Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot Advantages and Disadvantages

If you think mega zoom cameras are expensive, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H100 will pleasantly surprise you. Going by just the form and design, it easily comes across as an expensive, high-end model. But priced well under $300, it falls under the price range of premium ultra compact and travel zoom digital cameras. Let’s find out whether it’s just brawny or actually let’s you shoot like a pro.

The camera features a 3-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of 460K dots for framing shots and viewing photos. It’s a relief from low-resolution, 230K dots screens found on entry-level cameras. The Playback mode is interesting; pressing the Menu button brings up a menu from which you can touch up photos or start a slideshow with background music. You can rotate, crop and sharpen photos and even get rid of red eye.

This camera isn’t targeted specifically at pros. It’s meant to make taking good photos easy for everyone with the added advantage of a long zoom lens that starts from 25 mm and goes way up to 525 mm, translating to 21x optical zoom. This makes it a breeze to capture larger groups of people and wider area – even wide landscapes – without moving away too far.

Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot Advantages and Disadvantages

The H100 controls are much simpler than what’s found on travel zoom cameras—the control panel resembles one found on entry level point-and-shoot, but the buttons are larger and well-spread, which makes menu navigation and changing settings comfortable. The control panel comprises a 5-way D-pad and buttons for playback, Menu and In-camera Guide/Delete. The D-pad has shortcuts for flash settings, self-timer, smile shutter and display info. The lens is mated with optical image stabilisation mechanism to counter handshake and prevent blurry photos, especially at full zoom and in low light.

Key Features of Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot
  • 16.1 Megapixel Camera

  • f/3.1- f/8.9 Aperture

  • Super HAD CCD Sensor

  • 21x Optical Zoom

  • HD Recording

  • 35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 25 – 525 mm

  • ISO 80 – 3200 Sensitivity

Specifications of Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot
  • Weight : 415 g (Camera Body Only), 515 g (with Battery and Memory Stick)

  • Dimensions : 122.9 (W) x 83.2 (H) x 81.3 (D) mm

  • Pixels:  Optical Sensor Resolution (in MegaPixel) 16.1 Megapixels

  • Optical Zoom  : 21x

  • Display  : TFT LCD

  • LCD Screen Size : 3 inch

  • Image Display Resolution : 460,000 dots

  • Video Display Resolution : 1280 x 720, 30 fps

  • Sensor Type : Super HAD CCD

  • Sensor Size : 1/2.3 inch

  • Lens : Auto Focus , Illuminator AF

  • Lens Type : Sony Lens

  • Focal Length : 4.5 – 94.5 mm (35 mm Equivalent to 25 – 525 mm)

  • Battery Type : AA Alkaline Battery

  • Microphone : Built-in

  • USB Cable : Hi-speed USB

  • Audio Video Interface : Video Output

  • Upgradeable Memory : Yes

  • Memory Card Type :  Memory Stick Duo / Memory Stick PRO Duo / Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed) / Memory Stick PRO HG Duo / SD / SDHC / SDXC / Memory Stick Micro / Memory Stick Micro (Mark2) / Micro SD Memory Card / Micro SDHC Memory Card

  • Image Sizing : 4608 x 3456 (16 M)

  • Image Format : JPEG, DCF, DPOF

  • Flash Modes  : Auto, Flash On, Slow Sync, Flash Off, Red-Eye Correction Auto, Red-Eye Correction On, Red-Eye Correction Off

  • Flash Range : 0.5 – 6.8 m (W), 0.5 – 3.7 m (T) (ISO Auto), 13.7 m (W) – 7.3 m (T) (ISO 3200)

  • Built in Flash : Yes

  • Maximum Shutter Speed : 1/1500 sec

  • Minimum Shutter Speed : 15 sec

  • ISO Rating : Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

  • Self Timer : 2 and 10 secs

  • Face Detection : Yes

  • Shooting Modes : Intelligent Auto, Easy Shooting, Program Auto, Movie Mode, Panorama, Scene Selection, Picture Effect, Manual Exposure

  • Delete Function : Yes

  • Metering : Multi Pattern, Center Weighted, Spot

  • Macro Mode : Yes

  • Red Eye Reduction : Yes

  • White Balancing : Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash, One Push, One Push Set

Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot Advantages and Disadvantages_1

Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot Advantages:

  • The camera is exceptionally sturdily built; all buttons & knobs feel firm in hand. Also the button layout is great, it’s almost impossible to pick it up without your hand automatically getting a good grip and thumb & index finger finding a ergonomic position.

