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I've had many different digital cameras but this is one of the best. Although it's pretty expensive, it's also excellent quality, and is strong and reliable. I've had it for nearly six months now and I've had no problems at all. It produces really good quality pictures, has some good options and is well designed, with a 10x zoom lens and 20x digital zoom that makes it easy to take great shots.
To be honest, there are lots of features that this camera has that I haven't used, as all I really wanted when I got the camera was something simple that would take fairly good quality pictures, but not be too complicated. It was a present, so I don't know exactly what the camera cost, but I know that it's quite expensive. I have used it record short videos as well, but nothing too long or complicated. However, the quality was quite good on my laptop, albeit the sound was very low, so this would be a problem if you wanted to use this feature a lot.
I like the look and design of the camera too. As you can see in the picture above, it's nice looking and simple, and is also very easy to use. The buttons are all located in easy to reach places, and everything feels very solid and secure. I haven't had any accidents or problems with the camera, as I use a case for it, but I don't think it would break easily.
These are some of the features and details of the camera, from Amazon:
Product Description: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V - digital camera
Product Type: Digital camera - compact
Dimensions (WxDxH): 10.2 cm x 2.5 cm x 5.8 cm
Weight: 170 g
Flash Memory: 45 MB
Supported Flash Memory: Memory Stick Duo, SD Memory Card, Memory Stick PRO Duo, SDHC Memory Card, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Overall, I think this is a great camera that does everthing you need but isn't too confusing or complicated like some cameras can be. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good quality but simple product.
I've been using this camera very regularly for about 7 months now, during the Summer holidays I used it extensively to record the main highlights of our days in pictures and HD movies. It's a sturdy, compact camera that is easy to grab but, ultimately for me has a few issues - the main one being that I'm not as happy with the quality of the photos it produces as I might be, given that it cost £179, the price at which it seems to be still available on amazon.
First off, I have to own up to not being a camera expert by any means. I take plenty of pictures, mainly of my growing children, but my knowledge about the hows and wherefores is limited. What I can tell you, is what this camera is like to use to point and click, and I will start with the positives. The camera is well specced, with 10.2 megapixels and an impressive 10x zoom and 3 inch screen. There's no view finder, but I don't find this too much of an issue as the screen is very clear and gives a good idea of what you will capture. In the main the menu is fairly simple and to use, you can certainly pick up this camera, ignore the manual and start to take pictures. There's a dial at the top right of the camera to scroll through the different settings (more on these later) and next to this is the shoot button with an outer part of the dial containing the zoom button. I like the fact that there are single buttons to press for movie recording and also a delete button - this makes both functions quick and easy.
The camera itself appears to be very well built - actually I know that it is as my husband managed to drop it from quite a height onto concrete, with the case (not supplied) off, it bounced, rolled and sustained no more than a slight chip at the bottom of the back of it. I wouldn't recommend dropping this, but it certainly impressed us that it was so strong. I do find, however, that the placing of the microphones (it captures stereo sound) is silly, they are at the top left of the camera and it's pretty hard to hold the camera in a natural way without covering them - this could possibly explain why my husband dropped the camera in the first place - he clearly should have made better use of the wrist strap but didn't. It's a bit of a shame that the build quality doesn't extend to the dial for changing the menu, I don't know why but it is the only part of the camera to feel plasticky and it just feels cheap.
