Sony H2 Performance

Timing and Performance

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 Timing
Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Power on
to first shot
2.8 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.
2.3 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens and stow in your pocket.
Buffer clearing time
5.6 seconds
(Large/Fine JPEG,
Seven shots in
continuous mode)
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.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.0 second
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
1.3 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
recorded image
0.6 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.45 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.90 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Continuous Autofocus
0.67 second
Typically no advantage to Continuous AF mode, and we have no way of reliably measuring performance with moving ones.
Manual Focus
0.46 second
Usually a bit faster than AF. In the case of the H2, brings telephoto shutter lag times down to the same level as wide angle ones.
0.012 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Full AF with Flash (Wide Angle)
0.72 second
When the flash is enabled, the need for a metering pulse often slows shutter response slightly.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.64 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. This fast all the time with a Memory Stick PRO Duo card. (No limit due to buffer capacity.)
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.49 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. This fast all the time with a Memory Stick PRO Duo card. (No limit due to buffer capacity.)
Early shutter
Some cameras won'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
0.77 second (1.3 frames per second);
7 shot buffer capacity;
~5.6 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 shots. After buffer fill, a pause of 5.6 seconds, then back to 0.77 second/shot.
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.65 second (1.54 frames per second);
No apparent limit
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots. No apparent buffer limit.
Multiburst mode
(320x240 pixel sub-frames)
0.033 second (30 frames per second);
16 shots then wait a second or so.
Time per shot, averaged over 16 shots. In this mode, 16 low-resolution images are captured very rapidly and stored in a single full-size image. Frame rates of 7.5, 15, and 30 frames/second can be set via a menu option.
Flash recycling
16 seconds
Flash at maximum output. (This is very slow, but the H2's flash is much more powerful than average.)
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
4,644 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
Greater than 770=USB 2.0 High

The Sony DSC-H2's performance ranges from quite fast to just average, though some timings, such as flash recycle and continuous speed, are actually a little bit slow. Start-up time is good considering the long lens. Shutter lag at both wide angle and telephoto zoom settings is good as well, and "prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are blazingly fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.012 second. Shot to shot cycle times are a little better than average, at about 1.6 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures frames continuously at this rate. Continuous-mode speed is on the slower side, at a bit over one frame/second, for up to seven shots in succession. Though, the Multiburst mode captures 16 frames at about 30 frames per second (0.33 second cycle time), though at the 320 x 240 resolution. The flash is quite slow to recycle at 16 seconds after a full-power shot, however. Connected to a computer, download speeds are quite fast, so you won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the DSC-H2 is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities, but its standard continuous shooting mode is a bit slow for sports or wiggly kids. That aside, results overall are pretty good.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Short battery life with standard AA alkaline cells, but much better life with NiMH rechargeables.

Operating Mode
Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 uses two AA batteries for power, and a pair of NiMH batteries and a charger are included with the camera. Though runtimes are increased with the NiMH batteries over alkalines, I heartily recommend picking up a spare set and keeping them 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.

The DSC-H2 accepts Memory Stick Duo cards, though no card is included; 32MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
32MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2,816 x 2,112 Images 9 18
File Size 3.2 MB 1.7 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 19 33
File Size 1.6 MB 554 KB
1,632 x 1,224 Images 30 57
File Size 1.0 MB 548 KB
640 x 480
Images 183 459
File Size 171 KB 68 KB

I strongly recommend buying at least a 256MB card, preferably a 512GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.


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