Budget compact cameras are in high demand in the market since these fit well in everyone’s budget and do not require any expertise for using.
These cameras are feature-packed and have very short product lives since they are replaced fast by the companies to ward off competition. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S5000 joins the bandwagon with 14 megapixels and
5x optical zoom.
Design and Build Quality
The outer body of the Sony S5000 is made of polycarbonate. It uses two AA batteries for power and
has a plastic tripod receptacle. The lens has a three-segment construction. The back of the camera houses all the controls except the power and shutter release buttons which are on the top panel. The LCD is recessed, therefore the chance of it getting scratched when the camera is kept on its back is less. Since the camera uses AA batteries, the hand grip has a nice protrusion.
The 14.1-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S5000 uses a 1/2.3-inch Type (6.16 x 4.62mm) Super HAD CCD sensor for imaging. This sensor has higher sensitivity compared to normal sensors, enabling low noise in low-light situations. The camera uses a Sony 30-150mm equivalent, f/3.2-6.5 lens. The lens focusses from approximately 10cm to infinity at the wide-angle end and approximately 100cm to infinity at the telephoto end. Focus modes employed in the camera are Multi-point, Centre-weighted, Flexible Spot, and Flexible Spot (Face Tracking). Metering modes of the camera are Multi-pattern, Centre-weighted, and Spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2.0 EV
in 1/3-EV steps. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 3200 and shutter speed ranges from 2 to
1/2000 sec. F-number ranges from f/3.2 to 9.1 at the wide-angle end and 6.5 to 18.4 at the telephoto end. White Balance options are Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, and Flash. But to access these modes, you have to set the flash to ‘Off ’. The self-timer can be set to fire the shutter with a delay of 2 or 10 sec. The built-in flash has a range of approximately 0.5 to 3.0m at the wide-angle end, and approximately 0.5 to 1.5m at the telephoto end when ISO is set to Auto. Available flash modes are Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, and Slow Synchro. The camera features Auto Macro and Face Detection features and can detect up to eight faces in a frame. Still images are recorded in JPEG format with maximum pixel dimensions of 4350 x 3240 while videos are recorded in AVC MP4 format with the highest quality of 640 x 480.
Shooting modes on the Sony S5000 are Intelligent Auto, Easy Shooting, Program Auto, Movie Mode, Panorama, Scene Selection, and Picture Effect. Scene Selection provides further automated settings of High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Gourmet, Pet, and Soft Skin. Picture Effects are Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Partial Colour, and Soft High-key. The camera uses a 2.7-inch, 230,400-pixel Clear Photo TFT LCD. The S5000 has an internal memory of approximately 28 MB and accepts a Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo/PRO HG Duo/SD/SDHC card for external storage. It is powered by two AA alkaline batteries. The camera weighs approximately 172g with battery and memory card (125g body only) and has dimensions of 97.5 x 61.0 x 29.6mm.
The Sony S5000 is comfortable to hold and operate. The thick hand grip allows better handling. All controls on the back panel are within reach of the right thumb. User interface is straightforward and the menus are easy to navigate. The LCD is not of the best quality, but is certainly good for a budget camera. We observed slight lag in the display, but this too seems pardonable.
The Sony DSC-S5000 provided mixed results in our tests. Images were sharp out of the box. All metering modes worked as expected. Autofocus was reasonably fast and had no problem locking on to the subject even under low light. We observed a low whirring sound while the AF motor operated. Darkening of corners was observed at extreme corners at the wide-angle end at f/3.2. Slight barrel distortion was observed from the wide-angle end to about 80mm, but you may not notice this in normal images. Flare and chromatic aberration were evident even at f/9.1 at the wide-angle end. Ideally, the test should have been conducted at the widest aperture since chances of flare are more then. But since the camera does not allow manual control, we could not adjust this.
Native print size was 10.8 x 14.4 inches at 300 ppi. At 25 percent of this screen size, images were
noise-free up to ISO 400. ISO 1600 and 3200 were quite noisy. Slight noise could be seen at ISO 800. Observed at 50 percent, we observed very slight noise at ISO 400, while at 100 percent, even ISO 400 produced slight noise as expected. For best results, stick to ISO 400 or lower. The S5000 disappointed us on the White Balance front. Auto White Balance mode produced distinct colour casts under all light sources.
Value for Money
The Sony DSC-S5000 retails at an MRP of Rs.5490. This price is only fair for this camera since the
real value depends on the price-performance ratio.
+ Works on common AA batteries
– Performance could have been better
|Design and Build Quality||16/20|
|Value for Money||7/10|
The Sony S5000 is a low-budget camera for beginners. Considering its very low cost, it is a fair bargain.