That said there is, as I have suggested, an impressive range of features on this camera, some of which I 've never used and some of which, frankly, are a bit beyond me. Mainly I use this camera in "Easy" mode, where the camera's no doubt impressive software will try and make the adjustments for you. There are, however, other settings where you can adjust exposure and also face detection, so that the camera will focus on children's or adults' faces, whilst other modes allow you to shoot with auto backlight correction. There are even settings for snow scenes, fireworks and the beach. there's a "smile detector" I haven't used, preferring to stick to the old age method of getting my subjects to say "cheese". Probably for anyone who knows anything about cameras there's more than enough to play with, but for me I try to keep it feature though I do admit to having a fondness for the isweep panorama, which allows you to capture a very long scene, I've had great success taking a shot of the whole length of the beach or a steam engine, basically you point and move the camera from left to right slowly following the arrow on the display and somehow the camera knits it all together and produces a long, wide image. It's certainly interesting and different as a feature. The camera also boasts GPS so that you can track where your pictures were taken - again, interesting feature and the tiny little compass icon at the top of the display on the lcd screen allows you to see where North is, but it's a feature I could have lived without. In the main the menus are fairly easy to understand though not intuitive for someone with my limited technical prowess I have to say. The lcd screen in normal use is not too "busy" for my taste and not too confusing.
Microphone placement issues aside, and as someone who doesn't edit HD video, taking movies is something this camera does well. The quality of the image and colours is excellent, I've taken some great short clips of those first days at school, you can zoom in and out whilst filming and it's handy to be able to film on the go. We have a 8MB SDHC card in the camera and have found that we haven't run out of space on family holiday and that battery life is sufficient for a day's sightseeing, though it is a bit more power hungry than our previous camera.
Unfortunately, as far as the actual photos that we manage to take with this camera on a day to day basis goes, this is where the camera falls somewhat flat for me. I've resorted to reading reviews, and found out I'm not alone in my feelings, trying out different settings, but somehow the pictures I produce with this camera always seem to be washed out and a bit disappointing. I find the lens can be a bit distorting - I don't know why this is so but a recent photo of my child standing outside our house for school project purposes, made our front garden looked far bigger than it actually is. This may, of course, be due to my general rubbishness as a photographer, but using a variety of modes on the camera I've failed to capture the bright blue of a Spanish sky in high summer, the photos I've taken of my kids see them looking like they are wearing clothes that have been through the washing machine far more than they have - as I said at the start I can't tell you the technical terms for the way the pictures look, but I'm just not happy with what I can produce. My pre-historic Cybershot produced pictures that I was happy with, I also previously owned a Fuji that took perfectly good, albeit less technically wonderful pictures. I can't help feeling that this camera is *too* clever for its own good and that it's all the more a let down when the movies are so good. You can give me all the features in the world but for me, an average mum, if I can't point and click and record something like what I thought I was seeing, the camera is not quite what I hoped for or need.
I will carry on using this camera as there's nothing "wrong" with it and there's no real reason to replace it, but I can't give it more than three stars - it has plenty of features, great movie recording capacity but, when all is said and done the day to day photos it produces are not all that, and that's a real disappointment.
I bought the DSC-HX5V from Amazon last month and have put it through it's paces on a weekend break in Brighton and on a couple of nights out. I had several criteria for my new camera which was to replace an old 2006 Sony model, the DSC-W50. Mainly, I wanted a camera which recorded full HD 1080i video, had GPS tagging of photos, a 10x Optical zoom as well as decent quality stills on auto mode, with the ability to play with settings if I wanted.
This was the only camera I could find under £200 which had these features, was a brand I trusted and had very favourable reviews. The capabilities of this camera are endless, so I've tried to use as many as I can and will talk about my favourite features below.
I've taken pictures in various places and have generally been delighted with the photos that I've taken. The "intellegent auto" mode is particularly useful when taking quick, spontaneous snaps as the camera senses the appropriate mode for you and detects peoples' faces. For example, if you zoom close up on an object "macro" is selected, if the light levels are low, it swithes to twilight mode etc.
The 10x zoom lens is superb, standing a long distance away from a subject and zooming right in enabled me to achieve a nice depth of field which I'd never managed before on a compact camera. It also has a wide angle lens, with this I was able to take pictures of buildings fairly close up, but still fit everything inside the frame. Settings such as the Panorama mode are also fun and produce good results. I took a lovely picture of the Brighton coastline using this mode. By sweeping the camera from left to right, it stitches the frames together automatically.
