Sony DSC H50 Review

Digital Cameras with Extended Zoom Lenses

Picture
Sony DSC H50 Ease of Use 8
Features 9
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
9 Megapixels
15x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
116 x 81.4 x 86
415g

Overview

The Sony DSC H50 is an advanced, super zoom digital camera. It has 9 megapixels and a 15x optical zoom lens. It also has a range of manual exposure controls.

Why Buy The Sony DSC H50

The DSC H50 is most likely to appeal to someone who sees photography as a hobby rather than someone who is looking for a more straightforward point and shoot camera. It has one of the longest zoom lenses currently available and has some useful ease of use features. It also has some extra features when compared to more standard super zoom digital cameras.

With very fast shutter lag times and the long zoom lens you should find the DSC H50 ideal for sports and wildlife photography.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

9
15x
3 inches
116 x 81.4 x 86
415g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

1cm
No
Yes
Lithium-ion Rechargeable (NP-B
Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): The DSC H50 gets off to a solid start. Whether or not you like the colours a camera produces is a matter of personal taste as much as anything, but I like the mix of colours here. The picture was taken on a sunny spring day, so that does help, but even so I like the way the colours stay true even where the sun is beating down on the boats.

I have no complaints about the sharpness of the photo either. The size of the lens helps and you should be able to produce photos with greater definition than with a typical pocket compact.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): As with the first shot the colours are strong. In terms of sharpness the photo is roughly average for this type of camera. As with many cameras there is a softening of the image towards the edges. The corners of the photo are a bit darker too.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): With the zoom fully utilized the DSC H50 is able to produce a photo that is sharp, but as with the second test shot the photo does become softer as you reach out towards the edges. There is also some purple fringing in the shot

Outdoor 4 (Building): This test is mainly about picture sharpness. With the DSC H50, the bricks in the centre of the shot are certainly sharp enough, but again there is a small amount of sharpness lost as you move towards the edges of the shot. Overall I rate this camera as 8 out of 10 for sharpness. A small amount of purple fringing is also evident in this photo.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: My outdoor portrait shot works well. This Sony digital camera manages to retain a more even colour throughout the photos than many cameras I test. This suggests it is able to cope well with the side lighting.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: This is another test shot I am pleased with. Once again the camera produces punchy colours without being overpowering. The DSC H50 also handles the power of the pop up flash unit.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Perhaps this photo could be brighter, especially when you consider the lighting conditions were good. I think you are likely to require flash in most indoor situations to bring out the best in this camera.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: I would say the DSC H50 macro shot is above average when it comes to sharpness and clarity. The problem with my test is that purple fringing rears its head again. This should not be a problem with outdoor nature shots, but it is likely to be an issue if you are planning to take close up shots of any shiny objects.

Colours: As with other Sony digital cameras the colours produced by the DSC H50 are a touch stronger than you find with other brands such as Nikon and Canon. Whether you like the colours or not is likely to be a matter of your own personal viewpoint.

: ISO 400 and ISO 1600 At ISO 400 picture quality holds up quite well. Once again purple fringing is visible in the shot. At ISO 1600 picture quality has clearly diminished.

Summary

Overall I am pleased with the results I have produced. The DSC H50 is capable of producing bright, colourful photos. Although focusing may not quite be the very best, you should still be able to make pleasingly sharp prints.

See sample images link arrow

Style

In terms of design this Sony digital camera is based on SLR cameras.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.17 seconds
7.4 seconds
0.43 seconds
12.43 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par Any camera with this number of features will take a bit of getting used to. Sony have made the DSC H50 as easy to use as possible. I really like the selection wheel on the back of the camera and the extra buttons that help to put controls at your fingertips, the menus are also well presented.

Points I Like

Ease of use - shutter lag times - overall picture quality

Where it Could Improve

Purple fringing

Verdict

I appreciate the effort Sony have put in to try and make an advanced camera easier to use. The shutter lag times are also impressive. Picture quality may not be quite top drawer, but for me it is close enough for the Sony DSC H50 to get a thumbs up from me.

Product Shots

Front View

Sony DSC H50 Front View

Back View

Sony DSC H50 Back View

Top View

Sony DSC H50 Top View

Sample Menus

home setup

playback menu

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

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The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ48 is very hard to beat. It is up against some stiff competition, but the combination of features, image quality and pricing makes it the outstanding model in its category. When it comes to picture quality it has few weaknesses and its length of lens means it can cope with more or less any photo opportunity.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FZ48 Review

Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Rating 86/100

The Fuji Finepix HS30EXR does offer a number of differences to rival Super Zoom or Bridge digital cameras. The main difference is the twisting lens barrel, but there are other handling aspects that make it that bit closer to a Digital SLR experience. In terms of features Fuji have packed in just about everything they can think of. Picture quality compares well against rival cameras and shutter response times are also impressive. This makes this camera a very attractive proposition if you are looking for a fully featured camera with a great deal of zoom power.

Read Review: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Review

Nikon Coolpix L810 Rating 79/100

The Nikon Coolpix L810 offers something different as it gives you the power of an extra long lens, but with the simplicity of a point and shoot digital camera. This helps to make it somewhat cheaper than the more fully featured models with similar zoom power. Picture quality does not match up to the more expensive models in this category, but it is only if you are planning to make extra large prints that you are likely to see much difference between photos taken with this camera and those that give you that bit of extra quality. This camera is a good choice if you are looking for simple operation and a powerful lens.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC H50 Review Sony DSC H50 Specification Sony DSC H50 Sample Images Sony DSC H50 Features Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

May 2008

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