We love our high-end DSLR cameras, but there are still those times when you just want something a little more portable and versatile. Sure, we have our phone cameras, but those don’t offer quite enough features for our liking. What we really want is something in between those two. So, naturally we started looking into compact digital cameras, and specifically the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V. This camera is really geared towards those who want a simple point and shoot for everyday photo and video use, but who also like having a few extra perks to play with.
- 10x optical zoom G-lens (same lens as a professional DSLR)
- High Speed shooting with 10 frames per second and 10.2 megapixel resolution
- iSweep Panorama Mode
- 1080i AVCHD video capabilities
- SteadyShot image stabilization
- GPS and Compass that records the location and direction of every picture
What We Like Most
- 1080i full quality videos – We were rather surprised to find that this little camera has the same bitrate that is found in many regular camcorders. The DSC-HX5V could easily replace the need for other types of simple “handheld” camcorders, and also has the benefit of taking still shots.
- Small Size – The size and weight of this camera is just what you want when looking for a point and shoot camera. It is small, light, and is flush on the front when turned off (no bulky lens protruding in your pocket).
- GPS Tagging – Geotagging lets you automatically label all pictures with the exact location that they were taken. Some may find this feature to be gimmicky, but it really does have its uses, and besides, it is just fun.
- Wide Picture Stitching -When the camera is in panorama mode, you can “quick click” a series of pictures (left, right, or up and down) and the camera will seamlessly stitch them together to form a perfect panoramic shot. This really is a neat feature, and it is much easier to use than other cameras where you have to slowly click a series of shots and then piece them together.
- The Software – Most of the time the software that comes with digital cameras is bloated and not very good, however the DSC-HX5V’s software is actually pretty useful and worth installing on your computer.
- Low-light Performance – When in dim light, the Cyber-shot takes 6 pictures in less than a second and then combines the data to create one image with great detail. It’s not quite as good as what you would get from a DSLR, but for a point and shoot, you won’t find anything better.
- Price – This camera has a ton of features and the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V price has recently been reduced. Click here to see the current price.
What We Didn’t Like
- Battery Charger – This camera doesn’t have an AC adapter and it can’t be charged via USB cable, so the battery must be removed from the camera for charging. This is kind of a pain and a bit inconvenient.
- Build Quality – The camera is made out of plastic, which keeps it lightweight, but this makes us question its durability. However, for the price, you can’t expect much more.
- Pictures Can Be Soft – In certain lighting, the Cyber-shot sometimes loses some of the definition between objects, resulting in a soft picture.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V Review Summary
Those who are into photography know that there is not one camera suited for all tasks. A compact camera is obviously not going to have the same picture quality as more expensive DSLR cameras. But, if you are looking for a portable, easy to use camera with decent picture quality, with a lot of built-in features (10x zoom, HD video, cool Panorama mode, etc), then you can’t do much better than the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V. Click here for more details.
If this Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V review has sparked your interest in similar cameras, then consider the Canon PowerShot S95, or the Canon PowerShot SX210IS. They are also compact cameras, but with slightly different specs. Their highlights are listed below.
Canon PowerShot S95 – This camera was introduced in 2010 as a slight upgrade to the PowerShot S90. It features 720 HD video, 3.8x optical zoom, HS System (for low light pictures), and is has an easier control ring than the S90 model.
Canon PowerShot SX210IS – The SX210IS packs impressive numbers, with a 14x optical zoom and a 14.1 megapixel resolution. It also offers HD video shooting capabilities with a 720p output.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 – The DMC-ZS8 has 720p video capability, a good actuator for quick power on and a really high 16x optical zoom for distant shots.