Sony H200 Review
|Full model name:||Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200|
|Sensor size:||1/2.3 inch|
|Dimensions:||4.8 x 3.3 x 3.4 in.
(123 x 83 x 87 mm)
|Weight:||18.7 oz (530 g)
|Full specs:||Sony H200 specifications|
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 Preview
by Mike Tomkins
The Sony H200 looks rather like a digital SLR, and that's no accident -- its styling and grip design are intended to evoke Sony's Alpha DSLR cameras. And while its lens is fixed in place, consumer photographers aren't likely to mind, because with a powerful 26x optical zoom on offer, the DSC-H200 likely offers all the range they'll need in most shooting situations (and then some.) 35mm-equivalent focal lengths range from a very generous 22.3mm wide angle to a far-reaching 580mm telephoto. The maximum aperture falls from f/3.1 to f/5.9 across that range, which is about par for the course for a 26x zoom, although we've seen some models that were slightly brighter.
What we certainly haven't seen before is a long-zoom camera with such a high sensor resolution. The Sony Cyber-shot H200's 1/2.3" Super HAD CCD sensor has an effective resolution of 20.1 megapixels, and that's higher than we've seen in almost any fixed-lens camera, until now. The only prior fixed-lens cameras with more than 18.2 megapixels are Sony's own RX100 and RX1, both of which have much larger sensors than does the H200. Of course, the difference between 18 and 20 megapixel cameras is relatively slight; in linear terms, there's actually only about 6% more resolution, and with smaller pixels, that's going to come at the expense of some added noise.
On its rear panel, the Sony DSC-H200 features a 3.0-inch, Clear Photo LCD monitor. There's no optical or electronic viewfinder, so you'll be doing all your image framing on this display, so it's good news that it has a reasonably high resolution of 460,000 dots. On the top deck, a popup flash is included, with a range of 6.8 meters at wide angle when using Auto ISO sensitivity.
Ease-of-use features include Sony's Intelligent Auto mode, which recognizes the scene type and then configures the camera appropriately, as well as a 360-degree sweep panorama function that handles image capture and stitching automatically. All you need do is press the shutter button once and pan across the scene. There's also a Beauty Effect function that lets you retouch portrait images to smooth and tone your subject's skin, whiten their teeth, widen their eyes, and remove shine. And as well as stills, you can shoot high-def 720p movies, with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels.
The Sony Cyber-shot H200 is powered by four standard AA batteries, and includes both composite standard-def video output and USB 2.0 High Speed data connectivity. Images and movies are stored either on SD or SDHC cards, or on Sony's own proprietary Memory Stick Duo cards.
Available only in a black-bodied version, the Sony H200 is priced at US$250 or thereabouts.
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