Photos taken in low light are never amazing, unless you have a top end camera accompanied by external flashes, tripods etc. But the results with the DSC HX5V were much better than I've had before. The camera has a "high ISO light sensitivity setting" which creates sharper images in low light without a flash. In this mode, the camera takes six images in under a second and merges them together to produce the best possible image, which is much sharper, with less noise. For people who want a camera to shove in their pocket to use at a party or on a night out, this is a great feature.
The camera has many other modes for scenarios I'm yet to find myself in, including settings for pets, fireworks, sports, beach and gourmet! You can even set it to trigger, only when it sense your subject 'smile'.
One thing I particularly wanted was 1080i video shooting, as I wanted to use this maximum HD setting with other cameras that also shoot 1080i. The quality is pretty amazing. It can record in 30 min bursts, and you can use the zoom during recording. The lens enables you to take wider angle shots, although these are noticbly distorted on the minimum zoom, so I just zoom in a little to resolve it. The clips are saved in AVCHD in 1080i mode and in h.264 at 720p mode. Only some editing software will recognise AVCHD, but iMovie and Final Cut do, which are what I use.
Another feature I love is the GPS setting. These days, many photo managing programs allow you to pinpoint on a map where the photo was taken. A camera with GPS will do this for you and store the coordinates within the photo's data. If you enjoy organising snaps and creating stories of your travels, this is an excellent way to help you map your memories. The GPS works well, but you have to have open sky overhead for it to lock into the signal, which sometimes takes a few minutes when you first turn it on.
Overall it's a nice solid camera and is nice to hold although the door which houses the lithium battery and SD card feels a little flimsy, but overall I'm delighted with my purchase.
I've reviewed a few cameras on DooYoo now, this is the most recent of my aquisitions. My mother bought it but couldn't make head nor tails. She gave it to me to see if it was her problem or the cameras before trying to return it to John Lewis.
So far i've played around for a week, I'm happy to say the camera is fine, the problem was with my mother.
As the title aludes to, the cybershot is yet another competitor in the abundant compact camera market, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a decent one in the sea of junk thats out there. Just Sony alone have well over 40 point and shoot cameras listed on the amazon market place.
Anyway, onto a bit of reviewing. All i'll say to begin with is that this is a 16MP camera from Sony, we can assume its capable of taking a half decent picture.
**The... image... quality? This is a bit of an odd thing, the pictures produced are perfectly GOOD, it just seems to me that sony have played around a bit to ensure that pictures look amazing if you plug the camera into a (n expensive sony) HDTV. The colour balance and tone is a bit skewed to ensure the picture is good on screen... printed they're a little off balance. Don't get me wrong, you wont notice this if you're just taking snaps of your kids, it was just when I compared the Sony picture with an identical one from my usual compact.
**GPS features. Almost every new camera comes bundled with this now really. In theory I think its a wonderful thing, it would be GREAT to be able to load up a picture and go "oooh that was the time we went to that cute little restaurant in italy." However, in practice the camera captures little more than a vague longitude-latitude location. I've read on here you can do something involving Picasa. But I didnt have time to play about. Its a point and shoot camera, there should be no head scratching.
**Battery. This is a minor quibble, but the battery just isn't as responsive as I've came to expect. Yes, the battery lasts as long as its competitors, but f*****g hell it takes its time charging. Remember the days of charging re-usable AA batteries.........
**The interface. It's one of the best i've seen on a compact. A blend of easy to use point and shoot and manual settings. Admittedly theres a bit of a compromise, its neither simple to use nor impossible complex. There are plenty of settings though. And I love the fact that sony have chosen to include PHYSICAL DIALS rather than a touch screen, for me this is worth a hell of a lot of Kudos.
