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)|
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.