Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F717 review
Bought this camera used (mileage 1300 pictures, paid $400). Used this camera more than 3 months, made about 2500shots.
Have used Panasonic FZ10 before.
1. construction is excellent. Body is magnesium-based. Camera feel good in my small hands. The 120degrees swivel-body is very firmly designed. all the buttons are silent, auto-focus, zoom drive, and shutter are also very silent. Feels like an expensive, well built camera. considering the fast lens (F2.0!) and steady body (650grams), you can take shots even at low shutter speeds (1/20). Believe it or not, this camera has 2 tripod screws.
2. Features. IR (Infa-Red) shooting is exceptional (did not find any nikon/canon models supplied with it). Ability to zoom in movie mode is also a huge plus (as told, zoom is very silent). Menu is easy to navigate, many features have their dedicated buttons to simplify & speed up the shooting. Manual zoom (works with electronic transmission via zoom ring) and excellent macro focus are also outstangind features!
The battery life is excellent (charging the battery without removing it from the camera is also very comfortable), and the LCD is very good at even bright sunlight.
3. Image quality. One of the best in its class. Combination of Carl Zeiss (I wonder if this is only a brand contract between sony & Carl Zeiss, as it is between panasonic & leica) F2.0 lens and large, 2/3" CCD you can get the best out of 5megapixel resolution. Check out the newer 5mpix cameras, they are 5,6,7,8 megapixels, but only some of them have 2/3" sensors. The dynamic range is also very good, you can't burn the lights nor the dark tones so easily.
4. Ease of use - good. Maybe not the easiest camera for the beginner. But for the folks of digital era, there's nothing you can't understand. I never read manuals, and I was able to carry on the tradiotion with this camera as well
5. Value for money - new cameras are a bit overpriced. If you can pick it used or from sale, go with it, this Sony's old flagship still kills most of the new "high-tech" cameras!
some samples available at http://bright.dlancer.net/F717/
1. Video resolution too small (320x240 only)
2. Memory Stick media still a bit overpriced.
3. No remote control
4. Wide angle not so "wide", 38mm (35mm would be nice).