Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 Review

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Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 Image Quality

Image quality is where the DSC-H50 really shines. For a moderately priced camera, Sony knocks it out of the ballpark when it comes to exposure and color. Photographs shot in average or better lighting conditions are well-exposed and beautifully saturated with rich pleasing colors. As with the other Sony Cyber-shot I reviewed, reds and blues are particularly enhanced. For people who prefer more natural-looking photos, there are in-camera controls for saturation, color, sharpness, and contrast. Some of the camera’s exposure modes will even let you select different color settings: Normal, Vivid, Real, Sepia, B&W. I was thrilled with the rich earth and sky tones of my Grand Canyon shots and the sharp, colorful neon signs I captured in Las Vegas.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - White House Ruins by Patia Stephens

One caveat: On my Southwest trip, shooting light-colored canyon walls and cliff dwellings under bright sunlight, images appeared overexposed on the LCD preview. Because I know better than to rely on the LCD for exposure, but still wanted to play it safe, I started doing a lot of bracketing. Back on my computer, I realized that the metering was, in fact, generally accurate and it was the LCD preview that was deceptive. Sometimes, though, particularly in very contrasty canyon scenes, I was happy to have an extra-saturated version. It never hurts to bracket.

The Zeiss lens provides clean, sharp images with moderate noise and little to no chromatic aberration or vignetting. On typical images, I made small adjustments to color and contrast using Photoshop levels, but nothing I would consider out of the ordinary. Most people will be happy with images as they come out of the camera. Noise is definitely noticeable at ISO 400 or higher and in underexposed portions of images. This is one area where stepping up to a digital SLR would make a difference. But unless you’re shooting for fine art enlargements or publication quality, it’s not something anyone should worry about.

Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Ruby's Cafe by Patia Stephens Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Black Locust Tree at Sunset by Patia Stephens Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Watchtower staircase
Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Monument Valley by Patia Stephens Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Bellagio Chandelier by Patia Stephens Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 - Howdy by Patia Stephens

Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.

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  • 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!]

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