Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H7 Review
Almost exactly 12 months after the launch of the Cyber-shot DSC-H2 and DSC-H5 Sony announced the replacement cameras; the DSC-H7 (reviewed here) and the top-of-the-range mode the DSC-H9 (reviewed at the end of May). That Sony chose to increase the pixel count (to 8MP) and to include this year's 'must have' features (face detection and ludicrously high maximum ISO) can't have surprised many, but there are a few less predictable new features, and a few welcome changes. The former include a 15x zoom and HDTV (well, 1080i) output. The latter include an improved focus system, faster performance and a new (in the box) remote control. The H7 and H9 appear to be internally pretty much identical, though there are some feature differences that explain the $80 price difference (chiefly, the H9's screen and NightShot mode) - the H7 is basically the 'budget' model.
Note: Some sections of this review are taken directly from the Sony H9 review as in most respects the cameras are functionally identical. All test images are from the H7 unless indicated.
Cyber-shot DSC-H7 vs DSC-H2 - key changes
- New sensor (8MP versus 6MP)
- longer lens range (15x up from 12x)
- Higher maximum sensitivity (ISO 3200)
- Larger screen (2.5-inch vs 2.0 inch)
- Lithium Ion battery
- Control dial has moved to rear of camera
- 9-point AF (was 3-point)
- New Sports mode
- HDTV (1080i) video output (via optional component cable)
- Face detection
- D-Range optimization (auto contrast)
- In-camera retouching
- Remote control included
- Entirely new user interface
• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 1/2.5” CCD,
|Lens||• Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
• 31-465mm (35mm equiv)
• 15x optical zoom
|• 36-432mm equiv
• 12x optical zoom
• Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
|Maximum Image Size||3264 x 2448
||3072 x 2304|
• ISO 80-3200
• ISO 80-1000
|Top shutter speed||1/4000th||1/2000th|
|Autofocus modes||• 9 Area Multi-Point AF
• Center AF
• Flexible spot AF
|• 3 Area Multi-Point AF
• Center AF (selectable)
• Flexible spot AF
|Scene modes||• Twilight • Twilight Portrait • Portrait • Landscape • Beach • Snow • Fireworks • High Sensitivity • Advanced Sports Shooting||• Twilight • Twilight Portrait • Portrait • Landscape • Beach • High-speed shutter • High Sensitivity|
|Continuous Shooting||100 shots, 2.2fps, 8MP (max)||1.1 fps, up to 7 frames|
|Flash range, Auto ISO||Up to 9.8m (wide)||Up to 9.0m (wide)|
|LCD screen||• 2.5" TFT
• 115,000 pixels
|• 2.0" TFT
• 85,000 pixels
|Power||• Lithium-ion NP-BG1 battery||2x AA|
|Battery life (CIPA standard, using LCD)||280||340|
|Weight (inc batteries)||514g||537g|
|Other|| • Face Detection
• HDTV output (optional cable)
• Bionz processing engine
• In-camera effects
Cyber-shot DSC-H9 vs DSC-H7
As with the previous generation (H2 and H5) there are two almost identical 'H' cameras. The camera on review here, the H7, is a cut-down version of the H9, though the differences are fairly minimal (the big one is the screen).
- H9 has a larger (3.0 inch), higher-resolution tilting screen (H7: 2.5-inch non-articulated)
- H9 has external buttons for metering and continuous shooting modes, H7 doesn't
- H9 is around 32g (1.1 oz) heavier
- H9 has NightShot function, H7 doesn't.
DSC H-7 specifications
|Street price|| US: $380
• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 3264 x 2448
• MPEG VX Fine / Standard
|File formats||• Still: JPEG
• Movie: MPEG VX (MPEG-1)
• Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar
|Image stabilization||Super SteadyShot®|
|Digital zoom|| • 2x (24x total)
• Up to 30x Smart Zoom (dependent on selected resolution)
|AF area modes||• 9 Area Multi-Point AF
• Center AF
• Flexible spot AF
• Contrast detect
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance||• Normal: 50cm (19.7 in) minimum (W), 120cm (47.25 in) minimum (T)
• Macro: 1cm (0.4 in) wide only
|Metering||• Multi-pattern (49 zone)
• Center weighted
|ISO sensitivity||• Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
|Exposure compensation||• +/-2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
|Exposure bracketing||+/- 0.3, 0.7, 1.0 EV|
• Auto: 1/4-1/4000sec
|Aperture||F2.7-5.6 (w) F4.5-8 (t)|
|Scene modes||• Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• High Sensitivity
• Advanced Sports Shooting
|Self timer||• 10 or 2 secs|
|Continuous shooting||100 shots, 2.2fps, 8MP (max)|
|Image parameters||Natural, Vivid, Sepia, B&W, Sharpness, Contrast|
|Viewfinder||• 0.2" EVF
• 201K pixels
|LCD monitor||• 2.5" TFT
• 115K pixels
|Connectivity||• USB 2.0 high speed
• AV w/multi-jack
• DC in
|Print compliance||PictBridge, DPOF|
|Storage||• Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo compatible
• 31MB internal memory
|Power||• Lithium-ion NP-BG1 battery
• BC-CSG Charger
|Weight (excl batt)||514 g (1lb 2.1 oz) - incl. strap, adaptor ring, lens hood, cap etc.|
|Dimensions||109.5 x 83.4 x 85.7 mm (4.6 x 3.3 x 3.7 in)|
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