Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Walk With The New Sony Cybershot DSC H5

If you drop in here often, you know I just made the move from 35mm to digital with the purchase of a Sony Cybershot DSC H5 camera. My 35mm Nikon is still my choice for wet or dirty (as in mud or sand) adventures, but so far I am pretty impressed with the Sony.

It is not a DSLR. I had considered DSLR's, as their prices have become much more reasonable, but it wasn't price so much as this simple fact...
I'm tired of changing and carrying multiple lenses around! It's the 21st century for crying out loud, can't we have just one lens that does it all...or at least most of it?

I am willing to trade off some extreme capabilities that I might need a few times for a chance to travel light and still get the shot.
For a shakedown cruise, I took the DSC H5 on a walk around my place. Here are a few shots with commentary...


This Gulf Frit larva was munching passion flower leaves beside my little barn. This is a natural light shot, midday, handheld. The H5 will focus as close as .75 inch when set on macro. I was not that close here, but this was using the macro feature.


After the Gulf Frit, I stepped back onto the porch for my Bubba Keg insulated mug as I needed a swig of ice water (unsweetened of course). This deer was grazing about 75 feet away. I zoomed in to the 12x optical maximum for the shot. The H5 has "image stabilization" software inside to correct for handshake and it worked fine here. I thought the camera handled the dappled light situation well too.


Here's a flubbed shot just to keep it honest. I would not have screwed up this shot with my old Minolta SRT-201. With manual focus only, I would have cut right through the coreopsis flowers and focused on my subject...the egret fishing at my pond.

The H5 focused on the flowers since they were in front of the bird. Most autofocus cameras would do the same, so that's not a camera fault. The H5 has 3 different focusing modes plus the manual option, so this shot could have been done correctly. The photographer should have realized this would happen.

Operator error is not the camera's fault.

...the H5 told me to say that. Posted by Picasa


Rurality said...

Nice! My camera has one focusing mode. It can read my mind and focus on everything BUT what I want it to focus on.

Floridacracker said...

LOL! If that's true, who is taking all of those beautiful shots at your site?

pablo said...

I'm eager to see all of the nifty photos you take with the new camera (though I always thought the old shots were good). As for unsweetened water in your Bubba Keg mug -- that doesn't even sound legal in the South. (Both the unsweetened and the water parts.)

Betsy said...

Nice! I love how you took your new camera out for a test drive and right away encountered 3 classes of fauna (bird, bug, & mammal) and a variety of interesting flora. It is a testament to the beauty of where you live, or your naturalizing abilities, or probably both!!

robin andrea said...

Really nice shots with the new camera, FC. I have a lot of photos like your third one!

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Great shots! And with a camera right out of the box, yet. Glad to see you went digital.

About the focusing situation, I'm hoping that the next generation of these cameras will feature the option of *eye focusing*, as Canon has used on some of their EOS 35mm models. That's a feature that I would gladly pay a premium for when going after shots of elusive wildlife.

Hick said...

Wowsers! You finally made it into the digital world. What photo editing software do you use? (I'm not implying that your shots need editing, I'm just curious.)

By the way, although your deer appear to be more attractive than our mule deer, I am not fooled into becoming all mushy over such "cute little creatures"...deer the world over are all the same: giant rodents with antlers. I would have sent Jazz the Wonderdog after that one way before I would have grabbed my camera.

(I hate deer.)

Floridacracker said...

In for a lunch break after beginning a major cleaning of the boat...

Thank you. Like you, I am a rebellious sort and refuse to drink the sweet tea of my beloved south. The Bubba Keg is wonderful by the way, keeps ice all day long...even in a parked hot car.

I wish I could take credit, but it's naturally wonderful here. I guess I can take credit for not changing it much in my 20 years of cohabitation on these 10 acres.

Thanks. I could just tell people it's a flower shot ;)

Without googling, I'm assuming that is some eye tracking, military trickle down technology that allows the camera to focus on what your eye is focused upon?
That would be a neat feature.

Mammals of Mass Destruction!Antlers of Anarchy! Hooves of Hell!
Bucks of Beelzebub! Does of The Devil!
...sweetest big brown eyes tho.

