41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream Camera
I have been taking photos for over 35 years and for my understanding I always use a quality camera and always take reasonably good pictures. I never bothered about excessive technical details what I want is to take a photo that admired by my family and friends. My first compact was Fuji, second was Fuji and third was Fuji too. I have a descent DSLR to take extra special...
Published on 17 Jun 2010 by Bright Lanka
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointed with quality of camera build
This camera ticked many boxes - decent quality photo's; full 1080 HD video - my two main reasons for buying it. It also has "sweep panorama", which is pretty impressive, and a "burst mode" which is OK but not used often.
The 1080 video was the "deal clincher" though .. there are very few compacts with full HD, most have some "HD Lite" eg the Panasonic Lumix...
Published on 24 Sep 2010 by gary t
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream Camera,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX5VB Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Black (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I have been taking photos for over 35 years and for my understanding I always use a quality camera and always take reasonably good pictures. I never bothered about excessive technical details what I want is to take a photo that admired by my family and friends. My first compact was Fuji, second was Fuji and third was Fuji too. I have a descent DSLR to take extra special pictures when I have time.
Buying a camera for this price is a big decision, especially when it is a compact. It has 10MP, 10x lens, and a pack of ingenious features (who knows they are going to work?). But it is a Sony and you can hold on to the name.
I bought this camera about four weeks ago and have taken to Sri Lanka on holiday where I took some fantastic photos. All the features available work perfectly and they are so easy to use. I took some night photos of Colombo city from a beach hotel and they came out excellent. Videos are excellent too. I was not very happy with some photos as they were too processed by the camera's own software but there were no other ways of I could have taken those pictures in those conditions. It is great fun to use the panorama mode, this picture quality is lower but you are not going to print them. Please see my photo with customer images.
I had trouble with playing and uploading video clips and still haven't come over with it. I can see no one els is complaining about this. I had to bring my camera home in London to watch the films. Geo Tagging may be very use full for those who going on long journeys but for me it is useless yet.
This is the best compact camera I ever had and ever got my hands on. I really enjoy it and have taken great photos so far. I can recommend to my understanding that this is the camera you are waiting for. BUT remember this is only a compact camera.
I think it was a dream for all of us to sweep the camera across and capture everything in to the frame.
Few days ago I was in Sri Lanka to attend a wedding in an excellent photographic surrounding. I was asked to take wedding photos in addition to the professional cameramen. I used my Sony A350 and also the little gem. Sony A350 gave me excellent photos and I was asked to produce a album with them. DSCHX5VB also gave me wonderful photos which were cropped and printed on A4 paper even suitable for the album.
Update 27 - 09 - 2011
I am still enjoying this camera after more than a year. Recently I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ100 and I lost my faith on it after taking some video clips at a wedding where I was failed to record any low light action. I am looking forward to by the replacement by Sony.
Please see my new addition to the photo gallery "I am still enjoying"
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the Sony?,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX5VB Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Black (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I bought the Sony having considered the Panasonic TZ10 and the Canon S210. I was fortunate to have friends with the Panasonic and Canon and so was able to handle them and take a few shots. Naturally, I read the mixed reviews here on Amazon and the professional reviews available on the web (some of which were excellent in their detail and included full resolution photos of the same scenes by the cameras for fair comparison. (See the `What Digital Camera' web site.))
My observations are:
- The Canon's annoying pop-up flash marked it down but the zoom and stabilisation were excellent.
- The Panasonic seemed a little bulky but would be my second choice.
I chose the Sony, and whilst some of my observations are subjective judgements, overall I'm very pleased with the camera:
- The zoom is plenty at 10x (from what seems to me to be a very wide starting point of 25mm).
- The image quality is great - yes, if you zoom in to 100% you'll see it's limitations but for normal viewing on 19" PC screens, 42" HD TV and prints up to A4, I'm sure very few would notice.
- The colour rendition of flora and fauna seem to be a faithful representation of reality.
- The intelligent automatic mode has come on leaps-and-bounds from the previous generation of compact cameras and produces pleasing results in most conditions. It's easy enough to change to more manual control such as for spot focus on macro-shot insects for example.
