Sony DSC-F707 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Class leading resolution (at the consumer level, at time of writing review)
- Good metering (improved thanks to 'Multi-Segment' metering)
- Bright, vivid colour reproduction (though saturation control is sorely missing)
- Low noise (thanks to Clear Color Noise Reduction system)
- High quality, sharp and very fast (F2.0 - F2.4) 5x optical zoom lens (some macro distortion)
- Generally quick AF, Hologram (Laser) assist for low light works better for large subjects
- Fast startup and operational times, short write times
- Good selection of manual controls
- Swivel body - you either love it or hate it, I (personally) love it
- Well implemented manual focus (live view magnified, weighty, smooth focus ring)
- EVF and LCD provide >98% frame view
- Surprisingly good EVF
- LCD anti-reflective coating
- NightFraming feature is useful, NightShot of questionable use
- Most camera controls / settings on exterior case of camera
- Dual speed zoom works well
- Excellent long exposures (up to 30 seconds, including noise reduction)
- Unlimited MPEG movies with audio (limited only by storage space)
- Good macro ability, though some distortion at close subject distances
- USB connectivity
- Well positioned tripod mount
- Superb battery life, the best we've tested
- Excellent build quality
Conclusion - Cons
- Limited burst ability, very fast but only 3 frames
- Visible sharpening 'white halo' around black lines
- Bad lens distortion with wide angle macros
- Barrel distortion at wide angle
- Over saturated reds could lead to clipping for very bright red subjects
- No control over colour saturation or tone output
- No Fluorescent, Cloudy or Flash white balance
- No control over record review time (too quick as it is)
- Only two JPEG compression levels
- Maximum capacity Memory Stick only 128 MB (at the time of writing this review)
- Auto exposure limited by minimum 1/30 sec shutter speed
- TIFF file save locks camera during write operation
- Some may not like the design, camera must be held unconventionally
- Flash hot-shoe is dummy, still only support for Sony flash units
- No histogram / highlight indication in record or playback modes
Here's my rating of the Sony DSC-F707: (5 megapixel prosumer)
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||9|
|Ease of use||8|
|Value for money||9|
Sony couldn't have been sure of the success of the F505 when they launched it, an unconventional design it wasn't exactly what people were expecting (especially following on from the D700). Sony followed up with the F505V which although essentially an F505 with another sensor shoehorned in, performed very well on its own merits.
With the F707 Sony have clearly stuck to what is a surprisingly usable and ergonomic design and yet they've paid attention to numerous comments made by F505(V) owners and reviewers alike (check my cons list for the F505V and compare it to some of the new features on the F707). The lens has had to be redesigned to accommodate the new sensor and there have been a myriad of small changes to the design and layout. Sony have essentially used the 'heart' of the DSC-S85 as a starting point for the cameras control and feature set.
The F707 is a superbly capable digital camera. It produces high resolution, well metered and vividly coloured images. Its resolution chart (and real life) results are nothing short of stunning, with about as much resolution as we could possibly expect from a consumer level 5 megapixel digital camera. I just wish Sony had taken a more cautious approach to their image processing algorithms in regards to sharpening and colour saturation.
Sony are out to show some of the traditional photo manufacturers that they mean business, and the F707 is without doubt their strongest product to date. What I've not talked about yet is price, with a street price under $1,000 the F707 is priced very aggressively. At this price it will almost definitely shake up the prosumer 3 and 4 megapixel market, not to mention any 5 megapixel competition.
UPDATE 5/September/2001: Based on the results from a production F707 I'm glad to report that the white balance green cast observed on the pre-production camera has now been addressed. The saturation of reds has been 'tuned' so that it won't be an issue for MOST users (though I'd recommend looking through the samples gallery to decide for yourself). Performance is also up (startup times are now sub-3-second). Definitely a 'Highly Recommended' digital camera.
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.
|Lost in cyber space by Jill Hancock|
from Your City - Look Down
|Bringing Home the Bacon by Domenick Creaco|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|I Think I Can? I Think I Can? by kjfrigo|
|ON THE TAXIWAY by DIM POL|
from Leaving on a Jet Plane
Well-known photography educators Tony and Chelsey Northrup recently won $40,000 from an Australian company who used one of their most popular portraits on product packaging without so much as asking permission. Check out the video for the full story.
The Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens—colloquially referred to as the 'bokeh master'—will cost just $1,600 USD when it ships for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts in 'late June.' That's $600 less than the Nikon 105mm F1.4E.