**The zoom. 10x optical zoom isnt amazing however, the resulting pictures, even at 20x digital zoom are OH SO SHARP. No dissappoinment here
**"Anti-motion blur". This is a certain pleaser. The camera takes a series (6 I believe?) of photos in rapid succession, these are then meshed together by the camera to produce a sharp image. I took some pictures of my dog running past me, usually these would blur but the sony took a wonderfully crisp photo
**iSweep Panorama. Another gimick introduced by sony. It's surprisingly good though i've not had a chance to try it properly. Basically you pan the camera across the landscape and it automatically produces a HD panorama. Veery good!
On the whole i'm rather impressed with the Cybershot, theres a new model coming out soon which im considering replacing my current day to day camera with. For now, this one goes back to my mother in the knowledge it works wonderfully
If you want something to take a decent picture , no matter what the condition then give this a shot!! You wont be disappointed if thats all youre looking for. If you need a bit more, or fancy more control then this probably isnt for you. Either way the pictures are of comparable quality as any other point and shoot
I bought this camera about 2 months ago. I think it is fantastic. My favorite feature is the panoramic picture feature, which allows you to take brilliant pictures of scenery. I have used this in various conditions and it produced clear, detailed pictures. Viewing pictures on the camera is easy, and the pictures are just as clear when i upload them to my laptop. I am no technical expert, and this camera has many features, the only downside as far as I can see. It can also take brilliant movies, I used it at several concerts and the pictures and sound clarity were excellent on replay. There are still some features which I have not used but for those who are not technical experts it can be used easily and still produce high quality pictures. Despite the many features it is easy to use. The optical zoom produces brilliant pictures from a distance. They have amazing clarity.
This is a very difficult camera to review. It does so much and the technology is so advanced. However, you need to know exactly what you are getting. I bought mine about 10 days ago and I've been testing it solidly since.
After I'd taken a few stills I phoned the supplier and asked them to take it back. The shots were just taken down my garden using the basic point-and-shoot setting. They were awful. The colours were wrong, the highlights were burned out and coloured details were smeared through over compression.
Luckily I had my old Sony P100 to use for comparison purposes. This is a 5 year old basic point and shoot which takes very much better still images in high contrast situations.
I even drove into London to get rid of the camera. However I couldn't park so I ended up bringing it home!
I'm not one to admit to buying rubbish so I decided to give the camera a thorough workout. So I took some more photos walking around town on a sunny high-contrast day. Back on my PC the highlights were still burned out.
I'd also taken a few movie clips. I connected up to my laptop using the supplied USB connecter. Jumpy video and poor results from the stills again. HD video is too much for my laptop. I decided that the video shots would be interesting on my 36" HD telly, also a Sony. So I connected up via USB to the telly. Smooth video, but poor, because it was delivering SD quality through the USB connection. So I went back to the manual, found an HD lead and connected up using the adaptor/connector supplied. HD video. No problems. The telly recognised the camera, the camera synched to the telly and the telly remote controlled the camera. I did nothing. And the video qulity was transformed. We all said wow out loud.
Then I played the stills through the telly. They looked good. Crisp, detailed and the colours looked right.
I emailed the camera supplier there and then, having decided to keep this little HD capable video camera, and told them it looked like it was optimised for playback through a telly. It's a pity Sony don't make that clear.
So, for outdoor high-contrast photography I'm thinking I'll carry on using my old camera. But probably for not much else. The video will be on the new camera in HD. The anti-shake feature on the video is great.
I then tried out the other features. The low light capabilities came next. Set to 'Anti-Motion blur' and the camera takes six shots in very quick succession and sews them together into one shot. The results are remarkable. The shot is almost as bright as if using flash, but with none of the washout caused by flash. It is very reminiscent of the effect you could get by leaving the shutter open on a camera like the 35mm Pentax LX. The shutter would close when sufficient light had been measured directly on to the film. So nice bright images in difficult lighting situations where you just know flash is going to be wrong. Well this camera seems to be able to do that well. Point it into a darkish corner, hold still while it clicks 6 times very quickly, and it lines up the shots prefectly, with no sign of blurring caused by the usual shaking of the hands. My old camera cannot do this. I'd just have got a blurred image without flash.
