Digital Cameras 2013

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Sony CyberShot H5
Sony CyberShot H5
3.9
1

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Point and Shoot Digital Cameras category.

Sony CyberShot H5

C+
We've given the H5 a grade of C+.

Editor's Review

The H5 is a couple years old now, so take a look at the Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 or HX1, depending on your budget.  This is what we wrote about the H5 when it came out:

Sony pushes a little further, giving their 12x optical zoom camera a nice 7.2 MP sensor, outpacing similar offerings from Canon and Kodak. In addition to beating the competition in the megapixel department, they?ve jammed on a large 3.0 inch LCD screen, easily besting the Kodak Z612 and Canon S3IS as far as display is concerned. With that extra large LCD you?ll be able to get a better preview of those tight zoom shots you?ll be taking. Sony's High Sensitivity (ISO 1000) mode and Clear RAW NR image processing ensure a crisp and blur-less final product. The manual focus and exposure modes give photographers complete control of their camera, allowing for more complex and customized compositions.

Specifications

  • 7.2 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom / 2x digital zoom
  • Optical image stabilization
  • auto and manual focus
  • auto and manual exposure
  • ISO 80-1000
  • JPEG file format
  • movie mode
  • 2 AA batteries
  • 3.0 inch LCD
  • Memory Stick storage (32MB internal)
  • Part Number: DSCH5/Bx
  • UPC: 027242679481
  • Release Date: Mar 03, 2006

Shop for H5 Accessories

Sony CyberShot H5 Reviews

Sony CyberShot H5 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 2.0 out of 5
Nice picture poor battery life (VR — 04/30/2009)

This camera has 2 AA batteries. If you re charge them and start taking pictures, after 30 + pictures with flash you will end up re charging. I look like a stupid running around to find the charger in middle of a party at my home.
I have Sony cameras for long time and I like them. But this one... it's a NO NO.

  • 4.0 out of 5
pre-focus feature has major troubles (Diane — 11/10/2008)

I have found the camera takes beautiful pics, and is very user friendly. I have loved everything about it. But................just a month after the one year warranty ran out, the pre-focus feature stopped working. (You know, when you press shutter half way down to focus, then push all the way down to take the pic) I'd have to push shutter button all the way down, then camera would focus and take picture. By then the subject was gone!
Anyway, I Googled this issue and found it seems to be a common problem with these cameras. I talked to Sony; they denied knowing anything about it, said they don't believe reviews or online forums. I finally had to send camera away, cost well over $100 to fix problem. 6 months later, it's happened again. Now I have to decide if I want to repair it again, and know it will probably keep happening, or do I get a different camera.
Strange thing is, when I first bought the camera, right out of the box the pre-focus didn't work. Thinking it was just a fluke, and not knowing what I know now, I took it back and exchanged it. If only I had known...............

  • 4.0 out of 5
Beautiful photos (Heather Sanchez — 10/09/2008)

We purchased this camera mostly for taking pictures of wildlife, like birds and scenery. One particular feature that attracted us to this camera was the ability to add conversion lenses (sold separately). We have purchased the telephoto lens and we really see the difference that that lens makes. We love the quality of the photos. The detail that shows is breathtaking. We actually took an excellent picture of the moon and can see amazing details in it.

The only thing we don't necessarily like about it is the size of the camera itself. It is not sleek and slim like many digital cameras on the market, but those cameras tend to not have the zoom capabilities that this camera has. Also, if the H5 were not designed as it is, the option to add the conversion lenses would not be possible. It is a trade-off, but we are definitely very happy with our purchase.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Overall very pleased (Chris — 01/11/2008)

I bought my H5 a few years ago, which was a huge step up from my first digital camera before that. Overall, I love my Cybershot. I would consider myself to be an amateur photographer and this camera performs well. The pictures come out crisp and clear with tons of options. I must say as far as the battery life goes, I have used different rechargeable batteries in my camera, with Sony batteries being the best. They last way longer than the others I've tried. I have quite totally figured out the manual focus on my H5, but I haven't used it much either. Overall, great camera for the price!

  • 5.0 out of 5
ZOOMING (VIJAY THUSU — 09/18/2007)

It is a great camera with a lovely 12 x zoom some times it works as a telizooming I beeing a forest officer in KASHMIR INDIA I found it a great companion during my field tour

  • 5.0 out of 5
Cyber-shot for beginners (Bruce — 09/13/2007)

I have never owned a digital camera but I jumped into this one wherre angels fear to tread! And I have never had so much fun. I knew nothing about this camera or its specs, knew nothing about photography and now I am finding new features on my Cyber-shot daily. I have bought zoom and wide angle lenses...I have hopes to do excellent work. Amaze your friends and be the first on your block! An excellent camera and you can afford it on credit.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Very Good Investment (David Gette — 08/16/2007)

