Camera Test Lab Archive

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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test

    The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 is Sony's current top-of-the-line digital still camera. The first thing you notice about it is the camera's build and design. The camera feels awesome. It's heavy (but not too heavy), solid, has a manual zoom ring, and the controls are pretty much all placed intuitively. I used the manual very little as most functions and controls were pretty obvious and simple to use.

    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Digital Camera

    This is the first of the current batch of 8 megapixel compact digital cameras. They're all using the same Sony sensor, except that Sony has used a unique, 4-color filter on the CCD in the 828. The special filter adds the color "emerald" which Sony claims makes images from the 828 closer to what the human eye actually sees. And if you look at the studio samples, you'll notice that the color does appear very pleasing and natural.

    I can't talk about this camera without talking about the other 8 megapixel cameras that were announced at PMA this year. Canon, Nikon, Konica Minolta, and Olympus all showed new 8 megapixel digital compacts that use the Sony sensor, sans the 4-color filter. Since they're all using the same sensor, it's going to be very interesting to see which camera comes out ahead. The Sony wins hands-down as far as build and feel go. The DSC-F828 is a brick. It feels like a real professional piece of photo gear and it's easy and intuitive to use.

    Other notable things about the 828 were the speed, the display, and the battery-life. The display shows a lot of data and has a very interesting way of showing controls like shutter-speed and aperture. But the most interesting display feature is the live histogram. The live histogram is wonderful. It's a much better way to evaluate exposure and it should be a feature in all cameras. It's that good.

    Below are thumbnails of test images taken at all ISO settings, in the studio. Click the thumbnail to go to that gallery page and view the full-sized JPEG file. Metering was done with the spot meter and a Kodak gray card placed directly in front of the display.

    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test Images


    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Outdoor Sample


    ISO 64 Sample >>
    ISO 100 Sample >>
    ISO 200 Sample >>
    ISO 400 Sample >>
    ISO 800 Sample >>
    Sony DSC-F828 Sample Gallery >>
    Other Resources:
    User Reviews >
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    Digital Outback Photo Review >>
    Sony Web Site >>
    Last edited by Photo-John; 06-09-2005 at 07:59 PM.
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  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Photos

    I used the Sony DSC-F828 pretty much the same way I'd use any other compact digital camera. That is, I took it everywhere with me and took it on the trail when I went mountain biking. It's a little big for taking on the bike, but it's beefy build, long lens, and flexibility make it nice to have with you at all times. And you just can't have a tiny camera with the feel and control of this one.

    This photo of my friend, Allie, was taken at ISO 200, 1/320th sec @ f/2.5. I never tried the continuous autofocus with this camera. This was taken by prefocusing on the dirt below her, before she hit the jump. Shutter-lag wasn't much of an issue with this camera, although it is noticeable. You just have to be aware of it and time your shot accordingly. Although not up to par with pro digital SLRs, shutter-lag on the 828 is much better than most other compact digital cameras I've used.

    All photos except the studio samples have been optimized for color and contrast using Photoshop CS.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test-allie_stepdown_sony.jpg  
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  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Photos

    This photo of Ryan Finney was taken the same evening. ISO is 400, shutter speed 1/400th sec, and aperture f/4.0. This was shot using the camera's pop-up flash and the lens at the wide end.

    I've also included an untouched sample at 100% to the show the noise at ISO 400. It's significant, but since you have so much resolution to work with, it isn't actually very noticeable unless you crop a lot or make big enlargements.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test-beav_bighip_sony.jpg  
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Obligatory Kitty-Cat Test

    No camera test is complete without a pet photo. How would you know whether the camera would work for you if you didn't see some pet samples?

    1/80th sec @ f/2.8, ISO 400
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test-soupy_couch_sony.jpg  
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  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Macro Test

    This photo is completely untouched aside from resizing and sharpening. This was taken in macro mode at the 828's optimal, ISO 64 setting. The files look very, very nice at ISO 64.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test-macro_aloe.jpg  
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  6. #6
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Landscape

    Wide-angle (7.1mm), stopped down to f/6.3, at 1/100th sec and ISO 64. This camera performs very well at ISO 64 in sunlight. If you like landscape photography and are willing to carry a tripod and use it if light is an issue, the 828 would be wonderful. I only had one problem with this photo and that was that the lens shade was visible in the upper right-hand corner. I had to crop and do a little cloning to remove the vignetting from the lens shade.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test-shells_bridge.jpg  
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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Another Landscape

    And another landscape image from the same session. Note the 100% sample for noise. It's actually pretty noisy for ISO 64. But again, the file size the 8 megapixel sensor captures means that for normal use the noise won't be noticeable.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Test-sony828_bay.jpg  
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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