Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50

score

Once I knew how to change the settings, I was still frustrated by the system. You need to press the central OK button in the middle of the control pad and use the surrounding scroll wheel to move a yellow arrow on the screen to the desired setting – i.e. the ISO, shutter, aperture, EV compensation or AF point. Then press the OK button again to adjust that setting, again using the scroll wheel. Apart from the AF point which uses the four way control buttons to move the AF point and the scroll wheel to adjust the size of the AF area.

I found myself continually trying to use the four way buttons, so I constantly changed the macro or flash mode. With practice you get used to the system but it’s still too slow and if you want to keep your eye to the camera it requires a level of digit and memory dexterity only achievable by Derren Brown. It was easier to take the camera from my eye, turn the viewing from EVF to LCD, make the changes, turn back to the EVF and continue shooting. Hardly the fastest operation I think you’ll agree.


On the other hand the camera has some more speedy handling habits. There’s a button by the shutter release button for changing the drive mode and another for hanging the metering mode, for example and a switch for quickly changing to Night Shooting. Handy as these may be, I’d prefer faster access to aperture and shutter – the fundamental controls of any camera. Sony seems to have got its priorities (pun intended) just plain wrong.

Another cause of consternation is the large lens hood that’s included with the camera. Whilst this important accessory is very welcome, it’s two part design is not. There’s a large adapter that screws onto the filter thread around the lens, with a rotating ring around the front. A second petal hood is then placed onto the front of the adaptor. However you can’t rotate the petal hood/front ring with the hood in place, so you have to align everything before you attach the petal hood. With a lack of clear alignment marks, this process is a puzzle. I like puzzles, when I have time to kill, say on a long train journey, but not when I want to go out and take some pictures. Very bad design, Sony!

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