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Old Mar 22, 2010, 7:38 PM   #1
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Default Sony HX5v first impressions

Hi all,

I've been into Panasonic p&s compacts for long. They used to, and still provide good lens brightness, quality and stabilization, and intuitive manual control.

When I heard about the Casio EX-F1, I couldn't wait to get one, for it's hybrid gizmo features. From this buy, I learned that recording (and editing) video meant a lot to me, and the important role of a CMOS sensor for that.

GRadually, my interest has shifted from telezoom to wideangle, with ofcourse a liking for versatility, and portability.

So here I am, with a brand new Sony HX5v, providing a versatile zoomrange, a cmos sensor, portability, , and some neat travel features like gps and a compass.

I never liked sony because of their memory stick system, but now they accept normal SD cards too, making them more interesting for non sony users too; smart choice.


So, the Sony DSC-HX5v.

Like I expected before the buy, it's meant to run on autopilot; It's meant for you not to worry about things. The pictures are exposed well, the WB does a good job, and the focus is, -apart from a rare miss- spot on.

I'm very impressed with the video quality. The highest quality setting nearly compares to that of the panasonic tm300 hd camcorder (a, if not the big one from previous year). Some definition is lost when things go twillight though. Probably because of some pretty rough noise reduction.

Noise reduction seems to play a pretty big role on this cam, and is quite noticeable throughout the ISO range. In fact, it might become the achilles heel, because it can't be shut off, or controlled at all. Perhaps a downside to the 'no worry concept'.

Overall, the controllability is good. All the import settings can be accessed fast, because the menu button doubles as a quick menu first, which provides access to basic settings like WB, ISO, metering mode, focus mode, burst speed etc.
Sony could have done a bit better on sticking to photographic essence though; It would have been really great if they had provided an af/ae lock button instead of a smile detect button.

------

Honestly, If you don't attach much value to a decent video function on your cam, you might want to consider a panasonic TZ series cam, but if you do like a brilliant video function, this is a whole lot of camera for it's size and price!
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 7:42 PM   #2
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some more; the beach pics brightness/contrast are edited in photoshop
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 6:59 AM   #3
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What about the microphone for video recording. Could you carry on an interview with someone say 2 metres away and get reasonable audio?
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 8:22 AM   #4
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Hi, you could do that, provided you have a place without wind and backgroundnoise.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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greenbaron-

Thanks for the Sony HX-5 insights. It looks like you are enjoying your new camera a good deal. Do you find sufficient manual control of still photos?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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Nice .... "show it on Google Earth" ... even Streetview :-)

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Old Mar 23, 2010, 1:15 PM   #7
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Hi Sarah,

I think the manual control is a bit limited. There's no quick way to independently set focus and exposure. The only way to fully control it is to switch to manual exposure, set it, and aim at your focus target, press halfway, and re-aim to frame. Takes more time than necessary on a high end cam like this.
Especially since the 'delete' button has no function in the recording mode; It could easily double as an af/ae lock button in recording mode.

It's a point and shooter providing some nice (hybrid) features, allowing it to shoot a wide range of events and scenes; But the camera is supposed to do the thinking in the first place, not the photographer. Dividing creating and recording, this camera is supposed to be able to record; and with minimum effort from the photographer. But you can't control it to a degree where you can design and create an image to your liking.

So, I wouldn't recommend this camera to someone who want's guarantee the picture will turn out as they wanted. I would recommend it to people either looking to have a capable pocketable replacement for the bulk, or who aren't looking to go deep at all.

That ofcourse still leaves the discussion of editing AVCHD. That requires a 'good' system, which in terms invites the use of nice software allowing to go creative; which in terms might be inviting to switch to a more controllable camera
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 1:50 PM   #8
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greenbaron-

Many thanks for the update on the HX-5's manual control set-up. The Sony Vegas AVCHD editor seems to be the most recommended software for AVCHD editing.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 7:53 PM   #9
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How is the NR compared to other cameras in this class? How is the low-light performance? (sunsets, dusk, museums, aquariums, etc)

Last edited by Acheron; Mar 23, 2010 at 8:00 PM.
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Old Mar 23, 2010, 11:53 PM   #10
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Just ordered the Sony DSC-HX5/B. After checking on the other cameras in this size with more then 4X Optical this one looks like a winner. Good for traveling without the "bulk".
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