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Niek Haak | profile | all galleries >> lenstest >> Sony DSC-H9 testpictures tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Sony DSC-H9 testpictures

I have been testing Sony DSC-H9, most of all compared with my old DSC-F717 and especially for infrared photography. Most DSC-H9 pictures were taken in 5 MP mode to make direct comparison with DSC-F717 pictures easier; in general the 8 MP DSC-H9 pictures do NOT show better detail than the 5 MP ones. Most of these pictures were taken in good light conditions; with low contrasts or insufficient light, image quality can be a lot worse than shown here. After testing the H9 went back to the supplier because of uneven left/right sharpness. As many experienced users are seeing the same problems that I found (noise/smearing issues, soft corners at wide angle, above average CA, uneven left/right sharpness) I decided not to purchase another H9 until Sony fixes some of the problems. The H9 is an interesting camera, but unfortunately it has some serious problems.

Additional note, summer 2008: some of the H9 problems like the 'smearing' have improved in the new DSC-H50. However, most of the problems especially those regarding lens quality remain. The H50 is a very interesting camera, but there is too much compromise regarding image quality for me.

Note: this is not a 'scientific' and strictly controlled test, just a comparison under roughly similar conditions. I'm including some examples of DSC-H9 pictures with more-or-less standard settings. These are my first quick shots so probably most of them can be improved upon. Depending on the conditions, the DSC-H9 wins or looses from the DSC-F717. The DSC-F717 is an IR-modified version (without hot mirror); with an external hot mirror it would have beter color and a bit higher resolution. If you want to check picture quality choose 'original' picture size. Warning: there are some original (large) files here!

for a discussion of the capabilities of the H9 for IR photography, check out my articles in Infrared Photography Buzz! The H9/H50 is one of the few recent cameras that can take good IR pictures out of the box (with the right filter and some practice), but for IR photography it has more limitations than previous Sony Cybershot models like the DSC-F707/717/828. Like the DSC-F7x7, the DSC-H9/H50 can be modified to allow full camera control with the IR blocking filter removed. This makes IR photography much easier; too bad that the optics and noise reduction are less good than with some competing camera models.

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