Sony DSC H7 Review

Digital Cameras with Extended Zoom Lenses

Picture
Sony DSC H7 Ease of Use 9
Features 9
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 9
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 7
Value for Money 8
8 Megapixels
15x Zoom
2.5 inch LCD Screen
110 x 83 x 86mm
405g

Overview

The Sony DSC H7 is an 8 megapixel camera with a 15x optical zoom lens. As well as the long zoom lens the DSC H7 boasts a number of advanced features, including manual exposure modes. This means that the camera is suitable for someone who is looking for a serious camera with plenty of zoom power, but does not want the expense of a digital SLR.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

8
15x
2.5 inches
110 x 83 x 86mm
405g

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

2cm
No
Yes
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
Memory Stick Duo

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): There are a number of good points about this picture. To start with the DSC H7 manages to produce a bright photo. It is well balanced when it comes to colours and focusing is above average. The camera also handles the glare of the sun better than a lot of other cameras do.

One area where there was a problem was with light turquoise lines being added to the edges of some of the white and shiny objects. This is often a problem with super zoom cameras, although this problem is usually more noticeable only when the zoom is near to full extension.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This is another good effort. As you will be able to see for yourself the photo produces some strong colouring, especially in the sky. Focusing is again above average.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): I really like this photo. It highlights the benefits of the extra zoom as the camera is able to get in close and pick out a lot of detail. It is another bright photo, with sharp focus. There is some purple fringing in the shot though.

Outdoor 4 (Building): This is a new test. Therefore I haven't many other test shots to compare this one against. I like the result though. It is similar to the third outdoor shot in that the brightness is good, as is sharpness.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: Even though I used the cloudy white balance setting to boost colours this photo lacks a little oomph! I would like to have seen some extra brightness and stronger skin tones.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: By way of contrast with the outdoor portrait this shot has plenty going for it. Colours are stronger, without being over done. No red eye shows in the shot and the DSC H7 has managed to use just the right amount of flash power.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: There is plenty of detail showing in this shot. It is another photo I am happy with. The lighting used is quite good, so you will have to get to know the camera in order to judge when you need to use flash and when you can get away with using natural light.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: Once again a small amount of purple fringing shows. This is not likely to be a problem if you are taking nature based macro shots. Focusing is roughly average and a very slight blue caste is evident.

Colours: The colours produced by the DSC H7 are stronger in most cases than those delivered by a number of other brands. In my opinion they stay the right side of being over strong.

ISO 400: At ISO 400 picture quality remains impressive. Again this photo was taken in favourable light, so expect more noise to become apparent as lighting levels fall.

ISO 1600: By the time you reach ISO 1600 most picture quality has disappeared. I would look on this as an emergency only setting when the conditions are dark and you are outside the range of the flash.

Summary

Overall the DSC H7 passes most of my tests. The fact that this lens is even longer than a normal super zoom means that is a fair feet.

See sample images link arrow

Style

The DSC H7 is similar in style to a digital SLR camera. It has a toughened finish and is available in black.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

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

0.15 seconds
5.37 seconds
0.42 seconds
12.44 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Easy Despite the range of features the camera has it is still quite easy to use. In fact compared with other super zoom cameras this is one of the easier ones to get used to.

Points I Like

Picture quality - fast shutter lag times - build quality - design

Where it Could Improve

Purple and turquoise fringing issues.

Verdict

There is a lot to like about the Sony DSC H7. It is a fairly solid offering and in my view does the job it sets out to. Most of my test shots were a success and it is hard not to be impressed by the shutter lag times.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

image size colour modes

setup home

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Read Review: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Review

Nikon Coolpix L810 Rating 79/100

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Related Pages

Sony DSC H7 Review Sony DSC H7 Specification Sony DSC H7 Sample Images Sony DSC H7 Features Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

February 2008

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