The DSC-F717 represents the fourth generation of Sony's L-shaped 5x zoom split lens / body design. This started back in August 1999 with the 2 megapixel DSC- F505, in April 2000 the DSC-F505V gained a 3 megapixel sensor but only captured 2.6 megapixels of that (because of the lens design). August 2001 saw the announcement of the DSC-F707, with a larger lens this camera sported a 2/3" 5 megapixel CCD. One year on we are presented with the DSC-F717, still utilizing the same body design, same 5 megapixel sensor and excellent 5x optical zoom lens. The changes this time are more subtle with added features and expanded options.
Sony DSC-F717 vs. DSC-F707
Here's a quick summary of the primary differences between the DSC-F717 and the DSC-F707.
|Colour||Silver body||Metallic grey body|
|ISO sensitivity||Auto & ISO 100, 200, 400, 800||Auto & ISO 100, 200, 400|
|Max shutter speed|| Program AE: 1/2000 sec
Other modes: 1/1000 sec
| All modes: 1/1000 sec|
|AF points|| Wide (3 point)
| Wide (3 point)|
|AF point highlight||Yes||No|
|Histogram display|| Record live view
|Exposure modes|| Full Auto
| Program AE
|Scene modes|| Twilight
Twilight portrait (slow sync flash)
|White balance|| Auto
Manual preset 'one push'
Manual preset 'one push'
|Noise reduction||Yes, 1/25 sec or slower||Yes, 2 sec or slower|
|Noise reduction type||Clear Color & Luminance NR||Clear Color|
|MPEG clips||MPEG HQX (16 fps unlimited)||MPEG EX (16 fps max 15 secs)|
|Movie modes|| MPEG Movie
| MPEG Movie
|USB connectivity||USB 2.0 (1.2 MB/sec *)||USB 1.1 (0.8 MB/sec)|
|JPEG||EXIF 2.2 (ExifPrint)||EXIF 1.1|
|Play mode exp. info||Overlaid on image review||Only on three-thumbnail display|
|Memory Stick Tool||Yes (folder creation / selection)||No|
|MS to MS Copy function||No||Yes|
|Play mode scroll||Yes (Delete / Protect / DPOF)||No|
|Supplied storage||32 MB Memory Stick||16 MB Memory Stick|
|Zoom control|| Horizontally mounted two
Lens ring (switchable)
| Vertically mounted two speed|
|Accessory shoe|| Hot-shoe|| Cold shoe|
|Misc|| Improved AF
Shorter shutter LAG
Faster startup time
|Weight||659 g (1.45 lb)||667 g (1.5 lb)|
* Probably limited by the transfer speed of the Memory Stick / Interface
There seems to have been a fair amount of confusion about the advertised maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 sec. So here are the facts. The camera will only use 1/2000 sec in Program AE, Auto exposure or Aperture Priority modes at F5.6 upwards, you can not select 1/2000 sec in Shutter Priority or Manual nor will the camera use 1/2000 sec in Aperture Priority mode (no matter what Aperture). The camera's shutter can only achieve 1/2000 sec at F5.6 (or smaller), this is because the F717 (like many other digital cameras) uses a combined aperture / shutter iris mechanism, the smaller the aperture the faster the camera can open and close it. This is exactly the same limitation we saw on Canon's G1 and G2 (1/1000 sec only available at F8).
While I welcome quite a few of the additions here, especially 5-area AF and histogram displays I'm also disappointed that Sony didn't use this new camera as an opportunity to catch up to some of the competition in regards to basic imaging features. While I'm sure the F717 will continue the F707's reputation for excellent image quality we must wonder how a lack of features will affect the F717 when compared to some of the competition. Here's a summary of my gripes:
- No control of colour saturation or tone
- No way to disable the various automatic noise reduction algorithms
- Program AE still crippled with a minimum 1/30 sec shutter speed
- No concept of user sets / settings memories
- No flexible program exposure
- Limited continuous shooting ability
Because of the similarity between the DSC-F717 and DSC-F707 some parts of this review are based loosely on my DSC-F707 review.
|Waffles with fruits by Coolinarka|
from Food photography (desserts)
|Vestrahorn Frozen Reflection by Will B Milner|
from Ice cold
As summer really gets going over here in the Northern hemisphere, the team at Imaging Resource has put together a list of the best cameras for backpacking.
The Ukrainian Parliament banned statues of Lenin in 2015. Two years later, the monuments no longer adorn public buildings or stand watch over town squares, but they're still there.
If you had to choose one camera to bring along for the ultimate West coast road trip, what would it be? DPR's Sam Spencer choose the X100F. Read more
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more