Sony's DSC-H55 offers an unbeatable combo — powerful optical zoom housed within a slim, compact body that easily fits in a handbag or pocket. The 10X optical zoom lens gets you close to distant subjects in photos and videos. And its wide-angle capability lets you capture expansive landscapes or fit a big group of people into a single frame. Compose and review images on the 3" LCD screen with special anti-reflective coating to reduce glare in direct sunlight.

Snap clear, true-to-life "people" shots
The DSC-H55 finds the faces in your frame and automatically adjusts its settings to give you crisp, attractive photos of friends and family. Capture fleeting smiles with the help of "smile shutter" mode, which automatically snaps a picture when it spots a grin. If your subject starts to squint as you take a photo, an anti-blink function snaps two quick shots, and then records only the one with your subject's eyes wide open.

Panoramic photos and 720p HD movie mode
This camera boasts plenty of other cool features, too. You can create panoramic photos that reach beyond the scope of an ordinary wide-angle lens by sweeping the camera horizontally or vertically across your scene — the 'H55 stitches several images together in-camera to form one seamless photo. And a handy HD movie mode lets you shoot high-definition 720p footage when you'd rather save memories as moving pictures.

This camera's built-in memory holds a limited number of photos at top resolution. Add a Memory Stick PRO Duo™ or SD memory card for more photo and video storage.

Product Highlights:

  • 14.1-megapixel effective recording
  • 10X optical zoom (2X digital/20X total zoom)
  • optical image stabilization
  • 3" LCD with anti-reflective coating
  • built-in wide-angle lens for photos of landscapes or large groups
  • top JPEG resolution: 4320 x 3240
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 25-250mm
  • variable ISO settings, including a high sensitivity mode (ISO 3200) for low-light shooting without a flash
  • aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full manual exposure modes
  • panorama mode assembles several images into one fluid photo
  • face detection controls focus and exposure for accurate portraits
  • smile recognition holds shutter response until the camera detects that your subject is smiling
  • anti-blink function captures two images and records the one with the least amount of squinting
  • scene recognition chooses the appropriate scene mode based on your subject and shooting environment
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 720p resolution)
  • in-camera editing functions for retouching and special effects, including red-eye reduction
  • in-camera slide show with music playback
  • 45MB built-in flash memory (stores approximately 7 photos at top resolution)
  • high-speed USB interface
  • compatible with Memory Stick® PRO Duo™ media
  • compatible with SD/SDHC memory cards
  • compatible with PictBridge-enabled printers
  • 4-1/16"W x 2-7/16"H x 1-3/16"D
  • weight (with battery): 6 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • NP-BG1 rechargeable lithium battery
  • battery charger
  • multi-connector cable (A/V, USB)
  • wrist strap
  • software CD-ROM

High-zoom cameras put you "right there"

High-zoom cameras have powerful built-in lenses that get you close — really close — to your subject. Focus in on a hawk in the tree across the meadow, or zoom across the backyard for a candid close-up of your toddler's face. High-zoom cameras tend to be a bit bigger than the average point-and-shoot because of their larger lenses. These cameras also sometimes feature advanced controls for customizing your photos.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Digital still camera (black) with attached wrist strap
  • NP-BG1 Lithium-Ion (3.6 Volts/3.4 Wh/960 mAh) in a plastic case
  • BC-CSGD Battery charger (4.2V/0.25A)
  • 58" USB-A/V cable with in-line ferrite core (has a mono RCA audio connector/RCA composite video connector and USB Type A connector on one end and proprietary connector on the other end)
  • Picture Motion Browser Version 5.0 on CD-ROM
  • Instruction Manual (English/Spanish)
  • Warranty sheet
  • Online registration sheet
  • Accessories catalog

Product Research

Recording Features
View, Edit, And Print Images
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs
Supplied Software

Recording Features

3" LCD Screen: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 digital camera has a 3.0" Clear Photo LCD Plus display with 230,400 pixels (resolution 960 x 240), and features a special anti-reflective coating for sharp visibility, even in bright sunlight. The LCD screen allows you to view an image before taking a picture and replay images that have been stored in memory. Through the Screen Display Settings, you can select a bright or normal LCD display with or without exposure data. The camera does not include a separate viewfinder.

