Pros Shutter Speed, Iso, Zoom, LCD, Remote
Cons Battery, Lens hood, Adaptor Ring, Flash, Wheel, Sensor.
Summary I owned the H2 a year ago and I love it but I want to change to another "girl friend" so I choose H9. I received the H9 4 days ago and tried to work with it. Now I have time to write my opinion about this H9. In this post I will compare H9 with my old H2.
Great to Sony when they upgraded the faster Zoom for H9 to 15x better than 12x of H2, the SS (Steady Shot) works very well. I bought the Sony telelens convert for my H2; it's great, however it's very hard to aim to the object. With 15x the SS can handle as good as 12x of H2, but I will not buy the Telelens for my H9 (I'm afraid SS cannot handle for more than 20x).
Yeah shutter speed is higher, good point.
Iso is also higher but the only thing I like is at Iso 400 H9 showed less noise than H2 then Iso 800 and more are useless, too much noise.
Face detection: good new interested thing but only detect with the Portrait mode and with the whole face.
Start up time is much faster than H2: with H2 it takes nearly 2 seconds but with H9, 1 second for sure.
Continuous shot is much much faster than H2: with 8mpx resolution, I take the continuous shot and there are 3 pictures in 2 second (that what I calculated).
Big LCD: yeah I love it, much much better than my old friend H2, but still have problem. It's difficult to use EVF with a thick LCD.
Night shot: yeah I love it even the pictures are very noise.
HD 1080: I don't really care.
9 points focus: good, easier to aim the objects.
DRO: I haven't test yet, may be the next post.
In camera retouching: not important for me.
Big improve from H2, the remote control, but hey why can't I control the camera when I stay behind it.
Lens cap: easy to remove, not my user but by the lens itself. My old H2 without the adaptor ring, when I place the lens cap to protect the lens and then turn on the camera; it will ask me to remove the cap. But with H9, the lens will automatic remove the cap when you turn on the camera.
The menu is stupid (for me): not ease to use like the old H2 even it looks nicer. Without directly delete button, it will take 2 more steps to delete the images but luckily we can select multi images to delete.
Sony said: 280 shots for battery but not really, it's just 180 shots (without flash), so I bought 2 more batteries. H2 AA battery is better, more than 200 shots. Also AA battery is cheaper, much cheaper.
Adaptor ring is .....huge: then shot with flash will have the shadow, I have to remove it to use flash which with H2 is not necessary.
Still 1/2.5 CCD sensor, why not 1/1.8??? Why Sony, the V3 with 7.2mpx 2 years ago got it why not with 8mpx H9?
The wheel (not the dial): I'm not sure if someone feels it but how do you change the setting (Iso, Shutter Speed, Focus...) when you use EVF with the wheel right next to your cheek. With H2, it is easy with the forefinger.
The flower lens hood: huge and cover half of your view. Sony what have you done with the hood??? without the lens hood, direct sun light will make your picture silly, but with it you must zoom about 3x than normal to avoid the blocking view. Night shot also doesn't work with lens hood and adaptor ring.
1 thing I's just wonder: how can we use the filter and convert lense with this camera when the internal lens can sometimes stretch very long when we use zoom? It's because the place to install the filter/lens is very near the lens when it use 1x zoom.
So, normaly I attach the adaptor ring to prevent the damage to the lens when carrying and store the lens hood. Remove the hood&ring when take night shot or shot with flash. Buy 2 more batteries for the camera, also the quick charger. Try to get use to work with the wheel and EVF(I hope to). Using remote control in front or 90* from camera, iso 400 is enough; not more. Emailing to Sony to ask for lens hood solution, I hope you who's got H9 will do so and wait for answer. I hope Sony will change the lens hood and have the exchange program or I will through it away.
Yes, I voted it 9; it because I see that all the improvements are worthy, lens, Iso, Speed, LCD, remote.... and other bad things are not so important. It's worth my money for a very good camera, now I'm just wait for the compare between H9 and other brand camera. Canon also announces S5IS but still with 12x zoom.Updated
I have test the DRO contrast, it works good. With low level of contrast, the image showed quite bright even object's color is black. With high level, image is darker and we cannot see the detail of black object. With DRO the image quite bright but the black objact's detail is showed very good contrast (I took image indoor and at night with flash). Compare with H2, i'm a little bit confuse; H9's image is just a little better than H2 in contrast; I don't know if it could make more difference in another condition.
