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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 - Test shots - ISO performance

By Jamie Harrison



Our Score:


A range of test shots are shown over the next few pages. Here, the full size images at the minimum and maximum ISO settings have been reduced for bandwidth purposes to let you see the full image, and a series of crops taken from original full resolution images at a range of ISO settings have been included in order for you to gain an appreciation of the overall quality.


This is the full frame image at the minimum sensitivity of ISO80.

This 100% crop shows decent noise control.

ISO 100 maintains the same level of noise control as above.

At ISO 200 noise is still well controlled but images look slightly 'digital'.

Noise is visible but acceptable at ISO 400.

SO 800 shows plenty of chroma noise but is okay for this speed.

ISO 1600 has very visible noise.

At ISO 3200 the image noise is very clear, but better than some.

This is the full frame image at ISO 3200.


July 15, 2008, 7:13 pm

you guys from TR just hate Sony brand, this Camera is so awesome, one the best i have, its for pros not for stupid people like you who make difference between brands...

oh its sony lets give it a low score.....

look here some reviews from Pro photographers:


gave it a score of 4.5 out of 5 thats 9/10.


gave it also a score of 4.5 out of 5 thats 9/10.


gave it also a score of 9.17/10.


gave it a great review.....

Gavin Hamer

July 15, 2008, 9:12 pm

Personally, I hate Sony and all they stand for, but I'm pragmatic more than dogmatic and bought this camera about a month ago after an extensive look at the superzoom market. None of the options are perfect, but I'm quite sure that I got the best one for me and I'm very happy with it.

The reviewer clearly despises the menu system, but, despite my big fat fingers, I have never accidentally hit the zoom and have never had any trouble selecting the manual options with the jog wheel. After a short time, it becomes second nature. I think that camera experts come to expect menus to work in a certain way, and when they don't, they consider it to be "wrong". It is different, but it works very nicely in my opinion, and 90% of the time I'm using it in manual mode. In reality somebody buys a camera and keeps it for years, they learn every option inside out. If it isn't intuitive for the first few minutes, surely that should be irrelevant to the rating of the camera.

The comment about pictures having "an unreal digital look" is perhaps the most perplexing thing of all, so vague and yet so all-encompassing. There's an excellent range of options, including different colour modes. If the reviewer finds the colours to be unreal, they should perhaps try a different colour mode. Just a quick experimentation reveals that the most natural colours come from the "Real" colour mode. The default seems to give what I would call "Sony colours", a bit more colour and contrast than reality. By setting the white balance on a white surface and using Real colour mode, all my photos look just right in terms of colour.

One key feature not mentioned is that this camera zooms during video. The zoom isn't completely inaudible, but it's only noticeable in particularly quiet situations.

Just a few things that could have got a mention -

1. The smile shutter mode - automatically taking when somebody in the frame smiles

2. The happy faces retouch - makes miserable buggers look like they were smiling (a bit of fun if nothing else)

3. Full HD output to TVs (via a cable which isn't supplied).

Also, it only takes MemoryStick Duo cards - eeek! But don't fear, because it also works perfectly with a MicroSD card if you purchase the relevant unbranded adapter from somedodgyinternetshop.com

There are quite a few links to other reviews above, but perhaps the most comprehensive is this one:


Hans Gruber

July 15, 2008, 9:41 pm

Yeah, I see what you mean. TR are always biased against Sony branded cameras. That's why they always give low scores like 7/10 or just blatantly deducting a point from a perfect 10 whenever they feel like it, just because they hate the word 'Sony'.

So, performing a very quick search of this site's reviews for Sony digital cameras and you can clearly see this awful unprofessional bias in action. I mean, why would you want to follow the crowd of other review sites and just copy their marking when you can go it alone and make your own mind up when reviewing a product? It's more work but the pay off is better.

A200, 350 and 700 SLR models all *only* get 9 out of 10 with two of the cameras reviewed having perfect (10 out of 10) image quality. Bah! It should be better. Of course they always add a point or two for the likes of Canon and Nikon (probably every time they have a spare unawarded point or two from reviewing a Sony camera like this one).

Just look: http://preview.tinyurl.com/...

