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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9

Review posted 9/24/2007

Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Sony CyberShot DSC-H9
Click on the H9 for a 360° QTVR tour

Responding to the growing demand for super-zoom digital cameras, Sony is introducing its 8-megapixel DSC- H9 and DSC-H7 models. Designed to appeal to families with budding athletes in their broods, the cameras debut Sony’s new Advanced Sports shooting mode.

This mode combines high shutter speed shooting and intelligent continuous auto-focusing. The cameras can quickly focus on fast-moving subjects by predicting where those subjects will be in the frame. This predictive technology also helps to reduce shutter lag, the time it takes for the camera to focus and shoot.

The H9 camera takes fast-action shooting a step further. It sports a 3-inch, flip-up LCD screen so that you can shoot comfortably from nearly any position. You can hold the camera low to the ground for eye- level shots of kids, without having to contort yourself or crawl on the ground, or hold it high for shots over the crowd. The H7 camera has a non-articulating but large 2.5-inch LCD screen for easy sharing and viewing.

Capturing fast action does not have to result in blurry photos. The H9 and H7 incorporate Super Steady Shot® optical image stabilization to minimize blur caused by camera shake, an important feature when shooting at slow shutter speeds at full zoom. Their high sensitivity, up to ISO3200, also helps to fight blur resulting from fast-moving subjects.

Both cameras feature powerful Carl Zeiss® 15x optical zoom lenses for up-close shots of big plays on the field. You won’t miss the look of victory in your champion’s face with Sony’s new face detection technology. It can identify up to eight faces in the camera’s LCD frame, and automatically adjust white balance and flash as well as focus and exposure for correctly exposed, sharp photos.

Their high sensitivity (up to ISO 3200) will also help preserve the mood of your pictures by capturing well-exposed, natural-looking photos, even in challenging low-light conditions. You can shoot at higher shutter speeds to take in the maximum amount of light without using the flash. Picture noise, common to pictures shot at high ISO levels, is minimized by Sony's Clear RAW ™ noise reduction technology.

The H-series cameras incorporate selectable in-camera editing functions so you can spend more time on the field and less time behind a computer. Equipped with Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimizer, originally developed for the Alpha digital SLR system, the new cameras can analyze captured image data and instantly determine the best exposure and tonality of each picture before JPEG compression.

Other helpful in-camera functions include red-eye correction and photo retouching effects with filters. You can create fun and artistic photos with up to four filter selections, such as the partial color filter that can highlight your star athlete in color while the background of the photo is in black-and-white.

Both cameras are powered by the Bionz™ processing engine, which was also first used in Sony’s Alpha digital SLR camera system. This new circuitry speeds up response times and delivers the fast image processing speeds needed to produce color-rich, detailed pictures for true high-definition photo viewing.

The cameras use 31MB 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 8 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 any PictBridge compatible photo printer. These new cameras feature high-definition outputs. Simply connect them to your HDTV with the Sony VMC- MHC1 high-definition component cable, sold separately, and turn photo viewing into an entertainment experience

DSC-H9 Major Features:

  • Sony 8.0 Megapixel effective CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss 15x Zoom (31-465mm 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, Shutter Priority and Manual Exposure
  • Exclusive Sony NightShot Infrared Technology
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 9 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
  • 3.0-inch "flip-up" LCD screen (230,000 pixels) with Auto Brightness
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
  • High Sensitivity Mode (ISO 1000) allows you to shoot with great results in low-light conditions
  • Adjustable color contrast and sharpness
  • Sony's Clear RAW ™ noise reduction technology: Automatically cleans image noise
  • Built-in flash with Auto Fill, Red Eye Reduction and Slow Synchro
  • USB 2.0 high speed Auto-Connect to host computer
  • Powered by NP-BG1 rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • 31MB internal memory plus Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro compatible
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible

The DSC-H9 is available in black or silver and sells for about US$480 - see our buy box for online vendors and current pricing. Bundled accessories include NP-BG1 rechargeable battery, BC-CSG battery charger, Flower Lens Hood, Lens cap with strap, Lens Adaptor Ring, A/V and USB multi-connector cables, Shoulder strap, Remote Commander, Software CD-ROM.

