Saturday, February 11, 2012

Looking for a decent digital camera under 200 bucks? (Product Review)


A couple of weeks ago I decided to replace my trusty old Kodak DX4330 3.1 megapixel camera that I've had for about 10 years (If memory serves, I paid about 300 bucks for her way back when).  Well, I'm not really replacing her...just gonna pass her on to #4 son.  She has served me well.  I've taken about four thousand pictures with her, and I've got ZERO complaints.

The good folks at Kodak (which are going out of the biniss as I understand) made a fine piece of equipment in the DX4330.  3.1 megapixels was plenty enough for fairly large prints, and I learned how to use every function easily.  Almost every picture you've seen posted on this hyar glob was shot on her.

Good girl!

But, I wanted to get a digital camera with some of the newer features, higher resolution, etc.  I thought about going with a digital SLR, but that would really be overkill for Yours Truly.  I really don't have a need for such.  So, I began to shop around the 'net, and keep my ears open.

A few weeks ago I was listening to Kim Komando (The Digital Goddess huba huba) on Saturday morning on KEEL 710 (I'm a faithful Kim listener), and she was talking about the line of Sony Cyber-shot cameras they'd come out with.  I did a little research, and found mostly positive reviews.  So I found the model I thought would suit me best.

  The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H70

I bought one at The WalMart for under 200 bucks.

There is a tremendous difference in this camera and my trusty old Kodak.  The DSC-H70 is a 16.1 megapixel deal.  It has a 10x optical zoom (25 mm to roughly 250mm...which I liked.  My old Kodak never seemed to give me a wide enough angle...but, she was old).

When I broke the thing out of the box, I thought, "Man!  This thing is tiny compared to my EasyShare!"  And, it truly is.  It is really "pocket-size" at 2" x 4", and right at 1" thick.

And, I discovered that it comes with a rechargeable battery.  I'm not so sure I'm going to like that.  I've been used to popping 2 "AA" batteries in my old Kodak, and throwing them away when they play out.  The Cyber-shot uses a MP-BG1 lithium ion battery.  The recharger is included in the box.  But, I'm not real big on recharge type batteries, and worry about battery life.

If any of y'all have any advice on this, I'd appreshunate it. 

The instructions are pretty good, but while trying to wade through them I got confused by some of the terminology.

Nothing new there.

The PMB software that comes with it is a little confusing, too.

Nothing new there.  But, I'll figure it out.  


So, I decided to take some experimental pictures while I'm figuring this thing out.

It'll take me a while to learn all the ins and outs of it, but it sets up pretty easily, even for a retard like me. It makes "panoramic photos," which is something new to me.  I tried it and it's pretty cool.  You start taking a picture at one spot...then you slowly move the camera in the direction of the arrows, and it continues to shoot the picture until it quits.

Pretty dang cool!  I can not show you the panoramic picture I took, because...well, just because.  But, trust me, it works really good.

I took a couple of flower pitchers.

Wow!  That sucker took a looooooong time to upload!  I guess a 16.1 megapixel photo takes a lot longer than a 3.1.

Let me try to resize the next one.  Y'all hang on...

Okay, that one uploaded in about 1/10 the time, but I think I resized it too small.  It's not real sharp.

I'm learning.

And, NO EXPERIMENTAL PHOTO SESSION IS COMPLETE WITHOUT A PICTURE OF SADIE!  Hang on while I resize it...but not too small...

JUST RIGHT!  Good girl!!!

One of the main reasons I wanted to replace my old Kodak get a newer model camera is because I wanted to be able to shoot video, too.  Sure, my old Kodak DX4330 shot video, but there was a HUGE battery drain, and no sound...and only 3.1 megapixels.

So, let's just look at an experimental video I shot with my new Sony Cyber-shot.  It sucks, but I needed to shoot something to see how good it does, or doesn't do.

Not bad considering the wind is blowing four million miles per hour, I was suffering, and I don't know what in the mortal hades I'm doing with this thing.

I'll figure it out.

So, I'm willing to give the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H70 a thumb and a half up at this point.  It could well go all the way up to two thumbs up after my right one defrosts.

I'll let y'all know. 

My initial thought is that for under 200 bucks, it'd be hard to beat this digital camera.  Could be wrong.  Usually am.

But, I'll let y'all know.

Trust me, this is not a paid endorsement.  Sony gave me nothing to do this stellar product review...and if you click on through the following link, I will get ZERO remuneration.  But, just in case you're interested, you can find the Sony info on my new camera here.


  1. I like the quality of the vid. Next time you post a vlog we'll be able to see you in extra sharp detail.

  2. Inno, I think I'll stick with my phancy new iPhone for V-logging. This camera doesn't have a front-facing deal like the iPhone does, so I won't know if I'm even in the pitcher. just reminded me that I haven't done a V-log in a while!!!

    I'd better get on that, and it's all your fault.

  3. Last year at this time, I upgraded my old easyshare to a canon 14 whatever pixels and great HD videos. There is good and bad in my new camera. I love the size of it compared to my old Kodak. I love the videos. But darker shots with the flash are often blurred. And it seems to take a long time to focus for a point and shoot. People get tired of smiling by the time I snap the picture.

  4. Dear Mr. Andy,

    Thanks you very much for demonstratering our great new Sony camera. You make good movie consultant for our company now. Coming by truck of UPS soon will be large size check in amount you agreed to for publicizing our camera. (3 million pesos=2 yen=$2.98 American)

    Thanks you again,

    Mr. Kubota Nagasaki Sony, Chrm, internet PR Dept., Sony Corp.

    PS. Hope your right one defrosts soon.

  5. Looks like a great camera, Andy. And the practice pics and movies you shot are spectacular. I got a Sony Bloggie video camera for Christmas but I'm too chicken to put anything up on my blog yet. It's supposed to upload to youtube easily but I still haven't figured it out. Does yours upload stuff without a lot of technical hassle?

  6. That IS a nice magnolia tree... and it came all the way from Nippon, too? How cool is THAT!?! I always thought Nipponese trees were about three feet tall (max) with teeny-tiny lil leaves and like to live indoors in decorative pots. But sometimes I'm wrong.

    That's some good quality video and I agree with Inno: you should use it for yer v-logs.

  7. Dan, NYUK! I guess I can quit my jarb at the horsespittle now!

    As far as uploading to YouTube, I tried it once directly from my iPhone, and the quality sucked. What I did originally (and I do now, since my direct upload experiment blew) is save the video to the machine, and then upload from there.

    Man, you ought to go for it! It's a lot of fun, and I'd recommend everyone to give 'er a try.

    Buck, indeed! I think the "A Bomb" is what created the JapMag. EVERYBODY knows that Magnolia blossoms are white, and fragrant. In fact, it's the State flower/tree/whatever of several Southern States.

    But, something must have happened in the big bang that turned 'em pink/purplish. Anyway...somehow one made its way to Andy's Place WAY BACK. The thing is huge...gorgeous...makes a mess most of the year, etc. But, her showing off in early February every year is worth it!

    I tried an experimental vid with the new Cyber-shot. Man! The quality is so way much better than on the iPhone. Extremely sharp...but I had to stack it on the box it came in to get the angle right. Imma give it a try next time I have something of dire importance that needs V-logging on.

  8. Cool! My old Sony died on me about a year ago. Pepper replaced it with a high-faluting Olympus that requires me to think. It's gathering dust on the desk while I take pictures with the iPhone. Hope you enjoy yours, though! The rechargeable batteries really aren't a problem -- you just have to remenber to plug it in from time to time. So, I guess that means it'll be worthless after the electric grid crashes.

    Sorry. Doom and gloom day.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?