Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 8.1 MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization details, exciting information with costumer opinions who currently ordered and also best price along with quite great discount.
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 8.1 MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization Details and Reviews
132 of 143 people found the following review helpful.
Not a DSLR! Specs look good, image quality varies based on settings…
By Michael Gmirkin
I’ve been looking for a new camera to replace my Canon A70 (3MP w/3x optical zoom) for some time. I was looking for a camera that was as portable, with a significantly higher megapixel rating, and a much better zoom. But I also wanted it to have as simple a button layout. I also wanted to avoid breaking the bank.
So, I’ve been looking at a number of mid-range cameras currently available on the market. Most of the Canons I looked at have opted for more complex button layouts. I liked my old Canon, but was not willing to trade complexity for performance. Many of the other models such as Panasonic’s Lumix (or even Sony’s H7 and H9) are considerably more bulky, thus not as portable (as they can’t be slipped into a pocket). Many of the smaller cameras also came with a smaller optical zoom rating (opting to use digital zoom which really only degrades image quality).
The Sony H3 has thus far been my favorite camera available at this time. The button layout is simple, as are the two main menus. I love the 10x zoom (with which I’ve consistently been able to zoom in across a room and get a clear picture of the “writing on the wall”). The more I play with it, the more cool features and abilities I seem to find. I’ve been quite impressed with its anti-shake image stabilization, and its sports feature which seems to let you capture objects in motion without a lot of messy blur. I even found that I could take pictures while the camera was panning slowly and have the images come out without too noticeable of blur. In a few cases, I even still got legible print on signs, etc. I rather like the in-LCD mode wheel reminder that lets you know which option you’ve just switched to on the jog dial, and what that mode is good for. In all, this is a great little camera. I haven’t had a chance to test it out in low light situations, but I’ve heard that it does relatively well (with perhaps a bit of image noise in lower light, higher sensitivity settings).
Over all, a nice, nice camera!
That all said, I’ll add a few caveats:
1) This camera does not have a viewfinder, rather only an LCD. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with LCDs, but some may be put off by the lack of a viewfinder under certain situations (or, so I hear).
2) This is not a DSLR. It’s not intended for “professionals.” So, don’t expect a professional level camera. This seems to be designed for the high end hobbyist / casual photographer, and does quite well for what it is, as far as I can tell, thus far.
3) This camera uses Sony’s Memory Stick Duo or Pro Duo memory cards, which is slightly proprietary (though several companies manufacture cards of this type), so it seems to be slightly more expensive than competing SD cards. But, if you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks for the cards, I hear they tend to be pretty good quality (especially the Pro cards, which have a faster access time).
So, as long as you don’t expect “pro” features, you won’t be disappointed. If you come from lower end digital cameras and are upgrading, you’ll probably find this to be a nice machine for you. I’d still recommend going to your local brick and mortar store to actually handle the various cameras, try out the zoom, try out the movie feature, see how they all feel in your hand, see how the different cameras fare on moving subjects, or with hand shake, or a moving camera. I think the H3 stacks up well against the various competitors in the mid-range space.
I would not even object to someone lightly calling this camera “revolutionary” insofar as it takes the camera into the extreme zoom (10x+) market, gives it a high megapixel rating (8MP+) and manages to put it into the “portable” camera market as well (only slightly larger than my old Canon A70)… It seems like the best of several worlds. In my estimation, the best of breed at the moment, and a unit to emulate, for future Sony models and for other brands to copy.
Addendum (10-11-07): Finally received mine yesterday, and started playing with it under “real world” conditions. It’s held up pretty well. Had to figure out which were some of the better settings to use in our house at night (not the best lighting). I noticed that under lower lighting conditions, some of the modes are a bit harder to keep “steady” and avoid blur. Though, once I turned on anti-shake, and multi-point face recognition, it seemed to do better. Likewise when putting it on the low-light portrait setting. It was still necessary to keep it more steady than under bright lighting conditions.
Still testing it out, but have generally been quite pleased with performance. As expected!
