Reviews say the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 offers some advantages that many other ultra-zoom digital cameras lack, such as an ability to zoom while shooting movies and a nice 3-inch LCD screen to display your work. But there's no RAW support, and more reviews than not say the controls are a total pain to use. A professional reviewer calls it "Frankenstein's body with a beautiful mind." Some say this monster is fast; some say it's slow. Only one calls it the best ultra-zoom camera, however. Most reviewers say the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 (Discontinued) is the best ultra-zoom. The FZ28 has an 18x zoom lens and 10.1-megapixel resolution, while the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 has a 16x zoom lens and 9.1-megapixel resolution.
CNET has the easiest-to-read coverage and the most accessible comparisons with other cameras, although its overall verdict is more positive than most professional reviewers'. More detailed and technical reports can be found at Imaging-Resource.com and Steves-Digicams.com. ConsumerReports.org doesn't review the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50. There are about three dozen owner reviews at Amazon.com, most of them highly complimentary.
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 ranks first in this nine-camera ranking of ultra-zooms, although all get the same rating of 3.5 out of five stars. It's judged easy to use, and the ability to zoom during movie mode is a plus. But it's slow, there's no RAW support and the lens isn't wide enough.
Review: Best Megazoom Digital Cameras, Lori Grunin, May 22, 2009
Lab and hands-on testing serve as the basis for these thorough reviews. The gist is that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 offers "good but not excellent" image quality and a nice 3-inch LCD display. But, Pasini says, the "wheel dial and small OK button" combine for "an essential but nearly unusable control."
Review: Sony H50 Overview, Mike Pasini, June 19, 2008
Reviews here rely on thorough testing -- the drawback is a failure to rank cameras. There's no mistaking that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 is recommended, however. It's described as a versatile camera whose big lens, speed, and automatic and manual controls make it a solid choice for all but professionals.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, Aug. 15, 2008
Reviews here are comparatively short, but they are based on hands-on testing, and the ratings system makes it easy to compare cameras. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 gets four out of five stars and has "Frankenstein's body with a beautiful mind" -- bulkiness and a cumbersome interface.
Review: Sony DSC-H50, Campbell Simpson, Aug. 29, 2008
About 75 owner reviews give the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50 a very high average score, with just a few posting negative ratings. Complaints about image quality are standard for point-and-shoots.
Review: Sony Cyber-Shot DSCH50, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2009
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10, but not the DSC-H50, is included among the 14 ultra-zooms in this reader-friendly rankings chart. Only subscribers have access.
Review: Digital Cameras, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of June 2009