Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H70 Review

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Review posted 6/22/2011

Quick Take
Pros

  • Convenient mode dial for quick mode changes
  • Thumb placement divot, and finger grip on face
  • Sweep Panorama technology is easy to use and captures great images, both vertically and horizontally
  • Easy exposure adjustments for manual mode ('select' button): once you figure it out
  • Easy to understand button layout
  • Short descriptions of each exposure setting
  • Ability to set the smile detection sensitivity
  • Ability to control tracking focus and face detection in program mode
  • Some in camera photo editing such as crop, rotate, sharpening, and red eye correction
  • Easy to operate zoom control, very smooth and continuous
  • Captures pleasing 16-megapixel images outdoors
  • iAuto gives access to more advanced settings not normally seen; like exposure compensation for example
Cons
  • High levels of noise at all ISO settings; can be seen indoors and out when pixel peeping
  • Shooting performance is slowed due to the Rec View options; which can not be adjusted
  • Weak built-in flash
  • When switching modes, it is slow because it gives you a description screen of each option (pressing the 'select' button will skip this short intro however)
  • Touchy shutter release; not much of a 1st stage pre-focus position when trying to half-press
  • Lacking a movie button
  • There is wasted space on the back
Bottom Line
Sony's Cyber-Shot DSC-H70 is a powerful, yet portable 16-megapixel camera. With impressive features, and ease of use, the H70 is sure to please. It did have some downfalls in the image quality department, so be sure to look at several models before making your final purchase. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
sony_H70_Blue_550.jpgSony's Cyber-shot series of point-and-shoot digital cameras is known for being budget-friendly while showcasing some of the company's more advanced features.  The DSC-H70 is very similar to both the DSC-T110 (which costs exactly the same - you trade the H70's lens for the T110's touch screen) and the DSC-W570 (which costs about $50 less).  In each case, these cameras feature a 16.1-megapixel CCD sensor, 720p HD movie recording and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.  But the real standout features here for the DSC-H70 is the Sony G 10x optical zoom lens as well as Active Mode, which stabilizes handheld HD movies, and Motion Detection, which suppresses blur in people and other moving subjects.

In terms of features, most of the $200-range Cyber-shot cameras feature many of the same software applications.  Therefore, it's no surprise to see Face Detection, Smile Shutter, iAuto mode (which automatically optimizes camera settings for your shooting locales), and Sweep Panorama Mode (which uses a CCD sensor to capture panoramas in one easy "press and sweep" motion), SteadyShot image stabilization (to reduce blur) on the DSC-H70.  Built-in help is also available via the "In Camera Guide" software, which allows users to search by keyword and/or purpose to find help topics and ease functionality.

Sony DSC-H70 features include:
  • 16-megapixel Super HAD CCD image sensor
  • Sony G 10x optical zoom covers a 35mm equivalent range of 25-250mm in 4:3 aspect
  • Compact camera body; about the size of a deck of playing cards
  • Capture breathtaking images with Sweep Panorama technology
  • Record HD video at 720p (1280x720) resolution with sound
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • iAuto, Program, Manual, and 13 Scene modes (including the Sweep Panorama)
  • Active Mode stabilizes your hand held HD movies; Motion Detection suppresses blur in people and other subjects
  • Li-ion battery pack (good for up to 290 shots)
  • Dual card slot accepts both SD/SDHC/SDXC and Sony MS Duo memory cards (one at a time).
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H70 camera is available in black, red, blue or silver for about $230 US. See our buy box below for the most current online pricing. 

What's in the box?:
  • DSC-H70 camera body
  • Battery (NP-BG1)
  • Wrist Strap
  • Battery charger (BC-CSGD)
  • CD-ROM
  • Multi Connector Cable (USB, AV out, etc)


Additional Views:

sony_H70_Blue_rear_550.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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