Maybe the camera reviewed scored lower because of the dust on the front element? Maybe it affected the handling and build quality also? Perhaps a clean and retest is in order then. ;/


July 15, 2008, 11:06 pm

Maybe it's not the website but the reviewer. I was very displeased with Mr. Harrison's review of the Fuji S8100fd and I don't think much of this review either. I'm not convinced that the handling of the H50 is as bad a Mr. Harrison says and I'm astounded that he thinks its picture quality is merely average. Compare Mr. Harrison's test shots with shots of other point and shoot cameras and it's obvious - the H50 has outstanding picture quality. I would give it at least a 9 out of 10 in that category.


July 16, 2008, 6:30 am

I am surprised by Jamie Harrison's review here, and totally disagree . Without doubt Sony H50 is the best extended zoom camera for the money available in the market at the present time. The competitors either have poor, although longer zoom lenses with aberration/distortion problem (Olympus, Fuji, Nikon - 8/10) or their image quality/features are not upto the par (Panasonic - 8.5/10).

The features of this camera are well thought of, handling is superb, the Carl Zeiss lens is sharp along the entire 15X range, 3 inch angulated, clear and bright LCD is best of the bunch, flash is powerful, focus is fast and accurate under various conditions, and the pictures are stunning even at default setting - all in a light package at an impressive price.

I took over two hundred close-up and telephoto shots indoors and out, and noticed minimal distortion and chromatic aberration usually expected from large zooms, and no edge softening whatsoever. The only other camera which has a superior lens is now aging Panasonic FZ18 (Leica). However, all other features in Sony H50 are far better than FZ18.

A winner all the way (9.5/10) - what else one can ask for?

Canon makes best (above 9/10 rating) point and shoot, Sony best entry level DSLR's and Nikon best professional DSLR cameras currently. However, the difference is not that much between some other makes like Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax, at lower ratings (below 9/10).


This is not a DSLR, so don't expect it to perform like one. However, even a DSLR doesn't have a powered megazoom, auto focus in live view with shutter release button and light compact body like an extended zoom camera.

Loose lens cap (it may be meant to prevent damage to the lens if you accidently switch on the camera with the cap still on, unlike H5 which had a 'cap on' warning).

Expensive proprietary accessaries.

Checkout: dphotojournal reviews of H50.

Sean Groarke

July 16, 2008, 11:17 am

Sometimes people's comments crack me up. One comment complains that


"...its for pros not for stupid people..."

</quote> (sic)

while someone else bemoans the lack of mention of


The happy faces retouch...


heh. Made my morning. :-)


July 16, 2008, 12:40 pm

Not only TR's reviewer found H50s interface fiddly:


"Just half a star short of the full set – there's no RAW, that control pad/scroll wheel combination is fiddly and the menu/home options are confusingly ordered and divided up."


July 16, 2008, 4:36 pm

Photography Blog gave the H50 4.5 out of 5 overall (and a 4.5 out of 5 for image quality), so the "fiddly" controls were obviously not perceived to be a significant problem.


July 17, 2008, 12:27 am

I would have rated it - Design 10/10, Features 10/10, Image Quality 9/10, Value 10/10, Overall 9.5/10. We are comparing it with other extended zoom cameras here, not DSLR's - None of them have a 3inch tilting LCD or flash as powerful as Sony H50. Its picture quality rivals a DSLR. And the lens is of highest quality, second only to Panasonic's Leica.

Mr. Harrison - Be fair or lose credibility (did you receive a defective camera?).


July 17, 2008, 11:28 pm

Too jimmydee, who mentions that it's image quality rivals a DSLR.

You are wrong, very wrong. There is a massive gap in image quality, especially from ISO 200 up. And worse of all you can't change the lens, and therefore get rid of the awful barrel distortion at wide angles.


July 18, 2008, 2:58 am

Please read my detailed comments (#5 from the top).

Jamie Harrison

July 18, 2008, 10:07 pm

Thanks for all your comments, I'm pleased that so many of you are happy with your camera. However after 8 years of testing over 500 cameras (and 20 years working as a very busy photographer/printer/journalist), I stand by my comments and would like to answer some of your queries.

