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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 –
Best New Prosumer Digital.

by the Tech-edge E-zine Staff and Review Panel
Written by Keith Benicek, Editor
June 16th, 2004

         
The brand new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 came at an excellent time for Sony. With the red hot digital market and hot on the heals of the awesome Cyber-shot DSC-V1 (two of us bought it after our Christmas Shoot-out Review), the all-new DSC-F828 is a fantastic product line addition.

All right, we’ve tipped our hand about our feelings on the DSC-F828, but wait till you read all the juicy details of camera sex. You don’t think a camera can be sexy?

In our view the Cyber-shot DSC-F828 is a major departure from any previous models that Sony has offered. The camera is filled with firsts for Sony and the “Prosumer” market segment. Most notably is that it is an 8 Mega-Pixel camera for under a $1000 (USD). But it goes much better then that with the technology in that big 2/3” 8 MP effective Sony Super HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) CCD imager.
    
Sony is clearly the leader in conventional and digital video camera, and has been for the last couple decades. The best surgical video cameras use Sony’s “Hyper HAD” technology

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and electronics. That leading expertise in CCD development is now part of Sony’s DSC-F828 with this revolutionary and first ever 4-Color Filtered CCD. This adds an “emerald” filter to the conventional RGB (red, green, blue) set found in everyone else’s camera. The net effect is more accurate color in your images. Sony developed a special image processor chip to then convert the increased 4-color data into printable and software editable 3-color data. An added net effect of this high performance processor is also greatly increased battery time.
          
 Left is conventional 3-Color Filter, right is Sony's 4-Color

While on the subject of the battery, the F828 uses a proprietary rechargeable NP-FM50 InfoLithiumÒ rated at 1180mAh, which will take about 2.5 hours to recharge. This is something we Love/Hate; because while this battery has an better usable time than any we ever tested before, you can’t pop in conveniently available Double A Alkalines that are available anywhere in a pinch when the NP-FM50 goes dead.

Is that a lens in your pocket, or….?
The goodies don’t stop there though, the DSC-F828 also carries a famous premium Carl Zeiss T lens system, long considered to be the finest lenses ever made. The highly prized vintage CONTAX and Rollie cameras had Carl Zeiss lenses. Behind that lens is a beautifully engineered 7-Layer Iris that will make any professional photographer drool.

The DSC-F828 chassis uses magnesium alloy, an excellent choice for a combination of durability and lightweight; and the camera has a black crinkle-finish surface for a secure grip.

The 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 aspheric elements lens provides the photographer with a full 7x Optical zoom and a manual dual function Focus/Zoom ring like a Pro 35mm camera. All of our professional reviews remarked that they loved the precision and response of the manual focus ring. Prosumer digitals with only electronically controlled zooms should be avoided.


12 elements in 9 groups with 3 aspheric elements lens set

Electronically the camera also has 14x digital zoom and 35x “Smart zoom”.



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