Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: ARD on June 05, 2005, 03:44:37 pm

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: ARD on June 05, 2005, 03:44:37 pm
I had a Sony F717 and upgraded to a Canon EOS 20. The Canon is by far a superior camera, but the Sony did come with an excellent lens.

I think that Sony might have realised that DSLR are what people will go for in this price range. If Sony come out with a true DSLR with the same make of lens then it could rival others already on the market.

My advice to you would to be to look at a Canon EOS 350. They are selling with special offers over here in the UK and the range of lenses available is considerable
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on June 07, 2005, 08:03:40 am
PaulM : I've glanced ( supposed to be working ! ) at the Olympus E 300 on and the last sentence on the Conclusion page does apply, plus in the Cons the comment about s/n being 'mottle' rather than 'film grain - like'. Somewhere, I've read that 'grain' is easier to deal with.

Hope I don't come across as churlish - I really do appreciate all your comments. Prior to this ( ie before forums were available on-line ) camera choice was a lonesome affair ! Some of the dogs I've had over the last 30 years or so leave me shuddering. However, personal reviews on some forums ( eg ) show two extremes - comments from those who are still trying to convince themselves they MUST have bought the best, and comments from folk who don't even own the camera in question  - very strange. I was attracted to this forum because Michael owned an 828 and was intending to use it on safari.

My regards
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Evan on June 08, 2005, 02:20:23 pm
I'm not sure if this is your first digital or not, but given your experience with photography over the years, I can't imagine that your going to be happy with a point-and-shoot type camera.  I just went through this with my uncle...  He purchased the Sony 828 because he didn't want to shell out the extra cash (a year or so ago).  Now he has a 20D and has never gone back.  With today's prices for the SLR kits (canon or nikon), the price jump between the 828 and an SLR is not that big when compared to the jump in performance.  You can get a really good picture from just about any camera, but with any of the current SLRs you can take photos under much more demanding conditions and are simply just much more fun and reactive when you push the button.  If you can, I would strongly recommend trying the different cameras a store.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on June 17, 2005, 10:44:52 am
IMO abaazov's comment is not out of line at all. An f828 would be useless in a no-flash-allowed wedding where ISO 1600 + f/2.8 is barely adequate, especially in mixed-light situations (fluorescent lights on one side of the room, and incandescent on the other) make shooting RAW mandatory if anything approaching decent color is desired. Certainly it is smaller and quieter than a 1D-MkII, but there really is no comparison between the 1D-MkII and the F828 when it comes down to results delivered in demanding situations. If I was having a wedding in a low-light, no-flash-allowed venue, I would not consider any photographer who showed up with a 707 or 828 for the simple reason that those cameras simply will not deliver the goods in such a situation. No matter how talented the photographer is, the technical limitations of the tools will seriously compromise the results. Equipment DOES make a difference, or we would all still be running around with pinhole cameras. A true professional will simply show up with an appropriate tool for the job, and won't make silly excuses about "the camera doesn't matter". Sometimes it doesn't, but sometimes it does. And all the protestations to the contrary and post-processing wizardry won't change that.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: damonff on June 28, 2005, 09:51:38 pm
Check out my review... (

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on June 04, 2005, 07:42:56 am
My quest for a new camera seemed quite simple ~ Canon 350D v. Nikon D70, until I started to consider my budget and photographic 'needs'. Gone are the days of lugging heavy gear around.
I 'discovered' the Sony DSC-F828 by chance, albeit almost 2 years after its release. Reviews were not encouraging, until I stumbled on yours, Michael. It was refreshing to read a review from a pro user and I had to 'sleep on it'. I am now thinking seriously about the Sony. Most comments in this forum are 12 months old or more, but that means you have been using it for longer ( as stated in your report, you were about to go on safari with it.
My questions are - have you changed your (initial) views ? Am I stepping into a potential 'obsloscence' situation as the 828 is now approximately 2 years old ? I can appreciate the argument "go for what's right for you" - but thought I'd ask anyway.
My thanks and regards.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on June 04, 2005, 11:31:23 am
Thank you for your prompt reply.
The Sony DSC-F828 is still available in a few mail-order outlets here in the UK, The price ranges from 499 to an incredible 949.99 !
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on June 06, 2005, 11:43:01 am
ARD : Thanks for your comments. My thoughts are still with a fixed lens camera, as opposed to an SLR, if possible. The attraction of the Sony was the lens - I've had Zeiss T* previously and they are superb. Trying to 'narrow' the field has produced a longer list as I've seen previews of the Canon s2 IS and the Nikon D50 and stumbled on the Nikon 8800. At each turn, I seem to be reviewing my needs. Now if the Sony had an IS system, there'd be no more dithering. :laugh:
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: eatstickyrice on June 06, 2005, 09:08:22 pm
Tenner, I guess it depends on what you would like to use this camera for. The pictures I've seen come out of the DSC-F828 are covered in colored splotches, which frustrates me to where I can't use them when they come across my desk. has a fairly thorough review that includes a noise graph. You might want to take a look at it before you make your decision. The test photos are next to a 300D by Canon, which appear to be much smoother. I would imagine the 350D some have suggested would be better than that.

