The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 offers a sensor resolution of seven megapixels along with a new Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 12x optical zoom lens with 58mm threading and Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization. Other features include ISO sensitivity from ISO 80 to 1,000, a choice of both aperture- and shutter-priority plus a fully manual mode, 32MB of internal memory, and a three-inch LCD display. Battery life is rated at 340 shots.
The Sony H5 provides more manual exposure control than many other long zoom digital cameras, yet is easy to use in full-auto mode, and its seven pre-programmed scene modes help with tricky subjects.
The design and layout of the H5 is very user-friendly, and the camera boasts accurate EVF and LCD displays. Occasionally modes can get confusing to those more familiar with Sony’s other point-and-shoot models, but a brief look at the manual will quickly make it all clear. The Sony DSC-H5 is fairly fast on the draw, with faster than average shutter response, a smooth and responsive zoom, and very good shot-to-shot cycle times. Optical quality is very good, but we were disappointed with the high chromatic aberration and softness in the corners at telephoto; that’s part of the tradeoff found in a very long zoom that we think most will find acceptable. That the Sony H5 does all its tricks with two AA batteries is impressive. Overall, given the low price and good performance, the Sony H5 is a bargain in a 7.2-megapixel 12X zoom.