I am more than happy with this product! It makes real nice clear pictures, auto focus works very good, has a lot of professional settings when you need it, has flexible spot focus for best results, best flash in class of ultrazooms. It does even more than I expected.
In addition it compatible with lens attachments and filters, so you can get almost professional results for better price. And it has a strong solid body. I dropped it on the asphalt and nothing happened (I do not suggest to repeat my experiment) =)

  • 4.0 out of 5
Battery Life (Scott Montgomery — 08/11/2007)

I recently used this camera on vacation and had to carry a large supply of rechargebale batteries as well as a charger. The camera does take quality pictures but I find that the batteries need to be replaced after about 50 pictures,

  • 5.0 out of 5
Viewfinder a big plus for me (Roger — 05/30/2007)

Viewfinders are becoming a thing of the past in digital cameras, replaced by increased LCD screen size and smaller camera bodies. Since I like viewfinders for many uses, I was really disappointed during fairly extensive camera shopping.

Most cameras with viewfinders have such small ones as to be useless for composition, and also have gone to electronic viewfinders with poor resolution. To "see" and preview an artistic shot through them is nearly impossible.

I wanted a sizable viewfinder in my digital camera, not just a LCD screen, and the H5 was the best in its class. You're still looking through an electronic viewfinder rather than an optical one—a definate step down—but the H5's is easily the clearest resolution among its competitors.

It took me a while to find the adjustment wheel under the eyepiece (at first, I thought my camera was defective), and occasionally have had to re-adjust it (takes just an instant). But I'm generally very happy with it, given its poor competition from other cameras of its class and virtually all camera brands and models cheaper than it.

On a bright day, it's the viewfinder that is my first choice. And with my eyesight no longer 20-20, I don't have to hold the camera a ways away to focus on the LCD screen, particularly if I'm taking a lot of photos.

I still use the LCD for many shots, and it's terrific as well, both for shooting and for review.

The steady shot feature has also been very successful for me. I've just returned from a vacation in Asia, and I'm stunned at how clear my telephoto shots are, or my regular shots when I zoom in on them on the computer.

Like some users, I have experienced my thumb nudging the zoom button every so often when I have the photo framed just so, and it's annoying. But the zoom works very fast, so to re-correct the setting only takes a second. It's a learned behavior to keep the thumb off, I suppose.

When traveling, I found just about all camera cases cumbersome, since I like to have my camera with me nearly all the time while on vacation. I used to like my small digital camera which would fit on my belt and I wouldn't have to have something dangling from my shoulder all the time. For the trip, I finally settled on a snug fanny pack, which I padded with a sock in the bottom. It kept the camera secure, quick to retrieve, and kept me hands free. I don't imagine my method to be great for everyone, and I do have a camera case for when the camera is not going to be on a day-long outing, but it was perfect for my use. Worked good the day we bicycled, too.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Nothing great (Sudipta Kiran — 05/11/2007)

I moved on from H1 to H5 in the hope that I am graduating to a much better camera. But I was dissapointed with the all-round package that the H5 offered me. It was brilliant in parts but overall its not what it seems from outside! The 3 inch LCD is simply great to view but the downside of it is it consumes battery heavily. And I was using Powerex 2500 mAh NIMH batteries and those used to exhaust in no time. So I always used to carry another set of fully charged batteries 'coz invariably the camera used to flash low battery after a couple of dozens of shots. The flash, though quite powerful, takes ages to recharge after a shot (around 12-15 secs.) and you end up waiting for it to be ready before you take the next shot. Finally I decided to "downgrade" (in terms of Megapixels - 6MP as compared to 7.2MP in H5)from Sony H5 to Canon S3IS and I have since not regretted my decision. Though the LCD is tiny - 2 inches as compared to 3 inches and the flash doesn't pop-up automatically as the H5 used to do - I am vey happy with the performance of the S3, which is basically the bottom-line of any good camera. So my advice is that first check out the camera before deciding in its favour - because the H5's features are great but using it at times proves to be a bit impractical.

  • 3.0 out of 5
I had read that the battery life was not good - mine is terrible. (C. Howard — 03/24/2007)

I have turned off the "super steady shot" and installed NIMH batteries but still get less than 50 pictures before the batteries die. This at 5M. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions?

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great all rounder (Andy McGhee — 03/03/2007)

Firstly, I want to get something off my chest. This camera has received a bit of a hammering for poor battery life, and sure, I've owned cameras which are much better in this respect but it's not the worst by far either and a few points to note. 1) This camera uses standard AA size batteries. They are cheap as chips even for good capacity ones and so even when your batteries eventually die, they are really cheap to replace unlike proprietary ones. 2) Because they are cheap and easy to get hold of, it's not a big inconvenience to carry a few spares around with you if you really are going to be keeping the cmera busy. Plus, it's not a pocket camera pretty any camera bag you buy for it will accomodate spares easily. 3) We have to remember that it only uses 2 of them. Other manufacturers can claim longer battery life but accomodating 4 batteries in the camera but at the expense of having a bigger body.

