Expert Review of Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S5000 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Sony Inc. has always been known for its larger than life, fashionable and elegant products, so powerful that they start a new trend altogether. But the highly tagged, specification packed devices do not win over the market, the real competition for all the gadget economies lie in the compact budget devices, and the camera industry is no different, the budget industry is approachable to the majority of the population and doesn’t take an expert to operate the devices because of the simplicity of controls. The cameras are more substance than style, have a very short product life on the market, and are replaced very fast by the companies to avoid all the competition. The newest entrant from Sony in this range is Sony CyberShot DSC S5000 that sports a 14 Megapixel sensor and a 5x optical zoom.
Design and Build Quality
The exterior of Sony CyberShot S5000 is made entirely of polycarbonate with the camera weighing 172 grams with memory card and battery (125gm as a body only product) and flaunts the dimensions of 97.5mm x 61.0mm x 29.6mm. The internal memory of Sony CyberShot S5000 measures nearly 28MB and allows a Memory Stick Duo/ PRO Duo / PRO HG Duo / SD / SDHC card for storing the data externally. The camera feels comfortable in hand, fits well and is easy to operate. The thick handgrip that it allows only increases the handling tactics. All the control elements lying on the rear panel of the camera are well within the reach of your right thumb. The user-device interface in a single word can be called as ‘simple’, and the navigation on the menu is made easy as well. The screen laying on the rear is not the best we have seen but is good for a budget device. A little lag may be experienced in the display, but that is easily pardonable.
Focus and Face Detection
One of the important features of the device is the Auto Macro and Face Detection that is more than capable of detecting more than eight faces in a single frame. The still images can be documented in JPED format with a pixel aspect of 4350 x 3240 pixels. On testing the device, it can be noted that the autofocus of Sony CyberShot DSC S5000 is reasonably quick and there is negligible problem in locking on to the subject, even in some serious low light conditions. A low whirring sound however is observed when the AF monitor is operated. At f/3.2 the corners get darkened at extreme corners in the wide-angled end, also a little barrel distortion can be observed from the wide-angled end ranging to about 80mm, but this cannot be noticed in normal images. Flare and chromatic aberration are evident even at f/9.1. The inability of the camera to house manual controls do not allow the tests to be conducted at the widest aperture, a big flaw.
Lens and Image Stabilization
The lens mounted on Sony CyberShot S5000 is a Sony 30-150mm equivalent, f/3.2-6.5 lens. The focusing power of this lens is approximately 10cm to infinity, at the wide end, and when you go towards the telephoto end, the focus changes from 100cm to infinity. The focus modes in the camera are Multi-point, Centre-weighted, Flexible Spot, and Flexible Spot (Face Tracking) while Multi-pattern, Centre-weighted, and Spot account for the metering modes of the device. Compensation of exposure can be done up to +/- 2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps and the ISO sensitivity of the device arrays from ISO 100 to 3200 with shutter speed measuring a minimum of 1/2000 seconds to a maximum of 2 seconds.
Screen and Menus
The LCD ruling almost three/fourth of the rear, the LCD of Sony CyberShot DSC 5000 is recessed and the reason why the camera is not getting scratches when kept on the back. The screen measures 2.7inches and is 230,400pixels Clear Photo TFT LCD. The Focal numbers of the device range from f/3.2 to 9.1 at the wide-angled end and 6.5 to 18.4 at the telephoto end. The White Balance options of the device are Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, and Flash. However to enjoy all these modes, the flash of the device has to be kept at ‘OFF’. The camera also flaunts an in-built flash that has a range of approximately 0.5 to 3.0m at the wide-angle end, and 0.5 to 1.5m approximately at telephoto end (when ISO is set to Auto). In totality, the flash modes available in this device are Auto, Flash On, Flash Off and Slow Synchro.
A major loser in this department, Sony Cybershot DSC-S5000 still comes with the primitive AA batteries. The handgrip around the device gives a decent protrusion. According to CIPA, under normal conditions the camera is capable of capturing 220 shots at a single go. The rear of the camera is the main control centre of all the controls leaving the power and shutter options which are housed on the top panel.
Inability to record HD videos is another drawback of this device since the highest video quality offered is 640 x 480 in AVC MP4 format. The shooting mode of Sony S5000 can be selected from Intelligent Auto, Easy Shooting, Program Auto, Movie Mode, Panorama, Scene Selection, and Picture Effect. The scene selection of Sony CyberShot DSC S5000 provides more automated settings of High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Gourmet, Pet, and Soft Skin while the picture effects of the device are Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Partial Colour, and Soft High-key.
The 14.1 megapixel Sony Cybershot DSC S5000 uses a 1/2.3inch type super HAD CCD sensor for imaging purposes. This sensor is due for super sensitivity when matched up to normal sensors and enables low noise in dim situations.
• Shooting Modes, Scene Selection, Picture Effects
• Decent Shutter Speed
• Poor Video Quality
• Small 2.7inches screen
• AA batteries