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Willowroot on June 07, 2005, 10:04:12 am
Minolta A2 and A200 are similar concept but with image stabilization.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: ARD on June 08, 2005, 08:29:00 am
Have a look here ( ( comprehensive review of the Sony and may others. Thing is with camera choice there are so many, and there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and pick one. If I were going for a fixed lens again I think I'd go for something that it still new on the market, that way, if the camera doesn't deliver what you hoped, it should still have a good re-sale value
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: ctgardener on June 08, 2005, 10:25:10 am
Tenner, it's interesting that you object to the E-300 based on noise, but are considering the 828.  Whether "grain-like" or "digital-like" noise is easier to deal with is pretty irrelevant given the relative amounts of noise.  

If you stick to the lowest ISO on the 828, you'll make fine prints.  If you want to use the camera for much else, you may get frustrated with it or just get used to noise reduction in post-processing.  

The Zeiss lens is nice on that camera, but in the same vein as the noise issue ... other aspects of image quality essentially dwarf the Zeiss legend.  

I'd personally opt for the A2 over the 828 based on all the reviews I've read, Zeiss lens notwithstanding.  But I'm not about to limit myself to ISO 100 and under.  For nature photography only, maybe, but not for other photography.  I readily shoot ISO 1600 on my 7D at f/2 *with* antishake.  And this isn't obscure usage - it's sitting around at dusk or indoors with friends & family.  I have a Sony F717 which has an f/2-2.4 lens and a 5MP sensor with better noise characteristics than the 828, and I only take it out in bright light, because I avoid ISO 400 like the plague.  Noise in ISO 400 images is visible in a 4x6 print unless you post process.  Zeiss optics don't really do a whole lot for me under those circumstances.  

This is a landscape photography site, so maybe I'm being presumptious in thinking you'll want to shoot at higher ISOs.  Some of the restriction of a camera like this (lack of very shallow DOF, high noise at higher ISO) aren't so bad, especially considering what you can do with a compact kit.  

I don't know exactly what Oly offers for lenses that would cover a 28-200 range - I'd be much more interested in the image quality you could get from the E-1 or E-300 than any small sensor digicam, though I don't place enough value in "compact" to want to invest in 4/3 myself.

