By Tim Moynihan PC World | on July 19, 2010
Pros: Panorama, low-light, backlight correction modes; GPS receiver and compass for geotagging; excellent color accuracy and low-light performance
Cons: No aperture-priority or shutter-priority modes; geotagging requires software on a Windows PC; images aren't always sharp
The geotagging works, but the function is tethered to your computer. Though the DSC-HX5V automatically geotags images as you snap them (as long as you're outside), you need to install the bundled Picture Motion Browser software on a Windows PC and offload the photos to your hard drive to get any use out of the data. Dragging and dropping photos onto the software's MapView interface correctly places them where you shot them (see below), but you don't get the same on-the-go convenience that you do with the GPS feature of the Samsung HZ35W.
Battery life is solid, at 310 shots on one charge of the battery. However, if you use the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V with its GPS service turned on at all times, your battery life is bound to be affected significantly.
For seasoned photographers, what's lacking from the Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V's bag of tricks are significant omissions: You can't shoot in RAW, and although the camera does have a full manual mode that lets you adjust aperture and shutter settings independently, it forgoes dedicated aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes. This is a camera designed more for casual photographers. Even so, the DSC-HX5V's image quality, low-light performance, and innovative modes are solid enough to entice anybody.
The Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V handles SD/SDHC cards and Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo cards (only one card at a time; a single slot in the camera's battery well supports either format). It's one of two Cyber-shot models that support wireless peer-to-peer sharing via TransferJet-capable devices. Not many TransferJet devices are available yet, however, and you need a special TransferJet Memory Stick card to share wirelessly with the DSC-HX5V.