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Sony Cyber-shot H1 Review

July 2005 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Sony DSC-H1

Introduced in February 2005 (pre-PMA), the Cyber-shot H1 is Sony's attempt to win a share of one of the fastest growing digital camera market sectors, the 5 megapixel 'super zoom'. Although Sony has produced big zoom cameras before (the F828 and its predecessors sported 5x and 7x optics and there was a 10x zoom floppy disk Mavica a few years ago), the H1 is the electronics giant's first foray into compact, big zoom image-stabilized cameras. As well as a huge 12x optical zoom the H1 is a real treasure chest of photographic control, offering a wealth of automatic, semi automatic and manual exposure modes, a big 2.5" screen and captures VGA/30fps movies in space-efficient MPEG format.

  • 5.1 effective megapixels
  • 36-432mm equivalent (12x optical) F2.8-3.7 zoom lens
  • Super Steady Shot optical image stabilization
  • 2.5” LCD (115,200 pixels)
  • Full photographic control
  • Real Imaging Processor & 14-bit DXP A/D Conversion
  • Optional wide and tele lens converters
  • Scene selection (7 modes)
  • Histogram indication
  • 32MB internal memory, plus a Memory Stick/PRO slot

Side by Side

Here for comparison is the H1 alongside three of its closest competitors - (from left): Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, Canon PowerShot S2 IS, Sony Cyber-shot H1, Kodak EasyShare Z740 (the smallest, but also the only one without image stabilization). As you can see, the H1 is one of the largest cameras in its class - certainly a lot larger than the Panasonic FZ5 (and the Konica Minolta Z5, not shown).

Sony DSC-H1 Key specifications

Street price • US: $499
• UK: £380
Body Material Plastic & metal
Sensor

• 1/2.5" Super HAD CCD
• 5.3 million pixels total
• 5.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 2592 x 1944
• 2592 x 1728 (3:2)
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 16 / 30 fps
• 160 x 112 @ 8 fps
• MPEG-1 (mono)
Lens

• 36 - 432 mm (35 mm equiv) 12x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - F 3.7
2x digital zoom
Super Steady Shot

Focus • 3 Area Multi-Point AF
• Center AF
• Flexible Spot AF
• Manual focus
• 2 cm macro mode (Wide)
Shooting mode

• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Aperture priority AE
• Manual
• Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Beach
• High-speed shutter
• Candle.

• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Shutter Speeds • 1/8 – 1/2000 sec (Auto)*
• 2 – 1/2000 sec (Program Auto)*
• 30 – 1/1000 sec (Manual)
* Shutter speeds of 1/2000th are only available at apertures of F5.6 and higher.
Apertures • F2.8 / 3.2 / 3.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 5.0 / 5.6 / 6.3 / 7.1 / 8.0 (wide)
• F3.7 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 5.0 / 5.6 / 6.3 / 7.1 / 8.0 (tele)
Metering • Multi Pattern
• Centre-weighted
• Spot
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
• Manual (custom)
Image parameters

• Saturation (3 levels)
Contrast (3 levels)
• Sharpness (3 levels
• Color effects (Sepia, Black and White)

Continuous 1.3 fps up to 9 frames
Flash • Built-in, pop-up
• Modes: Auto, on, off, slow sync, red-eye reduction
• Range (ISO auto): 0.3 - 6.8 m (w); 0.9 - 5.2 m (t)
Storage • Memory Stick / Memory Stick PRO
• 32 MB internal memory
No removable media supplied
Viewfinder Electronic, 0.3-inch, 115,200 pixels
LCD monitor • 2.5 " TFT
• 115,200 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-speed
• AV out
Power • 2x rechargeable AA battery (NiMH, alkaline, NiMH
• Charger included
In the box*

DSC-H1 camera
NH-AA-DA Rechargeable AA Batteries,
BC-CS2 Battery Charger and Cord
A/V and USB Cables
Shoulder Strap
Lens Cap
Lens Cap Strap
Lens Adapter Ring
Lens Hood
Software CD-ROM

Other features

PictBridge- and PIM II-compatible
DPOF
• Autofocus Illuminator

Weight (inc batt) 591 g (20.8 oz)
Dimensions 108 x 82 x 91 mm (4.2 x 3.2 x 3.5 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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caragreen
By caragreen (5 months ago)

good

0 upvotes