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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50
The H50 has a 49-zone multi area metering system backed up by centre weighted and spot metering. There's also ±2EV exposure compensation, with exposure compensation bracketing over 3 frames. As with its DLSR range, the H50 has a Dynamic Range Optimise function, which is useful in high contrast conditions to save highlight and shadow detail. This has two settings, standard for shadow retention and D-R Plus for highlight and shadow retention.
Other electronic image parameters include noise reduction, contrast and sharpness settings and a range of colour controls. These include saturation, colour filters and a range of colour modes including natural, vivid, real, monochrome and sepia.
The camera records in JPEG only, with images saved to a Sony Memory Stick Duo format media and Sony's decent movie mode, VX-MPEG is included allowing recording to the capacity of the card is also on board.
A useful remote control is included with the H50, allowing remote shooting and playback options, which is useful if images are being played back via the A/V output to a TV for example.
Considering the amount of features, and the lens and LCD, the camera is remarkably small and herein lies its main problem. The back of the camera is dominated by the large screen, which sits away from the back due to the tilting hinge. This leaves little space for other controls and I found my thumb continually forced to rest on the zoom control. The hair trigger of this button means that I repeatedly zoomed in when I didn't want to. Repositioning my thumb forced it to press the menu button, also an inconvenient outcome, not to mention making the camera less comfortable to hold.
The camera's deep grip is more comfortable however and when held normally (despite the zoom control) the camera does sit nicely and securely. Ease of use continues to be a misnomer when it comes to using the manual and AE modes. I had to resort to using the manual to work out how to change shutter, aperture and ISO - which after eight years of testing digital cameras is frustrating to say the least.
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