Photo editing software? Aren't we SUPPOSED to take a good photo in the camera? Isn't that what real photographers do? Am I being a dinosaur here? We throw away the bad ones and we try again and again and again until our eyes are bloodshot and our shutter release finger of choice is bleeding.
...I just use Picasa, haven't sprung for PhotoShop yet.

kim said...

irfanview is free,and more useful and usable in my opinion than picasa.

way nice wormy thing pic.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks for the tip!

Mrs. S said...

I think the caterpillar is very pretty... they should make that color red available to the world, somehow. (because it's all about the red, you know)

Deb said...

I'm with you on the autofocus thing; that has caused me the most frustration with my Canon Powershot A520. That, and some wacky exposure things happening when it's in full auto mode. I've been too lazy to explore more of the modes and manual settings.

I have found that I too don't want to mess around with a photo after I've taken it. What I post, for the most part, is unadulterated; I'm not out for studio perfection, I'm out to tell a story. But I do have Photoshop at work. ;)

thingfish23 said...

I use Photoshop all the time, especially for cropping the small stuff (insects). I get better composition and a smaller file size to save. I (heart) Photoshop.

Not like y'all asked.

For my part, I like the photo of your egret the way it is, tough I can see why it's a good example of the quandary you illustrated. Be thankful that you have a manual function on your camera as well as presets.

I still say that using an all-manual camera is definitely the way to learn photography. Learning to focus as well as compose and control depth of field with a manual camera pays off in spades down the line.

And if you ever find a working Pentax k-1000, snap it up. It's a perfect camera to learn with.

Okay - I'll be quiet now.

thingfish23 said...

By the way, Fc, I know that you know how to shoot manual. You've talked about it before.

Just my $.02 on the subjects that came up in the comments section.

I swear - I'll be quiet now.

Floridacracker said...

Mrs. S,
I had no idea that it was all about the red. I'm often clueless like that.

I think growing up manual with 35mm has (as Thing implied) made me want to make it in the camera, even tho plenty of great shots from that era were tweaked in the darkroom.
As in most things, it's better to get it right the first time.
Besides cropping, exposure, and sharpness, none of the the other photo tweaking capabilities interest me much. I'm not Andy Warhol.

It's when you're quiet that I worry
Any photo advice a pro like you wants to toss around will always be welcome.
Yes, I did learn with manual focus and a simple match needle light meter. It still works, I still have it and I appreciate what it taught me.

Zanne said...

Think of it this way - when you take your 35mm film to the store, it's processed. Color and contrast are corrected before your prints are made.

Photo editiing software allows you to resize the photo for the internet also.

Nice photos, by the way.

Floridacracker said...

True, all very true. Those of us old enough to have spent time in a dark room also know a lot of dodging and burning went on to improve a bad print.
Of course that wouldn't be me...

thingfish23 said...

The darkroom knows no age, friend. Being an "older" student at Barry University, I was given the keys to the kingdom - all hours access to the darkroom. Many nights were spent in blissful, dim, fixer-stinkiness. That was LOTS of fun. Seriously. A few of the other students were also granted such privelege, and we did almost as much "relaxing" outside the darkroom as developing within.

All in the name of fine art, of course.

Floridacracker said...

"All cats are gray in the dark"

Thunder Dave said...

Welcome to the dark side!
I chose the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 (10x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom, and macro capable). Unlike those of you who know how to operate a "real" camera, the auto everything capability of mine is what yields good photos. Editing software is also a good thing! As several folks pointed out, it can be used for enhancement, cropping, special effects etc., not just repair of a so-so shot.

Oh yea, as for deer, you forgot to mention the menu possibilities!

Hick said...

Not to beat a dead horse, and although I appreciate all the nerdy smart talking folks above, they have neglected to mention that photo editing software helps with the "scare factor" of which most of y'all are not prone. (I've visited your web sites and seen the photos.) Here's how it works: you take a picture of a snake/spider/scary-looking-bug from a great distance and then crop the heck out of it to make it look like your were brave and up-close. (You can also draw a little mustach on it for fun.) Heh!

I'm with thingfish: I heart photoshop.

Floridacracker said...

"scare factor"