How's this for 20-20 hindsight? Here's the 37mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss lens
swiveled around backwards to the self-portrait position. The flash
unit, microphone and selftimer LED are mounted alongside the lens and
follows it throughout the 180-degree swivel path.
The F55's images are stored on Sony's new MemoryStick modules, a 4MB card is included and it's nowhere near big enough for this camera.
It's one thing to throw yet another memory storage device at us, but
bundling a 4MB card with a 2-megapixel camera is rediculous!
The F55 is powered by the famous Sony 3.6v NP-F10 InfoLITHIUM "battery with a brain." There's a chip inside the battery that talks to the device using it and tells it how long it will run at the current rate of power consumption -- very cool !
Also included is the AC-VF10 rapid
charger that doubles as an AC power supply by using an empty
battery housing that slips into the camera.
And we have the F55's I/O ports: The AV OUT is on top and sends both the video and audio signals to a TV or VCR. Below that is the serial I/O port which unfortunately is the only way to get the image data out of the camera unless you buy the optional parallel port or serial port MemoryStick reader or the PCMCIA adapter.
Sony just announced a new FlashPath floppy disk adapter for their
MemorySticks, it will be convenient but just about as slow as using the
serial port cable.
Other than the shutter release on top and the mode dial on the side, all of the F55's user controls are located on the rear, around the color LCD.
On the left side we have the LCD backlight control switch, the flash mode button, the macro focus button and a 4-way jog switch that you use to navigate the onscreen menus. The Display button turns the onscreen information overlays on or off.
On the right side is the digital zoom buttons that also double as the
zoom buttons during playback. Below that is the power on/off switch that
has a small, green LED that's also a safety button that must be pressed
before the power switch can be pulled down.
Is the F55 small? Next to Sony's FD-91
it's like a Volkswagen compared to a semi-tractor trailer rig !
Technology marches on and so does resolution, the F55 has over twice
the image resolution of the FD-91, but it doesn't have a 14X zoom ...
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