The image quality is good, i'm not professional in checking image quality but compare with H2 it's nearly the same. However, H9's image showed brighter than H2. H2's images are darker and turn to warm color (red or pink), H9 also turn to warm color but less than H2.
I read the opinion of Homer Scarborough about Lens hood then I checked it and yes, with 1.5x zoom you can shot without afraid of blocking view by lens hood.
Today I came to a camera shop to ask for a filter and I had a very disappointed answer. In market there is only Sony provide the filter with 74mm diameter for H9 and it only will available at middle of June. So disappointed, I had bought for my old H2 a 3nd brand filter (58mm B&W) but now cannot with H9. Sony accessories are always more expensive than 3nd brand about 40-60$.
Pros Excellent zoom, wider than average. Large tilting LCD. Good control layout. Image quality.
Cons Program control knob moves too easily.
Summary I preordered directly from Sony and received mine on May 4th, a full week before the anticipated delivery date. I've taken about 700 images with it so far. The long zoom is excellent. Nice wide end with minimal distortions, and acceptably sharp long end...certainly sharp enough for scenics and people. Birds (small birds like warblers, one reason I bought the camera) challenge the H9s capabilities. The continuous shooting mode and image stabilization make even warblers possible though. The best shots (good light, cooperative bird) just about equal my digiscoped shots for resolution and feather detail, and certainly equal on color and exposure.
For the most part I like the layout of button controls and menus. Most program over-rides are logically placed and accessible when you need them. The HOME menu idea is interesting, but really just duplicates the regular menus in functionality.
The pivoting, very large, very bright LCD is a joy.
Macro mode produces stunning results.
Battery life is acceptable.
Overall, I'd recommend this camera to anyone wanting a wider than normal zoom, but, at the same time, one with enough range for distant shots as well, all in a relatively compact camera. The image quality, typical of my experience of Sony cameras, won't disappoint you.
Pros Large, tilting screen which enables overhead & low shooting; Image Stabilized 15X zoom with just enough extra at both the wide & tele ends; right size & weight makes it easy to hold;
Cons Relatively short battery life; takes a while to get used to the wheel dial to change camera settings; needs a deeper eyecup
Summary Convenient metering & bracketing buttons; reasonably fast, responsive & accurate; shutter speed up to 1/4000; powerful flash; photos need very little post processing. After some 2500 shots I remain very satisfied with this purchase and the results.Updated
After another 2 1/2 months of use, and thousands more pictures taken under all kinds of conditions, I'm even more impressed with what the camera can do, and with the results. The image quality is good and I still find that very little post-processing is needed. There's not much more the average user like myself would require in a long zoom camera than what the Sony H9 offers. And no extra lenses to carry & change, no dust to worry about on the sensor.Updated
Regarding low light pictures: in very low light (indoors or outdoors) expect some noise and loss of detail [ISO 400 & above]. But that would be true of just about every non-dSLR bridge camera in this class. Using the flash (remember to adjust white balance) and/or tripod gives quite decent results.
Pros Easy to use! Better pictures! Amazing zoom!
Cons had to actually read the manual.
Summary I needed an upgrade from the DSC-P72.
Not quite ready for an SLR. The Sony H9/B is easy to use and although there are more options to learn about compared to your standard "point and shoot", its been alot of fun to use.
Im very pleased with this purchase and the price was woth it.
Pros Ease of use, quality of pictures, easy to pack size
Cons wish the battery lasted longer between charges, have to buy add'l memory from Sony only
Summary I bought this camera two days before I left for my first ever cruise - to Alaska. I took over 600 photos in a week and I have very little experience taking pictures. When I got home there were only three that were not perfect and in each case it was me, not the camera.
I took closeups of people, plants and animals, used the 15x telefoto and also used the portrait, landscape and sports settings. Fantastic - best camera I've ever seen and point and shoot is all I had to do!! I love it!