Sony DSC-F505V Review
Timings & File Sizes
Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 1856 x 1392 JPEG image (around 1,100 KB per image).
File Size Notes: All file sizes are 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 a fair amount 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.
When the DSC-F505V displays an image in play mode it displays a blue screen (with a frame counter) then displays the photo & details a few seconds later, this can be interrupted by pressing the 4-way controller left or right.
Symbols: ~ = roughly / approximately.
|OFF to Record (Still)||2.8|
|OFF to Play||6.3||Image details displayed (no photo)|
|Record (Still) to OFF||1.0|
|Play to OFF||1.0|
|Record (Still) to Play||<1.0||Image details displayed (no photo)|
|Play to Record (Still)||2.2|
|Play: Image to Image (1856 x 1392 JPEG)||3.0||(First image can take 4.6 secs)|
|Play: Image to Image (1856 x 1392 TIFF)||3.0|
|Play: Image to Image (2240 x 1680 JPEG)||4.5||(Interpolated 3.3 mp mode)|
|Play: Image to Image (2240 x 1680 TIFF)||4.5||(Interpolated 3.3 mp mode)|
|Play: INDEX thumbnail view (3 x 2)||2.6|
|Play: Zoom-in||<1.0||Full 5.0x zoom takes 6.3 seconds|
|Play: Resize 1856 x 1392 to 2240 x 1680||7.8|
|Play: Resize 2240 x 1680 to 1856 x 1392||8.2|
|Play: Resize 1856 x 1392 to 640 x 480||3.5|
|Auto Focus LAG||1.1 - 1.6||Best case is 1.1 seconds *|
|Shutter Release LAG||0.15||Average *|
|Total LAG||~1.2 - 1.8||No pre-focus, one complete press *|
|OFF to Shot Taken||6.8|
Still quite slow the DSC-F505V's internal engine is showing it's age, bear in mind that internally little will have changed since the F505 (now year old technology). Oddly it performs better than the S70 (probably because of it's fixed lens barrel, better focus range and smaller image size). The biggest frustrations with the F505V are the focus speed and time to flush images (table below).
* LAG times are often misunderstood and so are described below:
Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to autofocus (a half-press and hold of the shutter release button), this timing is normally the most variable as its affected by the subject matter, current focus position, still or moving subject etc. This timing is an average.
Shutter Release LAG is the amount of time it takes to take the shot after autofocus, this timing assumes you have already focused (half-pressed the shutter release) and now press the shutter release button all the way down to take the shot. This timing is an average.
Total LAG is the total time it takes (not just the two above added together) if you haven't pre-focused, that is no finger touching the shutter release button, press it all the way down in one movement, this new timing is how long it would take if you were in one of those spur-of-the-moment situations. This timing is an average.
Maximum Shots in a Row
Typically at this part of the review I'd be measuring the maximum number of shots you can take in a row before the cameras internal buffer was full, then how long you have to wait before that buffer is flushed out to the storage card before you can shoot again.
The DSC-F505V doesn't seem to have very much internal buffer (if any) which means you can't "click click click" like you would with some of the competitions cameras (Coolpix 990, Olympus C-3030Z come to mind). You have to wait between shots, that combined with the slow Auto Focus system means that the quickest shot-to-shot times (at 1856 x 1392) are:
- Auto Focus: 3.9 seconds
- Manual Focus: 3.7 seconds
UPDATED: Thanks to Ulysses for pointing out that our original timings (around 5 seconds) were much too slow, we tracked the problem down to WHEN we were performing the timing and the method. Previously I believe we were caught by constantly tapping the shutter release in an attempt to get the next shot out, this has the effect of pausing the write (the camera thinks you want to hold the previous shot on the screen) and thus lengthens the time between shots. This problem did NOT affect any other timings in the review.
File Flush Timing
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to "flush" the image out to the Memory Stick. The estimated number of images per 8 MB Memory Stick is given as a guide to beginners.
8 MB MS
|Store 1856 x 1392 TIFF||36.4||9,219 KB||0|
|Store 1856 x 1392 JPEG||2.5||~ 1,200 KB||6|
|Store 1856 x 1392 TEXT (GIF)||27.2||~30 KB||266|
|Store 2240 x 1680 TIFF||38.6||9,219 KB||0|
|Store 2240 x 1680 JPEG||3.9||~ 1,200 KB||6|
|Store 2240 x 1680 TEXT (GIF)||38.0||~30 KB||266|
|Store 1280 x 960 JPEG||2.7||~ 560 KB||14|
|Store 640 x 480 JPEG||2.5||~ 65 KB||123|
Sony, in their wisdom decided to ship the F505V with just 8 MB of storage, this leads to the unfortunate situation of only being able to shoot X images at the cameras default resolution (1856 x 1392) and just X at the interpolated 3.3 mp resolution. Firstly it would have been nice to see an optional JPEG mode which produces slightly lower quality but smaller file sizes (around 800 KB) and secondly it would have been good for Sony to break the mould a little and provide a decent (or at least usable) 16 or 32 MB. Maybe next time. Most users will find themselves purchasing a 32 or 64 MB Memory Stick either with the camera or later.
Thanks to Sony's excellent InfoLithium battery pack, battery life on the F505V is pretty good (by digital cameras standards), especially if you're shooting outside had can turn off the backlight. It's not however as good as the DSC-S70 which we also reviewed which features the larger "M" style batteries. That said you'll get about 80 minutes with the backlight on and about 100 with it off (and the smaller battery makes the camera smaller and lighter).