- Dennis
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: abaazov on June 15, 2005, 02:32:02 pm
i have to echo the sentiments of evan. i had an f828 for over a year, and i must say it served me well. but it is not a performance-oriented camera. for me the noise levels at high iso were just too much. add to that the fact that if you shoot raw you can forget about taking any photos in succession. i now have the 20d and it is night and day. the difference in price is huge, over double the price, and much much more when you start building a decent lens arsenal, but there is no question the f828 is deficient for serious photography.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: abaazov on June 17, 2005, 08:16:05 am
very true. you can take great pictures with any camera, be it the most expensive or the least expensive. maybe i went too far. but i still think the f828 has some serious limitations, specially in low-light situations.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on June 17, 2005, 02:01:53 pm
Thank you - each one of you for your interest and contributions. I won't repeat or quot individual's comments because I don't want to take up too much space. Many of your points are valid, some are even relevant - those that weren't ? well that's my fault for not giving enough detail, perhaps. I am not a professional photographer, so I'm hardly going to be invited to a wedding as an official shooter and if I were I'd be using appropriate ( quiet ) gear - a point I learned the hard way when taking shots at a theatrical production with a Rollei ( I swear it would have been quieter if I'd taken a Zenith with it's tank lid shutter )
To a certain extent, I echo abaazov's comments, and should say it's a compromise because of limitations of budget - I didn't want to go down the SLR path and start building an arsenal of expensive lenses. Having searched many sites for reviews and users' comments ( and I must say this is a rewarding one ) I have finally taken the plunge and my order arrived today. My first impression ? It feels 'right' in my big hands and I shall enjoy exploring its potential ( given my limitations as a 'snapper' ) fully aware that it will give questionable results as it is pushed to its extremes. I hope my gamble doesn't prove to be one I regret.
Thank you all again - happy shooting, cos that's what its all about !
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: iordanov on June 25, 2005, 03:15:07 am
"With today's prices for the SLR kits (canon or nikon), the price jump between the 828 and an SLR is not that big when compared to the jump in performance."

IMO this is a myth. When the respective lenses are taken in account the price for a mid range DSLR almost triple(!) compared to F828/ A2 type of digicam.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: dwdallam on July 09, 2005, 01:52:22 am
I've been using the F828 for about 6 months now. Yep, it do have its limitations, but even in sunset situations, it delivers crisp 12x18 prints when you work with it.

It will only close down to F8.0, so I'm learning to use ND filters to help that problem. Also, it has a deep DoF, which the ND's can help by opening the aperture more in sunny situations.

As far as aberations go, such as the purple fringing and blockes, yep, I've seent eh purple many times, and the blocking a few. The blocking happens when you try to take pictures into to teh sun too much usually. The purple fringe never shows up in prints though so far.

Noise? Yep, but when you consider your original on screen size is about 45" wide and you are compressing it down to 18 inches wide, you don't see much noise at ISO 200 or less when printed.

That said, I hope Sony come up with a professional F828 type camera. If they couild manage to update the F828 so it had less noise and useable higer ISOs with less abberation, they would ahve a show stopper on their hands. It's a very pleasurable, solid camera to use.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Lin Evans on August 28, 2005, 03:18:00 pm
Now, a couple of month's later, my thanks again to all those who contributed to my request for comments. So far, I've been delighted with the F828 - a solid, well built and balanced camera that suits my large hands - and have been pleased with (many of) the results.
I quite agree. I got to this thread rather late, but I've had great results with my F828 and find it very useful professionally especially for macro shots of small art objects.

Though I have literally dozens of digital cameras including seven dSLR's and a Kodak digital MF back, I find the F828 works very well for situations where I have neither the time nor space to set up my strobes, reflectors, tripod, backdrops, etc., to shoot with my higher resolution dSLR's or my Kodak back. I can get results in a few seconds with the F828 with minimal fuss which literally take a minimum of a half hour set-up with my other cameras.

The small amount of purple fringe at high contrast borders is easily removed or ameliorated to the point of being inconsequential in 16x20 inch prints. The images and prints are very sharp and with excellent details. It's not the perfect camera for all-around photography (if there is such a thing) but in rebuttal to comments that it not suitable for professional work - that's certainly not my opinion or experience.

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: on June 04, 2005, 10:54:42 am
The F828 appears to have mostly disappered from dealers shelves. Sony seems to have lost interest in it as well, since there is no follow-up promotion since its launch.

Cameras like the Canon Rebel XT350 and upcoming Nikon D50 have ecliped it in many ways, along with that whole generation of 8MP digicams.

It still is capable of producing first rate images though, and has a lovely and versatile lens. But there is still the CA problem (though I never saw it as a big deal), and when shooting raw the camera is a bit of a slug.

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: PaulM on June 06, 2005, 03:31:46 pm
At around 500, you could also take a look at the Olympus E-300. The lens range is superb, apparently up there with Zeiss (which I also have). They're a pretty silly price now, and I'd imagine would provide image quality at least as good as the Sony. DSLR for digicam money.

