Thursday, 21 April 2011

The New Camera

My search for a new camera has come to an end and I'm now in possession of a device that can hopefully fill the void left by it's predecessor. It was a bit of a dilemma which I outlined a few weeks ago and just in case anyone is curious, here is what I went for:

Though still dreaming of interchangeable lenses, I once again went for a compact camera with a fixed lens. Sadly, both my bank balance and I just couldn't justify the cost of a DSLR/Compact system camera right now though thanks to everyone who passed on their advice :)

After a lot of research and choosing some minimum specifications for the budget I set myself, I ended up taking what I would consider a bit of a risk. That is, veering away from the industry leaders of Canon and Nikon and heading the way of a Sony. A Sony Cybershot DSC-HX5V to be precise. I did so largely because it met my minimum specs, and had decent reviews and the price was good. At £180, though closer to £200 with the extra battery that I've ordered too, it wasn't overly pricey in terms of my budget. It was a little disheartening as Amazon had it on sale a wee while back for £10 less but I think I can live with that.

I picked it up today and here are the pros and cons I've discovered so far:

Good points:

- It has the wide angle lens I was after – landscapes and city shots should be a lot better :)
- It is a lot smaller and lighter than my previous Canon.
- It has a function called 'Hand-held twilight' that has to be seen to be believed – the camera takes 6 shots in a burst and stitches them all together somehow creating an in focus, well lit image that doesn't have the loss of image quality experienced such as when using a high ISO, tripod and slow shutter speed to try to get a similar result. That function so far seems to do a decent job even when my eyes are struggling to do the same! Very impressed.
- The panorama sweep function is good fun.
- Shutter speed and processing speed is pretty fast.

Bad points:

- Manual mode is a little disappointing, only 2 F-stops and ISO settings are set away in a sub menu which seems awkward.
- If I were to use the HD video with stereo sound it'd be hard not to cover the microphone whilst holding the camera.
- There is a mirage of auto settings that I'll likely to not use too many of.
- It uses Lithium Ion batteries that are more expensive to get hold of compared to AAs. Also the recharging will take a lot longer.

So it seems as though I've bought a camera aimed more towards the auto fan which isn't exactly what I had wanted to go for - however, I think this camera will grow on me. I say that because although it isn't going to be as easy to get a shot how I want it, it is still likely to be possible in most scenarios given a few extra seconds or a bit of persistence. As I look at the list there, there are more good points then bad points so far.

On top of that with the likes of the 'hand-held twilight' it looks like this camera might open up a means to take night shots that, with my last camera, I would otherwise have given up on.

It might take a little getting used to but I think my research might have paid off. The real decider will be how good the photos turn out and for that, only time will tell but so far so good.


  1. Ooooh, the 'Hand-held twilight' mode sounds great and just what I'd like to use at concerts. I am fine with evening shots but not so good with concerts with my new camera, despite knowing what it is capable of!

    I wish you and your camera many happy travels!

  2. It looks and sounds like a nice camera! Congrats on your purchase. I'm hoping to get a new camera at some point, but haven't found one that meets my needs yet.



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