- The Sony is the first compact camera I have owned that allows me to take decent hand-held shots in poor light conditions (rather than being under exposed or just a blur).
- I found the auto-focus satisfyingly quick and accurate in all conditions so far.
- I've found the gps to be very quick and have yet had to wait before taking an outdoor shot. (Note that the PC software updates the camera (presumably with a database of some kind) that speeds-up this feature.)
- The battery life is also fine for a few day's snapping though holidays would require packing the charger, and a spare batter would be prudent.
- The supplied software is competent and integrates cleanly and automatically with google maps to show the position and direction of photos taken. (Very nice feature.)
So all of the above are what you hope for when spending this amount of money on a compact camera. However, there are two features unique to the Sony:
- 1080i video. Looks superb on a 1080 TV. I've yet to see any quality issues caused by the interlacing. Sound quality is, as you'd expect, not great, but the video quality more than compensates for me.
- Panorama sweep. Everyone has been impressed with the in-camera stitching together of camera sweep image. It creates very impressive shots.
So, all these positives are coupled with the final clincher - Sony have finally admitted defeat with their proprietary memory stick format and allow this camera to take standard SDHC cards!
137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HX5 A little bundle of fun,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX5VB Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Black (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)Now I am not going to talk too much about awesome picture quality and incredible video, but rather the emotional reason you need this camera. It is, after all, a compact and image quality will not surpass a DSLR but then an entry DSLR is about £800 and is like carrying a mini concrete block when you are negotiating around a sweltering foreign city. This Camera is a compact, and therefore we will look at it as one, you wouldn't compare a ford focus to an Aston Martin would you...different leagues.
The DSLR carriers may look down their nose at this, but I can tell you, nothing has put a bigger smile on my girlfriend's face, except me of course ;) like this has...
BUILD: Feels sturdy and not quite as strong as the Panasonic TZ10 it still feels strong enough to suffer a drop. The battery door is a little flimsy, but that's my only complaint.
STILLS: I would rate them as very good, not exceptional - The reason is that compacts have compact sensors and compact lenses, so you get a compact quality image, but don't let that put you off... Unless you are intending to print your picture the size of a skyscraper, the quality is good for up to A3/2 before you will notice anything. The colours are nice and detail sharp. The lens has a really nice long 10x optical zoom... Pretty much all compacts produce the same quality.. so really there is nothing to really separate them... so lets move on...
MOVIES: I HATE AVCHD and although this camera produces both MP4 and AVCHD video files in FULL HD I must admit I favour the output quality of the AVCHD. What I hate about it is the lack of postproduction editing software out there that supports it. I am an AVID editor and this format causes more headaches, than happy faces. But to the domestic users reading this, you will be fine for recording video and playing back on big TV's which this camera does easily. The software to use if you really want to get your hands dirty is Adobe Premier or Sony's own Vegas software for AVCHD, which apparently just accepts the format straight away and off you go! You don't get either bundled. but there is some fab software... more on that in a sec...
The quality of the Movies are faaaaaantastic! really good beautifully smooth images... HD to me is still like looking at a moving photograph, I love it and this camera really delivers. Sound is what you would expect from a camera this size.
FEATURES: Geo Tagging, put simply this camera will use GPS technology to pinpoint exactly where you are and which way you were facing when you took your shot or video. what a fab idea and with the brilliant Calendar software, which basically lays out all your media in to years, motnhs, day and even hours for easy browsing and the fact that it seems to just pic up all your photos from down the years too, suddenly your digital life is laid out before you... I spent two hours looking through this marvellous calendar and felt quite moved by this kind of self producing document of my life... wow... suddenly I was clicking 2002 and browsing the postage stamp size shots taken on my then breakthrough mobile phone.
Panoramic stitching... Well the day this camera arrived me and the GF took it to the park and this is the feature that really stood out. We had a real giggle creating all sorts of pics and playing with the different ways you could move the camera to create w-i-d-e panoramic shots. Basically you set the camera which way you want to sweep... then standing on the spot, you turn into the position of the start of the move and sweep the camera round, the camera takes a number of shots and then processes all the images to provide an incredible effect. It's almost 3d when you look closely...! Love it.
