Based on the DSC-F505's design, the DSC-F707 is twin-bodied with the huge lens body swiveling through 135°. A cross between a futuristic shooter and a compact, this gimmicky-looking camera has all the functions usually found on the most wide-ranging models. Along with the P, S, A and M modes is a choice of automatic or manual white balance. The DSC-F707 has a flash hot-shoe, designed to make it appeal to informed amateurs and professionals alike. It's just a shame that this does not cover a wider standard - it will only take the optional Sony HVL-F1000 flash.
The rear and top are of very classic design. The right hand controls the shutter release and the P/ S/ A/ M selection dial. Another dial in front of the shutter release is used to set the parameters for the manual and semi-automatic modes (aperture, shutter speed, etc.). At the rear is the monitor, small, but pretty well-defined and quickly refreshed, and with a button to access menus for adjusting sensitivity, image format, flash intensity, special effects and sharpness. It is on the left that we find the handful of new features, arranged from the end of the lens to the body, in this order: manual focus ring; electronic zoom control button; auto or manual focus; autofocus lock; type of focus; white balance.
The lens is enormous, with a large Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar stamp on it. Even bigger, the left is marked 10x. No doubt about it, it's all very impressive. Except the bit in small print: Precision Digital Zoom. Talk about cocky! The true zoom (optical) is actually only 5x, which is not bad.