For over 100 years the aperture and shutter controls have usually each been accessed by simple one step dials, the aperture ring and shutter speed dial and these worked well. Why would a three or four step system such as that used by the Sony be an improvement?

The lens hood, though welcome and effective is awkward to use.

Yes my thumb did continually press the zoom.

I never received the memo from TR telling me to hate Sony. In fact I love the Alpha cameras I've tested so far and think the R1 was the best bridge camera ever.

The picture quality from its tiny CCD compared to the APS-C sensor of a DSLR and the subsequent reduced pixel pitch increases noise. There is definite haloing and CA and less detail than you'd get from a comparable populated DSLR sensor (lending it more of a 'digital look'- an unfortunate phrase that I should have expanded on).

A clever marketing trick the manufacturers have pulled off is by impressing us with well known optical manufacturer tie-ins. The Leica lens of the Panasonic cameras for example is jointly designed by Leica and Panasonic, with regular random optical quality control checks from samples off the production line performed and sent to Leica. The lenses are not made by Leica. And Leica is not even a lens brand. Leitz is. Are we falling for the hype a little bit here?

Ask anyone who scores cameras and they will moan about the difficulty and limitations of scoring systems. Even the worst camera in the world will often get 7/10 (or proportionately similar score). When was the last time you saw a camera get 3,4 or 5 out of 10. Even if it was rubbish? I try and reflect my opinion in the numbers and do it fairly, I think. If the camera received 10 out of 10 and the next camera I tested was even better, do I give it 11? The system is inherently flawed I believe, but I try to give an accurate indication of the cameras capabilities.

If you have the Sony H50, and you like it, great. Enjoy using it and enjoy the pictures you take with it. That's what photography's all about.


July 19, 2008, 5:38 am

I appreciate Mr. Harrison's comments. However I think he is off-base in comparing the H50's sensor to that of a DSLR. It has always been my understanding that the image quality category compares the camera being reviewed with similar cameras in its class. The 7 given to the H50 puts its image quality in the middle to low end of all cameras tested. I could accept that score if you compared the H50 to a DSLR. But Trusted Reviews does not not compare the image quality of other point and shoots to DSLR's. Mr. Harrison recently gave a score of 8 to the Pentax M50. Does this mean the M50's image quality approaches that of a DSLR? Is the image quality of the Pentax M50 really superior to the Sony H50? Not to my eyes.


July 19, 2008, 9:39 am

Exactly. And why 5 for design just because you did not like aperture/shutter controls - that's the only extended zoom which has a articulated LCD of this size. And why 6 for value - it is either same or less expansive than other extended zoom cameras. Even 9 for features is low because again it has same or more features than any other extended zoom. And the picture quality is definitely not less than 9. Sony is rated better than Panasonic, its closest rival, in other reviews (www.dphotojournal.com), and you guys gave Panasonic 9/10 - shouldn't that makes Sony 9.5/10 if not 10/10? Mr. Harrison, like you suggested, I am enjoying my camera. I just want to make sure you do your job properly and fairly because some of the other buyers, who count on these reviews, will end up making wrong choice and regret later because you messed up big time this time.


July 19, 2008, 4:42 pm

It is very clear that Mr. Harrison's review for the Sony H50 was based on "DSLR STANDARDS", because he said that H50's 'tiny' CCD is no match to a DSLR'sensor. Now my question is this: Do all the superzoom cameras he reviewed in the past were based on DSLR Standards?? Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic reviews were generally high. Does it mean that these cameras were on par with DSLRs? I don't think so! Next time Mr. Harrison, whenever you are going to do a SONY SUPERZOOM review again, please base it on SUPERZOOM/BRIDGE CAMERA STANDARDS. Please have an APPLE to APPLE comparison. SZ review based on SZ standards. The buying public will be confused with your review standards. Thank you.


July 20, 2008, 3:48 am

JimmyDee said:I just want to make sure you do your job properly and fairly because some of the other buyers, who count on these reviews, will end up making wrong choice and regret later because you messed up big time this time.

Very true, i agree with your comment....


Jamie Harrison

July 20, 2008, 4:36 pm

Actually, my comment about DSLR quality was in response to JimmyDee's comment 'Its picture quality rivals a DSLR.'