So, with that gripe off my chest, here's what i like about it.

Picture Quality is generally excellent. The camera keeps noise well under control except in the higest ISO mode and even at ISO 1000 it's not unbearable. At least ISO 1000 is present.
Purple fringing can be a problem, as it can on many cameras of this type. It will show up on high contrast edges but would probably not even be noticable unless you're printing out on large format paper or are really zoomed in. I would have liked to see less fringing though.
The lens seems very good quality. Distortion is very low and focus is maintained well in to the corners. The zoom is variable speed and very smooth.
The image stabilisation is a fantastic feature. Of course a relatively steady hand is still required, you cant take great pics jumping up and down on a trampoline but it really comes in to it's own at the telephoto end of the zoom where shake would be more noticable, and it also really helps with those spontaneou shots where youdont really have time to frame properly. As an example, whilst in holiday a hummingbird cought my eye and luckily I had the camera turned on. I swung the camera at the hummingbird and pressed the shutter with no time to make any preparations and the resulting picture is rock solid, capturing the detail of the feathers and even stopping the wings in motion with only the slightest motion blur on the edges. I could never have done this without Steady Shot.
Video is of a quality not unlike my Mini-DV camcorder and still looks perfectly acceptable displayed on a television. Shame you cant zoom during video capture though.
The LCD display is one of this cameras strongest features. It is huge and of a very high resolution. It is bright and clear in all but the brightest sunlight.
The handling is OK. The weight is good as is the grip bu I do have a tendancy to rest my left index finger on top of the pop-up flash, preventing it from popping up. Oh, and the flash is pretty strong too allowing for flash use further than just portraits.
Overall, i reslly like it and if you're after someting a bit better and more flexible that a pocket point and shoot then this may be the one for you. It takes great pics in fully auto mode and of course you can fiddle with the setting manually if you want to be more creating.
Best camera I've owned anyway. It has competion though so worth having a good shop around and see what suits you best.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony H-5 is great camera (Richard — 01/27/2007)

The H-5 is a great camera. I have a Canon 20D but its large and heavy. The H-5 is a great travel companion with great quality.

  • 5.0 out of 5
AN INTELLIGENT CAMERA.....EXCELLENT PHOTOS! (Richard Steve C. Paz — 01/15/2007)

Two days have just passed, so I am still exploring this great looking camera....however, so far, I have found this camera to meet my expectations and confirm what I have read about it in so many reviews. I yet have to explore further, but so far, I am very impressed! It is an intelligent camera and shows most especially when in the manual PASM mode....as you play around with the different parameters (f-stop, shutter speed, etc), what you see in the screen is that the image of what you are about to take adjusts accordingly to what you expect with the current parameter settings....this is not so with the Kodak Z710 which I had just purchased 3 months ago. So far, the photos I have taken are excellent! Also, this camera looks so pretty, stylish, and classy!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
It meets my needs (Jay Shores — 01/04/2007)

I am a 64 year old who takes pictures of the scenery and wildlife in Northern Ontario to share with friends and family. I need a camera that has a sizable view screen, can pull in stable telephoto images, and responds quickly. My initial experience is that the H5 meets my needs.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony H5 Beat The Canon S3 (Kirby Johnson — 01/01/2007)

I thought long about the Sony versus the Canon. I already owned the little Powershot A540 and it took excellent pictures, had many useful features, and was an overall, well thought out little camera. This caused me to lean toward the Canon S3 IS. I had no experience with the Sony cameras. Comparing the sample pictures from the two cameras, the Sony looked to have an edge in picture sharpness and detail. In going to a number of retailers to 'handle' the two cameras, I couldn't find ONE Canon which was functional. All the Sonys were operational. In two cameras so close in specifications, that was the straw which broke the camels back. Now the Sony doesn't have a couple of the features the Canon has, such as the programmable time exposure, and the excellent video capture modes. But it takes stunning pictures! The typical question from people who see the Sony's pictures is "My Word! What did you take this with?" I am completely happy with the camera, and I'm still learning to use it.

  • 3.0 out of 5
lens shade&filters (mal lawrence — 12/29/2006)

having been a photographer most of my life (40yrs}
as I did not want a camera with allot of lens to take on trips, and my grand kids. I felt that H5 would fit the bill. Last summer we went to russia and most of my outdoor pictures came out good.However when I
took flash pictures in the bottom of the pictures I
found that lens shade produced a shadow? I sent the camera to sony,with pictures (twice) There reply was to take the lens shade off when using the flash? also when using a uv filter(sony filter) the lens cap doesn't fit.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good but not as great as most say. (Tibi — 12/28/2006)

Great family and holiday photos but if you have stock photography ambitions get a Canon or Nikon D-SLR. Many good features but the processor or the lenses (or a combination of both) are producing artifacts and purple fringing of an unacceptable level when images are viewed at full size. Zoom is good but always use a tripod. Wide angle lens is a great addition. Macro not so great. I recommend using the manual setting whenever possible. Sony is doing a great job in audio and LCD TV technology but in digital photography they have a long way to go.

