The Sony Cyber-shot H200 is a small, affordable and reliable bridge camera. The camera features a 20.1-megapixel lens and an average optical zoom, with below-average video recording, which isn’t a huge setback if you aren’t looking to make movies with it. There are a few creative effects you can add to your images and features like Beauty Effects, but if you want more of an SLR experience, look at one of our higher-ranked products.
The H200 has a 20.1-megapixel CCD image sensor. This means you will get high quality low-noise images compared to a CMOS sensor, but the CCD sensor consumes more power. Because of the high pixel count, photo prints look superb up to 13 x 19 inches and even bigger. There is a 26x zoom attached to the lens, so you can get quite close to your subject, even if you’re physically far away. The lens is comparable to a 22.3-580mm lens on a traditional 35mm camera. The Cyber-shot H200 isn’t as powerful as other digital bridge cameras on our lineup, but it’s still good for a variety of shooting methods.
The lens also has Optical SteadyShot, which Sony implements to give you the ability to shoot movies while walking or running. This works for both vertical and horizontal motion. The camera only has 720p recording resolution, which is a little disappointing. Videos are recorded at 30 frames per second, and the audio is recorded in mono.
One thing we appreciate about this prosumer camera is the number of effects it includes. Picture Effect adds expressions to photos such as retro, toy camera and miniature. You can also choose to have one color stand out and turn the remainder of the photo black and white. With Beauty Effects, you can enhance skin tone, remove shine and blemishes and whiten teeth.
The overall design of the H200 high-zoom camera is what you should expect from bridge cameras. It is solid and doesn’t feel cheap. It has a speaker located on the top for audio playback. All the buttons are compact and easy to reach with your thumbs. There is a 3-inch high-resolution screen, but it is stationary, and there is no way to cover it up without a screen protector. The unit weights just 15 ounces with the battery.
The AA batteries allow for 200 shots on one charge. There is no internal memory on the camera, but you can put any size SD/SDHC card into the unit. Since Sony isn’t a dedicated camera company, there are no tutorials or photography tips on the company’s website. There are dedicated reps standing by to answer phone calls, emails and even chat online.
We like the Sony Cyber-shot H200 for its in-camera editing and picture effects. The 20.1-megapixel sensor gives clear images with the option to print large photos. The video and audio recording both need improvement, and Sony needs to provide a way to protect the large LCD screen. However, if you are on a budget and want a near-SLR experience, you may like this digital bridge camera.