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Old Dec 7, 2010, 5:18 PM   #11
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Location: Kirkland, WA
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Shortly after getting the ZS6, I also bought a Sony HX5V to try out in comparison. Surprisingly, I preferred using the HX5V in almost every way except the extent of the zoom and how much more quickly the battery charged.

I missed not being able to record video at 1080p in the space-efficient AVCHD format. I found that one of the biggest reasons I would even want to pocket a 10X or greater zoom camera was for video during action in artificial light. The theory is that I don't mind using a higher resolution video in lieu of a photo in the hope of extracting decent screen captures for those otherwise easy-to-miss moments. Despite its higher zoom factor, the ZS6's 1280x720 limit tipped the scales in favor of the HX5V's 1920x1080 captures, especially after seeing how quickly the HX5V was able to adjust to significant light changes (like panning across a single light source in a room). Both cameras performed similarly for autofocusing during video.

Unfortunately, I got these cameras at a bad time for outdoor shooting. I did get some fun video and snapshots in the snow, but didn't get to use either camera in bright sunlight.

There is a slight learning curve for the idiosyncrasies of the HX5V and its many processing tricks, but I was consistently ending up with much better pictures than I expected possible with a f3.5 lens and tiny 1/2.4" sensor. Another nice surprise was finding that The HX5V even had a buttery smooth zoom while doing video after seeing a comment about it being jerky. Maybe I just had one of the good ones of the lot.

Based on favoring the HX5V in the ways that were important to me, I ended up returning the ZS6 to Costco.

Ironically, I also returned the HX5V a few days later thinking I might prefer the smaller WX5 (with f2.4 lens, slightly larger sensor, but only 5X zoom). After a couple days with the WX5, however, I'm kinda missing the HX5V's 10X zoom, and its smaller aperture doesn't seem to make as much difference on indoor shots as I had anticipated.
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