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on June 08, 2005, 09:57:12 am
ARD : thanks - I'd already used those sites, and again it was Michael's 'hands on' experiences and his reports that drew me to this forum. In addition, I've found another encouraging report (

As one of the reports concludes, it ( camera specifications and eventual choice ) is a compromise - something I've come to realise over the years. I understand your comment about current models and resale value, but I want a camera that'll suit my needs rather than an investment I can resell easily.

Thank you all, once more.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Digi-T on June 16, 2005, 03:38:05 pm
... there is no question the f828 is deficient for serious photography.
I certainly would not go that far. That is a judgment based on your own photographic needs and views. In some ways a fixed lens camera like the Sony is limiting but in other ways there are advantages. I'm still using an F707 and the light weight and absolutely quiet operation is great for not drawing attention to myself and carrying around easily. The laser focus assist and infrared features are actually quite useful at times too. I don't even have RAW capabilities with this camera but the jpegs still look excellent. I would love to have a camera like the Digital Rebel xt because the quality is better and it performs faster but my current budget doesn't allow it. That doesn't mean I have to be any less serious with my camera. It's like with so many things, you just have to know how to use your equipment by understanding its limitations and capabilities. One last thing, I'm using Noise Ninja's latest PS plugin so that now makes NR very convenient and effective when I need it.

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Digi-T on June 17, 2005, 03:07:16 pm
IMO abaazov's comment is not out of line at all. An f828 would be useless in a no-flash-allowed wedding where ISO 1600 + f/2.8 is barely adequate, especially in mixed-light situations (fluorescent lights on one side of the room, and incandescent on the other) make shooting RAW mandatory if anything approaching decent color is desired....
Of course the F828 would not be the best choice for formal wedding photography and not a single person is comparing it to the 1D-MkII. It does have many strengths, however, and that is what I was talking about. Formal wedding photography in low lighting is not the  benchmark that determines the seriousness of a photographer or their cameras. Photography is much more diverse than that. I am not the type of person that will tell you that a gifted photgrapher can take first rate pictures in any situation with any type of camera. What I am saying is that you can still take high quality photos with a camera like the F828 when you work within its capabilities. Those capabilities can be more considerable than you think. As far as color corrections go with jpeg files, as long as I have gotten close with my exposure and white balance at the time of capture I haven't had any problems. Photoshop has the tools to make accurate white balance corrections. I don't disagree that the RAW format is the preferred way to go but I do think that its superiority is exaggerated.

Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: TBrownlee on June 25, 2005, 02:34:42 am
I bought my F828 about a year & a half ago & have all but abandoned my MF system.

I purchased this camera becasue I was looking for a long zoom range, fairly compact package (compared with a DSLR) & a high mpixel count. I have shot several thousand frames with my F828 & I am still happy with it. My shooting has run the gamut: Product shots that get enlarged to 16x20, lots of technical stuff at work, landscapes, "macro" work & family shots. It has its drawbacks, but for me has represented the best series of compromises of any of it's competitors at the time I purchased. The CA problem has been an issue in a couple photos, but I photoshopped the worst of it out. The camera writes to the buffer painfully slow, but I've found that using jpegs works well with my end use ~ mostly 8 x 10's for a series of albums & a number of 11 x 14's. In short, the F828 has replaced my 35mm camera. The 28-200 (35mm equiv) optical zoom range is adequate for most of my needs. No lugging an SLR with a bag of lenses. I find that using this camera has re-energized my photography by making it fun, instant, flexible & very portable. I tend to leave my medium format system home a lot these days ~ just grabbing the camera, a tripod & a few filters.

Just for the record, I believe Michael replaced his F828 with the Konica-Minolta A2. I have looked at this camera after a co-worker purchased it & am still happy with my sony. I think it was the size & build quality. My camera doesn't seem gadgety or plasticy. It has a nice solid feel & the articulated body joint is still nice & tight.

if this is what you are looking for in a digicam, go to Best Buy or good Guys & play with one. Whatever you choose will have strong points & weak points. You need do decide which ones are  important to you & use that to guide your choice.
Title: Sony DSC-F828
Post by: Tenner on August 28, 2005, 09:33:46 am
Now, a couple of month's later, my thanks again to all those who contributed to my request for comments. So far, I've been delighted with the F828 - a solid, well built and balanced camera that suits my large hands - and have been pleased with (many of) the results.