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Old Dec 8, 2010, 3:57 AM   #51
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The HX5V has generally soft output and low contrast all around, as your image demonstrates. I took an entire series of ZS7 vs HX5V shots and when you see them side-by-side, it's obvious just how inferior the HX5V is. The images are muddy due to the extremely heavy-handed noise reduction - you can't recover detail that isn't there w/ post-process sharpening.

The contrast is virtually non-existent. The skies often come out looking pinkish, the grass neon, and red flowers get totally blown out. The video is good unless you have good lighting - then the highlights get blown out worse than any other camera I have used, which is odd b/c the HX5V actually blows out highlights less on still images than other cameras in this class. Unfortunately, you have no control over this or anything else on the HX5V. The audio .. well it's awful. Sweep panorama sounds good in theory but the image resolution is so low that you can't use them for anything but web use imho. There's also a problem where sweet panorama will sometimes change the exposure mid-sweep which totally destroys the panorama. Smooth zoom? Post a video showing the smooth zoom. The zoom is jerky as heck. Note that when people speak about this they are referring to the jerkiness that occurs from still when you start zooming. The ZS6/ZS7 (as you mentioned in your other post) is smooth from the start.

Now there are certainly worse cameras out there but there are so many better cameras out there in this class, I can never recommend the HX5V to anyone.
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 5:57 AM   #52
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Perhaps Sony has a quality control issue or something, because the HX5V I've been trying out doesn't seem like it could be the same camera being described here. I'll agree that most of the HX5V photos aren't as sharp as I'm accustomed to getting with my Canon cameras, or even as good as those of its WX5 cousin. Nevertheless, it's a versatile and fun camera to use and many of the photos I've gotten would make fine 8 x 10 prints. Its video is considerably better than that of the Nikon S8100 and the zoom is smoother and easier to control than the ZS6 I used for a week. It's got its weaknesses to be sure, but the harsh criticism seems difficult to reconcile.

Maybe I'm just not picky enough. I shot a quick macro tonight with the HX5V and it seems fine to me. The first image has been resized to 1024 x 768 for posting and the second is a 100% crop from the original photo. Perhaps this is a lousy macro by the standards of the more discerning...
Good Macro Tim...ZS Series still holds the Macro best for my part even when shooting against the S95...it's not the light reflecting objects that give HX5V trouble...it's the light absorbing objects...I.E. Flower Petals...I tried it on several flowers around home and it was mediocre at best...especially white flowers...but it could be my poor skills also...
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 7:02 AM   #53
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LTZ-

Here is a flower macro for you. It was taken with the Canon SD-4000 using just existing light, and no flash.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...9_RrCro-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 11:17 AM   #54
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Wow! Sarah that is an awesome shot! Thanks for sharing...
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 1:54 PM   #55
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The HX5V has generally soft output and low contrast all around, as your image demonstrates. I took an entire series of ZS7 vs HX5V shots and when you see them side-by-side, it's obvious just how inferior the HX5V is. The images are muddy due to the extremely heavy-handed noise reduction - you can't recover detail that isn't there w/ post-process sharpening.

The contrast is virtually non-existent. The skies often come out looking pinkish, the grass neon, and red flowers get totally blown out. The video is good unless you have good lighting - then the highlights get blown out worse than any other camera I have used, which is odd b/c the HX5V actually blows out highlights less on still images than other cameras in this class. Unfortunately, you have no control over this or anything else on the HX5V. The audio .. well it's awful. Sweep panorama sounds good in theory but the image resolution is so low that you can't use them for anything but web use imho. There's also a problem where sweet panorama will sometimes change the exposure mid-sweep which totally destroys the panorama. Smooth zoom? Post a video showing the smooth zoom. The zoom is jerky as heck. Note that when people speak about this they are referring to the jerkiness that occurs from still when you start zooming. The ZS6/ZS7 (as you mentioned in your other post) is smooth from the start.