God I love this little beauty and we're about to drive around Europe with it, It's a brilliant journal, a shooting marvel, a great fun little companion, that will not let you down. It might not produce billboard posters for you... but it will fit into those lovely little trips, and give you an edge not many other compacts can currently provide...
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great all purpose camera and the video is stunning,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX5VN Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Silver (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)This camera does not take the best photos, look to Canon S90 G11 etc.. if you want that.
It does however take very good photos, has the ability to take ultra wide sweep photos, has an a great lens from wide to tele, gps to record where each photo was taken and best of all its the first true high definition video camera in a compact. Not that 720p nosense you find on so many cameras, true 1080i at 50 frames a second (pal version). Video looks like video not a still camera trying to do video. It is high def, real high def. Buy a copy of Nero 10 and burn HD video on a DVD or Bluray, the results are stunning.
I have professional video cameras but this is unique, its very small, no one will notice it, and the results will amaze you.
Could it be better, yes, the microphones are in the wrong place, easy to cover and prone to wind noise.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointed with quality of camera build,
The 1080 video was the "deal clincher" though .. there are very few compacts with full HD, most have some "HD Lite" eg the Panasonic Lumix range.
Unfortunately however I had to return mine for the following reasons;- The screen flickers; the battery cover is very poorly designed and extremely flimsy, and located under your thumb where you hold the camera, so there's a chance of it slipping; the microphones are located front top left corner ... just where you hold the camera with your left hand, so fingers can easily block the mic; the quality feels really "plasticky" for a camera of this cost.If you do buy one, make sure you buy a screen cover and/or case - the large screen on the back is very soft and scratches easily.
Some reviewers have complained about picture quality - I thought it was OK - an improvement on our old Fuji which itself was pretty good
There is a new cybershot out - WX5 - I compared the two cameras in a local shop side by side ... compared to the HX5, the WX5 is smaller; lighter; better build quality; 12MP (HX5 is 10MP); dials in the right place; microphone moved inboard; lockable battery cover; 1080 video; panoramic shots; also capable of 3D shots and panorama if you have a 3D capable tv - it seems as though Sony have taken the criticisms levelled at the HX5 and resolved them in the newer WX5? The only downside is 5X zoom compared to the HX5 10X zoom.
The WX5 seems better all round, apart from the zoom.
I might wait until Sony update the HX5, to see if the faults are rectified?
The alternative is to wait for Panasonic to update their Lumix to 1080 video?
Then there will be a real choice.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great camera and a great camcorder in one,
It produces real HD video, taken at 1080 50i not the usual 720 25p. This video looks like TV not the jittery images so many so called HD compacts produce.
The video looks even better because the lens can be very wide angle one minute and telephoto the next.
Wide angle lens in consumer camcorders seem to be a 2010 hot thing and they are well worth the wait.
In the past you would have moved your camcorder from left to right to show your audience the whole picture. Now you can just point your wide angle lens video camcorder at the scene and let the scene do the talking. The movement of the people, cars etc in the picture show it's video without you trashing about from left to right.
This is also a wonderful still camera, the photos are sharp, lack noise and look brilliant.
The ability to "sweep" a scene from left to right and take a photo like no other you will have ever taken is a trick that you will find many uses for.
There is a lot TV advertising at the moment for this camera and this sweep feature. It is not something you will over use but when you see a scene which takes your breath away - this is the feature that is most likely to capture it as you remembered it.
