Taking pictures

Is very enjoyable. This is probably one of the nicest digital cameras to shoot with, a sensibly sized zoom, nice easy and quick to use controls (apart from the manual controls) and fast operation make for a quick-snapping yet high quality experience.

My few gripes

  • No live display of exposure information on the LCD
  • Have to go into the menu system to alter aperture or shutter priority settings
  • Slowest shutter speed of 1/8s
  • No external flash connectivity
  • No uncompressed mode
  • No anti red-eye flash mode
  • No ISO sensitivity control
  • Short MPEG mode (only 15 secs max ?)

Some Suggestions (future models?)

  • Couldn't we have a full manual mode too?
  • Display live readout of aperture and shutter speed to satisfy us shuttebugs
  • Add an uncompressed mode
  • Add a "loupe" window in capture mode to check manual focus
  • Add anti red-eye pre-flash flash
  • Add ISO / sensitivity control
  • MPEG recording length only limited to size of storage


Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 1600 x 1200 JPEG image @ FINE compression.

Action Time taken

OFF to RECORD (Still or Movie)

OFF to PLAY 4.6  
RECORD / PLAY to OFF 1.2  
RECORD to PLAY 2.7  
PLAY to A-REC / M-REC 2.7  
PLAY: Image to Image 2.5  
PLAY: INDEX thumbnail view <1.0 Almost instant
PLAY: Zoom-in <1.0 Almost instant
Auto Focus LAG ~1.5 Varies depending on difficulty to focus
Shutter Release LAG 0.2  
Store 1600 x 1200 FINE 4.0  
Store 1600 x 1200 STANDARD 3.3  
Store 1024 x 768 FINE 4.0  
Store 1024 x 768 STANDARD 3.3  
Store 640 x 480 FINE 3.6  
Store 640 x 480 STANDARD 2.7  

File sizes

Notes: All file sizes as an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary wildly depending on the content of the image (especially the amount of detail captured). For example, take a photograph of a fairly empty wall and you'll get a small JPEG, take a photograph of a bush with a lot of detail and you'll get a larger image. File sizes here are closer to the later, the larger size of file you should expect.

The estimated number of images per 4MB MemoryStick is given as a guide to beginners (as a 4MB MemoryStick is supplied with the camera).

Image resolution / mode

Ratio *

File Size (KB) No. images per 4MB MemoryStick
1600 x 1200 FINE 1:8 530KB 5-8
1600 x 1200 STANDARD 1:16 400KB 10-15
1024 x 768 FINE 1:8 250KB 14-27
1024 x 768 STANDARD 1:16 100KB 27-49
640 x 480 FINE 1:8 80KB 27-38
640 x 480 STANDARD 1:16 50KB 47-63

Note: * compression ratios are currently calculated estimates, they aren't yet published by Sony and will be corrected at a later date.

Battery life

Amazing. In one word. When you first start to use InfoLithium batteries you tend to be sceptical about how accurate the reported time remaining is. But on the F505 it's accurate and very long lasting. With the LCD backlight turned off (using the LCD in its Hybrid reflective manner) shooting outdoors in sunlight I got about 80 minutes of shooting time (which is long if you consider you don't leave the camera turned on all the time), with the backlight on it's closer to 60 minutes, still very good.

With two of these batteries you could keep one charging whilst shooting with the other, or take both out on a shoot and have a potential three hours of power ability (assuming you had enough storage to take it)... I carried a HP Jornada with a 96MB CF card and the PCMCIA adapter and used it as a storage unit when the 16MB MemoryStick was full.