Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10 Concise Review
The H10 has seven manual white balance presets in addition to the default Auto WB mode (Sunny, cloudy, white fluorescent, natural white fluorescent, day white fluorescent, incandescent and flash). There is still no custom (measured) manual white balance option. Looking at the results from the White Balance lab tests this is rather unfortunate. Achieving anything close to a neutral result under artificial lighting with Auto WB or presets is frankly impossible. Therefore a custom white balance option would really come in quite handy. When shooting our sample shots in daylight the H10's White Balance performed much more reliably.
|Fluo Auto||Fluo Preset||Incandescent Auto||Incandescent Preset|
|Fluorescent light - Auto white balance average,
Preset white balance average
|Incandescent light - Auto white balance average, Preset white balance average|
The H10's pop-up flash has a quoted working range (using Auto ISO) of 7m (23 ft) at the wide end of the zoom and 5.6m (18.4 ft) at the tele end. These are impressive numbers for this type of camera although (like most comparable cameras) the H10 uses Auto ISO which reduces quality noticeably.
Apart form the long range the H10's flash also comes with a slow synch mode which allows you to combine ambient light with flash - very useful for night portraits.
The flash is located far away enough from the lens to avoid red eyes but just to be a 100 percent sure anti-red eye can be applied either while shooting or in review mode. Generally the flash exposure works well although flash compensation can be applied via the menu when needed.
The H10 offers the fairly standard maximum movie mode quality of 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second, and like all Sony models it saves clips in MPEG format. This is slightly more efficient than the motion JPEG system used by most other manufacturers (At the highest quality setting you're burning about 1.3MB per sec). The quality leaves not a lot to complain about. Viewed at large size some compression artifacts are visible but it all stays within acceptable limits.
Zoom is deactivated during filming. The optical image stabilization system is very useful to ensure smooth framing when filming at longer focal lengths. You get an authentic 'Steadycam' feeling.
Sample movie: 640 x 480 pixels @ 30 fps
Click on the thumbnail to view the movie
Optical image stabilization
The optical image stabilization used on the DSC-H10 has two modes: 'Continuous' (IS on all the time) and 'Shooting' (stabilization is only activated when the button is half-pressed to lock exposure). Continuous mode makes framing easier - the system steadies the preview image - but obviously uses more battery power (it's on all the time).
The H10 uses the same stabilization system as its predecessor. So unsurprisingly the H10's results are more or less identical to the H3's. The system approximately gives you a 2 stop advantage although its efficiency drops drastically at shutter speeds slower than 1/50 sec. At a shutter speed of 1/25 sec (and at a focal length of 380mm equiv.) your chances of getting a usable shot are fairly minimal - with or without image stabilization. If you're lucky though, and take lots of safety shots, you might get a keeper even at very slow shutter speeds.
|1/6th sec, 380mm equiv., IS off, 100% crop||1/6th sec, 380mm equiv., IS on, 100% crop|
Note: The H10 doesn't have a true manual/custom white balance setting, so the studio shots in this review are as near to 'neutral' as we can get using one of the presets.
The H10's resolution is more or less in line with its competitors in the market segment. Towards higher frequencies some moiré is appearing and there is also some evidence of purple fringing and CA. You're fairly unlikely to see any of this in your photos. Sharpness is fairly good across almost the entire frame (though there's also obvious evidence of sharpening); there is a little corner softness but all within normal levels. To see how the H10 compares with its nearest competitors click here.
|Click here for the full resolution test chart||
resolution 1525 LPH
resolution 1500 LPH
Distortion and other image quality issues
As you would expect from a super zoom lens there is a fair amount of distortion visible at the wide end of the zoom - around 1.1% - not a big deal but certainly noticeable on any straight line close to the edge of the frame (click here for test chart). There is also a small (0.2%) amount of measurable - and visible - pincushion distortion at the telephoto end of the zoom (click here for test chart).
The H10 generally produces appealing consumer-friendly 'ready for print' images. The colors and contrast are slightly on the vivid side but they stop just short of 'overdone'. In any case these parameters can be adjusted in the menu. Sharpness at the default setting looks good at normal viewing sizes, and there is generally no need for extended post-processing of images. The H10's output is really quite unproblematic, there are not any major issues to report. The only ones worth mentioning are a slightly soft, smeary appearance at a pixel level (mostly caused by noise reduction) and the color fringing described in the following paragraphs.
There is also a little softness and loss of contrast at the long end of the zoom and the highlight clipping that is common to almost all digital compact cameras.
Of course increasing the ISO brings a whole raft of new problems, but in decent light the output isn't going to disappoint anyone looking to produce prints or view on-screen (i.e. anyone not too attached to 'pixel peeping').
Noise / noise reduction at low ISO
While in good light the H10 can produce some excellent output, in sub-optimal conditions you'll find some noise in the shadows and blurring of low contrast fine texture such as foliage (caused by noise reduction) even at base ISO. We've seen worse offenders than the H10 but at 100% view the smearing is clearly visible on your images, so be aware of this if you are planning to make large prints from the H10's output.
|100% crop||38mm (equivalent), F3.5, ISO 100|
At close inspection of high contrast edges you'll find some color fringing. It's usually all within acceptable limits and should hardly be visible on a standard size print, but occasionally the fringing can become more intrusive as illustrated by the following samples.
|100% crop||38mm (equivalent), F3.5|
|100% crop||38mm (equivalent), F3.5|
Apr 9, 2008
Jan 23, 2008
Mar 31, 2011
Mar 31, 2011
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more