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Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 Review

7 Megapixels7 MegapixelsUltra-Zoom: At least 10X optical zoom.Ultra-Zoom: At least 10X optical zoom.Electronic View FinderElectronic View FinderStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.VGA Video: 640 x 480 or more but less than 1280 x 720.VGA Video: 640 x 480 or more but less than 1280 x 720.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringRuns on standard AA batteriesRuns on standard AA batteriesAccepts Memory Stick Duo memory.Accepts Memory Stick Duo memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Introduction

The Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 holds great consumer appeal because of its high specifications. With a 12X optical zoom lens, a 3" LCD screen and a 7 megapixels image sensor, it has nearly the maximum specifications of all digital cameras. Another aspect that will appeal to consumers is its relatively light and compact form factor (the H5 is smaller than most cameras with 12X optical zoom). To round off the specifications, this camera is equipped with complete manual controls and a DVD-quality movie mode.

Important features of the Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 are:

  • Optical image stabilization.
  • Full manual controls: P, S, A and M modes.
  • Aperture range: F2.8 (wide) F3.7 (tele) to F8.
  • Shutter speed range: 1/1000 to 30 seconds.
  • ISO: 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000 and Auto (80-320).
  • Exposure compensation: -2..+2 stops, 1/3 stop increments.
  • White-Balance: auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, incandescent, flash and custom.
  • Metering: multi-segment, center-weighed and spot.
  • Auto focus: single, continuous and monitor.
  • Focus: multi-point focus, center-focus, selectable focus-point and manual focus.
  • Flash mode: auto, forced, off, slow sync, with or without redeye.
  • Unlimited 640x480 30 FPS movie mode with zoom and sound.


Sony Cybershot H5

Suitability - What is it good for?

As a 7 megapixels digital camera, the Sony H5 is expected to produce prints at least 10"x13" in size. The 12X stabilized zoom starts at a 35mm equivalent focal-length and goes up to 420mm. This zoom range covers most commonly used focal-lengths plus telephoto and super-telephoto. Such a long zoom is ideally suited for wildlife photography and is an asset for macro and street photography. Presently, 12X optical zoom is the largest available stabilized zoom of any digital camera. In terms of macro, the H5 can get as close as 2cm (0.8") from its subject when the lens is at its widest, capturing a very small area. Since the H5 does not cover wide-angle focal-lengths, it is not ideal for architectural photography.

With a full set of manual controls including manual exposure, semiautomatic exposure, custom white balance, manual focus and metering options, the Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 is quite suitable for creative photography. Additionally, two automatic modes and several scene modes allow for point-and-shoot photography. A powerful top-mounted pop-up flash serves to illuminate subjects in low-light and provide fill-flash to reduce contrast in bright light. The wide-range of ISO, from 80 to 1000, makes the H5 usable for outdoor and typical indoor lightIncandescent.

Since available shutter-speeds go from 1/1000s to 30s, the H5 can be used in very low-light - using a tripod, of course - and for shooting slow moving subjects. The Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 is less suitable for action photography since it lacks the top shutter-speeds required to freeze high-speed action like racing and fast sports. Even though the H5 has a continuous drive mode running at 1.1 FPS, it is too slow to reliably capture a decisive moment. Buffering is also very shallow at a maximum of 5 images, meaning that action cannot be followed for long.

The Sony H5 has a high-quality 640x480 30 FPS movie mode which is now typical of modern digital cameras. Unlike most digital cameras, this one allows its zoom to be used during filming. In movie mode, the camera zooms slowly and refocuses slowly on its subject to avoid recording the sound of its internal motors. The movie mode also allows metering, white-balance and focus modes to be set before recording. Even manual focus can be chosen and the focus distance changed during filming. This makes the H5 one of the most capable digital cameras for movie recording.

Sony H5 lens

Illustration of 12X Optical Zoom
1X zoom 2X zoom 4X zoom 8X zoom 10X zoom 12X zoom
1X
35mm
2X
70mm
4X
140mm
8X
280mm
10X
350mm
12X
420mm
Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
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By Neocamera on 2007-01-04

Sony DSC-H5 Highlights


Large digital camera

Sensor-Size: 6 x 4mm

1/2.5" Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

7 Megapixels Ultra ZoomISO 80-1000
12X Optical ZoomShutter 1/2000-30s
Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls
0.20" Built-in EVF 200K PixelsCustom white-balance
1.1 FPS Drive, 7 ImagesSpot-Metering
640x480 @ 30 FPS Video RecordingStandard AA Battery
3" LCD 230K PixelsMemory Stick Duo
Internal Memory
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