In conclusion I recommend the Sony CyberShot H5 for every day photography, but be aware of its limitations.

Cheers, Tibi

  • 5.0 out of 5
Just love the camera and the Reviews users have rated the camera (Avinash — 12/26/2006)

Hi
My name is Avinash and I am from Bangalore- India. I just bought a Sony H5 after comparing and reading the reviews about Sony H5, Cannon S3 IS and Olympus Sp 510. I am very happy with the Amazing picture and the clarity on the LCD Screen.
I do agree that the battery indicator is just a fake alarm and scares me to shoot an further. And speaking about Indoor photography, I some how feel that it requires a lit bit of tweaking and after the click they are worth the time in tweaking and adjusting the options avilabel.

I am really thrilled about the 12 x Zoom the amazing ease of using it. I am an Novice and would like to explore more and learn how to use the manual mode in Sony H5, I would apprciate any any inputs for this.

I also would like to know how to Extend the Zoom to 57 or what ever the maximum is. I do understand that the clarity of the picture could detoriate B coz of this but I just would like to give a try ...

Any suggestions are welcome !!!!

Thankz in advance..

Avinash Prabhakar.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great camera if dslr not within price range (Hrelsk — 12/24/2006)

I originally wanted a Nikon d50 or even the rebel xt dslr. However, money was an issue so i took a gander at the advanced-point-and-shoot cameras. Here's what I found out about my Sony H5:

GOOD:
1. optical zoom is amazing.
2. large 3" lcd screen provided clear live-shooting mode.
3. lighter than a dslr
4. provides manual settings just like a dslr!
5. comes with a lens adapter so you can add on filters, wide-angle lenses, and telephoto lenses
6. comes with (and runs on) 2 AA rechargable batteries. I suggest purchasing another set of batteries (one set to be in the camera and another set to be in the charger)
7. is equipped with a powerful flash (16m). great for those outdoor under-the-shadow shots.
8. Stabilizer really works!

BAD:
1. doesn't do well in low-light. Anything past 400 ISO is grainy. The slr cameras wouldn't have this problem.
2. Burst mode is weak. 1 frame/sec. The Canon S3 IS is faster and more suitable for those who want a faster camera.
3. Inability to manually adjust focus. This is really a nag because some surfaces (reflections, glare, etc.) throws off the auto-focus sensor and refuses to focus on the object that you want. This is BIG downside.
4. When handing it off to a stranger to take a picture of you and your family, their thumb accidently tends to hit the macro button which throws everything out of focus. So rule of thumb: find a stranger with small fingers to take pictures. That way they won't hit the macro button =).
5. Size. Granted, it's a bigger camera due to a bigger lens, but it wouldn't hurt to have a smaller camera handy (like for those times when you are hanging out with friends and you don't want to whip out a giant behemoth.)
6. USB cable is proprietary. Meaning: DON'T LOSE IT! A replacement won't be available at your local best buy or circuit city. Only sony carries it and you may have to dish out a pretty penny. If you do lose the usb cable, get a card reader...far less expensive and more worthwhile.
7. The flash is strong however when you have the lens adapter on, it tends to block the bottom portion of the flash. What you get is a nice well-lit picture with a dark semi-circle on the bottom of the picture. If only sony had a hotshoe for a speedlight, that would've been great.

Overall:
A great camera to own if a dslr is out of the price range. The only worry is night-time shots. It is very poor when shooting at above 400 ISO. So be prepared for that. To go around the graininess, adjust the exposure rate to be longer, however a tripod would be needed.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I love it!! (Haley W. — 12/13/2006)

This cameras has exceeded all of my expectations!! althou I haven't had it for that long the pictures I have taken so far have been amazingly clear. It is very easy to handle and not to complicated,for I am a idiot when it comes to digital cameras I have figured it out rather well!! I recommend the cybershot H5 to anyone looking for a quality and ,"idiot proof",digital cam.!!

  • 4.0 out of 5
for mid level photographers (Tashi T Norden — 12/10/2006)

Well! i wouldn't wanna lie to ya'll..this camera is good..the most striking thing is it's 12x optical zoom..the picture review quality is worth mentioning and plus with a 3inch display..it's worth a peek..i believe this camera falls into the category for those photographers who don't wanna buy extra lenses though there is a option for attaching lense....of lately! i hear strange motor noise when i place my ear near to the microphone...now that's strange..else..it's a nice product.

  • 4.0 out of 5
consumer (Chuck Nguyen — 12/08/2006)

I had a Canon G3 for the last two years. Two months ago I bought a H5. So far I was satisfied with the product. The H5 flash is too powerful so I adjusted the flash level to -2.00 when shooting in a room. To preserve the battery life, I set the "redeyes feature" to OFF, and use the viewfinder instead of the LCD screen (The 3 " LCD screen uses a lot of battery juice). With this H5, I got much less "out of focus" pictures than my G3, especially when taking pictures in a low lighted setting. . May I ask the writer "P J D - 11/7/06" to kindly help me in setting up properly my H5 in order to get "true color" pictures. Thank you.

