Conclusion - Pros

  • Sharp, high resolution and vividly coloured images
  • Little or no visible red channel noise
  • High quality Carl Zeiss designed lens
  • Big, usable 5 x zoom
  • Excellent available controls on outside of camera
  • Silent focus & zoom mechanism
  • One-push manual white balance
  • Manual focus ring on lens barrel
  • Very little chromatic aberrations (thanks to the quality of the glass)
  • Good selection of program modes: Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Night, Spot etc.
  • Excellent InfoLithium battery pack & in-camera charging
  • Camera settings stored between power-ups (even without the battery...)
  • No need for additional AC adapter
  • Good internal flash
  • Good macro ability
  • USB connectivity
  • Audio with movie recording & Voice recording

Conclusion - Cons

  • Slow, both in start up but more importantly focusing, lag and between shots
  • Some Barrel distortion at wide angles and Pincushion at Tele
  • No viewfinder
  • Aperture priority mode crippled by minimum 1/30s shutter speed
  • Less manual features / flexibility than some of the competition
  • Lack of "in between" JPEG modes (something around 800KB)
  • Not enough controls on the outside of the camera (exposure compensation??)
  • Sometimes fiddley menu system
  • Slightly odd ergonomics take a little time to get used to
  • Small 8MB Memory Stick as supplied storage
  • Battery life could be better
  • Slightly naughty of Sony to put "3.3 megapixels" on the side of the camera

Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Sony DSC-F505V: (3 megapixel class)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8.5
Features 8
Image quality 10
Lens / CCD combination 10
Ease of use 9
Value for money 10

The DSC-F505V has managed to overtake the Nikon Coolpix 990 (in my opinion) for and great combination of image quality and value for money (especially with that big lens). Sure, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles (do you use them all??) So, if you can live without a viewfinder, the additional manual features of some of the competition and can put up with the sometimes slow operation then the DSC-F505V is (at the time of writing this review) probably the best 3 megapixel digital camera around.

With the combination of that excellent 5 x zoom, Hybrid LCD, InfoLithium battery, great resolution and clarity, well saturated bright colours, good dynamic range and smooth noise-free images the DSC-F505V is hard to beat.

Highly Recommended

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

US Readers: buy the Sony DSC-F505V from our official affiliate
retailer State Street Direct they don't sell it online
but do have stock and will take telephone orders:

State Street Direct: (800) 222-4070

Please quote reference "A01" and our website when you place your order!

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