Sony DSC-F717 Review
Top of camera controls
Not much has changed on the top of the F717, the only noticeable differences are the MPEG MOVIE HQX label and the addition of the Program AE mode which switches the function of the old icon to a full Auto exposure mode. This is useful when handing the camera to someone else to take a quick shot, all settings are returned to default and the menu is more basic.
The power switch is mounted around the camera mode dial, just in the right position for a flick from your thumb. Beside the mode dial is the cameras microphone, used to record audio in movie mode. Just below the microphone is the NightFraming / NightShot switch.
Toward the front of the camera is the shutter release button, tilted slightly forwards and it is a soft half-press, click full-press type. Next to this is the exposure compensation button, directly in front of that is the camera's jog-dial which is used to to set exposure compensation, aperture / shutter speed in manual modes and scroll through images in playback mode. I personally found the jog-dial location to be a bit awkward, it would have been better to the left of the shutter release, on the rear of the camera or the front of the hand grip.
Exposure / Camera Mode Dial
Enters playback mode, this displays the last image/movie recorded. Cursor arrows or jog-wheel can be used to scroll through images (other functions described later).
| Auto Exposure ('Auto
Automatic exposure mode, camera meters the scene and selects best combination of aperture and shutter speed and ISO sensitivity to properly expose the image. You can not change ISO, white balance, exposure compensation etc.
|P||Program Auto Exposure
Automatic exposure mode, camera meters the scene and selects best combination of aperture and shutter speed (and ISO if set to Auto) to properly expose the image. Additionally you can compensate the exposure by either +/-2.0EV in 0.3 EV steps. The F717's program AE mode is not flexible (ability to select equal exposures by rolling the command dial).
Shutter Priority Auto Exposure
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure
|M||Full Manual Exposure
In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Use the jog-dial to switch between shutter speed or aperture, click then roll it again to change the value. The LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image at this exposure. The exposure compensation readout now displays the difference between the selected exposure and the metered exposure up to a maximum of +/-2.0 EV.
Special Scene Exposure
Enters camera setup mode (described in more detail later).
Enables exposure compensation, click the jog-dial then roll between compensations of : (+/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps)
-2.0, -1.7, -1.3, -1.0, -0.7, -0.3, 0, 0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0 EV
NightFraming / NightShot switch
In this mode the camera operates as a normal digital camera, the Infrared filter remains in front of the CCD at all times. However, Hologram AF (laser) may be used in low light circumstances if set to Auto in the Setup menu. (Note that the label for this mode has changed from the word OFF on pre-production cameras to the green dot - this avoids confusing this switch for the power switch).
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