Sony eBook Version 2.0 is NOW SHIPPING! 4/30/04

Bigger / Better / Bolder

The Sony eBook Version 2.0 is finished and flying out the door. Thank you all for your patience. It's worth the wait.

Now with 322 pages, 420+ iNovaFX Photoshop Actions (for the full versions of PS 6, 7 and CS) plus an expanded Gallery and two whole new chapters on the V1 and 828 cameras.

Interactivity has skyrocketed! Many imbedded rollover examples let you perform instant A/B/C visual comparisons and imbedded movies* help clarify complex ideas.

Version 6 Adobe Reader provided right on the CD for Windows and Mac.

The entire eBook has been revised and updated. The iNovaFX chapter has grown by 50%. Meaning that there's a lot more to play with in Version 2.

Everybody wins! Every order since last August gets a free upgrade, shipping automatically (we've been saving mailing labels with your names on them) and the price of the eBook is the same as before.

Purchasers of the Sony eBook through camera stores and Amazon should get in touch with Graphics Management Press to arrange your upgrade.

Prior owners of the Sony eBook can upgrade for $12.00US plus $3.00 shipping --world wide! Click here for the upgrade order page. Prior serial number required.

* Adobe free component Multimedia Package required for movies.

NOW 828! Updated 1/30/04

The big one is out. Sony is delivering the 828 in the US just in time for the holidays--barely!

Perhaps the most anticipated camera in the digital photographic market has received its ready-for-prime-time operating software and is making its way to a store near you.

Thousands of them have been pre-sold so for many outlets, that means first come, first served. They're already selling out in stores that had a handful after their committed sales were fulfilled.

For months now, as the final software was being tweaked, a hungry world speculated back and forth about the fate of this giant among cameras, and now all that is turning into revelation upon revelation as the real thing is encountered.

What does it show us so far? Huge images. Stay tuned.

New: 828 Review

Who Da Man? What Da Camera? August 18, 2003

Now the cat is out. The bag, however, is filled to the brim. Take a 717, bump up the zoom, bump the image up to an astounding 8 megapixels and whadda ya got?

The camera I've been lobbying for! For a YEAR! You may think of it as the Sony DSC-F828, but I'm going to think of it as the iNovaCam. (Their job was harder. All I did was make a wish list. But it appears that they were listening. And not just to me, so if you were wishing upon the same star, you get to call it the JonesCam, or whatever, but I digress...)

...And what a CAMERA!!!!!!!!

They exceeded my fondest wish. Make that plural. This is a digital breakthrough.

From the press release which is somewhat open to interpretation:

The 3264 x 2448 pixel image is not just an advancement in digital cameras, it is a 35mm camera killer. If you hadn't noticed, the base threshold for matching image quality to 35mm film starts at around 6.5 megapixels. The end of the contest is in hand. Not to mention the Carl Zeiss® T* optic with its 28 to 200 mm, 7X zoom (the press release had a 28-280 figure quoted, but it was a typo)!

All the more recent contrast, saturation, ISO range and movie features plus the brand new, four-color RGB+E chip (the advantages of RGB plus extra color perfection and dynamic range afforded by an off-green Emerald [okay, teal?] sensitivity), Memory Stick OR Compact Flash storage (you pick) and it even comes WITH the fancy lens hood without charging you a very N*k*nesque extra fifty bucks!

RAW mode. Need I say more? Here's more: 40% faster computing and storage than a 717!

When this camera speaks, the entire world of digital photography is going to be listening. If the camera is 80% of the press release, it's killer. And Sony is known for delivering 110% of their press releases.

iNova plays Karnak the Magnificent: From the Sony eBook, pg 1-8, written over a year ago--

"If the future continues to expand each generation by about 25%, the next Sony imaging chip will be 3200 x 2400 pixels and will appear in 2003 or 2004. At that moment in time, the digital revolution will have caught up with the performance of 35mm film, and steps beyond that will be slower to appear. Once you have won the race, you stop running as fast." which I would add today: The devining of color by fast-acting sensors is only helped by sampling the spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet in more places. Since the geometry of pixels is square in today's sensors, that makes four color samples a good choice, but our eyes are more detail and brightness sensitive to the middle, green part of the spectrum. What Sony has concluded is that two relatively close, but still distinct, samples in this center section can help the camera's computer derive better color discrimination over the entire spectrum. Where three tastes were involved in RGB sensors, four flavors of color are now being sipped. The result: the colors will all smell better. Okay, so my analogy stinks, still, the images will look better.

Charts and graphics explaining all this will be showing up in the V2 Sony eBook when it appears this fall. Aren't you glad upgrades are low cost?

Read more: Imaging Resource, DPReview, Steve's Digicams.

SONY 8 Meg Imager! June 13, 2003

Which cat is out of which bag? The coming Sony IQX456AQF chip has 8 megapixels. Bigger, bolder, better.