I also like the way it can do this in extreme closeups. Move the lens right in close to the edge of your saucer and take a shot of the cup. It will be horribly distorted as you are in so close. But it will be in-focus, no motion blur and no-flash. Brilliant. Great for taking photos for ebay without using flash and showing up every speck of dust on your shiny treasure.
There is also a hand-held twighlight setting which also sews together multiple shots, but I've not got to grips with that yet.
The next stop round on the dial is for backlight correction shots. Now it takes two shots in quick succession and sews them together to reduce the effects of backlighting. It works, but so far I've not fully explored it yet.
There is a scene selection option allowing the camera to be 'optimised' for sports action, fireworks, landscape photography etc. This was on my old camera and I never used it.
And the there is iSweep panorama. Point, press and rotate the camera and it sews together a long panorama. If you do it smoothly you get excellent results. Didn't you always want to get the feeling of width in a scene you cannot get from a photo, even with a very wide angle lens? Now you can. You have to take care not to include extremes of contrast in your panorama or you'll get dark and light sections. There are settings to help with this, allowing you to specify where the light is to be measured in the sweep. Great if you've got the time to think it through.
The camera has a built in GPS facility, adding location data to the image. I cannot see the location on the lcd, but then it would be in longitute/latitude co-ords anyway and I'm not sure I'd know what to do with them! It didn't work at first and the manual is not too helpful, but with the camera and laptop connected and on-line the gps can be coaxed in to action, and then it maintains itself if the camera is connected in at least once a month. Some of the videos on Youtube show the GPS co-ords on the lcd. I emailed Sony as to why mine didn't. But I didn't pursue as my images were getting tagged OK and Picassa and the supplied PMB software were both picking up the GPDS co-ords.
Other features. A nice 3 inch lcd with brightness controls available through the menus. No viewfinder, which is a shame as I do use mine on my old camera in outdoor bright-light situations.
There are separate buttons for selecting single shot or burst mode, where you take ten shots in quick succession. This sounds of great use, but you have to ensure the other features on the camera can keep up. You cannot use it for taking ten shots of a mouse running off as the focus cannot keep up!
There's an instant movie button, which is great as my old camera required a twist of a dial and a lengthy squint at that dial, to get in to movie mode. This button is much faster for switching mode, but you can still use the dial.
There's a 'playback' button for reviewing your movies or stills on-screen, a menu button with context-sensitive menus and a 'bin' button for discarding the unwanted stuff.
If you've previously owned a Sony camera the controls will seem very familiar and they are all near to where you would expect them. There is also an 'EASY' shoot mode which cuts the camera operations and on-screen options down to an absolute minimum. The new features do feel like a good step forward. The on-screen instructions are large, great for us elderly types.
The technical stuff you can read about on-line. 10X optical zoom which you really can use hand-held with the anti-blur set. Then there is wide angle HD format shots and video through a special Sony 'G' lens. It sounds terribly complex! Stereo sound, though I do tend to hold the camera with my finger over the speaker holes.
Oh, and a compass, so you can tell where you are pointing and that info gets recorded with the photo. I also read somewhere that there is a gyroscope in this baby so it knows what angle you are pointing the lens up at!
The camera has only minimal memory capacity and is not supplied with memory cards, so you have to buy them. I bought a 2GB and a 4GB Sandisk Ultra SD from Tesco as they were clearing out old stock at a discount. These are 'type 4' cards, so you get HD video capability. That gives me about 40 minutes of hd video or quadzillions of 10mpixel images. They work well.
The camera feels sturdy and is in a black finish. It feels like an all metal construction..It feels like a miniature version of my 1980 Pentax LX. Now that still is a good camera. :-<
In summary. This camera can clearly take photos where others cannot yet go. In order to do that maybe sacrifices have had to be made elsewhere. Unfortunately that can mean that your still images may not be up to scratch. This is very much a camera for new media.
