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.
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.