For zero-light conditions, Sony has introduced a first on a digital-still camera: Nightshot. Using infrared (IR) illumination and an IR filter, it can take green-hued photos in absolute darkness. It also features NightFraming where the Nightshot mode is used for composing the image, then turned off for Hologram AF to focus and the flash to double-fire. The result is colour photos in zero-light conditions. Impressive. And if daylight is too bright, the viewfinder is electronic and duplicates the LCD – almost like an SLR mode. Other useful facilities include an external flash shoe-mount; a three-shot burst-mode with varied exposures; in-camera sharpening; image sizes up to 2,560-x-1,920 pixels (including a TIFF mode); three auto-exposure modes; anti-red eye flash; MPEG movie and animated GIF modes; and USB transfer.
The 4.5m range for the pop-up flash, allied with the Hologram AF and Nightshot features, lead to good photos irrespective of lighting conditions. Image quality was excellent with decent dynamic range, detail, and realistic colours. The battery-life rating of 2.5 hours was confirmed, and while the included 16MB Memory Stick is only good for half a dozen images, 128MB cards are readily available. If you’re a professional photographer seeking lots of manual facilities, the F707 is probably not for you.If, however, you want excellent, high-resolution image-quality from a camera that’s a pleasure to use, the F707 comes highly recommended.