All cameras I review are compared within their market sector. Hence the reason an entry level camera can get 9/10 and a DSLR 8/10 and so on, for example.


July 20, 2008, 4:51 pm

Mr. Harrison, I have an idea. Since mega-zooms are a unique breed of bridge cameras, why don't you have a double rating system for such cameras, starting with Sony H50 - one 'compared with DSLR' and another 'compared with other mega-zooms'. As a consumer it will help me most to decide which way to go if I know the pros and cons. You definitely have the expertise, and we will appreciate your input - thanks.

Mr. N

July 22, 2008, 6:33 pm

I, for one, don't see the need for a 'double rating system'. Surely, as Mr. Harrison has mentioned, if the score is seen as it is intended (ie. relative to its market sector) then that is enough for the consumer?

The decision on purchase is surely primarily 'What do I want from my digital camera?', with the secondary question being 'Which camera delivers this in the best way possible?'. Once this is decided, then a decision based upon the scores is easier achieved.

With regards to the scores in each individual section – is it not true that if Mr. Harrison makes a comment on, say, chromatic aberration, and also supplies images as evidence, then his scores are validated?

We have to be wary as consumers not to become either too attached to a brand or offended when, having made an 'informed' decision and hefty investment in a camera, a less-than-favorable review appears of said camera. Bias is an accusation one should sometimes ponder with regard to oneself.


July 22, 2008, 10:24 pm

Hi folks, looking for some help...

Have read the review of the Sony H50 and subsequent comments with interest. To give you a quick insight I am very new to photography and would like to get started as a hobby/entry level photographer. I would like your advice and recommendations on which camera to go for. I have previously owned a Fuji S5700 and as such was quite interested in the Fuji S9600 which received fantastic reviews from Cliff. I am also interested in the Sony H50 (due to the apparent better spec) but was slightly confused by the reviews and comments above.

Can anyone offer some advice or recommendation as to what they would see as being the best future purchase for an amateur.

Many thanks in advance.


July 22, 2008, 10:53 pm

I like the Sony H50 and Fuji S8100fd. The Fuji S9600 is no longer being made.


July 23, 2008, 2:06 am

Cheers for replying Andy. I understand that the S9600 is an old camera but to date it hasnt been replaced unless you consider the S100FS - but thats 400 quid. I would have gone with the S9600 rather than the 8100FD. I must admit Iwas nearly sold on the Fuji until stumbling over reviews of the Sony.

I just want to be sure of a decent purchase thats simple to use and not rediculously expensive to buy.


July 19, 2009, 11:34 pm

Hello all

I am owner of DSC-H7 and I am generally happy with its picture quality, but in term of menu control and this horrible dial system which seems to be standard on all ultrazoom series from Sony then I am agree with the reviewer.

Honestly it&#8217;s a most clumsy system I have ever seen in this type of cameras so far. It seems that Sony stopped in time and do not want to redesign this plastic body of its ultrazoom series since 6 years ago, extended lenshood is pretty useless in wide angle mood also, the image quality can not be set etc.

Over all it is ok camera but its not a big deal compare to the others.

I also have Olympus sp 570-UZ and honestly from last year when I bought it, practically stopped using the Sony, mainly because of grip, control and functionalities not to mention its feature.

Thanks for listening.

John Shewsbury

April 30, 2010, 2:11 pm

Hahahaha.... all the hoopla in the comments section seems to be fun... to all who feel offended by the review... why bother, if you have the Sony H50 and happy with it, so be it... many reviewers have the rights to expressed their opinion as they will give score on the product base on their own personal view... I think it's good that we can read different opinion from different reviewer coz even if all the famous reviewer say the item is PERFECT - that doesn't means it will be perfect for you and some others... when it comes to purchase decision time... I don't think we all will stick to the reviewers opinion anyway.... our own personal needs (in camera/photography) and our budget is in fact the real decision factor... I now use Canon 1000D and in my opinion Panasonic FZ28 can beat this camera easily... then again just my personal opinion and many of you will dislike it maybe and say I am bias againts Sony...


October 17, 2013, 6:20 am

Hi, Can I get separate lenses for DSC H-50 Sony Cyber-shot camera?

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