If you want to take just one camera/camcorder on holiday this is it.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SONY DSC-HX5V...EXELLENT ALL ROUND DIGITAL CAMERA.,
Having previously owned a Cybershot DSC-W55 for the last 4 years, i wanted to upgrade to something a bit newer and when i saw this camera (with its impressive features), i took a test-drive and was very impressed with it. Pictures in low light are superb, the automatic ISO (in easy mode) works a treat, the sony G lens is awesome with 10xoptical zoom. The HX-5V is very user friendly and like my old W55, the menu is simple and straightfoward so no worries there. An 8GB card gives you approx 1660 pics with 10.2 megapixels. It also boasts a BURST feature, which allows you to take up to 10 pics in just over a second. This is very useful for capturing fast moving objects, though a few of the pics were slightly blurred, this may have been my fault for not using the correct settings!! The 2 main features of this camera that stand out are the Intellegent Sweep panarama (which is an upgrade on all previous sony sweep panarama camera's), i have used this feature with moving cars & people in the background and the results are fab, crystal clear pics with no blur. The 2nd is the AVC-HD video. It records superbly, allowing you to zoom in and out and again, adjusts automatically to your filming envioriment. I use this feature to film live bands and the sound quality, as well as video, is excellent. Video playback on a normal standard definition tv is very good, but on a high-def its excellent!! A 8gb pro-duo stick gives 85 mins of recording time, however im not sure if this can be increased with a larger sized one? The 3" screen is the best iv'e ever seen, the playback quality of both pictures and video is excellent (you even have stereo speakers for video playback listening!) The GPS feature does drain your battery so turn it off (in the menu) when your not using it. Included cables, charger etc are good and the software is spot on, i love the PMB as it self-orginises everything for you and again, is very simple and clear to use.
The camera is perfectly sized and weighted, and although is a little bigger than previous cybershots, it still fits snuggly into the LCS-CST camera case. Go for the black/silver as apposed to the gold, the fingerprint smudges on the body really show up and i was forever cleaning it.......
Overall, SONY have made a cracker here, it is a little more expensive than other cybershots, but this is the closest your get to SLR quality, only this one fits in your pocket!!!!!! I am very happy with the HX-5V, 5 Star.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Maybe Not Good Enough,
Build quality - POOR to AVERAGE. Zoom rocker button feels cheap, battery and SDHC card holder cover flimsy.
Overall Size & Weight - EXCELLENT, no complaints here ticks all boxes.
Video Recording - EXCELLENT. Very impressed with this feature albeit the motorised zoom can be heard along side wind noise - but lets not forget this is a £200 camera with HD capacity!
Image Quality - FAIR to GOOD but no more than GOOD at best. The colours of my previous camera were always natural and accurate. I am still undecided about this camera based on some very poor quality indoor shots, especially in light coloured environments. My wife's IXUS 95 blows this away from a point-and-shoot view point. I maybe expecting too much here but my G!0 leaves this camera in the shade...........and depth............and sharpness............and.....well you get the point, if your looking for crystal sharp pictures I would avoid but then again you will need to spend minmum £100 more!
Battery Performance - POOR to AWFUL. Again comparing to G10 which I would leave with battery in place for MONTHS and still have great performance the battery in this camera is AWFUL. If I keep this device a secondary battery would be essential!!!!
Sony Software - EXCELLENT. The GPS when used OUTDOORS - note it does not work nor is intended to work indoors! - is AMAZING. Couple that the a Picassa account and the bundles PMB software..............well I love it, a great job here Sony.
Many review sites go into details most users will NEVER USE or NEED or WANT TO KNOW ABOUT. In a compact camera I think most people want something easy to use, quick to pull out and shoot a photo and get nice results. Can this camera do that..........I am still ultimately undecided. I may yet return this camera and opt for the tried and test Canon but feel in this market sector pretty much most will return the same inferior quality pictures.
It is worth noting that for some reason the LCD display on the camera is LOW RES which makes the photos on initial review look worse than they are. However be aware of the overly soft anti blurring when taking images which you may wish pin point sharpness.
I hope the above has been of benefit. This is my first ever review and it is most probably awfully structured and poorly worded!
So far I would give this device 7.5/10
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, versatile travel camera,
PICTURE QUALITY - Impressive! Really 'true' exposure and colour rendition in day and low-light (however due to typical Sony trait of a love of yellow tinting, in lit interiors I recommend adjusting white balance). I've also got a compact with a 28mm, and it's surprising how much more you can get in w a 25mm. Pictures taken in a big range of conditions come out quite sharp, and I'd been using photoshop for a couple of hours out of habit before realising that nearly all the shots didn't need it. Intelligent Auto mode includes option of exposure bracketing (eg takes 3 shots at different exposure levels), and automatically detects back-lit situations that need foreground compensation (this is also a separate, dedicated mode). It's bokeh (defocused background/foreground around the subject) capabilities aren't so good, unfortunately most small-sensor slow-lensed cameras don't fare so well with this.
