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Sony's midrange megazoom

The DSC-H7 gets a little brother with a 10X zoom lens.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 Sony Electronics

Suddenly, it seems that compact, inexpensive megazooms without an eye-level viewfinder are all the rage. Canon just announced its first foray at the $300 price point, the PowerShot SX100, and now Sony follows suit with the Cyber-shot DSC-H3.

The H3 will offer the usual set of buzzword features, including face detection and HD downconversion for correct-aspect HDTV output.

Sony rated performance specs:

  • Startup: 1.8 secs
  • Shutter lag: 0.3 secs
  • Shot to shot: 1.3 secs
  • Burst: 2fps
  • Battery life: 330 shot
  Canon SX100 IS Sony DSC-H3 Sony DSC-H7
Resolution 8 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Lens f/2.8-4.3 36mm-360mm (10X) f/3.5-4.4, 38-380mm (10X) f/2.7-4.5 31-465 mm-equivalent (15X)
LCD size 2.5 inches 2.5 inches 2.5 inches
Viewfinder None None EVF
Power 2 AA batteries Proprietary lithium ion Proprietary lithium ion

As I mentioned in my dicussion of the SX100, it's not clear who this camera is for; competitors like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8, Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS and even the last-generation Canon PowerShot S3 IS offer a much better feature set for the price. The H3 will be available in silver or black when it ships in early September.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3