  • 5.0 out of 5
excellent camera (jake — 12/08/2006)

what else can i say? It`s a Sony

  • 4.0 out of 5
it's good for all points but lacks some features and a bit pricey. (ASIF — 12/07/2006)

sony's h5 takes great pictures at lower iso(<400).at higher iso there is too much noise.
the camera has a long zoom which is most attractive.the IS isn't that good but works well.
in lon zoom arena the camera features everything and i think it wins in many fields compared to others

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great action camera (Louis Dominguez — 12/05/2006)

I purchased this camera as soon as it came out. I had been waiting for it because it seemed to have all the features I wanted. I was using an Olympus 770, which I had been happy with, but it lacked some features, especially the image stabilizer. I always want cameras with long range zooms and this one works great. I am especially happy with the speed of the camera. I went to a Blue Angele's show on a cold and overcast day. I took a lot of pictures of planes and jets going by. Nearly all were crisp and centered, even those taken at max zoom. NOne of my other cameras would have enabled me to do that. Battery life has been no problem, especially coming from a camera that used it own special ones. AA's are great. I bought the Energizer pack at Sam's club that came with 8 rechargeable AA's and 4 AAA's, plus a very compact recharger that holds 4 at a time. It cost around $24. With this pack I have never had to worry about running out of charge. Often I only use one set during an entire day.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Not Exactly A First Time Camera (Alison — 11/27/2006)

After my nikon cookpix broke I decided it was time to get a camera that wouldn't take terrible shots in low light. I mostly use my camera indoors for pictures of my kids and images I take of items I am selling on eBay. I did not want to spend the money on an SLR, plus I really don't know the first thing about setting up shots with an SLR. I knew a large lense helped with low light shots so I purchased this one. When I first got it I was really confused on how to take a decent indoor picture. The manual made little sense to me because I have no experience with photography lingo. After playing with the camera for several hours I figured out how to work the thing and actually turned out some decent shots that my coolpix could have never achieved. This was hit or miss however. Even at the best settings I can not figure out how to make low light look good. I was hoping this would be a camera that I could just turn on and shoot indoors but I have found that to set up the perfect shot indoors I have to adjust several settings for each different lighting situation. I was hoping this camera would be more automatic. It isn't.

For ametures this camera will not be the best. I am not going to be returning the camera so I will be learning really quick how to work it. So far the camera has been pretty good at helping me, especially with the menus. Out of every 100 shots I turn out about 20 good ones so I am getting better. This is not a point and shoot, so if you want that buy a more automatic camera.

Outdoor shots are gorgeous when lots of sunlight is involved. The long distance landscape option is VERY cool too.

This thing uses AA batteries up quickly. The Sony batteries last 4x longer I have found and they are only 10 bucks each which is a good value in my opinion.

I know that when I figure out this camera a little better I will enjoy it more. Maybe enough to add an extra star.

  • 3.0 out of 5
does not quite cut it. (M ritter — 11/26/2006)

Has some great features, but then...pics somewhat fuzzy, colors not quite true, and if used in auto results are dreadful.
Sold mine at a loss and went with a cannon s2 is, less $$, better results. Stay away from Sony, doesnt quite cut it. Also equate into your purchase decission their APPALING customer service.

  • 5.0 out of 5
abosolutely love this camera... (sharon poulsen — 11/17/2006)

i have previously owned a canon a75, fuji e550 and a canon a610...my 2 canons were great, the fuji was frustrating....i needed more zoom and was struggling between the H5 and the canon S3...well, the lcd on the H5 is what sold me, it is incredible...the pictures i have printed are awesome, the zoom is perfect, i love getting closer to the action(i take a lot of pics of my kids playing soccer)....my only issue with the camera is the flash recharge time, with my 620 i could click, click, click....this one takes time to recharge...maybe that is 2 batteries against 4....but the flash itself kicks butt on almost any other camera i have seen, it is very strong and really works...other than that, the H5 is the best...i am beyond happy with my purchase and fully recommend it to others

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great travel camera (P J D — 11/08/2006)

