Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5
Released summer 2010, the feature-rich Sony Cyber-shot HX5 comes equipped with a 10MP Exmor R back illuminated CMOS sensor, 25-250mm lens and offers AVCHD 1080i Full HD movie recording, image stabilization and Intelligent Sweep Panorama. The HX5 is also equipped with a built-in GPS and compass. Externally, the Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 is similar to the H55, but the few differences between the two models are fairly major.
Although the span of the lens is the same, at 25-250mm in both models, they do not share a sensor. The HX5's sensor is of a lower resolution than the H55, at 10 rather than 14 million pixels, but it is EXMOR-R, a backlit CMOS type, designed to be more sensitive in poor light than a conventional small-format imager. It also packs a powerful video mode, and offers 1080p HD video recording, in the AVCHD format. The HX5 also adds a built-in GPS receiver and magnetometer (or in plain English: a compass). Other features include Sony's Super SteadyShot optical stabilisation system, and the same Smile Shutter and blink detection modes that are found on the H55. Overall, the HX5 is essentially a good camera, let down by very little customization and poor operational speed.
|Max resolution||3456 x 2592|
|Effective pixels||10 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.4" (6.104 x 4.578 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200|
|Focal length (equiv.)||25–250 mm|
|Min shutter speed||30 sec|
|Max shutter speed||1/1600 sec|
|Storage types||Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo/ PRO HG-Duo, optional SD/SDHC, Internal|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||200 g (0.44 lb / 7.05 oz)|
|Dimensions||102 x 58 x 29 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.14″)|
Judged on image quality alone, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 would be amongst the best performers in this group test. Like the H55 though, the HX5 doesn't offer a lot of control, and its operational speed is slower than we expect for a camera of this type and pricepoint. As a point-and-shoot, though, the HX5 excells.
Good for: General photography, especially travel, where the compass and GPS are really useful. Movie mode is excellent too.
Not so good for: More advanced users, or fast-changing environments where speed is of the essence.