"Happy overall"on by kuro
Pros -Great photos
-HD videos (both AVCHD 1080i and MP4) look fantastic on my 50" plasma TV
-FINALLY, SD card compatibility. (Did our emails to Sony finally break thru?)
Cons -Little loss of detail when photos are zoomed in but for family viewing, it's fine. I'm not photographing for a magazine or anything.
-Proprietary mini-HDMI adapter. Another adapter I may lose...
-Choosing 16:9 format reduces to 7meg photos
Summary I have 3 Canon Powershots (A540, SD700IS, SX10IS) from reading past recommendations and I'm not overly happy with them. Especially in low light. I also looked at this HX5V's main competitor, the Pana TZ10/ZS7 and looks like it takes better photos and video. But the Pana causes annoying light streaks on videos (see Youtube), which I would find irritating and unacceptable. Also, I owned 2 Pana camcorders that broke so reliability was in question. Therefore, I chose Sony this time around. Especially since they decided to incorporate SD card usage. Yay! My 8GB card can hold 1500 photos or approx. 1 hour of 1080i video.Perfect! No need to take my video camera on trips anymore!I got a Blu-ray player with a network DLNA feature (Samsung 5500). I copy the original mts file to my desktop computer and stream the file over my network to my bluray and TV. NEAT! This is just to view the raw, unedited file.
I've had it for 1.5 days and so far, am quite happy with the quality. I viewed photos and videos on my plasma TV and it's amazing. The AVCHD video format needs to be converted before you can edit them on your computer. I have both a Mac and PC so I'm still playing around on both and looking for an easy method. The original MTS file format is not recognized by iMovie 08. You can shoot in a lower quality MP4 which iMovie will recognize. Also, if you have the Sony DVDirect VRD6, there's a firmware download on Sony's website to accommodate burning AVCHD from a digital camera video such as this HX5V.
I recommend ordering an extra battery and 1-hour quick charger from eBay. Standard charger takes 4+ hours. If you don't need the GPS, turn it off to save battery power. Some say the build quality is cheap but I don't find that to be the case. There is a metal band that wraps around from the top to the bottom to protect it. The battery cover may need a little softer touch but there are other cameras that sells itself as waterproof, shock-proof, etc so go buy them instead if you're clumsy and tend to drop things.
That's it for now. Rating this Sony a 4.5 stars. Only because the AVCHD's MTS video format is still difficult to edit.
Updated on Jun 1, 2010
My rating has not changed since, on the Mac, I need to get iMovie '09 to transfer, but must use iMovie '08 to edit. ('08 does not transfer but can edit; '09 can transfer but cannot edit. ***?)
Pros Had a chance to use one of these @ the PMA Show in LA this past weekend. Extremely well designed. Product feature set is excellent (1080i video WITH zoom controls, Panarama Mode, excellent low light capabilities, etc) Great size and easy interface
Cons Didn't see any. Looks to be my prefect next small camera for business and motorcycle travel.
Summary Nicely designed in black. Panarama mode is even easier than I would have imagined. Simply switch to that mode, hold the camera up and press the shutter button once....move the camera across your scene. It snaps the photo segments and stitches them together. Really simple and the results are impressive.Second review after finally purchasing. Bought the first unit in the Bay area about a month ago. Panaramic shows are simply phenomenal. Battery life is excellent with a single charge probably being more than enough for the average user on a weeks vacation (300 shots). Low light level capabilities are simply shocking. Great capabilities in one package that fits easily in your bag or brief case.
I did not get a chance to see the results on my own computer...but the 3" display looked very impressive. Definitely my next camera for travel
Updated on Apr 22, 2010
CNET indicates the pictures are "soft or off color" . I've noticed that as well, but the package comes with Sony Software that has an auto correction feature that you can activate on each picture. This brings back the vivid nature of your shots.
Only complaint...and it's a reach because everything else is so much better than previous small point and shoots....the dial on top to select the type of picture you are shooting...I only wish it was a bit harder to switch. Many times I have pulled the camera out of the bag, only to discover the removal process switched the shooting function
Pros Anyone who says they can't get good pictures in poor light with this camera is obviously using the wrong setting. This is the best camera I've ever used in poor light (without flash). Has lots of settings to help you get a good picture.
Cons You can't just set dial to SCN and take a great pic outdoors. Your better off using twilight or SCN+ or some other setting in many cases. For indoor there's several settings you can change as well to get a better pic. More complicated but not bad.
Summary Feature-wise the HX5V is second to none in its category. But as a point-n-shoot, you have to know how some of the different settings work to get the most from this camera. It does have several manual speed, aperture and iso settings that you can adjust in manual modes. When I first got the camera I was amazed at how well it did indoors but disappointed with my outdoor pics. After spending a couple weeks with it and modifying some of the settings I am quite happy with my outdoor pics too. Get a 16 or 32GB memory card as well.
Pros I've only had this camera for a couple of weeks and so far I'm very impressed with the extensive features, particularly the panorama, burst and low-light features.
Cons The picture quality so far doesn't seem to be great, I'm no expert and I am still trying to figure out the settings so hopefully I'll notice improvement once I get a better sense of the best way to use this camera.
Summary Given we were looking for a compact all in one solution (HD Video & regular) we really feel we received good value from this product so far. Generally recommend it, but as indicated by another review the picture quality may not be up to par however I'm not sure if that might not be expecting too much from this tiny camera. Time will tell.