Love my Sony H5. Wanted a nice travel camera for a two week trip to Europe - Provence and Ireland. This was my shift to digital and originally intended going to a dSLR. Glad I didn't. Ease of use meant I got results from the H5 that are as good or better than I would have gotten from a lower end dSLR. What really sold me was the huge 3" display. Really like the way the program dial comes up in the display with an explanation of the setting. This is a must for anybody who needs reading glasses. I wanted a camera with a 'viewfinder' with a diopter because most of the LCD screens I have used got washed out in daylight - not a problem with the H5 - now I rarely use the viewfinder.
The camera is very comfortable to hold. I use a wrist strap instead of a neck strap and stow it in a neat beltloop bag from Lowepro instead of the Sony bag.
Battery life is good for two AAs. I agree with previous writer that the battery meter is not very accurate. However, the rechargeable AA Cybershot batteries that come with it really do pack more punch than other brands and give more accurate meter readings. Worth getting Cybershots for your spares.
Picture quality is superb. Before the trip I tried it out on a family portrait shoot taken by an enthusiast relative. He used his new Sony Alpha and a Canon SLR while I set my H5 on a tripod with the timer. My shots came out the best. Most of photos in the south of France were taken in flat, late afternoon, overcast October lighting and all came out excellent. Got great oohs and wows for my slide show, although I have since tweaked them in Photoshop to punch them up a bit.
IS system works great. Got great handheld pictures of floodlit castles in Carrcassone.

My only grumbles are: no raw format, wish I could attach a filter directly to the lens body instead of the long barrel adapter, focus assist light is a bit intrusive (but very effective), no auto rotate, could do with more program modes especially a fill flash mode and a panorama assist.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Look no further (Arun Puri — 11/02/2006)

User friendly and high zoom camera. Feautue rich with full manual controls as required for amateur as well as professional photography. Camera fulfills what all the manufacturer claims. Tremendous clarity and reasonable level of depth too. Noise levels are low till ISO400 which is good for most amateur applications. Movie mode is extremely good - excellent movies. One can leave behind ones videocams. Excellent image stabalization. The supplied hood is an added advantage specially when photographing in the sun. Add a polarizing filter to get excellent results.

Sony has done excellent work by providing an extremely bright and large 3"LCD, which is really great for people like me (40+) for a clear view of the subject. Strongly recommended.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Very pleased (Pierre Lehu — 10/26/2006)

I bought this camera because of the large screen. I need reading glasses, and with the small screen on my old Canon, I just couldn't focus unless I put on my reading glasses. With the large 3" screen, I can see what I'm shooting without glasses, and also check the shots afterwards. That's a major plus. I had been thinking about a Panasonic, but its 2.5" screen had half the pixels and when zooming, it made some parts of the screen blurry, making it impossible to focus correctly.

The reason I couldn't give this camera the highest 5 star rating is the time it takes for the camera to recharge when taking flash pictures. It takes a good five seconds and that's just too long. It's probably because the camera uses only 2 AA batteries. 4 would have eliminated the problem, I believe.

I spent two weeks in Europe with the camera and took great pictures. I bought a faster charger and more batteries so that I always had a spare. I would suggest that anyone buying a battery charger get one that discharges the battery first, because the batteries used by this camera take quite a few charges before they "learn" to hold a full charge, and the right charger can make this process a lot easier. I also have noticed that just because the camera tells you it has a low battery doesn't mean that it really does. That's another reason to have a charger that discharges the battery fully, or else you'd be recharging batteries that had a charge, and they'd "learn" not to fully charge.

I mostly shoot on automatic, but every once in a while I try the manual settings, and have gotten pictures that otherwise I would have missed, though I'm not an expert at it, yet.

I used the self-timer all over Europe to take pictures of myself and my wife, and got a lot of smiles from people watching me race around to get into the picture. But I also got a lot of pictures of the two of us that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. My smaller Canon has the same feature but the larger body of the Sony seems to make it easier to set up steadily. Also the larger screen allows you to easily see what you are framing while you are placing the camera, sometimes a bit precariously.

The movie mode shoots fantastic videos. Watching them they look about as good as from a movie camera. I'm sure they're not, but to your average audience of family and friends, they're very impressive.

Deleting pictures is a two-step process that is a little too complicated, but then again, it does prevent accidental erasures.

All in all I love this camera, and would give it 4.5 stars if that were an option. And again, for anyone needing reading glasses, that big screen is a major plus.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Good Value (John — 10/22/2006)

