'Dark Angel'

The 2 megapixel DSC-F505 was originally revealed back in August 1999, and we were the first site to review it. In April 2000 Sony announced an upgraded camera named the DSC-F505V, it was essentially the same lens and camera engine but with a 3.3 megapixel sensor. Because the lens system wasn't altered the F505V couldn't cover the required 3.14 megapixels, instead it produced a 2.6 megapixel (1856 x 1392) image.

So here we are some 16 months after the F505V, and some two years since the F505, Sony has revealed the 5 megapixel F707. This digital camera has the same lens / swivelled body design of the F505, indeed at first glance their are a lot of similarities, look closer and you'll see that this camera is an impressive evolution in the best sense of the word.

The F707 still features a 'Carl Zeiss' lens, of course this time focal lengths have had to change, the F707 uses a larger 2/3" CCD compared to the original 1/2" CCD (2 megapixel F505). The old lens had a focal length range of 7.1 - 35.5 mm (5x, 38 - 190 mm equiv.), the new lens has a focal length range of 9.7 - 48.5 mm (5x, 38 - 190 mm equiv.). Also of interest is that the new lens is quite a bit faster than the old, the old lens had maximum aperture of F2.8 at wide angle and F3.3 at telephoto, the new lens has a maximum aperture of F2.0 at wide angle and F2.4 at telephoto (that's a stop faster).

Review update (5th September 2001)

This review was originally based on a pre-production DSC-F707. I have now completed updating this review with results from a full production DSC-F707. As well as fully verifying the review text I have also re-shot a lot of samples and updated test results etc. For those who read the review before this update here's a log of changes:

Section Item Action Notes
Introduction Review update Add Added this item
Body/Design All Verify Green dot on nightshot switch
Operation Top controls Update Updated text and image
Timings & Sizes Performance Verify Faster: power up, shot to shot
Features ISO Re-shoot  
Features Flash Re-shoot Identical result
Features Night Shot Re-shoot Better night shots, almost no 'black holes'
Image Quality Resolution Chart Re-shoot Identical result
Image Quality White Balance Re-shoot No more green cast on daylight AWB
Image Quality Clipped reds Verify Now with comparison to Canon G2, red is better
Compared to.. DiMAGE 7 Update Added 'pre-production' notice, moved to end
Compared to.. New page - G2 Shoot Added compared to Canon G2
Compared to.. 4-way comparison Update  
Conclusion All Update  
Samples New Gallery Replace Replaced gallery with production gallery

F707 vs. F505V

Here's a quick summary of the primary differences between the DSC-F505V and the DSC-F707.

Sony DSC-F707

Sony DSC-F505V
CCD pixels Click for help 5.24 megapixels 3.3 megapixels
CCD effective output Click for help 4.92 megapixels 2.6 megapixels
CCD size** Click for help 2/3" 1/1.8"
CCD Colour Filter Array Click for help G - R - G - B G - R - G - B
Max resolution   2560 x 1920 1856 x 1392
Lens max aperture   F2.0 - F2.4 F2.8 - F3.3
Lens thread   58 mm 52 mm
Auto Focus   Contrast AF, NightFraming, Hologram AF (laser) Contrast AF (no AF assist lamp)
ISO sensitivity   Auto & ISO 100, 200, 400 Auto (ISO 100 - 300)
Exposure modes   Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Full Manual, Scene Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Scene
Metering   Multi-Segment, Center-Weighted Average, Spot Center-Weighted Average, Spot
AE-Lock button   Yes (one shot) None
Exp. compensation   Button Menu
Shutter speed range   30 - 1/1000 sec 8 - 1/1000 sec
Noise reduction   Clear Color and Slow Shutter None
Night mode   NightShot (removes IR filter) None
Continuous shooting   Burst 3 - 2.8 fps, 3 frames None
Exposure bracketing   Yes, 3 frames None
Movie mode   MPEG EX only limited by storage MPEG time limited
External flash   Dummy shoe 'holder', sync port Sync port
Viewfinder   EVF None
LCD   1.8" LCD with anti-reflective coat 2.0" Sunlight Hybrid
Power   InfoLithium M (8.5 Wh) InfoLithium S (4.1 Wh)
Zoom controller   Side of lens barrel (dual speed) Rear of main body (dual speed)
Misc.   Jog-dial, No Position Sensor Position Sensor

4.92 megapixels

The DSC-F707 becomes the second digital camera we've reviewed which uses the new 2/3" 5.24 mp Sony ICX282 CCD. The camera outputs a 4.92 megapixel image (2560 x 1920) from this CCD. Coming from the 2.6 megapixel F505V this is certainly a big step up, the diagram below will give you a visual scale display of the difference between 2.6 megapixels and 4.92 megapixels.

Here are a few other ways of thinking about the increase in resolution (compared to the F505V's 2.6 megapixel image):

  • The output image is 704 pixels wider and 528 pixels taller
  • The output image has 2.33 million more pixels
  • Prints at 150 dpi would cover an extra 4.7 inches horizontally and 3.5 inches vertically