Addendum (11-20-07): Actually, now that I’ve found out the ^ISO (high ISO) jog dial setting (in combination with playing with some of the settings for lighting type, etc.), low light photography seems to be pretty easy (found out I’d been putting it on the wrong setting by accident). Still a good idea to keep the camera steady on general principle, of course.
Addendum (11-29-07): Well, I’d promised to review the image quality once I’d had a chance to download some photos and view them on my machine at full resolution.
To be quite honest, I may have to slightly revise down my estimation of the camera on the basis of image quality. I’ve downloaded a number of photos from the camera, and while they’re “large” and “high resolution,” honestly, so far they’ve been lacking. Considerably more than I’d expected. Granted I’ve mostly been shooting in low light w/o flash, and I’ve heard that on an automatic setting it can up the ISO which leads to more noise in the image. My experience is thus far consistent with that assessment. However, I took a few shots with flash on the full auto setting for comparison. There was a higher quality level to those images, but they still didn’t live up to what I would expect to come out of an 8MP digital with a 10x optical zoom, image stabilization, etc.
Specifically, my gripe is with definition. With an 8MP sensor and a high power zoom with a good lens, I’d expect some pretty darn crisp images (but maybe I just have an unreasonable expectation?). For example capturing definition and details in hairs when zoomed in on a head shot. So far, this has not been the case at all. It appears that the images either don’t capture sufficient detail, or somewhere in the processing the detail is removed. I mean, I’m starting to wonder if the camera processes the raw image by applying whatever filters are set up and then by saving a highly “compressed” version of the image to get a better # of pictures out of a memory stick, while sacrificing image quality. If so, I hope there’s a way to turn off the “compression” and restore original image quality…
Honestly, when I zoom in on the image, it appears to get rather blocky, some would say “noisy” and there is a lack of definition between elements in the picture (such as between fingers, or between fine locks of hair). IE, the blockiness seems to overlap the region where there should be definition.
If there is a setting for Standard, Fine, Super-Fine detail level as there is with my old 3MP Canon A70, I’ve not yet found it with the Sony. Perhaps I should read the manual again just to make sure I’m not overlooking something crucial. But, if the images I’ve seen thus far are representative of the standard quality I can expect from this model, then I may have to grudgingly start my camera shopping search over again. I hate the prospect of having to either trade the simplicity of the Sony for better image quality but more complexity and bulk to say a Canon or a Panasonic Lumix, or trade down in optical zoom rating (as the extended optical zoom was one of the key features I was looking for in a replacement camera).
I might also point out that the camera does not utilize the standard mini-usb cable connector, opting for a proprietary cable that connects both to USB and to AV out cables. The connector worries me, as it seems “loose” when connected and feel flimsy, so I worry about breaking it if I’m not ginger enough with it. Likewise the memory stick pro duos it uses rather than the cheaper more ubiquitous SD/SDHC or some similar thing.
If I find anything more out, I’ll add yet another addendum…
One more addendum (12-19-07): Okay, I’ve done a lot of reading over the last couple weeks. Specifically,
I was considering upgrading from the Sony H3 to the Canon PowerShot G9. So, I read a lot of camera comparisons and reviews. I even learned a few things! From what I’ve learned, I can tentively say that some of the issues stem from the specific settings used. Low ISO settings seem to let light in longer, but can lead to more “shake” blur issues. High ISO settings leave the lens open for less time, thus eliminating camera shake issues to some extent (in combination with anti-shake technology). However, the higher the ISO, the more noise tends to creep into the images.
That said, image quality may vary greatly with settings and/or with “user malfunction.” IE, learn how to use your camera well and it will love you for it and give you great images. After taking the camera off automatic (sans flash), and setting the ISO to 400 (often a good middle ground, I’ve found), I was able to take relatively good quality images in non-optimal light conditions (indoors with uneven lighting). Whereas if I dropped down to 80-100 ISO, I tended to get too much blur. If I hopped it up to 800, 1600 or 3200 ISO, I usually got little or not shake, but the images were much more noisy with color aberrations.
Apparently I’ve a bit of a learning curve for digital cameras. All told, I haven’t yet done much experimenting in “optimal” (outside, natural) lighting conditions. Most likely those shots will come out well on “auto” settings. Likewise, ISO 80-200 shots in most situations would come out best on a tripod.