And the good news is that it is the same size package as the current 5-megapixel chip found in the Sony 707/717.

Does that mean a DSC-F898 is on the horizon? You know, the black body, control-freak model I've been lobbying for?

Stay tuned.

Read more on the DigitalSecrets.Net Breaking News Page.

Art, Antiquity: iNovaFX! April 14, 2003

The library of iNovaFX Photoshop Actions has grown, and you have grown with it.

Free to current eBook owners, two new packages of iNovaFX Actions bring you art and antiquity with the iLiners and iRustica series of original Photoshop actions.

Both of the new iNovaFX packages have been shipping with the Sony and Nikon eBooks since April 1. Owners who received their eBooks before that can download them from the Web here.

iLiners.atn contains 8 variations of delineated art. Each converts the original photo into a brand new artistic interpretation, similar in concept to the recently popular "Hayes Island Effect" but each showing a different spin on the idea.

The iRustica series converts color images into neo-antiques by interpreting the image as a subtle ocher-enhanced monochrome image. Three variations place different emphasis, contrast and color into the shot.

The best news is that all are free to current eBook owners.

Purchasers of the eBook hold the code book in their hands, that will unlock the download files, which you use in Photoshop 6 or 7.

Click here to read more about them.

5 Megapixel Mini! February 24, 2003

Ever wish your DSC-F717 images could come from a smaller camera? Now they can.

Sony introduces the DSC-V1, a smaller 5 Mp camera for more on-the-go.

Fits in your pocket, Zeiss 4:1 zoom f/2.8-4.0 lens. 30 sec to 1/1000 shutter. DXP, a new Digital Extended Processor for greater dynamic range. Intelligent Hot Shoe. VGA movies at 16fps. Chroma Saturation & Contrast Controls. NightShot. Holographic night focus projector. Manual alternate exposures. Manual zone focus option. High Quality wide and tele converters usable. Scene modes (8). USB 2.0. ...and a whole heck of a lot more. Available May. $700-ish. Start clearing a space in your pocket...

Also announced: The DSC-P10, a smaller (!) 5 Mp pocket-cam with 3:1 zoom and the less expensive DSC-P92. All support the new Memory Stick Pro format for larger in-camera storage. They even introduced the CD-500, a 5 Mp Mavica CD cam and a bunch of three meggers. Eight cameras in all. But my bet is on that V1.

SonyCams.Com Boots Up! February 12, 2003

Joining the eWorld is a new independent site for the Sony Owners of the world.

SonyCam.Com has opened an informative new Web site with forums, news and ads all for the Sony Photographers of the world.

Cool. Click here to read all about it.

Memory Stix Fix Pix Trix Remix Updated January 8, 2003

December has witnessed a bunch of rumors (Shame on CNET) about Memory Sticks. "Whaddaya mean we are stuck at 128 Megs?" shouted one mal-informed cluster of chime-in folks. Turns out the rumors of doom were removed from the gloom when the rarity of clarity came down from Sony who said, and I quote, "Get a LIFE! This isn't news, it's jack squat! You don't know what you are talking about! What a bunch of maroons!" or perhaps I am misquoting them.

Then the latest instruction manual in non-English came out. What's this? A Memory Stick Pro (MSX-1G) will work in my DSC-F717? Hey, that sucker has a full gigabyte of solid-state memory on board. Egad. That makes those rumors jack squat all right.

So how many images is that? Sony claims 385 full size, high quality images, 618 @ 2048 wide, 1485 @ 1280 wide and a mere 5,941 @ 640 wide per gigabyte. But remember, you always get more than these published, conservative estimates. I get up to 25% more shots than the official estimates, meaning you might get as many as 7500 TV-size images at low compresssion from the MSX-1G.

Or about three hours of medium quality movies. Yow! Do you suppose there is a market for the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy at low quality on a single Memory stick? This is what Hollywood execs fear most.

Kidding aside, three versions are announced; 256 meg, 512 meg and the 1 Gig seen above. Prices will be announced shortly. Start saving your quarters.

Here's the Sony press release.

The above image is the real item.

Focus "issue" on your 717? Sony Fix. October 31, 2002

Some of the first DSC-F717 cameras have a problem focusing in dim light with the laser hologram projector. So Sony will fix it at their service centers. If your camera doesn't seem to "get it" with the laser projector, give Sony Service a call. Click here for the Sony USA Info Site. Click here for the Canada Sony Info Site.

USA: 888-449-7669 and/or 800-222-7669
Canada: 877-899-7669

NOW!    09 17 02 ( Refreshed in January '03)

eBook = eWOW!

--DPReview Thread

The Sony™ eBook is right now.

The eBook covers both the F707 AND the F717.