And last, but not least, I took some indoor shots, low contrast, set to anti-motion blur (remember that's six successive shots, merged into one), no flash, mostly skin tones (don't ask). The results were superb. By far the best I've seen. What is going on here, MR Sony?
A Month later: Just had a weeks holiday and I played with the camera a lot, every day. With the image quality set to VGA (the lowest) the digital zoom goes up to 57X. Normally that would be impossibly shaky, but press the button down half way and the image stabilizer kicks in. Impressive results. In fact the results are better than taking a 10mpixel shot of the same scene at the max optical zoom of 10X and blowing the image up and cropping on a laptop. The image stabilizer really does work on maximum digital zoom! The results are as good as a really long lens on a tripod.
Low light results, indoors or outdoors, are equally impressive with image stabilization, anti-blur multi-frame shooting and a very light sensitive camera. I can get similar results with my old camera if I fiddle with it enough, but this camera does it all on the auto or anti-blur settings. On auto it actively scene-selects, switching between twilight, landscape, portrait and other settings. It's fun also, pointing it at faces and watching it instantly recognise faces and frame them on screen. And loads of other stuff too. But I still take my old camera with me for those ordinary outdoor shots.
Six months later. You would not prise this camera out of my hands now! 57X zoom with VGA image size set and some brilliant photos of wildlife in the garden. The gyro keeps the subject steady and the six shots, sewn together, get really clear photos my other cameras cannot possibly match without a tripod and a very big lense screwed on the front. I can take photos without flash I would not previously have attempted. No messing with ISO settings. Just point and shoot. Great HD videos too, without shake. Just point the camera out of the train window and the horizon stays rock steady, even though the train is rocking about. Great 'fun' panorama shots, outdoors and in low light indoor situations. But the really best feature is the fabulous indoor photos, taken in low artificial light, without flash. No shadows on the walls. Beautiful skin tones. Taken in a moment. Before I would have to set up at least two big flash guns with brollies to achieve such a result.
This is an amazing camera and camcorder in one small box.
It produces real HD video, taken at 1080 50i not the usual 720 25p. This video looks like TV not the jittery images so many so called HD compacts produce.
The video looks even better because the lens can be very wide angle one minute and telephoto the next.
Wide angle lens in consumer camcorders seem to be a 2010 hot thing and they are well worth the wait.
In the past you would have moved your camcorder from left to right to show your audience the whole picture. Now you can just point your wide angle lens video camcorder at the scene and let the scene do the talking. The movement of the people, cars etc in the picture show it's video without you trashing about from left to right.
This is also a wonderful still camera, the photos are sharp, lack noise and look brilliant.
The ability to "sweep" a scene from left to right and take a photo like no other you will have ever taken is a trick that you will find many uses for.
There is a lot TV advertising at the moment for this camera and this sweep feature. It is not something you will over use but when you see a scene which takes your breath away - this is the feature that is most likely to capture it as you remembered it.
If you want to take just one camera/camcorder on holiday this is it.
I brought the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 just before I went away and didn't have much time to test it before I went. I was very impressed with the camera, especially the 10x zoom and the HD Video. However unfortunately I had to take the camera back as for some reason most of the photo's I took at night came out with loads of white dots. Upon taking it back to the shop they seemed to think it was something to do with the way the flash was focusing on dust in the air and he duly gave me a refund, I could not believe that a camera over £300 could have this problem, he said that I may have just been unlucky with it being faulty but I didn't want to risk it again. Apart from this major problem , the shots during the day were excellent, the colours were very vibrant, the night shots without the flash were also good, there was a mode which took 3 frames very quickly and stitched them together the results were very good if you stayed still. The sweep panorama feature was also very nice although it shot in a lower quality than the standard features. Battery life was good and it also had a GPS setting that would tag the photos with a location allowing you to load onto your computer and it would tell you exactly where you took the picture. So overall this camera was very good apart from the one MAJOR problem that I had with the white dots, it's a shame really as this would have been a top notch camera otherwise.