PIX 2015
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Compared to... Sony DSC-H2

If you don't need the larger screen, the 6 megapixel H2 offers a more affordable alternative to the H5, but are you sacrificing quality too? Our tests suggest there's not a lot in it. Below you will find a studio comparison between the Sony DSC-H5 and DSC-H2 at ISO 80.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Sony DSC-H5: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation

  • Sony DSC-H2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Sony DSC-H5
Sony DSC-H2
ISO 80, 1/80 sec, F4.5
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5.0
2,743 KB JPEG
2,650 KB JPEG

At this level a million pixels here or there makes little, if any difference outside the lab, and if anything will simply expose any deficiencies in the camera's optics. As this comparison shows, at lower ISO settings the difference between the H5 and H2 is, to say the least, minimal. The H5 produces slightly larger files with a slightly better resolution, something that might make a difference if you're really stretching to a big print size, but I doubt it would be a difference worth worrying about. Looking closely at the two shots it seems that Sony is applying slightly less sharpening to the H5 shots than the H2 (both are a little soft, both sharpen up nicely in post-processing). Although both have Sony's signature cheerful color, the H5 is marginally less 'in your face', and doesn't have the 'hot reds' that we see in the H2 (and most other Cyber-shots). At the end of the day both cameras are producing nice output at their default settings, both need a little sharpening, and neither is likely to disappoint. I would probably choose the H5 out of these two shots simply because it is a slightly less processed-looking shot, and would be easier to post-process, but you could get the two cameras producing nigh-on identical output if you played around with the in-camera settings a little.

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