2002’s Sony Cyber-shot F717 Is a Bridge Camera with a Special IR Power

Sony Cyber-shot F717 Retro Review

Final August, Gordon Laing of Camera Labs checked out certainly one of his favourite classic digital cameras, the Sony Cyber-shot F707. Now Laing appears at its successor, 2002’s Sony Cyber-shot F717.

Sporting the identical L-shaped design and imaging pipeline because the F707, the F717 launched quite a few refinements that made Laing desperately need to add it to his assortment.

“That stated, out of over 50 previous cameras I’ve taken a punt on over time, the overwhelming majority have sprung again into life given a brand new battery with one huge exception: yep, you guessed it, the F717,” Laing writes.

The primary F717 he purchased on-line had a damaged sensor, whereas the second had unsolvable reminiscence card points. A 3rd digicam confirmed the identical reminiscence issues at first, however after just a few days of energy biking, it sprung to life.

Sony Cyber-shot F717 Retro Review

Regardless of having the identical fundamental form because the F707, albeit with a silver end, there are some design modifications that supply enhancements, together with a brand new hotshoe and a refined lens barrel. The 5-megapixel CCD picture sensor is similar, though Laing notes that the F717 consists of improved white stability and coloration accuracy. Particularly, the F717 goals to beat points with overly saturated reds. The digicam additionally employs an improved noise discount system.

The built-in lens is similar as earlier than, regardless of some tweaks to its casing. The F717 has a 38-190mm equal zoom, a 5x optical zoom, and a max aperture that ranges from f/2 to f/2.4, which is impressively brilliant and, regardless of the small picture sensor (8.8 x 6.6 millimeters), provides some relatively tender bokeh.

Whereas this will all sound like normal fare thus far, the F717, just like the F707, has a really neat social gathering trick up its sleeve.

“As earlier than, one of the crucial distinctive points of the 717 is its skill to border, focus and shoot in darkness. To display, I examined the digicam exterior in full darkness the place I used to be invisible to the digicam’s regular seen gentle modes. Swap the digicam to Evening Framing although, and the 717 prompts a pair of infra-red LEDs on the finish of a barrel to light up close by topics, whereas additionally flicking the usual IR-blocking filter out the way in which of the sensor. Bingo, the digicam can now see the topic, permitting you to border,” Laing explains.


This additionally permits the F717, with a little bit of finagling, to behave as an infrared digicam. As Laing notes, the Nightshot mode that allows IR capturing solely works with automated publicity modes, so it’s ineffective in the course of the daytime by default. Nonetheless, Laing added a impartial density (ND) filter to his F717, turning it into a correct IR digicam for all events.

There’s additionally a magnet hack that enables customers to bypass the necessity for Nightshot mode. Laing particulars this hack within the latter portion of his video overview.

Sony Cyber-shot F717 Retro Review

“I’ve stated it earlier than and I’ll say it once more: the F-series represented Sony’s design workforce on the high of their recreation, combining distinctive appears, unashamed gadgetry and respectable high quality pictures with a surprisingly usable photographic expertise. I beloved it in 2002 and, caveats apart, nonetheless adore it 22 years on,” Laing writes.

Many extra images can be found in Laing’s written review on Digital camera Labs. Extra “Retro Opinions” are on Laing’s classic expertise YouTube channel, Dino Bytes.

Picture credit: Pictures © Gordon Laing / Digital camera Labs

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