Waste of Megapixels and Your Money
Purpose of this review is to share my experiences with the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H2 with others who may be thinking of buying it. The camera was used four weeks before returning back to Sony.
I was looking to upgrade from my Canon G5 to something with a little more flexibility and features for a vacation I was going to take. Although tempted, I decided not to leap to a DSLR. Based upon research and initial reviews, prior to its release from Sony I ordered Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H2 and its full range of accessories (Telephoto, wide-angle, micro-lenses, etc). Initially I had few problems, but on the first full day of my European vacation the DSC-H2's Shutter Button disintegrated making the camera completely useless for the rest of vacation. I regret buying it and if you buy this camera so will you.
None: The Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H2 fell apart before I could find any.
So what were the problems I encountered when trying to use DSC-H2?
1). Batteries Problems: Two Sony Stamina NiMH batteries that came with the DSC-H2 were defective and would not take a charge. I had to buy my own batteries before I could even begin to use the camera. DSC-H2 seemed to drain batteries at a higher rate than what specifications stated it would. Length of battery charging cycle seem excessive.
2). Extremely flimsy construction. Several weeks after receiving the camera, on the first full day of my vacation after only three pictures, the DSC-H2's Shutter Button completely disintegrated. No Shutter Button and no pictures. When Sony refused to deal with this problem at all, I was forced to buy another digital camera in Europe to take my pictures. Being completely useless for taking pictures, the DSC-H2 and all of its accessories just took up space and remained in my luggage. See my comments about Sony Customer Support on trying to resolve this and other problems associated with this camera.
3). SanDisk 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo "Reinsert memory card" error . When looking at the camera I believed Sony statement that DSC-H2 was compatible with SanDisk 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo. I bought three of them for a vacation to Europe. They were completely worthless. It must be assumed Sony had tested the DSC-H2 and was aware of this defect before market and sold the camera to general public. See my comments about Sony Customer Support on trying to resolve this and other problems associated with this camera.
4). Super SteadyShot® stabilization did not work 20% of time. Some images so blurred you could not tell what they were.
5). Image Noise. Some at ISO 200. Noticeable at ISO 400. Noise levels at ISO 800 made most images unusable.
6). Zoom Pixalization. Use of zoom caused a significant degree of pixalization which was especially noticeable at 10x and up. I don’t care how big your telephoto capability- if it is distorted or you can not use the image- what good is it.
7). Wide Angle Lense Chromatic aberration and distortion. When using Sony wide angle lense experienced purple fringe and peripheral distortion of images. Some is to be expected, but this was excessive.
8). Autofocus: In short time I had and used camera, some minor problems developed with autofocus (it would intermittently stopped working and I had to do it manually). With this starting to occur with the DSC-H2 brand new, there is no telling how extensive it would have become over time.
9) . DSC-H2 Ergonomics: Camera fatigue quickly becomes a problem. I found the camera awkward and difficult to hold. With the bulk and weight close to that of a DSLR, but with none of the advantages. The lens adapter is very cumbersome. The various control and function buttons are oddly placed and most are difficult to access and use.
10). Flash takes longer than normal to recharge. The result was missing a number of what would have been some great pictures.
11). Small LCD monitor 2.5 inches. It was very difficult to see in direct sunlight. Made image composition rather difficult.
12). The primary reason you buy a camera is for the images it will take. DSC-H2's Overall Image Quality? I can sum it up in two words- Extremely Disappointing! Based upon initial reviews I had a certain level of expectation. But when I compared several images of Swiss mountains that was taken at the same time and under same light conditions, my daughter’s 4 megapixel camera produces equivalent and in some cases better images than 6 megapixel DSC-H2. When compared with my old 5 megapixel Canon G5, there can be no real comparison. DSC-H2 is not even in the same league.
13). When you buy a camera you purchase not only the hardware, but the support behind it. Sony Customer Support- Based upon over 20 hours (5 of which were spent calling long distance from Switzerland) of dealing with these individuals during the process of trying to resolve this problem I found that when it comes to Sony and product support you are on your own. If you have a problem with their products- its your problem and not theirs. I found Sony Customer Support to be incompetent, lazy, purposely provide you with misinformation, out-right-lie to you, high degree of ignorance, empty promises and refusal of mid-level supervisors to do their job, supervisors who seemed to be on a power trip, frustration. Etc. etc. Instead of trying to help solve problem- they became a major part of the problem. They tried to wear you down and make you give up.
I had great hopes for the DSC-H2 when I bought it. But because of all of the above, The day when Hell freezes over will be the day I buy another Sony camera. Until then I will stick to Canon and plan to buy a PowerShot S3 IS.