174thfwff
Topic Author
Posts: 2831
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sat Dec 21, 2002 4:04 pm

Hello guys,

I'm trying to read the review on DPreview.com, however It's tough to get a "normal guy" answer from there. I'm really getting into photography and have only recently decided to buy a nice camera...And now that I have the money it's something I've been set on for a long time.
This is not only for aviation, but it would be great to take some shots of the F-16's at the 174th Fighter Wing once in a while  Big grin

The reason for spending so much money now when I'm a "newbie" is because I can't blow 300 bucks on an "okay" slr camera to learn then once I get good spend 1000 or so on a nice dig cam. No way can I afford to do that.
Another reason for digital is that sometimes I just don't want my family or the photo store to see the photos I take... take it for what it's worth.
Also I can edit my own photos.

Is the Sony F717 that nice of a camera, or is there something better I could get for 1000? It IS ALOT of money to me, but I've been saving up just for this.

I am willing to spend up to 1000 before tax, and right away I don't need better memory because I won't be going on vacation anytime soon, so I'll always have a moment to upload the photos.

Main uses...

Action-Aviation, paintball, Auto racing.

Still Life

Portraits

Landscape

Thanks for your time,
-174thfwff
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
An-225
Posts: 3859
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 2:55 am

RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sat Dec 21, 2002 5:30 pm

Well, I use and I am pleased with the results. I have other stuff to do, that's why there are only 6 of my pics in the database. Car broke down, we're selling a house... Anyway, if you buy it, I am sure it will be a pleasure to use for you. If you want a better deal, go for 707, they went down in price since the introduction of 717.

Alex
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
 
User avatar
Scooter
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:02 pm

You can't go wrong with the 707/717. While many people have their own ideas of what the "best" camera is, I guarantee that you will not find anybody who will tell you that the 707/717 is a bad camera. Sure, it has it's faults, just like every other camera has. It also has a ton of advantages, just like every other camera has.

It all boils down to what you will use it for. Based on your list above, you will be happy with the Sony - it'll give you a long zoom, outstanding low light capabilities, but so-so fast-action ability (just like every other digicam in this price range).

Don't be afraid to fork over 1K for this camera...many other people have been in this same situation, and I haven't heard any regrets yet. I love mine...

FYI, the only other camera in this price range that I would consider is the Nikon 5700.
My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing trip reports.
 
EGFF
Posts: 2082
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2001 5:53 am

RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:05 pm

The Sony F707 is a great camera, it's taken me time to get used to it but im getting there  Smile
As Scooter quite rightly said it has it's advantages and disadvantages just like any other camera, but there are more good points than bad  Smile
Good luck with your choice  Big grin
Regards
Shaun
All together or not at all
 
Jan Mogren
Posts: 2014
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:25 pm

>Another reason for digital is that sometimes I just don't want my family or the photo store to see the photos I take... <

Sounds interesting!  Wink/being sarcastic
/JM
AeroPresentation - Airline DVD's filmed in High Definition
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sat Dec 21, 2002 11:52 pm

Jan it sounds like your interested in his non-aviation photo hidden photo taking...hehhehe no im just kidding Big grin
 
planedoctor
Posts: 284
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:04 am

Hi,

Just another idea- for $1000 (your were talking USA dollars, right?) you can often find a used D30. You'd have to pay maybe another $200 on top of that for a lens, but that should get you started with a lot better system in my opinion. You can always add more lenses and more memory later on. The reason I suggest this is because image quality and focus performance for the auto racing, etc, will be quite bit ahead of Sony cameras. I am not saying the F707/717 are bad- they are just in a different class than the DSLRs, and spending 1K gets you right to the brink of the next class of camera up there. I'd hate to have your hard-earned money spent on something you didn't love- especially $1000. Your choice- it's kind of like getting a spiffed-up Honda Accord with the the trim, stereo, spoiler, etc, or paying that little bit more and getting a standard BMW (or whatever precision higher-end car that you happen to like). Again, I am not trying to rip on the Sony at all- it is a great camera- my Dad has one and I play with it a lot- but for more serious photography a D30 beats it hands down. This isn't to say that a skilled photographer couldn't take better photographs than an unskilled one could with a D30- you know what I mean  Smile

Good luck. If you get the Sony, you are still getting great stuff-

Ken
 
174thfwff
Topic Author
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sun Dec 22, 2002 4:22 am

PlaneDoctor...Wow, I thought you left! Nice to see you around!

I thought of the D-30 long and hard. I know photographers who buy this kind of camera take care of their things, so I'm not saying "no" because it's used...However I don't know if I want to spend 300 bucks on lenses.
This won't be an easy choice.

I've also noticed the d-30's 3+ megapixle yet those images are superb! Is it because of the CCD... I know it's not all about the megapixle too. (I liked your analogy planedoctor about a year ago when you said that megapixle was only 1/2 the battle when you were talking about another camera. It's always been stuck in my head.


Now I've found a $799 F707 at Compusa. Is there any difference between the F707 and the F-717 that makes it worth the extra 200 bucks? Or just some features I will never use in my life.

Thanks for the help everyone.
-174thfwff
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
cabbott
Posts: 496
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sun Dec 22, 2002 5:15 am

174thfwff

You have to think about what you will use your camera for.