I am still upgrading to the Canon G9, though no longer due to image quality issues per se. Now it’s simply for the RAW support and for the 12 MP images. Plus, as I may have mentioned earlier, I previously owned a Canon A70 that I loved to death (well, not to DEATH, as I still have it and it works beautifully). It was a solid machine and always delivered top quality images, especially on its high end 3MP resolution and super-fine quality setting. I just bought the G9 last night, and generally like its layout, despite being slightly more complex. It also feel properly weighty and rugged in my hand. I think I’ll enjoy the switch.
So, long story short, know thy camera! The H3 does seem to be an excellent little camera, once you know enough to properly use it. Or, so long as you use it under optimal lighting conditions (or know how best to compensate for non-optimal lighting [with either a flash or the ISO settings]). For a point-and-shoot, it’s at a good price point, and has plenty of features, plus, the zoom is excellent, and the pictures come out well when taken properly.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful.
By J. A. Parkyn
I purchased this camera last week and am already blown away! This camera was to replace a previously purchased DSC-H2 – while I loved that camera, the delay time was unacceptable – not to mention design flaws causing the shutter button to need to be replaced more than once on two of the H-2’s.
I was skeptical in purchasing another Sony since having the above experience w/ the H2 – I tried an Olympus and a Fuji – neither could hold a candle to the Sony’s picture quality -so, back to the store those went and I decided to roll the dice on another Sony…I just couldn’t get over the saturation of color and the crispness of the photos you get with the Sony and Carl Zeiss lens…not to mention the advanced sports mode ( I take alot of action pics ) All pics come out spectacular and clear! This camera also has many programming features – I especially like the face detection and the “soft shot” mode.
For a 10x zoom – this camera is TINY! I was concerned with the size, but Sony made it happen and it’s quite an impressive little gadget.
I’d recommend this camera – it was a good find and a good buy for me…hopefully this will end my perpetual hunt for the perfect point and shoot ( I think it will! )
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful.
My Favorite Camera Ever!!
By Amazon Customer
This camera is great in low light. I shot pictures in an auditorium with regular stage light in “High Sensitivity” mode and was able to get 4×6 prints of people (as long as they weren’t moving too much) without a tripod and WITHOUT a flash! I did use the 2 second timer so I could hold the camera still while the shutter went off.
I also love the macro setting. You can focus on your subject less than an inch away.
I like the “Advanced Sports Shooting” mode, but I’ve actually gotten better action shots by putting the camera in “Manual” and setting it to the fastest shutter speed possible. The other advantage of using “Manual” is that you can use the flash.
Speaking of the flash, I absolutely love the quality of light from this flash. No blown out subject in front of a black background. There’s even a setting for the flash called “keep subjects and distant background bright” that keeps the ambient light even brighter and makes the picture a lot more natural looking.
The picture quality is amazing!! I haven’t done any enlargements yet, but when I zoom in on the computer screen, a lot of my shot seem to be as clear as my SLR shots!
The only problem I’ve had is that there are a lot of buttons on a little camera so every once in a while I accidentally hit the dial or a button and have to re-set it. But having said that, I definitely wouldn’t trade this camera for one with less settings. It’s well worth having to watch my fingers more closely.
All in all I’m very happy with this camera. It’s by far the best point and shoot I’ve owned.
Features of this product
- 8.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 16-by-22-inch prints
- 3.0-inch LCD display; 10x zoom with Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization
- High Sensitivity Mode (ISO 3200) lets you shoot without flash in low-light conditions
- Face Detection technology (up to 8 faces); Advanced Sports mode
- Powered by rechargeable lithium ion battery; stores images on Memory Stick Duo or Duo Pro media (not included)
Point-and-shoot cameras are specially created for amateur and holiday photography enthusiasts who want to capture incredible pictures, but don’t want to get into the technical details. With a compact size, easy-to-use interface and incredible performance, these cameras correctly fit the bill. Point-and-shoot cameras are available in both basic and advanced modes. The basic ones are almost completely automated, so all you have to do is merely point and take. On the other hand, advanced ones have a few controls such as shutter speed, ISO and aperture that you may easily adjust.
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