Sony DSC-F717 Review
The DSC-F717 delivers optimum frame coverage at approximate one quarter zoom with the lens positioned just a couple of centimetres away from the subject. This however introduces three problems: (a) lighting the object being photographed (the big lens casts a large shadow), (b) barrel distortion and (c) lens sharpness / distortion at the edges of the frame. As you can see below lens sharpness at this very short subject distance means that a large portion of the border of the image is very soft.
The DSC-F717's flash unit is unchanged from the F707 with a range of 0.5 - 5 m (1.6 - 16.4 ft) which is pretty powerful by digital camera standards. The F717 performs flash metering TTL (through the lens) by firing a pre-flash just milliseconds before the main flash. Note that in manual exposure mode with either the internal or external flash enabled the display will automatically return to a 'normal' brightness.
|Skin tone test: Good colour, no cast (perhaps a little warm), good metering and flash power.||Good exposure with very little visible drop off (or vignetting) at the corners.||Color patch test: Good exposure, well metered with very good colour.|
BFS / LEVBFS
BFS and LEVBFS are acronyms given to issues with the DSC-F707's flash system by our very own Sony Talk Forum (STF). BFS (Blue Flash Syndrome) was an almost random occurrence of blue cast (incorrect white balance) in automatic flash exposures, this was solved by Sony and existing F707's were fixed. LEVBFS (Level Blue Flash Syndrome) appeared after the original fix and affected manual flash exposures, higher shutter speeds produced bluer and bluer exposures. The problem appears to be related to the way the camera measures white balance (before the flash exposure).
Manual flash exposures in darkness
Good news here, no evidence of any blue cast when taking manual flash exposures in darkness.
|F2.2, 1/30 sec||F2.2, 1/250 sec||F2.2, 1/1000 sec|
|F6.3, 1/30 sec||F6.3, 1/250 sec||F6.3, 1/1000 sec|
Manual flash exposures with incandescent light
Colour cast exhibited below is what we would expect of an automatic white balance system in a mixed light situation. The camera selects its auto white balance based on the dominant light source in the image. At F2.2, 1/30 or 1/250 sec and F6.3, 1/30 sec this is an incandescent white balance (hence blue cast). Otherwise the camera selects a flash white balance, which produces the correct white balance.
|F2.4, 1/30 sec||F2.4, 1/250 sec||F2.4, 1/1000 sec|
|F6.3, 1/30 sec||F6.3, 1/250 sec||F6.3, 1/1000 sec|
Compared to the Nikon Coolpix 5700
Although not as visible the F3.7, 1/250 sec shot below definitely exhibits the same 'problem', the camera not knowing which way to go with the white balance. The Coolpix 5700 does allow you to select a 'Speedlight' (Flash) white balance which does produce more consistent results once the shutter speed is fast enough to eliminate much of the ambient incandescent light.
|F3.7, 1/30 sec, Auto WB||F3.7, 1/250 sec, Auto WB||F3.7, 1/1000 sec, Auto WB|
|F3.7, 1/30 sec, Flash WB||F3.7, 1/250 sec, Flash WB||F3.7, 1/1000 sec, Flash WB|
The DSC-F717 now features a flash hot-shoe (with contacts) compared to the 'cold shoe' of the F707 (no contacts). This means you can mount Sony's dedicated digital flash (HVL-F1000) directly onto the camera or even trigger third party flash systems. A word of warning about using this contact to trigger studio strobe systems, always check the trigger voltage to avoid damaging your camera. When the 'Hot-shoe' option is enabled through the SETUP menu the camera's manual exposure mode no longer dims the live view display.
|Internal flash||Canon 550-EX bounced off ceiling
Not very good white balance...
|splat by Eb Swarbrick|
from Album cover for a rock band
|Madagascar1 by Jaklab|
from Mind and matter - the creations of humanity.
According to a Reuters report, US Congress is urging US companies to sever ties with Chinese manufacturers of communication equipment.
A firm launch date is still forthcoming, but in the meantime a sample reel from Kodak's new Super 8 camera has been released.
HTC's newest handset, the HTC U11 Eyes, improves on the standard U11 by slapping a dual camera on the front for 'portrait mode' selfies with real-time bokeh simulation.
Missile scare notwithstanding, we spent a lovely few days in Hawaii shooting with Sony's newest APS-C E-mount lens. See how it measures up capturing the spectacular scenery that the Aloha State is known for.
