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I tried the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 Digital Camera

I recently went looking for a simple "point and shoot" camera to take along on vacations, something less valuable and easier to use than my professional cameras, but that had a lot of features I'd otherwise miss.

I thought these features were good/worked well:

Really great image quality, I was impressed, also the menus were easy to navigate.
If the lighting was good then the color accuracy was impressive, for a point and shoot.
I was impressed with the control here, I have a lot more control than I expected.
Oh do I love the built in panoramic imaging! Its wonderful and took a lot of guesswork out of making panoramas (a format I am enamored of).
I think the wide angle lens is a steal at this price point, I have to pay much much more than this for just a lens in the professional field. It is awesome!
Decent zoom, easily adjustable.
Battery life was okay, I would carry spares, but you don't have to be as paranoid as with some other cameras.
The video options was better than I expected. Its not the main feature or focus here, but I would work in a pinch. I may shoot video to paint from the stills later, and this is a nice feature to have for capturing vacation moments...

Some stuff I think needs work:

The flash is wonky, it doesn't show up evenly and it is way too bright. There was a bit of a pause before it went off, especially when it was darker.
This is not a low light camera, actually I was expecting a bit better performance in the lower ranges, however this camera really doesn't like low light. Color accuracy is much worse. Flash as filler in night mode did not work well for me, my images were grey and purple and grainy. Uneven flash.
I noticed a lot of these problems just shooting indoors, its really rather odd. I think this camera would be best for outdoor and bright photography. Just fine for me to drag off on vacation, but if you want an all-around camera maybe look elsewhere. Probably at the S90, that would be much better for low light conditions and lots of indoor shooting.
Why can't I close the lens manually? I feel like it should do that. Am I missing something?
This is probably not as important but I don't like the shell, the plastic feels a bit cheap - I miss the feel of my old metal hand-held.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 18:07:33 +0000

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