Sony Cyber-shot H1 Review
As befits a camera designed to be first and foremost a serious photographic tool the Cyber-shot H1 takes no risks with design, following the same basic 'SLR-like' styling of the majority of its direct competitors. It's a serious-looking camera bristling with buttons and switches, and despite being mainly plastic - only the fixed part of the lens barrel is made of metal - it feels very solid and pretty substantial. A small thumb grip on the rear of the body, combined with the well-proportioned grip on the front, means it not only feels very secure when used single-handedly, it is also easy to reach virtually all the controls with one hand.
In your hand
Whereas many of Sony's compact cameras put super-smooth styling ahead of handling, the H1 has obviously been designed by someone who actually uses a camera to take pictures. It's not that small (though next to, for example, the Panasonic FZ20 or any DSLR it looks positively lilliputian), nor, at just shy of 600g, is it that light, but it is incredibly well-balanced and feels very stable indeed in use. I rarely felt the need to support the H1 with two hands (though of course there will be some advantage in doing so from a camera shake point of view), and I found overall handling to be much, much better than first appearances might suggest. If you have very small hands you might find the depth of the body a little uncomfortable, but I doubt there are many for whom this applies.
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