Summary: In my opinion, the H55 is a little pricey, but I liked it and I had fun shooting with it. Overall, the H55 did a good job for me and with the exception of its abysmal shot-to-shot times I have no major complaints about the camera. The H55 is obviously targeted toward photo enthusiasts rather than casual photographers and that presents something of a quandary.
Pros: Easy to use, Compact, First rate optics, Excellent image quality, Very good feature set
Cons: Slow - especially shot to shot, No optical viewfinder, Battery life could be better, Pricey
Summary: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 is compact super-zoom with a 14 megapixel sensor, 10x optical range and 3 inch LCD screen. Released in February 2010, it shares the same body, lens and screen as the higher-specified HX5, but lacks many of that model's advanced features. The H55 has a different sensor, so lacks the HX5's fast continuous shooting and low-light modes. Other ommisions are the HX5's 1080i HD video mode and its GPS capability.
Pros: Stylish body and great handling., Dual-mode video stabilization., Noiseless optical video zoom., Full manual control., Sweep panorama.
Cons: Slow continuous shooting., Slow flash recycle time., Histogram linked to brightness control., Proprietary port and connector.
Summary: All in all, the H55 looks to be a decent camera for folks not wanting or needing to go all the way up to the HX5V. The Sony H55 still has some powerful features and a whole lot of resolution to work with at 14.1MP. The Sweep Panorama mode automatically helps it score points with me, and could certainly be put to good use on many shutterbugs’ scenic vacations or weekend trips to the mountains.
Conclusion: With its solid but unspectacular performance, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 is not great value at £239. Its redeeming feature, however, is the sweep panorama mode which is fun and a doddle to use.
Excerpt: Described as a stylish super zoom with high end features by its manufacturer, we couldn't, on first impressions, claim to disagree with Sony's assessment of the Cyber-Shot DSC-H55 digital compact. It marries a high performance 10x optical zoom lens backed up with optical SteadyShot image stabilisation to impressive 14.1-megapixel effective resolution from a Super HAD CCD (as opposed to Exmor R CMOS) plus 720p HD movie recording, yet it still manages to squeeze...
Excerpt: The H55 costs a little less than most ultra-zoom cameras, but while its 3in screen and 720p video mode are right up there with pricier models, in other ways it feels like a budget model. There’s no HDMI output, and the 10x zoom range is smaller than most. Controls are pretty stark, with no dedicated video record button and a reliance on the menu system for access to basic functions such as exposure compensation and ISO speed.
Conclusion: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 is fairly priced, delivers sharply focused, evenly exposed images and provides the user with a broader degree of creative scope than most compacts with lesser zooms. For our money though the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS delivers a more accurate colour performance and images are just as sharp, but is £100 more, whilst the Casio EX-H15 might not offer its design sophistication but does boast a wider feature set for the same price.
Pros: Capable, well-constructed and fairly priced addition to the ranks of big zoom, high resolution models, good edge to edge sharpness at maximum 25mm wide angle