The Good Speedy shooting performance; compact, lightweight design; plenty of fun, useful features; very good low-light photo quality for a compact camera.
The Bad Soft photos, videos; limited manual controls; GPS can't quickly be powered on and off.
The Bottom Line The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V has shooting options for solving common snapshot camera issues, but some users still won't be thrilled with the results.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V
Sony has again used its backside-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, Bionz image processor, and a Sony G lens to try to solve two of the most common complaints about compact cameras: shooting performance and low-light photo quality. This time around they're in the Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V, a compact wide-angle megazoom. The camera has a lot to offer particularly to those with the time and desire to get the most from it. However, if you're a stickler for photo quality, you'll likely want to give it a pass.
Due to the megazoom lens, noise reduction, or both, the results just aren't very sharp. The photos are otherwise decent, though, and its low-light photos are better than you're going to get from those of the competition. Plus, the HX5V's shooting speeds are excellent for its class with low shutter lag, short shot-to-shot times, and a burst mode capable of 10 frames per second. The camera is packed with plenty of fun, useful features, too, including a built-in GPS receiver and compass. It's overall an excellent compact megazoom camera, but like most point-and-shoots the photos aren't going to please everyone.
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