Physical Views

Sony DSC-H9

Sony DSC-H9

Sony DSC-H9

Sony DSC-H9

Sony DSC-H9

Sony DSC-H9

Sony DSC-H9

The Cyber-shot DSC-H9 and a CD for size comparison.

Sony DSC-H7

Sony's 8-megapixel Super-Zoom twins for 2007 (the H9 and H7).

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Sony DSC-H9 Specifications

Image Device: 1/2.5" 8.0 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Still Image Sizes: 8M   3264x2448
3:2  3264x2176
5M   2595x1944
3M   2048x1536
VGA  640x480
16:9   HDTV 1920x1080
Recording Media: 31MB of internal memory
Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO Media
Zoom: Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15X, 5.2 – 78mm (31-465mm equivalent in 35mm)
Conversion lens: Yes
Smart Zoom™ Feature: Up to 18X (5MP), 23X (3MP), 25X (16:9 2MP) 76X (VGA Resolution)
Auto Focus: 9 Area Multi-Point AF, Monitoring AF, Flexible Spot AF
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 0.4" (1cm)
Shutter Speed: 1/4-1/4000 sec. (Auto)
1-1/4000 sec. (Program Auto)
8" - 1/2000 (Aperture Priority)
30" - 1/4000 (Manual/Shutter Priority) )
Aperture Range:F2.7 - 5.6 (W), F4.5 - 8.0 (T)
Exposure Metering:Multi-pattern
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Viewfinder: 0.2" (0.5cm) 20oK pixels
Color LCD: 3.0" (7.5cm) 230K TFT Clear Photo LCD Screen
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro
Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range: ISO Auto: Approx. 7.9" to 32.2' (0.2-9.8m) Wide, 3.9' to 20' (1.2-6.0m)
White Balance: Automatic, Cloudy, Daylight, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Incandescent, Flash, Manual
Burst Mode: Max. 100 Shots at 2.2 fps (8MP)
Color Modes: Sepia, Black & White, Natural, Vivid
ISO:Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Scene Modes: Advanced Sports Shooting, Beach, Fireworks, High Sensitivity, Landscape, Portrait, Snow, Twilight, Twilight Portrait
Self-Timer: 10, 2 Seconds
Video Output:NTSC/PAL Selectable
HD Output: Yes (1080i)
Still Image Modes: Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Exposure bracketing
MPEG Movie Mode: MPEG VX Fine with Audio (640x480 at 30fps) (MPEG VX Fine requires Memory Stick DUO PRO™ media), MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640x480 at 16fps), Presentation Mode (320x240 at 8.3fps).
SteadyShot® Image Stabilization:Yes
AF Illuminator Light:Yes
NightShot® Exposure mode:Yes
Microphone/Speaker: Yes/Yes
USB Terminal: USB 2.0 high speed
PictBridge Compatible: Yes
Memory Stick PRO™
Media Compatibility:
Tested to support up to 8GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery: Lithium-Ion NP-BG1 3.6v 960 mAh
Supplied Software: Windows: Picture Motion Browser Vers 2.0 + USB Driver
OS Compatibility: Microsoft® 2000 Professional, Me, XP Home and Professional
Macintosh® OS 9.1/9.2/OS X (10.0-10.4)
Supplied Accessories: NP-BG1 rechargeable battery, BC-CSG battery charger, Flower Lens Hood, Lens cap with strap, Lens Adaptor Ring, A/V and USB multi-connector cables, Shoulder strap, Remote Commander, Software CD-ROM Note: No Memory Stick® DUO media or adaptors are included.
Dimensions: 4-3/8 x 3-3/8 x 3-3/8" (109.5 x 83.4 x 85.7 mm)
Weight: 1 lb 3.3 oz (546 g) including NP-BG1 battery pack, shoulder strap, adaptor ring, lens hood and lens cap, etc.
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

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