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Another 5 megapixel camera is the Sony DSC-F707. It can be compared with the Nikon 5700. Now it's time for some competition. I've taken some pictures at the same time and using the same settings. You can see both competitors (picture taken with a Sony DCR-TRV900, a videocamera with build-in PC card slot for recording still images), and Lange Nelle, the place from where the pictures were taken (the staircase has some 500 steps). The next series of pictures were taken from the outside platform.
Sony DCR-TRV900 Actual picture size
Nikon 5700 1920 * 2560, 272k
- Both cameras uses proprietary lithium batteries. The Sony has an available battery time indicator named 'InfoLithium'. Inside the battery there is a small computer chip that records the actual current drain and computes the remaining time with a precision of one minute. This is an interesting feature, but is sometimes not accurate: when not in use, the battery will slowly discharge, and the system is not able to monitor this phenomenon.
- Both cameras have a self-timer, and, in contrast with the Nikon 990, the picture parameters (focus, exposure) are locked when pressing the shutter, not when the picture is actually recorded. Very difficult to take a self-portrait when the main subject is not in the picture...
- The Sony has lot of extra features (i call them the 'fun-features'),
Both the nightframing and nightshot are of no use to the sensible photographer. The Sony has also some very useful features, like the automatic focus confirmation setting in manual focus mode (digital zoom of center part of the image while rotating the focus dial) and the very user-friendly ajustment of shutter and aperture in manual exposure mode. But the zoom adjustment is ill-located. The Sony sports a retractable IR filter that is removed during nightshot and nightframing. All CCD's are very sensitive to the near-IR and the filter prevent distortion in normal conditions. When the filter is disengaged, the camera can work in very low light conditions, but the color rendering is not correct.
- like a nightshot (infra-red illumination of the subject when shooting with poor light conditions, works to a distance of some 3 meters),
- hologram autofocus (some diffracted laser light is projected to the subject, making autofocus easier),
- nightframing (like the nightshot stand, but the infra-red beam is only used for framing the subject)
- A red-eye reduction system that will cause everybody in the picture to look very puzzled indeed (the camera will fire the flash 5 times at low intensity before the pre-flash (to determine correct illumination) and main flash). Other digicams are using an high brightness white led.
- The Nikon is the camera for the 'professional', with more regular features that are improved to high levels (continuous shooting to mention only one).
From this first picture, you can already see the difference between both cameras: the Nikon has a better overal illumination (some parts of the Sony pictures are overexposed). The color rendering of the Nikon is also much better. Both pictures are taken in extreme wide setting. The Sony makes very big files (don't have a BASIC setting) so you will need to buy lots of memory sticks. Even in STANDARD setting, the Nikon files are smaller.
Nikon 5700 985k
Sony 707 1245k
Both pictures right and left are from the Sony DCR-TRV900.
(actual picture size)
In tele-setting and with no difficult light conditions, both cameras gives you a correct picture.
Nikon 5700 923k
Sony 707 1231k
The Sony overcompensates the color correction (the picture was taken 2 hours before sundown and the real color is much like that of the Nikon).
The Nikon has a wider tele range (total zoom is 8X, compared to the Sony 5X), but here the Sony's Carl Zeiss lenses gives you a much detailled picture.
Wide settings: The Nikon has a much wider range and a better color rendition, but the Sony is able to give more details in the darker parts of the picture
Nikon 5700 944k
Sony 707 1232k
|Cropping (so you don't have to download the full size picture)|
(look at the foliage in the crop-out pictures and at the windows of 'de vismijn' (the building center and left of the full size picture).
|Harsh backlight condition|
Nikon 5700 421k
Nikon 5700 245k
Sony 707 385k
Sony 707 287k
In tele mode, the Sony seems to produce a better picture with more details. It compensate it's lower zoom ratio: if you enlarge both pictures to exactly show the same part of it, you will notice no difference in resolution. This shows again that the quality of a picture depends mostly on the quality of the lenses.
Nikon 990 442k
Nikon 990 415k
Nikon 990 412k
The wide angle pictures are the most difficult ones, because of the high contrast ratio. The sun is located just above the picture and is not visible, but the reflection in the water is enough to cause a burn out. The Nikon has the well known registration error (that's how a commercial printer will call it) AKA convergence (and how a television repair man will name it). We call this type of error color fringe, best visible in wide settings. This effect is caused by light dispersion on the CCD sensor surface. Look at the tower left or the radar tower middle right. The error is not as much visible as with the 990, but is still perceptible in wide mode.
The Sony has a much worse case: light reflection inside the camera body causing the red halo in the middle of the picture. There is another example below (it's a quite normal setting with no sun): there is a slight haze on the left of the picture.
Sony DSC 707 507k
You will notice that some file sizes indicated in blue are much smaller compared with the other pictures. I reduced the file size using Photoshop 4.0 (setting of "4"). Before doing that, i carefully compared the original and the compressed file, and there were no significant differences. Actually, with these very large files, you can compress the files using rather large compression ratios (making relatively small files).
The three pictures on your left were taken one year ago, in the morning, with rising sun. The color rendition is actually quite accurate, and compared with 5 megapixel cameras these pictures seems quite good. The first is in wide setting, the second in tele setting, and the third in tele setting using a Nikon 3X teleconverter. The pictures with teleconverter are better than those without converter. Digital sharpening was ON.
All three picures suffer from burn-out because of the high contrast ratio that a digital camera can't register. It seems that the 3.3 Megapixel CCD mostly suffer from it. This CCD was made by Sony and used in a wide range of cameras.
There are some more pictures taken from 'Lange Nelle', some in the evening, even some with living subjects! (ON4CHL to be precise). Low light conditions are also compared.
Please do mail your comments in English, Dutch or French and they will be incorporated on the site. If you have some questions, don't hesitate to mail me.