Is it just primarily for Airliners.net? Standards here got have gotten tougher over the last 18 months, I think lots of folks got fed up with rejections and went out and splashed out on new and wonderful Digital Cameras, I know because I did! Hell if Airliners.net had a special setup with a international camera retailer we could have all had some sort of discount buy now.

Looking back now im glad and proud to be a Sony F707 owner. I have been uploading 707 pictures since late Oct 01. The camera has been the best purchase and the most value for money camera I have ever bought.

DSLR sounds great and there are lots of great photos here but seriously you have to put some thought into what you want, a Sony F707 will get you good enough photos for here and some people can't tell the difference between the pictures from say a F707 and a D30. Brand New DSLR will cost you around double the price of Sony F707 camera and maybe even more, depending on lenses, storage etc etc

For me I would not spend $1500-2500 on a DSLR for it to replaced by a newer model within 6-12 months. I can hack around $600-800 but no more.

But hey! Sony are the same with development with this memory stick thing... They just developed a new Memory Stick with increased storage space and from what I understand it doesn't work with the current Digital cameras. How about that!

Good luck with whatever you choose.
Colin

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Photo © Europix

 
planedoctor
Posts: 284
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sun Dec 22, 2002 7:56 am

174thfwff,

Thanks for remembering me. Yes, I do lurk in here every now and then  Smile If it is the F707 or F717 you are after, you will enjoy either of them very well, I think. It sounds like you have ruled out a DSLR from what you said, and that is fine- not for everyone I suppose. (But if you wanted to get a D30 and a 75-300mm lens, that lens runs around $150 ...notice the last -ditch effort I am making here to lure you to the dark side Big grin ) I think there are some D30's in great shape for $1000, but you are right- you should make sure they are well-taken care of.

Either way you'll have fun!

Later,
Ken
 
Craigy
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RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

Sun Dec 22, 2002 11:46 pm

The main question to ask yourself is do you want to compose your shots on the fly?
Let me explain what I mean. I base this around my Pro90 I used to have - I guess the Sony has similar characteristics but probably a bit better.

The slow thing about the Pro90 was the zoom and focus. To zoom you had to rotate the ring at the end of the lens. Unfortunately all this did was activate a switch which then zoomed for you with the inevitable overshoot and you had to zoom back a little. It took about 3 or 4 seconds to get the desired amount of zoom. It then takes 1 to 2 seconds to focus, but thankfully once locked the focus then tracks moving objects.

Take a typical approach shot........

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Photo © Craig Hendley


Here's how to do it.

  • From 2 miles out use binoculars to identify aircraft type.

  • Use the distance between perimeter fence posts to set the desired zoom (zoom to 2 posts wide for a 732 from where I was standing).

  • Pre-focus on the approaching aircraft.

  • Follow it in with focus locked (shutter half depressed).

  • Just before the aircraft fills the frame, press the shutter fully so that with the addition of the shutter lag, the aircraft is properly framed.

  • Hope that you got the shot right because by the time the camera is ready to take the next shot, the passengers are disembarking.


  • (it's not that bad when you get used to it)

    With an SLR (I use a film one) I can lift my camera up at the last second, zoom and focus, take as many shots as I like, altering the zoom as I go.

    If you want successive action shots or the ability to zoom/focus/shoot quickly you need SLR, otherwise a non SLR digital is just fine.

    Again, I guess the F717 will be a lot better than the older Pro90.

    Also, make sure that any deals you find include all accessories - charger, warranty etc.

    Regards,
    Craig.
     
    An-225
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    RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

    Mon Dec 23, 2002 2:36 am

    There isn't that much difference between 707 and 717. I went with 717 because I had money to burn and because it appealed to me somewhat more than the older 707. 717 has zoom ring, which is programmable, a live histogram, 5-point focus and a choice of ISO 800, which I don't use. Zoom ring basically sealed the deal, as I find it a lot more accurate than the use of zoom buttons, which are also available on the side of the lens barrel. If you can, I suggest getting a B-300 teleconverter for your camera - and don't forget about the 58>55mm stepdown ring, because you will need it to attach the teleconverter to the camera. Whatever your choice is, you won't be disappointed. Good luck, and we're waiting on some pics!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


    Alex
    Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
     
    GRZ-AIR
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    RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

    Thu Dec 26, 2002 8:01 am


    Interesting discussion.

    So ist the 717 really a lot more advanced than the 707 ?
    My main concern would be the "speed" of the camera...is the 717 faster than the 707 because of the zoom ring instead of the buttons. I am also planning on getting a digital ..I could afford the 717 but still its a lot of money and if I can get sufficient equipment (eg.707) for less than that would be nice as well  Big grin !!!

    Thx in advance for your infos..

    regards Patrick
    When I joined A.net it was still free, haha ;).
     
    An-225
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    RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

    Thu Dec 26, 2002 5:10 pm

    According to Dpreview.com, 717 has a faster startup and operation times, and its battery life is even better than the one of 707. I personally have an extra battery, and didn't even have to use it once! Overall, I am very satisfied with my 717.

    Alex
    Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
     
    Kay
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    RE: Digcam For 1000...F717 The Best?

    Thu Dec 26, 2002 5:35 pm

    differences also with the 707 not mentionned yet:

    - can record movie till the end of the memory stick (and not 30secs)
    - has a hot shoe for a flash
    - better white balance, toned down colors, less flashy reds (so they look less "blown out")

    I don't own neither, so don't know what these are worth
    kay

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