In the summer when the weather is nice my wife and I like to go to a restaurant and sit outside for lunch or dinner and enjoy our meal. Unfortunately that typically means looking out over a parking lot as cars drive by. Not so at our local winery, Gervasi Vineyard. For the past 2 years we have been able to relax near the lake, enjoy our meal and never once see a car drive by. It also gives me an opportunity to take a few pictures and post them to my photo site, and send some to Facebook from my iPhone (hey, this site is about photography). I recently bought my wife a Sony DSC-H70 camera and decided to give it a try after lunch. It replaced her Kodak Z1485IS and I wanted to see what it could do. Right off the bat I noticed that the colors of the Sony seemed to be a little more true to life and the amount of color noise in the pictures was significantly less. Of course low light pictures and small cameras just don't get along so don't expect miracles. I also liked that the LCD was bright and easier to see than the LCD on the Kodak. I am not going to bother with all of the camera specs, you can find that elsewhere on the net.
So, let's take a look at a few pictures from the Sony DSC-H70 all shot in the 16:9 aspect ratio.
The picture above was taken at ISO 80, focal length 4.25mm, f/8 at 1/200 second. Notice the distortion on the 2 structures at the bottom of the picture. Both structures are leaning toward the center of the picture.
The picture above was taken at ISO 80, focal length 4.25mm, f/8 at 1/125 second.
The camera also has built in skin smoothing which I was curious to try. I have to say that it can do a very good job with excellent results on both light and dark skin. However, like most technologies randomly applied, it can also give some very plastic looking results. Our friend took this picture of my wife and I, it is a little soft on focus, but skin smoothing has been applied to both of us by the camera. Judge for yourself if you like it.
The picture above was taken at ISO 80, focal length 10.09mm, f/4.5 at 1/60 second with flash. I adjusted the contrast of the picture, because it was a little washed out from the flash.
The camera also has a panorama feature that I tried out. You push the shutter button once, and then you move the camera from left to right and the H70 does the rest. To use it properly you have to get the timing down a bit, as to how fast you move the camera from left to right. My first couple of pics ended before the far most right pictures were captured. For those pictures I just cropped out the blank area on the right and made a smaller panorama.
Here is an example of a full panorama picture the Sony DSC-H70 can capture.
The picture above was taken at ISO 250, focal length 4.25mm, f/8 at 1/160 second.
Overall I like the camera, but I always end up comparing everything to my Nikon D90, and so I am always hoping for more in a small camera. Lets hope all manufactures stop with the megapixels and concentrate on better lenses!