Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 Review

Camera Reviews Featured Sony Uncategorized

Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 Camera Experience

Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - mode dial Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - control button's four-way navigator
Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 rear controls, tilting LCD display, and pop-up flash

I’ve used half a dozen or so cameras in the past year, from pocket-sized point-and-shoots to medium-sized compact digital cameras to the world’s smallest digital SLR. The Sony DSC-H50 falls squarely in the middle, in more ways than one. It’s a compact digital camera with a modest price tag, several outstanding features and some mediocre qualities. I loved the huge zoom range, especially when I was shooting in wide open spaces like Monument Valley or from canyon overlooks high above ancient Native cliff dwellings. Sometimes I regretted not having a wider-angle lens. When you’re standing under a waterfall and trying to capture its grandeur, there’s a big difference between the H50′s 31mm wide-angle and the traditional 28mm wide-angle standard.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Looking UpThe camera also hits middle ground with its user interface – both the physical design and the electronic menus. They’re neither great nor terrible – they’re just average. The LCD is pretty great, though. I love the large size, vivid colors, sharpness and tilting function. One picture I probably wouldn’t have gotten without the tilting LCD was through the small window of a cliff dwelling, looking up at the 700-plus-year-old interior walls and log rafters (see right).

The DSC-H50′s exposure modes are nothing to write home about, although it is nice to have the full range of options, from Easy mode to manual. I generally shot using Automatic or one of the scene modes, like Landscape or Fireworks, and my photographs were usually well-exposed. Intelligent Scene Recognition is a useful function, and the continuous shooting/bracket button is easy to use and handy to have.

I was frustrated by the camera’s auto review function, or lack thereof. When I take a picture, I like to see it on the LCD for at least a few seconds, if not longer. Some cameras allow you to choose how long the last picture taken should remain on the screen, but not this one. The only choice is on or off, and on is virtually useless. Although the DSC-H50′s settings menu says, “Review images 2 sec. after shooting,” mine displayed them for no more than half a second. I wasted a lot of time hitting the playback button to see what I’d just taken.

The H50′s exposure metering and auto focus worked very well, especially when I was shooting challenging subjects like neon signs, ice sculptures and luminaria at night (see below). However, the metering mode button on the top of the camera never seemed to work. Every time I pressed it, the LCD displayed a scary exclamation point and an error message: “Metering mode operations are not available.” Eventually I figured out you can only select the metering mode when Face Detection is off and you’re using one of the manual exposure modes. There are two metering options – spot and Multi-Pattern, which evaluates the whole scene and sets exposure accordingly. Since I prefer using auto and scene modes where the metering mode can’t be selected, I aim the camera at whatever I want to meter off of, depress and hold the shutter button halfway to meter and focus, then recompose.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Peace Sign Luminaria

I enjoyed shooting video with the DSC-H50. It allowed me to share the experience of watching the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas and a Native American flute player near the Grand Canyon with friends via YouTube. Although I’m no expert on audio and video, I thought the quality of both was quite good for a small camera. I also really liked being able to zoom in and out while shooting video, something not every digital camera will allow you to do.

next pageSony Cybershot DSC-H50 Image Quality >>

Related Articles

NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:

Wordpress Comments:

  • Shaol says:

    I got this camera for chrismas and, while it was obviously manifested, I found it lacking in photographical essay.

  • kc_rellik says:

    I got this camera after reviewing many others including dslrs and i fell on this bad boy bc it has the options to be creative with your photography as well as just point n shoot either way ur getting good photos i love the infered night shot the video is great being able to upload ur own music to make personable slideshows so far i have no problem with this product its greeeat go get one if ur a beginner or a expert it will serve itzs purpus…

  • Some might think it’s a bit pricey, but I think it’s a decent price for the features you get. It’s not the most sophisticated of digitals, but provides more than enough for any beginner, and if it’s your first digital camera then this one is fine. Not too complex, but easy enough to learn the necessary bits and pieces to get some great shots. Remote control could be better, but you’re not going to be using that often anyway.

  • JR says:

    For me the remote is what has perked my interests, but am a bit concerned with the one posted comment… I have always hated the shutter button when using a Tri-pod, my hands are not steady on the best of days… This camera looks a bit small… Wondering except for the 15x Carl Zeiss lens could it have been packaged in a shirt pocket form?

    But the remote had my attention believing i would use it most of the time…


  • Patia says:

    Hi JR. I wrote the review. I’m not sure what the previous commenter meant by saying the remote control could be better. I’ve never used any other remotes, so I can’t really compare it to anything, but I thought it worked pretty well. It did need to be pointing at the camera fairly directly. I don’t think it worked well from behind the camera, if that’s what your intent is. Best of luck to you.

  • I would like to know from the reviewers if this would be an easy camera for a beginner. I like the easy to grip shape as opposed to the little square flat point and shoots .Also I have confidence in most of the reviews in general that I’ve read. I need something that takes good close up detailed macro shots of jewelry. I returned a Canon I recently bought as it was too complicated for my needs. So I don’t want to make another mistake. I’d be ever so thankful for any advice regarding this camera or any other in the $220.00 price range knowing my needs…simple to operate and good macro shots.. Thanks so much! ” )

  • Patia says:

    Hi Carol. I think this may be more camera than you need, but I do think it would work well for you, especially if you set it to “Easy” mode. It should take good macro shots of your jewelry, and the tilt LCD might also come in handy.

  • Alberto says:

    I would like to know the differences between this camera (H50) to the Nikon D40.

  • Dyanne says:

    Hi my husband is a musican and I take all the band pictures for them at the shows. I was wondering if this camera would be good for that kind of work. The sony DSC W170 is what I’m using now and it does not do a good job at all. My old DSC V1 took better pictures.

  • karl says:

    my dad is about to buy me this camera and im so excited about it. i was wondering if my excitement would pay off. i am more of a landscape, macro and sports shooting photographs person and not so into portraits. would this camera fill my needs?

  • Nima says:

    Its perfect, 15x optical zoom get too little noise and super HAD CCD makes live color and sharp details, I’m glad about it.

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for commenting, Nima. Please write a review for your camera on the Sony H50 user review page.

    Sony Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 User Reviews >>

    Thanks in advance for your review!

  • Jan-1987 says:

    I own this DSC-H50 almost a year now. I have a question, when I first bought it, I can download music into it just fine. But today, I formatted the music tool because I wanted to download the new songs but it didn’t work, I can’t download music into my camera. Is there something wrong with it? Pls help! [My English is so poor, sorry!]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *