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Sony Cybershot DSC F828 | Digital Camera Review | Control
The 7x optical lens can be controlled perfectly. The zoom ring feels pleasant and it is possible to zoom in on a subject very quickly and precisely. The speed in which the ring is turned also decides the steps of the focus distance. Turning the ring very slowly enables a precise adjusting of the focal distance, turning the ring faster the steps are enlarged and within seconds one can go from 2cm to infinite. It is a way of focussing that the 35mm photographer will have to get used to, but in my opinion it is very useful. The possibility to position the lens up and down without having to move the rest of the body, adds to the freedom of moving. The focus ring is placed behind the zoom ring which enables manual focus of a subject. In general this ring works precise and pleasant, however holding the camera in a certain position the freedom of focusing is somewhat restricted because of the position of the ring or rather the position of the internal flash. The internal flash covers the ring more or less so turning the ring by the fingers is only possible from the sides or at the bottom. Completely turning the ring for example with the left hand is not possible because the fingers don't fit in between the internal flash and the ring. In manual operation mode a small indicator appears on the left on the LCD display indicating the focal distance from that moment. An additional help to enlarge the subject during manual focusing is to activate the Expanded Focus Function through the Set-up menu.
Sony Cybershot DSC F828 | Digital Camera Sony Cybershot DSC F828 | Digital Camera
The operation from this camera is straight forward in many respects. The only thing that I have to get used to is the fact that the camera has in fact two control centres. Usually the back of the camera is the place where it all happens. Beside this spot, Sony chose for another spot: the side of the lens. Settings like exposure methods and flash settings can be found here. It takes a while before these buttons are found intuitively. Sony has also chosen for a large number of quick review buttons, so navigating through the menu is restricted as much as possible. The large Command Dial directly gives access to a number of main programmes and quick review buttons for the flash unit, macro mode, focus method, exposure compensation or white balance enable a quick change of exposure or record method. As said before: it takes time to get used to the placement of the buttons on the side of the lens. The buttons are in a logical spot but especially in the beginning it is necessary to turn the camera to the side to see if the right button is touched, a matter of getting used to it, and not insuperable!

In general the camera will be held with two hands. Concerning the cameras size and weight he is larger and heavier (978 grams) than the average digital camera. If we look at competing models in the 8 Megapixel class, we see more compact designs. The weight of the camera will attract those photographers who need to 'feel a camera in their hands'. The lens is big and heavy but rests comfortably in the left hand and the grip on the right side of the body offers a firm grip. It has to be said that for me the grip is perfect, however letting the camera be operated by some fine women's hands, the experience was different from mine: the grip was somewhat too thick and large. The internal flash is easy to operate. The flash can be set to automatically pop up and be activated when needed. One who makes the step to use an external flash, like the Sony HVL-F1000, will experience that this flash also works automatically together with the camera.

It is easy to scroll through the well-organised menu of the camera. The presentation is stylish and less traditional than the usual Sony style. There are still elements recognisable as "Sony menu" but the new way of presenting I like better and is more modern. The LCD monitor shows the menu clear and with rich contrast and is also readable in bright sunshine, without a problem. The display's resolution is 134,400 pixels (560x240) and it has a surface of 1.8-inch. A larger display is desirable but probably not possible because of the size of the body.
The defects when using an LCD display in bright sunny circumstances seem to be belonging to the past; in case of the Cyber-shot DSC-F828 the quality of the display is excellent. Cameras equipped with a large optical zoom also feature beside the LCD display, an electronic viewfinder like we find on the DSC-F828. The user has the choice between a large LCD display or a viewfinder for the eye. The electronic viewfinder on this camera has a resolution of 235,200 pixels (980x240) and is very refined. Comparing with his predecessor, the DSC-F717 the resolution has improved tremendously; from 180,000 to 235,200 pixels. This viewfinder has exactly the same rendering as the LCD display, so navigating through the menus, deciding the composition precisely, etc. it is all possible through the 0.44-inch size display. Of course detailed subjects are somewhat difficult to observe in the small display but it is always possible to switch over to the larger display. Switching happens through a switch but it would come in handy if there was the possibility to equip the viewfinder with a sensor which would activate the viewfinder automatically when an eye is detected or deactivates it when the eye disappears again! The electronic viewfinder can also be used by glasses wearing photographers although it is not always comfortable. The sides of the viewfinder push on the glass and you automatically tend to get closer to the viewfinder with your eye in order not to miss any information. The quality of the type of viewfinder in combination with the Sony innovations like Night Shot and Night Framing make the viewfinder usable under all circumstances, even dim lighting conditions!

Speed also plays a big role with this DSC-F828 camera. No time is lost after activating the camera because the lens doesn't have to be positioned. In other words, the camera is ready for use after a little more than one second. Many camera users have experienced the so-called interval of release form a camera. The DSC-F828 is swift like an arrow, focusing, making an image, manual focus; all these acts are managed with an extremely fast speed and precision. There is a difference in focusing in wide angle or in telephoto but these speed times are superior to what we usually find on competing cameras. The way the DSC-F828 is formed technically, the design of the first class lens that is used which makes a larger camera size inevitable adds to the speed that can be reached, an excellent performance!
Sony Cybershot DSC F828 Sony Cybershot DSC F828
   
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