Sales are right away. Sony owners are enthusiastic about the eBook. One wag said it doubled the value of his camera. See what it does for yours...

$49.95 US.

250 pages. 320+ iNovaFX Photoshop Actions. Gallery of shots from around the world. Rave reviews.

DSC-F717 delivers in October!   updated 09 08 02

The upgrade to the 707 has some nice new features. But 97.2% of it IS the 707. ISO 800, 5-zone focus and zoom-ring controls head the list. See our comparison / review.

Actions Packed!   updated 09 08 02

We're getting warmer... Check out the iNovaFX Photoshop Actions that will be included on the Sony eBook CD. Over 300, today.


Two Words: Photoshop 7   04 17 02

There is only one editing program that is the equal to the DSC-F707. Only one. And today it is available everywhere.

Others may have cool features, but for speed, precision, flexibility and cross-platform solidarity, only Adobe Photoshop rings the bell.

And Photoshop 7 rings the entire carillon.
(That's a whole bunch of bells. --ed.)

I know wherefore I speak. My copy of Photoshop goes right back to the day it was first introduced with V.1.0. Without Photoshop, I would be an empty shell of a man, directionless, leading a pointless existence--if you could call it that.

Or, perhaps I exaggerate. But you get the point. Photoshop is THE king of digital image manipulation programs and this new version is the best ever. Only $149 to upgrade and $499 to those with Photoshop Elements. A bargain either way. Check out Adobe's site.

DSC-F707 Proof Of Life!  04 02 02

F707 grabs the spotlight with over 90% of the images from the Digitalia Italy digital camera test tour.

The clear winner of the 2- 3- and 5-megapixel vacation camera shoot-out held by yours truly in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome during March 2002 is the fast-acting, fast-reacting 707.

Not only did it become the camera of choice in fair weather and foul, the images will add substantially to the coming Sony eBook.

Check out the images starting on this page. (or click on the image.)

As for using the camera in fast-moving, dynamic situations? Piaccera! (P-ah-chair-ah: my pleasure!)

DSC-F707V Rumor Squished!  02 27 02 be introduced at PMA later this month?

Naah. Just a Rumor. No truth to it at all.

But they did have a bunch of verrrry interesting things. For instance: the MicroMV format camcorders are small.

     [Crowd shouts: "How small were they?"]

Real small. I was fooling around and accidentally swallowed one. Another guy used his as an emergency filling. Pah-da-bump!

And good-looking too, both from the outside and from the inside. The images are what you expect from DV and the cameras are what you expect from Sci-Fi movies.

DSC-F707V Rumored in the wings...       02 07 02 be introduced at PMA later this month?

What's this then? Another camera coming from Sony??? Will it never end?

The answer is, "No."

As with all rumors, this one may be substantial or silly. But the basic idea is this: The F707 evolved to the F707V. New features may or may not include:

  • Wireless transmission to a Sony printer.
  • Image controls including Contrast, Saturation, Monochrome and EDR*.
  • IR illuminator switch for wide dispersion illuminators.
  • IR Daylight mode.
  • Intelligent Hot-Shoe for use with 5-pin (TTL) ISO standard flash units.
  • ISO to 1600.
  • Single pulse flash mode memory.
  • Flash IR filter switchable for slave triggering.
  • Focus point graphic tracking system.
  • Ultraviolet chroma augmentation.
  • JPEG 2002.
  • XSBSK, Extra Stable Better Shot Keeper.
  • AALVFAS, Automatic Ambient Light View Finder Adjustment System.
  • MITFSFtSRB, Much Improved Tactile Feel System For the Shutter Release Button.
  • EBTKS, Everything But The Kitchen Sink.

Whatever the details shake out to be, they will, no doubt, be interesting. Stay tuned...

*Extended Dynamic Range.

DSC-F707 Becomes the Icon of Digital Photography    02 03 02

Wherever you turn these days, the image of the 707 has become the default cultural icon of what a digital camera should look like.

Formerly, it was the Nikon 950/990 that held this informal position in the eyes of editors, art directors, designers and publishers across the land. But turn to an article these days that touts the evolution of digital imaging and what do you find? Yup. There it is again.

Much of this probably stems from the fact that it looks different from any film camera. Well, it's older, smaller brother, the F505, had the look but not the substance.

Recent cameras from Nikon have reverted to the standard box with a lens on it and when the public wants to feel like the age of Sci-Fi has arrived, standard boxes are not very sexy.

Canon has a line of digital cameras without distinguishing visual characteristics. Olympus cameras parallel the look of their film counterparts and everybody else seems to be trying to imitate everybody else.

If it weren't for the appearance, popularity and capabilities of the Sony 707, what would a cultural iconographer have to fall back on?


Click on an image for a Review of the 707.



































Mr Sony's private page.

© 2004 Peter iNova. All rights reserved.