We barely finished reviewing the Cyber-shot DSC-H3 pocket ultra-zoom before word of its replacement came down from Sony. Among today's announcements, the manufacturer made it known that the new Cyber-shot DSC-H10 would fill the H3's former spot in Sony's lineup.
The new model comes dressed with same 10x Carl Zeiss zoom lens, long-range flash, and 8.1 megapixel sensor of its predecessor; the only noted physical modification, in fact, is the H10's move to a 3-inch Clear Photo LCD Plus screen.
Our favorite things about the H3 Super SteadyShot image stabilization, the Advanced Sports Shooting mode, and Sony's Dynamic Range Optimizer all make it over to the H10 as well. Interestingly, however, the new model doesn't appear to have received any of the improve Face Detection technology seen on the more consumer-focused compacts.
Likewise, we were hoping that Sony's DRO Plus advanced dynamic range optimizer from the SLR series, which appeared on several point-and-shoot models in this batch of releases, would carry into this replacement to help address concerns about the previous generation's hyper-contrasty images. Maximum ISO remains at 3200, though there's no word as to whether Sony has updated its controversial noise reduction choices for this model either.
Overall, most reviewers were ambivalent about much of what the H3 had to offer, feeling like it could have been a more powerful camera than it turned out to be. Based, admittedly, on the specs sheet alone, it doesn't look like much has changed with the migration to the H10.
Look for the new model to go on sale in March, with pricing around $300.
Sony DSC-H10 specifications:
|Sensor||8.1 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD|
|Zoom||10x (38-380mm) Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar, f/3.5-4.4|
|LCD/Viewfinder||3.0", 230K-pixel Hybrid TFT LCD|
|Shutter Speed||60-1/2000 seconds|
|Shooting Modes||Auto, Program, Manual, Movie, Scene, High Sensitivity|
|Scene Presets||Soft Snap, Advanced Sports Shooting, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Twilight, Beach, Snow, Fireworks|
|White Balance Settings||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Incandescent, Flash|
|Metering Modes||Multi, Center, Spot|
|Focus Modes||Multi AF, Center AF, Spot AF, five approximate distance AF modes, Macro|
|Drive Modes||Normal, Burst|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Forced On, Slow Synchro, Forced Off|
| Self Timer Settings||10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off |
|Memory Formats||Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo|
| Internal Memory|| 31 MB|
|File Formats||JPEG, MPEG|
|Max. Image Size||3264x2448|
| Max. Video Size|| 640x480, 30 fps|
|Zoom During Video||No|
|Battery||Rechargeable 960 mAh lithium-ion|
|Connections||USB 2.0, AV output, DC input|
|Additional Features||Face Detection, Super SteadyShot mechanical image stabilization, Red-Eye Reduction, HD shooting modes|