Sonyís historic new Cyber-shot DSC-F828 features tilting 28-200 equivalent zoom, 8 megapixels, unique 4-colour filter sensor, RAW mode and compact flash slot as well as Memory Stick Pro
Click here for official press release and detailed specifications
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Sony can quite rightly claim to have made a bit of digital camera history today. With the announcement of the Cyber-shot DSC-F828 itís the first camera manufacturer to launch a consumer camera with a native resolution beyond 6 megapixels, making Fujifilmís S7000 lead over its 5 megapixel rivals short-lived. Sony also debuts its unique 4-colour filter CCD sensor. The likely street price in the UK will be in the region of £900 when it goes on sale in November.
Whether the quad-colour sensor is a gimmick or not remains to be seen, but Sony getís full marks for imaginative innovation. Noise performance will be interesting to measure once production samples reach reviewers.
The new 8MP (3264x2448 image pixels) sensor chip is the same physical size as the 2/3rd inch devices used in the existing 5MP DSC-F717, Olympus E-20, Nikon Coolpix 5700, Minolta Dimage 7 and the new Dimage A1. With 60% more pixels to fit into the same space, each pixel needs to be considerably smaller and small pixels gather less light, potentially increasing the prospect of noise and limited usable ISO speed range. But Sony reminds us that there is a sophisticated new image Real Image processor at the heart of the DSC-F282. The potential downsides of reduced pixel size will surely make that processor work hard. The DSC-F828 is going to be a reviewerís dream!
Sony also proves that it listens to its customers by biting the bullet and adding an industry standard Type I/II (and Microdrive compatible) Compact Flash slot alongside the obligatory Memory Stick Pro card slot. With its commitment to its proprietary Memory Stick family of memory cards, embracing compact flash must have been a pretty big pill for Sony to swallow and dpnow.com applauds Sony for doing so. It's also apparent that the lens zoom ring is a conventional mechanical one, a la Minolta Dimage 7 and Olympus E-10/20, rather than a button-controlled system: again a sign that Sony is listening to its fans.
Once again, I canít wait to try out the new Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 28-200 (equivalent) zoom lens. At last, joining Nikon with the Coolpix 5400 and Minolta with the Dimage 7 and A1, Sony has introduced a camera with a truly wide-angle (28mm equivalent) ability. Sony is again stretching the envelope. The 7.14x optical zoom range of this lens has rarely been accompanied by truly great results when engineered by other lens makers, so has Carl Zeiss achieved the impossible? Itís also a stonking f/2.0 at the wide end and this only drops to f/2.8 at the telephoto end. Sony has also persuaded Carl Zeiss to let them add the T* coating brand to this hunk of glass, something Kyocera/Contax had guarded jealously until now.
The DSC-F828 has other goodies as well: PictBridge support for compatible direct print printers, 235,000 pixel electronic viewfinder (30 percent more than the F717), RAW image file format at last and of course most of the innovations introduced with the F707/F717, like holographic AF assist, etc. It looks like the DSC-F828 is built like a tank in its smart black finish, after all it weighs nearly a whole kilo.
We have Sonyís official press release and specification sheet Ė click here to get there.
Our friends at LetsGoDigital in the Netherlands have a detailed (english language) hands-on special preview of the DSC-F828 with a number of exclusive product photos - click here.
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