'Recall shooting functions' lets you recall previously saved exposure settings (including shutter speed and aperture) by simply pressing and holding specific controls. The function is designed to allow for quick shooting parameter changes in variable light conditions.
Zeiss has announced a new lineup of 13 'Supreme Prime' lenses for large format cinematographers who want smaller and lighter glass that still produces top-quality results. The kind of lenses that make your salivary glands work... and your wallet groan.
The new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ supposedly offer "the fastest printing capabilities available on the market today," all while using fewer ink tanks, and featuring useful add-ons like a built-in vertical trimmer.
In an effort to streamline production and minimize confusion, RED has announced that it is simplifying its product lineup to three main cameras. As an added bonus, this change dramatically drops the prices for all three options.
Fujifilm's new X-T100 is an SLR-style mirrorless camera that takes the internals of the X-A5, including phase-detect AF, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high-res OLED viewfinder. The X-T100 is priced at a very reasonable $599/€599 body-only and $699/€699/£619 with a 15-45mm lens.
Panasonic's latest firmware update for its GH5S, GH5 and G9 series of cameras was leaked in Japan earlier today and is now being officially announced a week early. But don't get too excited – you still won't be able to download it until May 30th.
We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.
Last week, some 'leaked' photos were published online that purported to show a DJI Phantom 5 drone with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.
The bezel-free Vivo Apex concept phone with its pop-up camera might be more than a concept. A new teaser video and ad seem to hint at a similar smartphone to be released June 12st.
Skylum has teamed up with its sister company Photolemur to create Skylum AI Lab, where the duo will work on AI-powered image solutions including image segmentation, tagging and upscaling.
Award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko recently tested out the Godox EC-200 flash extension head. Actually, he tested out four of them, creating a quad-flash ring light alternative that works great for both beauty and close-up work.
According to a recent investor presentation, Sony intends to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020, beating back Canon and Nikon by boosting its interchangeable lens systems.
HTC brings back the dual-camera on the newly-announced U12+, which features a secondary tele-camera with 2x zoom factor, as well as 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
Google has finally added the ability to mark your favorite images in Google Photos, so they can be filtered into a dedicated album. The service is also planning to a social network-like "heart" button that lets you like other people's photos.
We've been messing around with Apollo, an iOS app that allows you to add 3D lighting effects to images using depth information, and have to say we're impressed with what it's capable of – but that doesn't mean we don't have a few requests for the next version.
The new lightweight laptop packs a whole lot of photo- and video-editing punch. The laptop can be specced out with a Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, NVIDIA graphics with 4GB of GDDR5, and a 4K display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company recently demoed—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale through a distributor in the US.
Instagram has finally launched a "Mute" button, and is testing an "All Caught Up" feature that will let you know when you've seen all new post from the people you follow from the past 48 hours.
45-year-old photography magazine Shutterbug announced today that it is shutting down its print publication, focusing instead on reaching its readers online as a web-only publication.
Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is supposedly ideal for parties, weddings, and similar events.
Computer vision company Lucid and cinema camera maker RED have partnered to create an 8K 3D camera that can capture 4-view (4V) holographic images and video in real-time. The camera is designed to work with RED's upcoming holographic Hydrogen One smartphone.
If Canon and Nikon do get into high-end mirrorless, it's almost certain that they'll do everything they can to maintain compatibility with their existing mounts. But, asks Richard Butler, wouldn't it be more interesting if they built a small, niche system to live alongside their existing DSLRs?
It seems RED's Hydrogen One super-phone will make it into the hands of customers in the near future. The phone is now officially slated for a Verizon and AT&T release in the US sometime this summer.
You know that feeling when you're already all suited up and out on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and only then do you realize you forgot to put the SD card in your GoPro? No? Us either... but one astronaut on the ISS sure does.
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Macgregor and his crew spend many months traveling back and forth on the famed Mauritanian Railway—the so-called 'Backbone of the Sahara—to document the grueling journey endured by merchants who regularly travel atop this train. This beautifully-executed short doc is the result.
You can now insert another user's Instagram post into your own Stories as a customized sticker, the first official "regram" feature we've seen from the Facebook-owned photo sharing app.
Synology has added a new 6-bay NAS to its DiskStation+ series, and it's aimed squarely at photographers and medium sized businesses. The DS1618+ can handle up to six 12TB drives, giving it a max capacity of 72TB, or up to 60TB in RAID 5.
Our original gallery for Tamron's new 70-210mm F4 had portraits, slow-moving wildlife and city scenes, but was sorely missing fast action. We remedied that by photographing some motorcycles flying through the air.