After reading a lot of reviews it came down to the Canon S3IS, Panasonic FZ7, Panasonic FZ50, and the Sony H5. I have come to the conclusion that all of them would make great cameras for most people most of the time. It seemed that I would ultimately be happy with the pictures from any of them so it really came down to handling, features, and how the menus functioned. I preferred the use of AA batteries so the Panasonics were out and although I preferred the in hand feel of the S3IS SLIGHTLY more than the H5 it was not enough to make up for the things I liked more on the H5. The 3" screen (although I feel Sony should used a 2.5" screen) and the layout of the different menus are what sold me on the H5. The 2" screen on the S3IS as well as Sony's own H2 just seems so small by todays standards. A 2.5" screen seems to be the best compromise between size and not taking up too much room. Sony really should have just updated last years H1 with its 2.5" screen and had one camera of this type in it's lineup and split the price difference between the H2 and H5...good marketing I guess. Anyway, I am very happy with the H5. Pictures so far have come out great and it is easy to use. I have not had any problems with hitting buttons by mistake as some other reviewers have stated, although I have relatively small hands. The lens hood worked great the other day when I was shooting in bright sunlight. I had taken some shots without the hood and some reflection on the lens was showing up in the pictures but with the hood it was totally eliminated. It is very nice that Sony includes this feature. The only negative so far is that the battery life indicator is EXTREMELY inaccurate. I was a litte worried and thought I would probably be returning the camera since after only about 30-35 shots the indicator was showing that I had used up half the capacity (I was using the supplied Sony batteries). There was no way I was going to keep the camera if I was only able to get 70-90 shots before a battery change was needed. I continued shooting up to about 150-160 shots when the indicator moved to the "battery low, recording/playback will stop soon" position. I left the batteries in which I'm glad I did since I was able to capture about 225 shots before the indicator moved to the "change batteries" postion. At this point I turned off the camera but didn't change the batteries. The next time I turned on the camera it was again showing the "battery low" postion and a was able to get another 40 shots before the "change batteries" showed up again. Many reviews comment on the poor battery life but hopefully this is not based on people changing the batteries when the indicator first says "battery low" since I was able to capture an addition 100 shots from the time this first showed up. Anyway, my battery concerns were unfounded but I may set the display so it doesn't show the battery life all the time since it can keep you on edge when for 100 shots you see that your batteries are supposedly low. The camera is a little bulky to carry around but once in hand it's worth it. It doesn't feel like a toy like so many small point & shoots do. The controls all work very smooth and the versatility of the extra zoom range without having to carry around a bunch of lenses it fantastic. All in all a very nice camera. Hope this helps.

  • 5.0 out of 5
better than the best in its series (mayur — 10/21/2006)

i had use cameras of nikon and canon and other but in this range and prise i just say it is excellent. i used to give my friends advise to buy it. i think the lance and shutter speed also other features make it rocking.tell me more abour DSC-R1 because i want to take it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
A THING OF BEAUTY, JOY FOREVER ! (Raza Ishaq Babar — 10/16/2006)

This is simply a fantastic camera. super crisp pictures , point and shoot or "La carte " , Simply great !
it looks great, works great and is extremely simple to use despite its sophisticated and formidable looks.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Simply Fantastic!! (E. Best — 10/06/2006)

Researched buying a digital camera for 4 months before my trip to Hawaii and I almost went with the Panasonic TZ1 (which I thought was an excellent camera with 10x optical zoom. Then I was persuaded to look at the Canon SD630 which was another very nice camera with better Macro rendering than the Panasonic and other features that the Panasonic didn't offer (like color swapping)and a bit more compact. But then I got my hands on the H5 and that is all she wrote! I took comparative shots with all 3 cameras of the same object and while by themselves the pictures were good-looking, when you compared them to each other the H5 was just SO much better in every way (Pictures were printed on the same print paper from the same printer). Bright, crisp pictures, 12x optical zoom and a feel in your hands that makes you think you actually know what you're doing, did it for me.
I bought some extra batteries (Duracell 2600..very inexpensive) and battery life was no longer an issue.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Hits & Misses (Ethan — 09/23/2006)

Have had it now for about three months. Like the grip, the LCD screen size and ease of operation. However, on a recent trip driving through Utah I shot off some spectacular shots of the scenery. When I tried to download the pictures, they weren't to be found! The next day it behaved itself. Anyone have a similar experience? Other than this glitch it's clearly a 5-star product.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Pretty good mid-range (Tom Hansen — 09/07/2006)

A $500 camera should be able to shoot RAW files; not this one. The batteries required 14 hours to charge before I stopped getting the message, "Turn camera off and on." Controls fairly user-friendly, shutter sound is nice, but could be louder. Image review/delete could be simpler. Lower than average shutter delay. Excellent auto settings and lighting exposures.

  • 5.0 out of 5
it was great (stacey — 08/30/2006)

it was great

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Choice (Robert Nelson — 08/15/2006)

I read a ton of reviews about the Sony and the Canon S3. I did not know which way to go until I went to a local store and handled them both. I would suggest this if you are unsure. I really preferred the way the Sony handled and the large display so I purchased it. Very glad I did, this is a wonderful camera which takes very good pictures. My wife has an Epson Picturemate printer and together they do a wonderful job. More than I could have hoped for in this purchase. The only negative is the batteries that came with it, I bought Duracell 2650's and they are working great.