  • It has a 16.1 megapixel, 11.04 mm Super HAD CCD Sensor. Has great sensitivity range (ISO 80 to 3200). The BIONZ processor is quite good and keeps images relatively clean even at ISO 800. The lens quality is great and absolutely no chromatic aberration (colour splitting) takes place at the edges of the picture even when directly shooting at the sun.

  • It uses AA batteries (4) which is a huge bonus under any circumstances. It even gives a pretty good battery life on regular alkaline batteries so if you’re planning to take it on a trekking tour or similar, you won’t have to worry about finding a plug point.

  • Also has 2× Digital zoom, at full 42× zoom, the image is as clear as it was all optical zoom (I believe Sony calls it “Clear Zoom Technology”) The image stabilization (IS) is good, in fact, if you have very steady hands, it thinks it’s on a tripod. The Auto Focus is good while taking pictures, although it has a slight lag and unless you set it to centre, it jumps to whatever object has the sharpest contrast (even if it isn’t your subject). The aperture can be set to only 2 settings and if you decide to increase shutter time under low light, be sure to get a tripod or find stable support.

  • It can be connected to TV via AV cables and can enjoy the slide show on TV. Also TV can be used as a display screen for photography.

  • It gives the feel of DSLR at this Price.

     

  • It comes with -11 scene modes (Soft Skin, Soft Snap, Day Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, High Sensitivity, Gourmet, Pet, Snow, Beach and Fireworks).

  • You can use it in Manual mode where you can set ISO, Shutter time & aperture. It’s minimum shutter speed is 30 sec & not 15 sec as they say above.

  • You can crop, reduce red eye and shift the focal centre in camera and also save the edit as a new image using full 16 megapixels. This allows you avoid losing quality if you crop and enlarge the photo later.

    Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot Disadvantages:

    • Although it says “Optical zoom during video”, in reality this is rather slow. Also when you zoom during video (especially in 1280×720, 30fps) it takes a few seconds for the camera to hunt for the focus, which means for a few seconds everything in the video gets blurred. (Not a great idea if you are video-ing a dance or something similar)

    • You can’t switch between different scene modes (Beach, snow etc.) via the knob on the top; you have to select it through menu or turn the knob from “Scene” to something else and back to “Scene” again.

    • Clicking in a complete dark room (with its in-built flash on) will give the pic as if it is clicked in bright sunlight (Cyber-shot effect)

    • From its advantages you know that this is a big camera & if you have small hands, you might not be very comfortable with it. It’s big and rather heavy so make sure you are comfortable with the weight & size before you buy it.

    • If you decide to shoot everything at the best quality (which I guess most people will), the in-the-box 4GB memory card is practically useless. So I suggest you will need at least a 16GB (SDHC or Memory Stick Duo Pro) card.

    • The panorama modes are very sensitive to the slightest vertical movement. So you’ll need really steady hands or some support.

    • No manual focus (although if you really want manual focus, get an entry-level DSLR).

    • It has a lens cap that is rather loose. Also it takes quite some effort to open the battery compartment.

    Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot is by far the best in this range if you are looking for good pictures and nice movies under a variety of circumstances. It definitely doesn’t match the quality of a DSLR but then it costs about 1/3rd of a basic DSLR (not including the cost on lenses).

    If you have a considerably higher budget, try the Sony DSC HX200V (if you are looking for Sony).

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    Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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