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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5

Image stabilization worked well, letting us shoot between one and two stops lower than we normally would in handheld use. We shot a stationary subject at 1/125 second with the lens zoomed out to its 432mm equivalent and came away with a sharp image.

Focusing was quick in bright and moderately dim light with the autofocus-assist light turned on. Like most cameras in this class, it slowed noticeably in very low light. If you plan on using the EVF to focus manually, you'll be happy to know that it has a diopter to compensate for shooters with not-so-perfect vision.

Shooting speed
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Time to first shot  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4
Kodak EasyShare P850
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7
Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H5
Note: Measured in seconds

Continuous-shooting speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Typical continuous-shooting speed  
Note: Measured in frames per second
Photos from the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H5 had natural, accurate colors that were neither over- nor undersaturated. As with the Cyber Shot DSC-H2, manual white balance provided the most neutral results with our tungsten test lights, while the tungsten setting came a close second. The auto setting turned in slightly warm photos with our lights, though it did a good job in daylight. Exposures were generally accurate. Very modest purple fringing turned up in high-contrast areas, but it was less prevalent than in shots from the DSC-H2.

Noise results were very similar to those of the DSC-H2. At ISO 80 and ISO 100, the DSC-H5 kept noise under control. By ISO 200, it became noticeable, but wasn't a problem. It was very prevalent at ISO 400, and at ISO 800 and ISO 1,000, the images were unfit to print. The 640x480, 30fps video had an admirable amount of detail and pleasing colors for a still camera in this class.

For the majority of amateurs, Sony's Cyber Shot DSC-H5 is a competent megazoom, with a bevy of features and healthy compliment of accessories to keep them interested for a long time. Picky photogs will want to steer clear of the higher ISOs, but that's true of most cameras in this class.

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