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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V mini review

DSCHX5VB

Had you told me a year ago that I would consider buying a SONY product, let alone owning one, I would of laughed at you, let’s just say my experiences with SONY are not the best. Then again, things change.

I needed a solid functional with reasonable resolution pocket camera and I mean “pocket”. Though the Canon Powershot G12/G13 and the Nikon Coolpix P7000 are great, they are cumbersome, not pocket stuff. I was left with The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V. By the way, where do the marketing department find these names anyways?

The considerations were as follows:

  1. It needed to fit in my jeans back pocket (This was non negotiable!)
  2. It needed to be really solid
  3. It needed to have a reasonable zoom range.
  4. It needed more than 10MP
  5. Rechargeable battery
  6. Optional: low light capability
  7. Optional: high frame rate
  8. Optional: HD 1080 video recording
How does it match up?

  1. Fits better than my iPhone, seriously!
  2. You could probably use it as a weapon, not that I’d try.
  3. 10x zoom (35mm equivalent to 25 to 250mm)
  4. 10.2MP just makes it.
  5. Yes it has a rechargeable battery
  6. I am amazed by its low light capability
  7. 10 frame a second burst makes it faster than my DSLR by 2 frames.
  8. HD AVCHD 1080 video recording
  9. And bonus… A GPS with compass.

The first thing I was reminded of when I got the camera was the fact that, as is with most point-and-shoot cameras, there is no RAW function. However, I do not believe that this function is required on point-and-shoot cameras. To me point-and-shoot cameras need to be practical and in reach, no more, no less.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V certainly has a comprehensive feature list that would satisfy most photographers from excellent low light capability to in camera HDR not forgetting two of my favourites, panoramic sweep and 10 frames per second burst. I found that leaving it in full AUTO I get far better results than trying to out smart it. The only time I take it out of AUTO is for panoramas, which it does very well if you know how to, and HDR which actually works well enough for my use, finally for video.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V also has some shortcomings, for one the aperture is rather limited from f/3.5 to f/8 and to be honest the GPS is really slow to acquire a fix. Lastly, this may surprise everyone, it’s heavy but that brings a sense of solidity not often found in this type of camera.

In short, it is not an SLR but it does a brilliant job for what it is a pocket camera that is always ready.

DSCHX5VB_1
DSCHX5VB_2

I posted some sample photos to my Flickr account.

You can find in-depth reviews here:

Samples:

Panoramic Test
Butterfly

Pascal Parent

Pascal's day job is as a technologist but you can mostly find him behind a camera after hours. As a passionate photographer he regularly shares his experiences with the world. From how-to to reviews you will find it all in his regularly updated blog and other places.

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