Now there are certainly worse cameras out there but there are so many better cameras out there in this class, I can never recommend the HX5V to anyone.
I can't disagree that the images I've seen from the HX5V have a smudginess to them when scaled to 100%. I get the sense that I'm looking at a 5 mp image that's been scaled up to 10 mp. The pictures are not nearly as detailed or color accurate as I'm accustomed to getting with my Canon SD890IS. In fact, there's a painting-like quality to them. The sweep panarama is really nothing more than a swept 1080p video (horizontal panaramas are only 1080 pixels high and vertical panaramas are only 1920 pixels wide). When I say the video zoom is "smooth", I'm referring to the variableness of zoom speed that some cameras use when zooming. I've used many where the variable speed can be a little touchy, making it more challenging to zoom smoothly. The HX5V doesn't have a variable speed zoom like most camcorders do. This makes it impossible to ease into a zoom by speeding it up or slowing it down, but at least it zooms at a predictable speed. Perhaps I'm not remembering correctly (I've tried several cameras now and may be confused on this), but seem to recall the sense that the ZS6 had a multiple-speed zoom which made it trickier for me to keep at a consistant rate (what I called "smooth"). This could certainly make initiating a zoom more "gentle", however. Please correct me on this if I'm wrong.

If someone defines a camera strictly by it's image quality, I would place the HX5V pretty far down the list. However, when other factors are more heavily weighted, there are a number of areas where I'd move the HX5V way up on the list. Where it stands above the others in my book is how easily it goes into the front pocket of my jeans for a 10X or greater zoom camera that does 1080p AVCHD video (quite well in my experience so far). Other strong points are how quickly and precisely I can zoom and pan into a stored image, how well the controls fit and work in my hands, the fast processor that allows up to 10 full-resolution shots per second, and the low-light processing. Last, but not least, I loved that I could playback all the images and video clips (the other cameras only did the images) in a 1080p slideshow with music without even plugging the camera into a PC. This is great for a family gathering or party where an HDMI cable is just hanging from a TV ready for something to be plugged into it (camera to HDMI adapter is included).

This should probably all be in a separate thread about the HX5V - I just had no idea how challenged the mention of it would be. Nevertheless, I would rank the WX5 above the HX5V in every way except the 10X zoom.
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 2:16 PM   #56
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Tim-

I seriously looked at, and then purchased the Sony HX5. That was a bad decision, and I ended up selling it off. I recently purchased a Canon SD-4000, and am very pleased with it.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Dec 8, 2010, 2:43 PM   #57
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Yeah, sorry Tim...didn't mean to jump on you with both feet...lol...different strokes for different folks if you are getting photos with it that are satisfactory to you and you are having fun doing it then it IS a good camera...enjoy it and post a few for us...thats what it's all about...
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 2:50 PM   #58
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What abt the WX5? What would b your top 10 in the min 10x zoom category?
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 3:50 PM   #59
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Tim-

I seriously look at, and then purchased the Sony HX5. That was a bad decision, and I ended up selling it off. I recently purchased a Canon SD-4000, and am very pleased with it.

Sarah Joyce
I'm just trying to replace my SD890IS because it has become unreliable despite taking fantastic pictures when it's working properly. Other than mechanical inconsistency, it's only weaknesses in my book are that the optical zoom is disabled during video, its video has an upper limit of 640x480, and it's not a wide enough angle lens (37mm). I've been spoiled by the 5X zoom, but that could be the driver of its mechanical issues. I wish Canon still made a Digital Elph with a 5X zoom and HD video - then I wouldn't even look elsewhere.

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Yeah, sorry Tim...didn't mean to jump on you with both feet...lol...different strokes for different folks if you are getting photos with it that are satisfactory to you and you are having fun doing it then it IS a good camera...enjoy it and post a few for us...thats what it's all about...
No worries. Despite defending the HX5V, I don't think I'm enamored with it enough to want to keep it. I just came to the table with insufficient experience with it and wanted it to be as good as the salesmen at the local Ritz Camera said it was.
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 4:12 PM   #60
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in the pocket zoom category, my clear choice would be the Canon SD-4500.

Sarah Joyce
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