Pros Clear, Crisp pictures & movies. Sound is accurate. HD is excellent. Auto mode allows an average user to take excellent pictures in all but very difficult conditions. Software converts AVCHD to data, standard and WMV formats.
Cons Have to remove battery from camera to recharge it. Camera has no AC adapter.
Summary Highlights:Sept 12 2010 I hate making mistakes but in this case I did, I take back the negatives I said about shooting in the dark. Tested the camera in Auto and this time in Easy and other modes, the camera worked great at sunset & night outside and in a completely dark room inside. The lesten to learn is to learn the modes the camera can do.
? Sony?s smallest and thinnest AVCHD capable digital camera (1080i)
? 10x (25mm equivalent) professional-quality optical zoom G-Lens (same lens as professional DSLR)
? 10.2 megapixel back-illuminated ?Exmor R? CMOS image sensor combined with BIONZ image processor
? ISO: Auto/125/200/400/800/1600/3200, Panorama, Anti-Motion & movies- HD (1920 x 1080 pixels),
? High Speed Shooting ? 10 frames per second at 10 megapixel full resolution
? 3-inch (230K pixels) Clear Photo LCD display with a special anti-reflective coating
? Backlight Correction HDR and GPS + Compass and Optical Steady Shot with Active Mode technologies
Comparison Prior to purchase:
I reviewed over 50 web sites, spoke to camera stores and had the specifications reviewed by photographic professionals. The web sites I reviewed gave mixed reviews but in general this camera came out one of the best point and shoot cameras. In fact many of the complaints I read were by people comparing the camera with high end SLR?s or DSLR?s clearly not an unbiased or practical test, in my opinion a device should be compared with products in the same class to be fair. I spoke to most of the major and many other camera stores that carried various brands that were familiar with this camera all of them stated they did not have a point and shoot better than this camera. Some stated the camera was as good as some SLR?s and some pointed out the lens and the CMOS image sensor was the same as that found on high end DSLR?s.
Indoor Camera mode: Camera tested in the Auto mode, photographed people and pets ? Tested under natural light, incandescent and fluorescent lights all shots were clear and sharp. Camera Tested in a darkened room in Auto mode flash worked picture quality was excellent. Extreme test - Camera tested in an almost completely dark room with light seeping through a window blind, picture blurry -camera had trouble adjusting due to streaks of light coming through blind.
Outdoor Camera Mode ? Camera tested in Auto mode. , photographed people and pets pictures were clear and sharp. The camera compensated for my movements, people moving and animal movement even when using zoom at its maximum without a tripod. Photographed a man made waterfall you could actually see the water streaming down the rock. Photographed several high trees all came out straight, even a palm tree (my results contradict the finding of another users results).
Movie Mode: (Inside and Outside)
Photographed people and animals playing inside and outside, a man made waterfall, a television program. Camera adjusted to my movements and gave clear and crisp movies. Sounds were accurate and clear.
The camera has a 3? LCD display ? I had no problem seeing what I photographed even in sunlight.
The camera includes software that allows you to save your pictures as data, WMV, HD and standard mode. All modes worked well.
Conclusion: As far as I am concerned this camera is better than any point and shoot on the market. I agree with a lot of the professionals that stated it was almost as good as a SLR or DSLR when used by the average user. Even in the Auto mode it excelled in many difficult situations both as a fixed camera and movie camera. Due to the camera size you have to be careful not to block the microphone on the top of the camera. If you are a professional photographer this camera is probably not for you though I did talk to one professional photographer that stated they used this camera as a backup at a wedding and the pictures came out as good as their high end cameras in many situations. I managed to find the camera on sale at sony.com for $293.99 when buying 2 accessories.
Below are some of the camera specifications to see them all you can go to Sony.com.
? Optical Zoom : 10x
? Total Zoom : Approximately 20x with Precision Digital Zoom Macro Mode : iAuto(W:Approx.5cm(0.16')
? Drive Mode : Normal / Hi-Speed Burst (High/Mid/Low) / Bracketing
? Shutter Speeds : iAuto(2" - 1/1,600) / Program Auto(1" - 1/1,600) / Manual(30"-1/1600)
? Aperture : iAuto(F3.5/F8.0(W)) / Program Auto(F3.5/F8.0(W)) / Manual(F3.5/F8.0(W)) (2 Steps with ND Filter)
? ISO : Auto / 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200
? Focal Length (35mm equivalent) : 4.25-42.5mm
? AF Modes : 9 points AF / Center Weighted AF / Spot AF
? Burst Mode : Approx 10 fps at 10.2MP (Maximum 10 shots)
? HD Output : HDMI / Component (1080i)
? Flash Modes : Auto / On / Slow Syncro / Off
? White Balance Mode: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Fluorescent / Incandescent / Flash.
? Image Stabilization : Optical
? Imaging Sensor : 1/2.4" (7.59mm) "Exmor R" CMOS Sensor
? Processor : BIONZ?
? LCD Type : 3.0"1 Clear Photo LCD (230K pixels)
? Lens Type : Sony G-Lens (same as DSLR's)
? Scene Mode(s) : High Sensitivity / Twilight / Twilight Portrait / Soft Snap / Landscape / Beach / Snow / Fireworks / Advanced Sports / Gourmet / Pet
Updated on Sep 12, 2010