Now that we've completed our review of Panasonic's Lumix DC-G9, we've updated its entry in our Best Cameras Under $2000 and Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guides.
Hasselblad has introduced its next-generation multi-shot camera body, built to shoot 400-megapixel photos by using sensor-shift technology to combine up to six exposures into a single monster image measuring 23200 x 17400 pixels.
CVS is banning digitally altered beauty imagery on its store-brand beauty products, and plans to mark other brands' images as "Digitally Altered" if they're not up to snuff by the end of 2020.
Canon has announced that it will introduce a series of printers that allow users to refill the ink tanks themselves—a surprising shift that could, in theory, save customers quite a bit of money.
Adventure and lifestyle photographer Lucy Martin put together a useful little video that goes over her 18 favorite Lightroom shortcuts—a great guide for beginners.
Following a series of allegations of sexual misconduct against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, magazine publisher Conde Nast has severed ties with both of the famed fashion photographers, and released a code of conduct for future photo shoots.
Photographer Christopher Payne captures the 'colorful world of craft and complexity' you'll find in the General Pencil Company's factory in Jersey City... and almost nowhere else.
A new feature in the Google Arts & Culture app compares your facial features to its database of thousands of artworks, finding your fine art "doppelganger."
Recently, we spent a day in Los Angeles with photographer, cook and food blogger Kylie Mazon. Join us and see how Kylie approaches the challenge of shooting lifestyle and promotional images for a downtown hotel with the Canon EOS M6.
Leica has announced a pair of short telephoto lenses for its SL full-frame mirrorless camera. The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 ASPH lenses feature an apochromatic design to reduce chromatic aberration, one aspherical element and minimum focusing distances of around 0.5m.
The Panasonic G9 is the brand's top-tier stills camera. We've updated our already large sample gallery with even more photos to enjoy.
The latest product of Huawei's collaboration with Leica is a smartphone with a great all-around imaging feature set that left us very little to complain about.
In this quick video, award-winning travel photographer Bob Holmes shares nine of his most basic and straightforward tips for finding great images, even when you're in a rut.
Gudsen has launched a new gimbal that’s aimed at mirrorless photographers. With a payload of 3.9lbs/1.8kg, the new Moza AirCross can provide stabilization to a mirrorless body even fitted with a cinema lens and a new in-handle option can provide power to Sony and Panasonic cameras.
The Lensbaby 46mm Macro Kit comprises of three stackable filters with different magnification levels, which can be combined with several of the company's "bokeh effect" lenses.
Nikon Rumors is reporting that an upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon will sport an all-new "Z-Mount" with an extremely short flange distance of just 16mm.
A lot of people still have positive associations with the Kodak brand and its iconic logos, but it’s worth clearing something up: not everything with the Kodak name on it has much connection to a bunch of clever people in Rochester, New York.
A leaked image of a Galaxy S9 retail box indicates the new model might come with a variable aperture lens and a super-slow-motion video mode.
The portable little scanner features a 3.5-inch color screen, an integrated SD card slot for saving your scans, adapter trays for different types of film, and an HDMI port for viewing your scans directly on an external display.
Yesterday, Canon Italy and Canon Spain accidentally shared a composite photo that contained stolen elements shot with a Fujifilm camera. Today, in a response on social media, the company somehow managed to make things worse.
We've got a pair of Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN lenses in the office: one for Micro Four Thirds and the other for Sony E-mount. In this article we have some impressions of the MFT version, as well as some other lenses in this class worth considering.
Most wedding photographers are probably open to a little bit of feedback from their clients, but one Hong Kong couple was reportedly so upset, they provided their photographer with a detailed 30-page report full of their grievances!
It appears Huwei's ties to the Chinese Government and a fear of espionage have played a role in AT&T's decision not to offer the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and it's Leica-branded dual camera to customers in the United States.
The Autel Robotics EVO looks like the first serious competitor for DJI's Mavic Pro Platinum. With a better remote, slightly better camera, and a slightly cheaper price tag, this drone could steal some serious Mavic market share.
Sony has released firmware version 2.00 for its flagship a9 mirrorless camera. The most notable improvements are to continuous AF, but overall stability has been addressed, as well.
Kodak just debuted a bitcoin mining machine for rent at CES, leaving photographers slack-jawed and confused, and cryptocurrency mining experts balking at what they claim is an outright scam.