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Old Sep 12, 2007, 6:47 PM   #1
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So, my Sony DSC H5, which I really like, has gotten irrevocably messed up. Fortunately we took out the big warrenty policy on it, where they have to replace it if they cannot fix it. Unfortunately, the H5 is so discontinued that they cannot replace it with the same model.

So, they want to send me a H7. I said no way. In the first place, the H9 is the upgrade from the H5, not the H7. The H7 is the upgrade from the H2. In the second place, the reviews have made me hesitant to accept either the H7 or the H9.

I paid about $480 for the H5 originally, which is pretty much what the H9 is going for. Given your choice of any Sony camera around that price range, what would you choose? It does not have to be one of the H series, nor even a DSC. Any of the currently available models with similar features and output capability.

For that matter, if there are other brands you would recommend, I'd be interested in that, too. One option is to get a Circuit City credit for the replacement amount.

Thanks for any input!
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 7:26 PM   #2
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While Sarah reports the her students like the H2 over the H5 I think if you were pleased with your H5 you'd like the H9. There's a growing body of evidence on the web that, reviewers be damned, the H7/H9 cameras produce good images. And I'm a Kodak user.

If you need an arguing point your H5 had the nightshot infrared feature. The H9 also has that feature whereas the H7, like the H2 doesn't. That one feature would almost convert me to an H9 user.
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 8:13 PM   #3
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Coach James and A.C.-

The problem is that the Sony H-9 is really not an outstanding replacement for the H-5, if you want to use all the zoom. The H-9 does well out to about 12X optical zoom, and then the resolution begins to fall off rather rapidly, leaving 15X optical zoom shots looking more than a bit fuzzy. If you are satisfied with 12 instead of 15X optical zoom, the H-9 is a very capable camera. It is all a product of pixel density.

For the best image quality of all the H-series Sony cameras, the H-2 is the winner. That is just my 2 cents worth. Here is an H-2 sample.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Sep 12, 2007, 9:19 PM   #4
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Sarah,

Unfortunately the H2 is probably not an option for James any more than the H5 is an option and for the same reason. In his situation I think he should hold out for the H9 rather than H7. Both have the same sensor and lens so are going to have essentially the same IQ issues at focal lengths beyond the 12x range.

Thanks for pointing out where the IQ issue really comes into play. That info should help people make an informed choice. I don't recall any reviewers specifically pointing that out so your experience definitely fills an information gap.

Just speculation but I wonder how a good 12x super zoom with a TCON added compares to the H7/H9 at 15x? Based on my own (limited) experience with my Z612 + S-K 1.4 TCON the TCON does degrade IQ. The part that I haven't tested is does it degrade more the an equivalent digital zoom or crop/resize. If the degradation of the H7/H9 IQ is no worse at 15x than an H2 with a TCON then maybe some will find the 15x a convenient alternative.

A. C.


PS: Of course if he could talk them into an S5 maybe that would be a win-win:-)


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Old Sep 12, 2007, 9:53 PM   #5
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coachjames wrote:
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For that matter, if there are other brands you would recommend, I'd be interested in that, too. One option is to get a Circuit City credit for the replacement amount.
Your member name implies that you are involved in sports.

If any of the sports are low light, you may want to consider a DSLR with a bright lens. That would increase your cost though.

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Old Sep 12, 2007, 10:19 PM   #6
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JimC-

With the Sony A-100 body down below $(US) 590.00, it might not be out of the question, considering that you can still find those great Minolta used lenses at a great price. I would settle the claim by taking a Sony A-100 body. Then I would get the lenses that I needed from KEH or on E-Bay.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 11:17 AM   #7
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Well, after hours yelling at the "Protection Plan" people, it turns out I have no choice. They are sending me the H7, claiming that it is the appropriate replacement for the H5. My understanding is that the H9 is actually the similar replacement for the H5.

So, I have another favor to ask. Can anyone supply supporting evidence for this claim? If I have to have one of the new H series, I'd rather have the H9, of course. It is the same price as my H5 was new, whereas the H7 is a lower priced camera.

Also, I highly recommend *against* getting the Circuit City Advantage Protection Plan. The company that administrates it has been a major pain in the backend. Just a heads up.

To JimC - actually I am more of a business/life coach, but you are certainly not the first to be misled. I have considered a DSLR, but for now I think that they will be more trouble than I want. For one thing, I am waiting for them to come out with a model that uses the viewscreen to set up shots, rather than the eyehole. Plus, I don't want to have to deal with the lense issue right now. I will probably eventually get there, but for the moment the high-end handy-cams are doing me well.

Thanks for the input everyone!
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 2:17 PM   #8
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I think maybe the most obvious element you can use as a negotiation point is that the H2 and H7 have a 2.5" LCD screens and the H5 and H9 have 3" LCD screens therefore the H9 is the replacement for the H5.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 12:05 PM   #9
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Despite the effort of many people to prove that the H9 is indeed a great camera, I can't seem to agree (even though I don't owe one). I've seen enough evidence that the H9 under-performs at 15x zoom and my question is, what's the point in having a 15x zoom camera if 12x is really its usable range (w/o image deterioration)? I've also noticed from many many postings that the H2 IQ is superior to the H5. That perhaps is a result of the lesser number of megapixels on the H2 vs. the H5. Perhaps the H sensor size is optimal for up to 6 MP and anything above that will cause image softness to one degree or another. If this theory is true, then I'd say the H7 is probably a better camera than the H9 in terms of IQ (although the H9 does have a larger swivel LCD and night shot capability, which is great for IR photography. This featureused to be available on the V series years ago). Now, I think the LCD argument to justify the fact that the H9is the replacement for the H5 is not a bad one. You can also argue that the H5 was the top of the H series when it was released and therefore the H9 being the top of the H series is the natural replacement for the H5. You can also go into the megapixel technicalities (the H5 had higher # of MP than the H2 and the same occurs between the H9 and H7). You can point out lots of technical features thatdifferentiate the H5 from the H2 and apply them to the H9/H7 comparison. In the worst case scenario, if nothing works and they refuse to accept your rational ANDyou really really want the H9 over the H7, offer to pay for the difference and get the H9.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 12:51 PM   #10
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What about the R1? I heard it is a pretty sweet rig. I notice it only has 5x zoom, though. Can you put a bigger zoom lens on it? Also, can you focus through the LCD or only through the viewfinder? The review is unclear.
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