The Good Relatively wide angle for a megazoom; tons of manual and automatic features; large, flip-up LCD; fast continuous shooting.
The Bad Small EVF; lens aberrations and vignetting; image noise and some processing artifacts; lacks hotshoe and raw file support.
The Bottom Line If you shoot primarily outdoors in daytime--especially sports, children and animals--the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9 is a great choice. The cheaper DSC-H7 has a smaller LCD, lacks infrared shooting, and has a few interface differences, but is otherwise identical.
Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H9
Sony changed quite a few details, inside and out, between last year's H5 and its latest megazooms, the Cyber-shot DSC-H9 and DSC-H7. An f/2.7-4.5 31mm-465mm 15x supersedes the 12x zoom on last year's, and the resolution kicks up a notch from 7 to 8 megapixels. Say goodbye to AA batteries and hello to a proprietary lithium ion.
Two features differentiate the H9 and H7: The H9 retains the same excellent 3-inch flip-up LCD as the H5, while the H7 uses a fixed 2.5-inch version, and the H9 includes Sony's NightShot infrared mode. They are otherwise identical, and we expect the same performance and photo quality. We tested the H9.