Sony Cyber-shot H5 Review
The H5 follows the the same basic 'SLR-like' styling of the H1 before it - and the majority of its direct competitors. Color and screen aside it is externally almost identical to the H2. 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 (although it's a bit too easy to hit buttons by accident with your thumb if you don't support the H5 with your other hand). Compared to the H1 it's a little sleeker, and a little more 'Cyber-shot', but I must confess I actually preferred the styling of the previous model. Functional changes are minor; a couple of buttons have moved to the top left of the rear panel and the zoom lever is now nearer to the shutter release, but there's nothing here that has a significant effect on handling.
In your hand
Like the H1 before it, the H5 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 FZ30 or any DSLR it looks positively lilliputian), nor, at just shy of 550g, is it that light, but it is incredibly well-balanced and feels very stable indeed in use. Although you can easily shoot holding the camera in one hand, it's a lot steadier (and a lot easier to use the zoom control) if you use both. Overall 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.
|Douaumont Ossuary by Eric 54-BNF|
from Armistice Day
|Silhouette at sunset by Jill Hancock|
from Portrait Lens (around 80mm or equivalent - please check the full rules)