous - for different reasons. Sony camcorders (and the F707/F717) equipped with NightShot could be modified to 'see through' clothing and other objects. So, if you happen to see an F707 with a dark IR filter on it, run the other way.
Is it a lens? Is it a camera?
The F707 offered an unusual camera-to-lens ratio, which at first seemed unwieldy. But when you stopped fighting the F707's unconventional design, you found a camera that was surprisingly comfortable to use. Like we said in our review, 'You find yourself carrying the camera by the lens and using the rear 'body' more as a viewing / control platform, which was after all the design aim.' We chalked it up as a 'love it or hate it' feature in our conclusion, ultimately coming down on the side of 'love it.'
We may have taken a shine to it, but the design eventually trended toward the DSLR-shaped ultrazoom we know today – the DSC-F828 took another stab at the swiveling lens, but 2005's DSC-R1 embraced a traditional, non-swiveling design. You've got to hand it to Sony, though. They haven't all enjoyed longevity in the market, but some of their ideas have certainly looked well outside of the box.
The app is one of the first to take advantage of the iPhone 11's multi-cam recording capabilities.
The Jollylook Mini Auto is a second-generation camera constructed of a laminated fiberboard that now includes a built-in flash and automatic exposure.
Phase One's latest Capture One 20 software package is a powerful tool, but we do have a reservation or two - find out more in our review.
The Chinese manufacturer has published a list of improvements it wants to make after a videography-focused feedback session with its users.
Autel has confirmed to DPReview that its EVO II series drones won't hit shelves until March 2020 after discovering a bug that ‘could limit flight performance under normal operation.’
Chinese company Xiaomi has so far (as far as we know) worked without the help of a big name in the camera business, but it appears this could be about to change.
DNP Photo is back with another dye sublimation photo printer. The QW410 is relatively compact and includes wireless support for mobile users.
Photographer Pye Jirsa is teaching photographers how to pose couples as part of a new educational video series from Adorama.
Award-winning French photographer Florian Ledoux has captured photos of the arctic from both a drone's perspective and the ground.
Photographer and filmmaker Mark Holtze shares his top five reasons why vintage lenses are still relevant in 2020.
What if astrophotography was as simple as using an app? The Stellina smart telescope promises to make this a reality, allowing anyone to channel their own inner Galileo while capturing images of the night sky.
The Fujifilm XC 35mm F2 prime lens has the same optical formula as the company's XF 35mm F2 WR prime but costs half as much. How can this be? Chris and Jordan explain the differences.
In the latest episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan compared the new, inexpensive Fujifilm XC 35mm F2 with the more durable XF version that's twice the price. See some of the photos they took side-by-side in this sample gallery.
The 2019 winners and finalists of the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards have been revealed.
PBS recently gave viewers a look at MIT Museum's new The Polaroid Project instant photography exhibition.
Researchers with IBM and MIT have published a new demonstration tool that allows anyone to 'paint' new elements into existing digital images.
Venus Optics says the lens is the first Laowa macro lens specifically designed for APS-C mirrorless camera systems.
The updates mostly address only a single issue for each lens, but it continues to show Sigma's continued dedication to addressing various issues, even small ones, across its lens lineup.
Spider Holster has launched four new products, including two updated versions of existing gear, that make life easier for photographers.
While nearly all of Tokina's F-mount lenses will work without issue on Nikon Z-series mirrorless cameras, there are a select few that can't use autofocus.
The X-T200 is arguably the company's most compelling entry-level option yet. Take a closer look in our detailed hands-on article.
Last year, DJI announced they will be adding ADS-B sensors to their commercial-grade drones weighing over 250 grams. Now, it is rumored that 3 new drone models will be released this year.
The Fujifilm X-T200 is what we wish the X-T100 had been, offering a solid AF system, proper 4K video and a more responsive interface. Click through to see what else is new and improved.
Fujifilm just announced its newest camera, the X-T200. In this hands-on preview, Chris and Jordan explain how it fits into Fujifilm's lineup and why they like it.
Fujifilm will add the weather-sealed GF 45-100mm F4 to its medium format lens lineup in February. The approximately 35-80mm equivalent zoom will cost around $2300.
Two new primes are hitting the roadmap for Fujifilm's GF system: the 24mm equiv. 30mm F3.5 R WR and an ultra-fast 80mm F1.7.
The 'XC' variant uses the same optical design as the existing XF 35mm F2, but has no aperture ring and a plastic mount to lower the cost.
Fujifilm has refreshed its entry-level series with the X-T200, adding a giant touchscreen, proper 4K/30p video recording and shaving off 80g of weight compared to its X-T100 predecessor.
The telephoto zoom features a constant F4 aperture across its 70-210mm focal length range, uses Pentax's supersonic direct-drive motor (SDM), and weighs 859g (1.89lbs).
DynaLite, the photographic lighting company founded in the 1970s, has been forced to file for bankruptcy and permanently shutter its service.