Sony DSC-H50 Review

 
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Sony H50 Performance


Timing and Performance

Overall good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.0 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

2.5 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

1 second
(1 second buffer clearing in LF JPEG)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Slow startup and shut down times, though due in part to the long lens.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.4 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.3 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

2.1 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching times are about average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.52 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.88 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus,
Flash enabled

0.64 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position, flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.008 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.53 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.38 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Shutter response is better than average at wide angle, and about average at telephoto. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in an impressive lag time of only 0.008 second. Manual focus time is also good, though a little slower than I'd expect.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.63 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

1.92 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.61 second (1.63 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG

0.61 second (1.64 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

10.3 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III PRO DUO memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are a bit slower than average, at about 1.63 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) The Cyber-shot DSC-H50 has about average Continuous mode speed, at 1.63 frames per second, though the camera did capture over 20 frames continuously at this rate. The flash takes 10.3 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is slow, but it is a fairly powerful flash.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

10,075 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are blazingly fast.

Bottom line, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 is a responsive camera, despite a few sluggish timings here and there. Though its continuous mode speed isn't quite zippy enough for fast-paced action, it should handle average family photo needs.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Above average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
LCD (CIPA standard)
300
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
EVF (CIPA standard)
330

The Sony Cyber-shot H50 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is above average, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Sony Cyber-shot H50 accepts Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, and includes about 15MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
15MB Internal Memory
Fine
3,456 x 2,592
Images
4
File Size
3.6 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
5
File Size
2.5 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
9
File Size
1.6 MB
640 x 480
Images
87
File Size
172 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo at least a 2GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (We recommend the PRO version of the Memory Stick, because it supports non-stop video as well as longer sequences of continuous still-image shooting.) (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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