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I was looking for a compact camera with a big zoom and electronic viewfinder to take on my motorcycle holidays. Did not want to risk my DSLR gear. Decided on the H50 but exchanged the first camera for having a bad blurry left side in images. Second one is better. I liked the fact the screen could be moved up and down which certainly helps with framing in awkward positions as well as the manual controls. The electronic viewfinder is decent and it is how i prefer to frame pics especially in bright tight. The zoom lens is fairly sharp and the image stabilisation system works well. I was very surprised with the night shot mode. This mode is fun in itself allowing pics in almost dark situations. However i learnt by adding a R72 Infrared filter i could shoot hand held B&W IR photography and this opened up a whole new creative side. I did not use any of the modes like smile mode etc but i am sure someone has use for such things. Now for image quality. This camera suffers pretty bad from purple fringing (purple outlines around edges in high contrast areas) and it is visible in even small size pics. Colours are good as is exposure and detail is not bad. In comparision my Canon G12 blows this out of the water in terms of image quality but then again it does cost a lot more. Do not get me wrong the camera is capable of getting some very nice results but it could never be my go to camera if i really wanted decent quality. Then again it is an all in one lil package that does a fairly good job for the money. Maybe if it had the option to shoot RAW i would be a bit happier. Have to add that i have dropped this camera 3 times onto concrete and tiles and there is just a tiny mark on the lens barrel. It also went rolling down a motorway in a tank bag that came off my motorbike but still worked without problems.
Me and my partner decided that it was about time to buy a really good camera to capture all our special memories on. There was one slight problem: I wanted the quality of a Digital SLR, and she wanted the portability of a compact digital camera. So, we searched and we searched and we searched and couldn't find the perfect camera, so we settled on a compact Sony cybershot. Then, by chance, I stumble on to this bad boy and it seems that we have hit the jackpot! Exactly what we were looking for; excellent quality photographs but withour the bulkiness of a DSLR. We fell in love immediately and ordered it from Amazon.
Delivery was, as always with Amazon, prompt and efficient and I was tearing in to the box just a couple of days after placing the order. My first impression was 'Wow! This is a bit bigger than I expected!' I need to stress the word 'bit' in that sentence. It really isn't that much bigger than a compact digital camera, only quite a bit chunkier.
I gave the battery a quick charge and couldn't wait to give it a go. I inserted my Sony Pro Memory Stick Duo into the memory card slot and took a few sample shots. I viewed them on the screen and was very impressed. I must say that the screen is one of the best qualities of this camera. Very bright and colourful AND it can actually be removed from the body of the camera and TILT up or down, which is a very cool feature to show people when they come around. The practicality of this function is to make it easier to see what you are shooting if you need to hold the camera in the air for whatever reason (at a music concert, or if there is an object in the way).
The pictures are 9 megapixels, which may not seem a lot in today's digital camera market, but it is important to realise that megapixels are not everything. In fact, too many megapixels can start to weaken the qualirt of the image and cause interference. The quality of the Sony Bionz processor is very high and these photographs are truly stunning HD. It is quite a sight to view them on a 40" HD TV, you can really appreciate the quality. I like the ability to change the ratio of the photos to 16:9 as it means that the pictures fill the screen of a HDTV and my laptop, so if I wanted to use a picture as my background it wouldn't have any annoying black bars on either side.
For me, the major selling point of this camera is the optical zoom: 15x. Most compact cameras offer zooms of 3x, 5x is you're lucky. If you are on a safari and take a picture with a compact camera, the animal would look miles away. With the H50, you can really get up close to the action.
The H50 also offers a video function, which is standard on most compacts but non-existent on DSLRs.
Overall, the H50 is an excellent camera that attempts to bridge the gap between compact cameras and SLRs. It is for somebody who is a bit more serious about photography than your average Joe, but isn't quite ready to delve into the DSLR market quite yet.