Compared to... Panasonic DMC-FZ50

Last but by no means least let's have a quick look at how the H9 compares to the big daddy of the super zoom market, the Panasonic DMC-FZ50. The FZ50's price has now settled in at around $80-$100 more than the H5, but for that you get an extra 2 million pixels, mechanical zoom, flash hot shoe and build quality that many DSLR owners would kill for. Again, the lens range is less ambitious (12x), but otherwise spec is broadly similar. We've included studio comparison samples at each camera's lowest ISO and at ISO 400.

Studio scene comparison (@ ISO 80)

  • Sony DSC-H9: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ50: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Sony DSC-H9
Panasonic DMC-FZ50
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F5
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F5.0
2,009 KB JPEG
4,735 KB JPEG

Once again the advantage offered by a couple of million pixels or so isn't great, but the FZ50's superior optics produce a sharper, more detailed result with considerably less distortion and corner softness. With the FZ50 you also don't get fringing and the output - though far from perfect - looks cleaner.