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The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX5V is makes a perfect 10.Three times over!
Ten megapixels (and a bit). Ten times optical zoom. Ten frames a second continuous shooting. Which, as I figure, could make this camera fairly rare.
Get that? Ten full res 3648×2736 pixel images in one second. So you could make ten 25x23cm prints from one rapid sequence.
Then there’s the HX5CV’s ability in video: Full HD with 1920×1080 pixel resolution, recorded in AVCHD format. Or, if you prefer, 1440×1080 in AVCHD. Choose to record in MPEG4 format and you get the choice of 1440×1080, 1280×720 or 640×480 resolution at 25/50 fps.
Still not impressed? Try the new iSweep panorama mode. In use, the camera guides you through a sweep that captures ten continuous, stitched frames that create a 4912×1080 or larger pixel image that prints out to a 42.59×9.14cm panorama, 243 degrees in scope. I tried it handheld and was absolutely stunned at the result, which I could only improve by using a tripod. Going further, you can also shoot panos by moving the horizontally-held camera through a vertical arc — or hold the camera vertically and swing it through a horizontal arc. This is by far the best pano camera around!
Here is how the camera handles vertical and horizontal panoramas.
Past sunset, the camera captured an excellent tonal range in a vertical panorama.
Up to ISO 1600 the camera performs very well. Only at ISO 3200 do we see noise increase, definition fall and noise artefacts appear.
The review camera was styled in black with control points picked out in gunmetal grey with white text; not the ideal layout for clarity in dark places but in most environments you won’t have any trouble. The camera is thin — until the lens pops out — and it’s light.
Then there are the compass and GPS features: I managed to get the compass working and the camera happily gave an on-screen indication of which way the camera was pointing but for some reason the GPS detection was in the ‘Difficult’ zone. I had no luck in trying to read the GPS data on a Mac.
While there is no optical viewfinder I found most shooting chores handled very well by the 7.5cm LCD screen in daylight. The menu selections are particularly clear and easy to get around.
The mode dial gives access to auto camera operation as well as Program AE, manual exposure, scene modes, movie mode, iSweep plus a High Dynamic Range mode which relies on two identical exposures to maximise image quality
Take note of the output options: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI and composite, which should just about please everybody.
Two seconds after I hit the power button I shot my first picture, follow-ons came in at about a second a pop.
The stills mode showed no distortion at the zoom’s wide or tele end but the movie mode — at the wide end of the zoom — displayed some major barrel distortion while the tele end had no indication of any pincushion distortion.
A spectacular compact digicam which could just about handle every task thrown at it. If you’re planning a world trip and want reduce baggage, this baby could handle any HD video shooting along with high quality stills capture. Just remember to pack a pile of memory cards!
MemoryStick, SD, SDHC — take your pick.
Quality: Movie quality was excellent but sound recording quality is less than OK, thanks to the tiny onboard mics. Stills quality: as good as you can expect with a compact. But the panorama feature is to die for.
Why you would buy this camera: you want to shoot AVCHD or MPEG4 movies without the need to lug a camcorder; you want to enjoy a superb panorama camera; you want the burst feature.
Why you wouldn’t: you need movie capture with top quality sound; you want aperture or shutter priority exposure control.
Image Sensor: 10.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi-zone, centre-weighted; spot.
Sensor Size: 11mm.
Lens: f3.5-5.5/4.25-42.5mm (35-350mm as 35 SKLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/1600 second.
Continuous: 10 fps.
Memory: MemoryStick Duo/Pro Duo, SD, SDHC and 45MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 3648×2736, 3648×2056, 2592×1944, 1920×1080, 640×480. Movies: AVCHD 1920×1080, 1440×1080. MPEG4 1440×1080, 1280×720, 640×480 at 60/30 fps.
File Formats: JPEG, AVCHD, component, MPEG4.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 125 to 3200.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI, component and DC input.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Dimensions: 102.9×57.7×28.9 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 170 g (body only).
Price: Get a Price on the Sony DSC-HX5V at Amazon