Summary: Do not be alarmed by the long list of pros and cons here, the Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 is a good camera. Since several technical review sites have seen this camera, it has been scrutinized quite a bit. The H5 does improve significantly on its predecessor, the H1and even does a few things better than the Sony Cybershot DSC-H2. The Sony H5 performs well in typical conditions in terms of image quality and speed of operation.
Pros: Good exposure and focus accuracy, Low image noise up to ISO 200, Very saturated image colors, Quite responsive, Short shutter lag, Powerful focus-assist lamp, Good outdoor LCD visibility, Pressure-sensitive zoom controller, Very good macro coverage, Powerful flash
Cons: Very high purple fringing, High image noise at ISO 400, Unusable ISO 800 and 1000, Poor automatic white-balance under artificial light, Strong edge softness, Slight general image softness, Noticeable lens distortion at wide-angle, Slow auto focus near telephoto, Rear buttons easily pressed accidentally, Poor body ergonomics, Tiny viewfinder, Below average battery life
Excerpt: Camera Review: Cyber-shot DSC-H527242679481Sony CybershotDSC-H5I was on my vacation, cooking my family breakfast when my phone rang. It was my editor from PopPhoto.com touching base with me. He asked about the cameras that I was using and reviewing and I told him that I loved the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 (Click here to see this review) but hated the Cyber-shot DSC-H5. Well, after sleeping on it for a few nights I've decided that hate may be a little strong.
Conclusion: By far the most difficult part of this review was identifying real, meaningful differences between the output of this camera and the H2, reviewed last week, and attempting to discover if it is worth the extra $100 or so. The good news is that everything we liked about the H1 and the H2 is still here; handling is excellent, it's very fast and responsive and the results - even shooting in full auto mode with default settings - excellent.
Pros: Excellent resolution, good detail with only a very slight fall-off in the corners, Great color, good exposure, clean sharp results, Accurate and generally fast focus, Low shutter lag, Superb handling, comprehensive photographic controls, Jog dial makes manual / semi-automatic exposure very easy and fast, 12x zoom offers excellent 36-432mm range, Packed with features, Powerful flash, Image stabilization, Program shift, 'Punchy' results straight out of the camera, Clean...
Cons: Some focus hunting at long end of the zoom (especially in low light), Easy to hit buttons on rear with your thumb, especially when shooting 'single handed', Default settings produce images that need a little sharpening, Noticeably stronger noise reduction at ISO 400+ than H2, Image stabilization doesn't seem quite as effective as competition, Small viewfinder, Some chromatic aberration, Strong purple fringing at high contrast edges, Movies are a little over-compressed...
Excerpt: Sony se še vedno drži preizkušenega recepta. Ob zamenjavi uspešne kamere kot je bila Sony-H1 ( primerjalni test ) predstavi dve kameri, ki zamenjujeta prejšnjo. Prva, H2 je malo okrnjena in zato krepko cenejša, druga H5 pa pokaže množico novosti in uporabnih vrednosti. DSC-H2 me je na zaèetku, ko še niso pokazali H5 kar malo razoèarala. Primerjal sem jo s H1 in mislil, da bo to njena edina zamenjava.
Excerpt: Physical Views The Cyber-shot DSC-H5 and a CD for size comparison. Go to Page Two Sony DSC-H5 Specifications Image Device: 1/2.5" 7.2 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD Still Image Sizes: 7M 3072x2304 3:2 3072x2048 5M 2560x1920 3M 2048x1536 2M 1632x1224 VGA 640x480 16:9 HDTV 1920x1080 Recording Media: 32MB of internal memory Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO Media Zoom: Carl Zeiss 12X, 6.0 - 72.0mm (36-432mm equivalent in 35mm) 11 elements in 9...
Conclusion: Sony's high-end ultra-zoom, the H5 does a pretty good job as an ultra-zoom with 7 megapixels, full manual controls and a 3 inch LCD. The camera is nicely built and looks professional - heck, some people even asked me if it was Sony's new digital SLR! The Sony H5 features a big 12x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization. And you can see what you're framing using the nice and large 3 inch LCD! Unfortunately, the LCD visibility is not as good as competition.
Pros: Carl Zeiss 12x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, Excellent exterior: Professional look, solid build, fits comfortably in hand, Good battery life, Large high-resolution 3 inch LCD, Full manual controls with many accessories, Useful jog dial (some competition still don't have this), Excellent flash range, Great high ISO performance (Even ISO 1000 shots are acceptable), Unlimited VGA 30 FPS movie mode with optical zoom, Very good image quality
Cons: LCD visibility not as good as competition, Slow and limited continuous shooting, Manual shutter speed limited to 1/1000 sec, aperture limited to f8, Overall performance could be faster and better, ISO 800 and 1000 need saturation to be turned up, Contrasty scenes might need f5.6 or higher to reduce color fringing
Excerpt: The Cyber-shot DSC-H5 ($500) is Sony's top-end ultra zoom camera. The H5's features include a 7.2 Megapixel CCD, 12X optical zoom lens with image stabilization, full manual controls, a VGA movie mode, and a huge 3-inch LCD. The H5 shares the spotlight with the DSC-H2 ($400), a 6 Megapixel camera with a smaller (not to mention low resolution) 2-inch LCD.
Pros: Very good photo quality (though see issues below), Relatively low noise levels through ISO 400, 12X optical zoom lens, Optical image stabilization, Enormous 3-inch LCD display, Well-built body with handy "double doors" over memory card / battery compartment, Full manual controls, Powerful flash, Very good (albeit slow) low light focusing, Great movie mode; zoom can be used while filming, Optional conversion lenses and filters; necessary adapter included in the box, US...
Cons: More purple fringing than competition, Some redeye, Noise goes up while saturation goes down at ISO 800/1000 settings, Unimpressive continuous shooting mode, No Mac software included; bundled battery charger is super slow
Conclusion: To sum up, if you’re after a big zoom camera that won’t break the bank, but will provide you with many of the features of a dSLR, then the H5 deserves serious consideration. After using this digital for a couple of weeks, I was well and truly hooked.