Sony DSC-H2 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2

Review posted 11/9/2006

Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Sony CyberShot DSC-H2
Click on the H2 for a 360° QTVR tour

The Cyber-shot DSC-H2 is a compact and stylish 6-megapixel camera with a two-inch LCD screen, a powerful Carl Zeiss 12x optical zoom lens (36-432mm in 35mm equivalence). The H2 incorporates Sony's Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization to help reduce image blur caused by hand movement. Because the camera features high-light sensitivity settings up to IS0 1000, fast-moving cars and distant subjects can be captured with considerably less blur and graininess. Sony's Clear RAW™ noise reduction technology minimizes picture noise, making it easier to shoot at faster shutter speeds.

These anti-blur technologies are an advantage when shooting in low-light conditions, such as outdoor shots in the evening or inside dark museums. These shots can be taken without a flash, resulting in naturally-exposed images that truly capture the drama and atmosphere of the moment. And, you can get as close as you want with the camera's significant macro mode of just three-quarters of an inch.

The new H-series cameras are substantial, without feeling bulky, and feature a comfortable grip with controls easily accessible by your thumb. You can count on detailed image previews using the bright 2-inch color LCD screen.

The H2 offers auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features along with pre-set scene modes customized for specific shooting conditions, all working silently in the background while you concentrate on the "center-stage" action. When greater creative control is needed, aperture/shutter priority and manual exposure modes are also available.

Sony's ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry increases the battery efficiency for quicker start-up, faster shot-to-shot times, higher-quality movie capture, and longer battery life. The H2 delivers up to 400 shots on a single charge of the supplied AA NiMH rechargeable batteries.

The camera has 32MB of internal memory, which can be expanded further with an optional Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick PRO Duo card, available in capacities up to two gigabytes. A high-speed USB 2.0 port provides connectivity with Windows and Mac computers for fast transfers of images and movies. You can make high-quality prints by simply connecting the camera to a Sony DPP-FP50 or any PictBridge compatible photo printer. You can even create postcards or calendars using the printer's supplied software.

DSC-H2 Major Features:

  • Sony 6.0 Megapixel effective CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss 12x Zoom (36-432mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
  • Super SteadyShot Optical Image Stabilization fights motion blur, even during longer exposures at full zoom.
  • MPEG Movie: 640x480 VX Fine w/audio at 30fps (Memory Stick Duo Pro required),
    640x480 VX at 16fps, length limited only by media
  • Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, Manual Exposure
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 3 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
  • 2.0" color (85,000 pixels) LCD Screen
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
  • High Sensitivity Mode (ISO 1000) allows you to shoot with great results in low-light conditions
  • Adjustable color saturation, contrast and sharpness
  • Noise Reduction: Automatically cleans up long exposure images
  • Built-in flash with Auto Fill, Red Eye Reduction and Slow Synchro
  • USB 2.0 high speed Auto-Connect to host computer
  • Powered by Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • 32MB internal memory plus Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro compatible
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible

The DSC-H2 sells for about US$370. Bundled accessories include rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, charger, lens hood with adaptor and lens cap with strap, shoulder strap and USB and AV output cables. Options include a wide conversion lens (VCL-DH0758), a tele-end conversion lens (VCL-DH1758), a close-up lens (VCL-M3358), a jacket case (LCJ-HC) and a soft carrying case (LCS-HA).

Physical Views

Sony DSC-H2

Sony DSC-H2

Sony DSC-H2

Sony DSC-H2

Sony DSC-H2

Sony DSC-H2

Sony DSC-H2

The Cyber-shot DSC-H2 and a CD for size comparison.

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Sony DSC-H2 Specifications

Image Device: 1/2.5" 6.0 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Still Image Sizes: 6M   2816x2112
3:2  2816x1872
3M   2048x1536
2M   1632x1224
VGA  640x480
16:9   HDTV 1920x1080
Recording Media: 32MB of internal memory
Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO Media
Zoom: Carl Zeiss 12X, 6.0 - 72.0mm (36-432mm equivalent in 35mm)
11 elements in 9 groups, 1 ED and 1 aspheric element
Smart Zoom™ Feature: Up to 16X (3MP), 20X (2MP), 52X (VGA Resolution), 17X (16:9)
Filter Diameter: 58mm (with supplied lens adapter)
Auto Focus: 3 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, Flexible Spot AF, Manual
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 0.74" (2cm)
Shutter Speed: 1/4 - 1/2000 sec. (Auto)
1 - 1/2000 sec. (Program)
46-step 30 - 1/1000 sec (Shutter priority, Manual)
Aperture Range:F2.8 - F8.0 (W), F3.7 - F8.0 (T)
10-step F2.8 - 8.0 (Aperture priority, Manual)
Exposure Metering:49 segment multi-pattern
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Viewfinder: 0.2" 201K pixels
Color LCD: 2.0" 85K TFT LCD Screen
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range: ISO Auto: 1' to 29' 3" (0.3-9.0m)(W)
ISO 1000: 2' 11" to 52' (0.9 -16m) (W)
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash, Manual
Burst Mode: 7 Shots at 1.3 fps (6MP JPEG fine), 100 Shots VGA at 1.4 fps (JPEG std.)
Color Modes: Sepia, Black & White, Natural, Vivid
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Scene Modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, High Speed shutter, High Sensitivity
Self-Timer: 10, 2 Seconds
Video Output:NTSC/PAL Selectable
Still Image Modes: Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Multi-Burst
MPEG Movie Mode: MPEG VX Fine with Audio (640 x 480 at 30fps),
(MPEG VX Fine requires Memory Stick PRO media)
MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640 x 480 at 16.6fps),
Video Mail (160 x 112 at 8fps) with Audio
Microphone/Speaker: Yes/Yes
USB Terminal: USB 2.0 high speed
PictBridge Compatible: Yes
Memory Stick PRO™
Media Compatibility:
Tested to support up to 2GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery: Two AA NiMH 1.2v 2100 mAh
Supplied Software: Cyber-shot® Viewer Vers 1.0 + USB Driver, (Windows®)
OS Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® Me/ 2000/XP Home/XP Pro
Macintosh® OS 9.1/9.2/X (10.0-10.4)
Supplied Accessories: AA NiMH Battery x2, BC-CS2 Battery Charger, Lens hood w/adaptor ring, Lens cap w/strap, AV and USB Cables, Shoulder Strap, Software CD-ROM, Note: No Memory Stick® DUO media or adapters are included.
Dimensions: 4-7/16 x 3-1/4 x 3-11/16" (113.2 x 83 x 94 mm)
Weight: 14.2 oz (389 g) Body; 1 lb, 3.7 oz. (537 g) including Battery and optional Memory Stick® Duo Media
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

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