  • 5.0 out of 5
For great photos - look no further (G H. Meraklis — 08/13/2006)

Pro; The Sony H5 camera is for novice and those up to vacation and family outing warriors that produce outstanding photos that are as good as the photos seen in trade magazines (like National Geographic) . Eat your heart out Panasonic fz7, Canon S3IS owners; sorry the Sony H5 is the best. Best Pictures (that������s what its all about), best movies, best looking, best operation, best LCD screen, all that which makes it best around zoom camera. If you������re going out to get perfect photos,
Look no further. If you������re a professional, pay the big bucks (Thousands of dollars) and get a cameras that dose������s all those adjustment and functions. For me being a camera nut it������s one of the best purchases I ever made. I love taking pictures and producing slides and DVD movies for my family and friends, and you know what, they cannot wait to get them.
Con; You can find problem with anything if you try hard enough, but I������m too busy taking great pictures!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Incredible camera!!! (Carlos — 08/13/2006)

The camera's awesome 3-inch LCD screen was one of my top requirements when doing the research for a new camera, which means I narrowed down to just a few models as many other cameras have smaller LCD screens. I couldn't stress enough the importance of having a decent and LCD screen to instantly view your results and see if you may want to make some adjustments. The LCD screen is large, and it seems that what you see on it is actually what you get. So I don't even use the regular, tiny viewfinder, I only use the LCD screen. The LCD screen uses a lot of power, but that's not a problem because those AA batteries are cheap. I take several charged sets with me wherever I go with my camera these days. I have been able to take some stunning photos with this camera, including some very beautiful portrates. You can use the Auto mode and take great pictures, but I usually switch to manual and create my own exposure. The priority modes are very easy to use and do a great job, with the exception of the High Sensitivity mode because it tends to use very high ISO, and the images tend to get noisy as you go above ISO 400 with this camera. But I've taken fantastic photos using ISO 400 with this camera. The photos are bright, clear and crisply perfect. In my quest to pushing this camera's limit, I took a stunning photo of the moon at 1:30 am last night. I zoomed in at 57x (I love the Smart Digital Zoom) on a tripod and set my own exposure on manual mode. Then I took the photo using its two-second delay timer (10 secs is the default). Email me at cmerighe@natr.com and I will send you the photo for you to have an idea of how great this camera is.

Overall, I am very pleased with this camera, and I recommend it to anybody.

  • 4.0 out of 5
SO EASSY.. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

So Easy to capture even in law light..if hotshoe
is there it will be useful for professional use.

  • 5.0 out of 5
so far great (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Updating from A Fugi 5100 which lag time was slow
The Sony H5 with its big screen — great I have been trying the movie mode so far excellent pictures are remarkable I hope to get many yrs out of this camera I highly reccomend it

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great choice!!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was upgrading from a Fuji S602 which I had almost three years. I wanted a 12 x optical and I was looking at the Panasonicfz7 and also the kodak z612. this was by far the best of those. The noise level is lower and it performs better in low light. the pictures are great. Have not yet tried all features, but was taking pictures of my Grandchildren at a party last weekend and especially liked the burst mode. Taking a lot of pix of the kids in action gets some great shots. color are great. I prefer the vivid setting for scenery and normal for people. So far am glad I purchased this one.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great camera!!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Just purchased it. Have not had time to use all features which are a lot. But have been playing with it and the pictures are great. Battery life not too great. Having trouble accidentally hitting the zoom I have to learn to keep my finger on the grip below the wide angle and zoom.I have a Sony dsc 30 which I still use. It is a great camera I just wanted to upgrade.. I like the protected lcd screen and the battery on it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
A Different League (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I recently moved from a Pentax Optio S4 - about as compact as you can get - to the Sony H5, and whilst it's no longer a case of reaching into my pocket for my camera, the results I'm getting have made the change more than worth while. The 12x zoom lets me take fantastic shots of my two little boys, without them even knowing, so far less of those ridiculous faces children pull as soon as you point a camera at them. The colours are great, and the 7 megapixels give the pictures great clarity. I'm an enthusiast rather than an expert, so I'm still learning, but it really isn't hard to get terrific results from this camera right from the get go. I'd recommend it to anyone who has reached that stage where they want to do more than simply point & shoot.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Great picture quality. 3" LCD screen allows excellent view. On screen descriptions of settings are great. Video quality is excellent. Over all great buy.

  • 5.0 out of 5
WOW!! What a camera!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Tremendous. I took a picture of a bank parking lot. Then zoomed in on an 18" sign 50 feet away. Then loaded to my laptop, further zoomed and read the grade markings on one of the mounting bolts!! Truely amazing quality. Lots of features, some I haven't used yet. I photographed a deer in my yard, through window glass and can see the velvet on its antlers! 3" LCD is great. Fully auto or fully manual.
Only negative is the documentation. The users manual keeps refering to the "Read first folder" Why didn't they put everything in one booklet?

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony (Jackson — 04/14/2006)

it is a great camera so you guys just gotta get it...

  • 5.0 out of 5
Nice Camera. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Few days ago I purchased this camera. Results are excellent. Nice handy camera. Just one step below to any SLR camera. Sony's ever best point and shoot camera. Picture quality is also excellent. Grip is very good. 2AA battery is plus point. Minimum 512MB card is required. ISO up to 1000 and 3.0 inch LCD screen provides good professional look. Overall a excellent camera.

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