Combining point-and-shoot convenience with a host of manual photographic controls, the Sony DSC-F717 can help expand your creative palette for better photographic results. Armed with high-quality Carl Zeiss optics, ISO sensitivities of 100 to 800, and shutter speeds of up to 1/2,000 in auto mode, the DSC-F717 produces stellar results, even in the most demanding shooting situations. The DSC-F717 is an update to Sony's popular DSC-F707, featuring a number of additions and improvements, including a new manual focus and manual zoom ring, hot shoe for external flash units, USB 2.0 support, and improved startup and shot-to-shot speed.
Here's a Sony feature that adds value to this digital camera and differentiates it from other models in the Sony lineup.
| || Hologram Autofocus (AF):Projecting a Class 1 laser patter, Hologram AF reads the contrast between the pattern's edge and the subject for precise focus, even in low- or no-light conditions. |
Optics and Resolution
The Sony DSC-F717 features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens with 5x optical and 2x digital zoom (for a 10x total), an f2.0 maximum aperture, and a focal range of 9.7-48.5mm (equivalent to 38-190mm). It contains a 5-megapixel (effective) Super HAD CCD, or 5.2 million gross pixels.
The DSC-F717 uses Sony's NightShot technology, the same feature seen on Sony's camcorders, which uses infrared illumination and an infrared filter to take photos in complete darkness. The NightFraming system provides infrared light as a composition assist, and utilizes hologram autofocusing and preflash exposure metering for consistently great shots, even in low- or no-light conditions.
Picture quality is enhanced with clear-color noise reduction, which reduces color noise, and slow-shutter noise reduction, which captures and subtracts CCD noise from long exposures.
Other features include:
- Swivel lens to capture photos in even the most challenging situations
- Eye-level through-the-lens (TTL) 180 KB pixel LCD viewfinder and 1.8-inch, 123 KB pixel LCD display
- Through-the-lens (TTL) preflash metering and red-eye reduction, hot shoe and Acc terminal for HVL-F1000
- Twilight, portrait, and landscape scene autoexposure
- Multipattern measuring exposure system
- 46-step shutter priority (30 sec to 1/1,000 sec)
- 13-step aperture priority (f2.0 to f8.0)
- Full manual exposure
- High-speed scan autofocus
- Manual focus ring with LCD magnifier
In movie mode, the DSC-F717 produces color digital videos in multiple creative formats, including 320 x 240 (high quality), 320 x 240 (normal), and 160 x 112. You can fill up the Memory Stick with digital video, even with the new high-quality mode (which was limited to 15 seconds on the DSC-F707). Another movielike feature is called ClipMotion, which will take 10 images and put them into an animated GIF.
Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on Memory Sticks, Sony's proprietary memory card format. The included 32 MB stick holds approximately 23 images at the camera's standard 5-megapixel setting (2,560 x 1,920 pixels). Memory Sticks are reusable, but if you tend to take more than 23 images per outing, then you'll want a bigger card. A 128 MB stick is a great size for this camera, storing around 70 images.
Power, Size, and Content
The DSC-F717 uses a proprietary rechargeable InfoLithium battery (model FM50), which should provide 3.5 hours of use per charge (Sony estimate). The camera measures 4.75 by 2.75 by 6 inches and weighs 24 ounces with battery and Memory Stick. This package includes the DSC-F717 digital camera, InfoLithium NP-FM50 rechargeable battery, AC adaptor, AV output and USB cables, shoulder strap, lens cap, 32 MB Memory Stick, printed manual, and CD-ROM featuring Pixela ImageMixer and drivers for Windows and Mac.