Some of the shots using Hand-Held Twilight (more on that later) benefitted from a bit of sharpening and exposure control out of camera - but I haven't used a camera that hasn't occasionally needed a helping hand...
WIDE-ANGLE/ZOOM: Great range from 25mm wide to 250mm tele. Lovely quality shots all the way through the zoom range - there are other travel-zooms with a longer reach, but just decide if a 12x zoom really gives you That much an advantage for your usage needs over a 10x. Set in auto mode the camera puts up the ISO at the long-end of the zoom to help keep the shot clear, but put it in P mode, and set the ISO at 125 or 200, and I've still managed clean shots nearly all the time - It's "steady-shot" mechanism must be a fearsome beast.
FULL HD 1080i VIDEO: Full HD! 50fps for better action videos! Looks great shown on your HDTV, thanks to the (included) hdmi adaptor and octopus-cable connection.
HAND HELD TWILIGHT: Deserves it's own mention. You almost want to take everything in it - Absolutely does what it says on the tin - Take hand-held shots in very low light. The camera takes 6 shots together, and corrects exposure and noise. If you don't have a tripod, or its inconvenient to use one, this gives you the shot you'd otherwise miss. Also super as a means to take low-light interior shots w/o resorting to the flash. But you can use it under all conditions, so experiment, and see whether this mode or one of the others gives the most pleasing results for you.
INTELLIGENT PANORAMA: Entertaining way to take photos with extra "oomph". A lower pixel count than your normal shots, but still fun for viewing on your hdtv or small prints (my preference is to set it to a vertical sweep, and then turn the camera on its side to sweep left to right, which gives a taller shot).
MANUAL CONTROL but no AP/SP: It does come with manual control, but no aperture priority/shutter priority, which are more fun and flexible options. I understand from review sites that AP isn't really possible because it doesn't have true aperture adjustment.
GPS - It seems a 'must have' for travel zooms in 2010 - From my use of taking photos with it on for a day, it didn't seem to affect battery life, all the way up to 100 shots. From reading comparisons with its most direct competitors Samsung's WB650 and Panasonic's TZ10, Sony's GPS is the crudest execution of this functionality (though it has a magnetic compass!), but have to say, physically it's the best out of those three, with a discreet label on the side being the only indicator - unlike the Samsung and Panasonic which both have a big plastic or metal bump on its hood.
To summarise a great take-everywhere camera. For a travel zoom it doesn't have the very best picture quality at low ISO (that goes to the Panasonic TZ10), doesn't have the longest zoom (that goes to the Samsung WB650), but with absolutely top-notch picture quality throughout the zoom range, very useful and usable low-light capability plus HHT, excellent video, very entertaining Intelligent Panorama, manual control if you ever want to get a little creative, it gives you a very good all-round solution.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent package but not quite perfect,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX5VN Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Silver (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I like having geotagged photos and previously bought the Samsung ST1000. However, when I came across the HX5V which included a digital compass (and also supports standard SDHC memory cards), I decided to give it a try. What has really impressed me is the quality of the photos: The lens is very sharp, even at full zoom. In fact, a 10x zoom lens in a camera which will fit in a biggish shirt pocket is an impressive achievement (this camera is both thinner than my old Panasonic TZ5 and takes better photos). Modes such as the backlight compensation also improve image quality in difficult lighting situations while the movie mode is the best I have come across on a still camera.
However, all is still not perfect on the geotagging front: The digital compass is a bit erratic. I have been through the calibration steps several times but the compass is frequently up to 30 degrees wrong (but that is still better than nothing) while the GPS needs an additional bar to indicate a good quality fix (3 bars means that there is a position fix, but there is no indication of position quality, either on screen or in the EXIF data). This has lost it a star in the rating.
And for anyone worried about getting the 'gold' colour, the gold is barely noticeable. It is a stainless steel colour with a hint of bronze.
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