Sony DSC HX5 Review

Mid Zoom Digital Cameras

Sony DSC HX5 Ease of Use 8
Features 10
Movie Mode 10
Build Quality9
Colours 8
Photo Quality 9
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
10x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
102.9 x 57.7 x 28.9mm


The Sony Cybershot DSC HX5 is an outstanding digital camera. It has a great set of features. Picture quality is up there with the very best in class. The build quality of the Cybershot DSC HX5 is also very good. I would happily own this camera and it is difficult to find faults.

Main Features

LCD Screen:

3 inches
102.9 x 57.7 x 28.9mm

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Stick PRO Duo


Standard features include 10 megapixels and a 10x zoom lens. The lens has wide angle capabilities with a focal length equivalent to 25 - 250mm in 35mm format. Image stabilisation has been built into the Cybershot DSC HX5 and the 3 inch LCD screen is larger than standard. You can also shoot high definition movies with a top resolution of 1080i available. Stereo sound can be recorded.

This type of camera offering a decent amount of zoom in a relatively compact body is popular with holidaymakers and people who are travelling. To help keep track of where your photos were taken Sony has built in GPS tagging. It is one of the few consumer digital cameras to include this feature. There is also a small compass that displays on screen.

Sony has added a CMOS sensor. This may not sound important, but it allows for faster processing of photos. This means that in bust mode the Cybershot DSC HX5 can capture shots at a speed of up to 10 frames per second.

You also have access to some retouching features such as red eye removal.


The body is a good size to get hold of. Zoom is controlled by a ring on the top of the camera. Next to the zoom ring is a control dial giving you fast and easy access to the various shooting modes. As is now becoming standard there is a dedicated button for shooting a movie. This means you don't need to place the camera in movie mode first. Also on the top of the camera is a button to switch the Cybershot DSC HX5 into burst mode.

Ergonomics include a rounded area on the front to give better grip and a hollowed area on the back for resting the thumb. When the camera is turned off the lens unit protrudes slightly from the camera body. The camera is available in black and gold.

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)

There are many points that I like about this first test shot. To start with it has a bright look to it. Sharpness is very good too. Next up is the level of detail showing in the areas of light shade. This is the first of many areas where the Cybershot DSC HX5 compares well with many of its rivals. There is a very slight loss of detail in the lightest areas of the shot.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)

When you take into account the fact this camera has a wide angle lens the sharpness of this shot is some way above average. This says a lot about the overall quality of the lens. Compared to other cameras there is little evidence of loss of sharpness apart from in the more distant areas of the shot. This is to be expected.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)

Zooming in on a subject poses no problem. It is hard to find fault with the lens at various zoom positions. There is a small hint of purple fringing when photos are viewed at full size on a computer screen, but this is unlikely to be seen on a print.

Outdoor 4 (Building)

Looking at this shot confirms how well the Cybershot DSC HX5 retains focusing levels up to the edge of the photo. Individual bricks in the building can be easily made out when blowing the shot up to a larger size.

Outdoor Portrait

I like the way the Cybershot DSC HX5 is able to add enough colour to give a warm glow to the photo. Once again the sharpness of the photo is impressive.

Indoor Portrait with Flash

One of the strengths of this shot is the way colour has been retained despite the use of flash. I especially like the vibrant colour of the hair. The flash unit has also produced an even lighting that spreads out towards the corners of the shot.

Indoor Portrait without Flash

As is normally the case this photo does not match up to the indoor portrait taken using flash. Without flash the definition is not as clear and these is a slight colour caste as well.


The clarity of the macro shot is not quite good enough to place the Cybershot DSC HX5 up amongst the very best cameras for close up work. Even so the shot is of a good standard. You should be able to produce plenty of pleasing close up shots.


To my eye the Cybershot DSC HX5 produced colours with a subtle look to them in my outdoor scenic shots. The colours not as strong as you find with many other models, but they give each scene with a natural look. For my portrait shots there is plenty of colour showing with skin tones looking good.


There was little evidence of noise showing in my test shots. As with any digital camera noise will start to creep in when shooting in lower light or if you choose to increase the ISO settings. Aside from that your photos should be free of noise.


I am very impressed with the picture quality on offer. There is plenty of competition in this category, but the Cybershot DSC HX5 competes very well in all areas when it comes to taking pictures.

See sample images link arrow

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.35 seconds
7.77 seconds
0.54 seconds
13.08 seconds
2.58 seconds

Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par Very good considering the number of features available. The menus are presented well. There is also an Easy Shooting Mode available.

Points I Like

Picture quality - handling - GPS - General Features

Where it Could Improve

Nothing springs to mind


The Sony Cybershot DSC HX5 is up there with the best in this category. It has a good range of features, takes high quality photos and is available at about the right price.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 4

menu-2 menu 4

UK Digital Cameras The camera used in this review of the Sony Cybershot DSC HX5 was kindly provided by UK Digital Cameras

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Rating 86/100

For a camera that is small enough to take anywhere the Nikon Coolpix S9300 has a lot of features packed into it. If you are planning to take a holiday GPS tracking will tell you where you were when a picture was taken. The length of the zoom lens also gives you plenty of scope when it comes to picture opportunities. Although there is plenty of completion in this category the picture quality on offer here combined with the features makes this camera very attractive indeed. Recommended.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review

Canon Powershot SX260 HS Rating 86/100

The Canon Powershot SX260 HS is one of the very best digital cameras in this category. In fact if you are happy to miss out on features such as 3D photography and 360 degree panoramas it is very hard to beat. It has a great set of features packed into its relatively compact body size and picture quality helps to make it stand out from the competition. Although it is one of the more expensive cameras in this field it still offers good value for money.

Read Review: Canon Powershot SX260 HS Review

Panasonic DMC SZ1 Rating 84/100

If you are looking for a simple, pocket camera that gives you some extra zoom and takes high quality snapshots the Panasonic Lumix DMC SZ1 is a very good choice. Compared to other cameras with similar features available at around the same price this camera has the edge when it comes to picture quality. It takes sharp, colourful photos and offers excellent value for money. Recommended.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC SZ1 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC HX5 Review Sony DSC HX5 Specification Sony DSC HX5 Sample Images Sony DSC HX5 Features Canon IXUS 1000HS vs Sony DSC HX5 Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

August 2010

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