Dual Media: This camera has 45 MB of internal memory. This camera is also compatible with the following recording media: Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo, SD and SDHC memory cards. Cards with a capacity of up to 32 GB have been confirmed to be compatible.

Image Recording Format: The camera records still images in JPEG format. Moving images with audio (stereo) are recorded in MPEG-4 Visual.

Image Sensor: For optimal image quality, the camera uses a 7.76mm (1/2.3") Super HAD CCD imaging device with approximately 14.5-million gross pixels and 14.1-million effective pixels.

BIONZ Image Processor: The digital camera's BIONZ image processor delivers high resolution photos and fast still photography performance.

G-Series Lens: Designed and manufactured to the highest standards of optical performance, the Sony G-Lens is optimized to perfectly complement the advanced image sensors and image processing technology in Sony's cameras. The DSC-H55 camera features a wide-angle G-series lens that will widen your view and capture more of the city, landscape, or group portrait.  The lens has a 10x optical zoom and a focal length of 25mm to 250mm (35mm equivalent) for still images, 30-300mm for 16:9 movies and 36-360mm for 4:3 movies. It has a maximum aperture range of F3.5(W) to F5.5(T).

Smart/Precision Digital Zoom: The camera has a Precision Digital Zoom of 2x. Combined with the 10x optical zoom, the maximum total zoom is 20x. The camera's Smart zoom technology intelligently uses the full image sensor to let you zoom into the portion of interest by cropping the image size, thus avoiding the image degradation found in most digital zooms. The maximum zoom scale depends upon the image size:

Image Size Maximum Smart Zoom
10M 11x
5M 16x
VGA 67x
16:9 (2M) 22x

Note: Smart zoom is not compatible with 14M or 16:9 (11M)

Optical SteadyShot: With Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, the DSC-H55 uses a built-in gyro sensor to compensate for shaky hands, minimize blur, brighten images, and allow flash-free shooting to preserve the mood.

Still Image Size: When recording digital still images, the DSC-H55 allows you to choose from six image sizes:

Image Size Internal Memory Memory Card Capacity
Approx. 45 MB 4 GB 32 GB
14M
(4320x 3240)
7 605 4932
10M
(3648 x 2736)
9 808 6588
5M
(2592 x 1944)
14 1168 9524
VGA
(640 x 480)
284 23600 192380
16:9-11M
(4320 x 2432)
8 733 5974
16:9-2M
(1920 x 1080)
47 3934 32060

Recording Movies: Besides recording still images, you can also record moving images with sound. Moving images can be recorded in MPEG-4 at 30 frames per second with AAC audio. Three movie image sizes are available: 720 Fine (1280 x 720, 9 Mbps), 720 Standard (1280 x 720, 6 Mbps), and VGA (640 x 480, 3 Mbps). Internal memory and memory card capacity for movies is as follows:

Image Size Internal Memory Memory Card Capacity
(hours:minutes:seconds)
Approx. 45 MB 4 GB 32 GB
720 Fine
(1280 x 720)
--- 0:56:00 7:37:50
720 Standard
(1280 x 720)
--- 1:21:50 11:07:50
VGA
(640 x 480)
0:01:40 2:43:40 22:15:50

Note: You can shoot continuously for approximately 29 minutes.

Burst/Bracket Modes: The camera offers two multiple-image shooting modes:

  • Burst: The burst mode lets you shoot up to 100 images in succession, at an interval of approximately 0.69 seconds, when you press and hold down the shutter release. The number of photos and the interval are determined by the selected picture size. Focus, White Balance, and Exposure Value (EV) are set with the first image.
  • Bracket: The bracket mode lets you shoot a series of 3 images, each with a different exposure setting--one at normal exposure, one under exposed, and one over exposed. You can select three different step values: 0.3 EV, 0.7 EV, or 1.0 EV. You can also choose a bracket mode with the white balance at normal, shifted toward blue, and shifted toward red.

Self-Timer: You can set the Self-Timer mode to a 10-second or 2-second delay so you can be in the picture. You can also select two Self-Portrait Timer modes which will capture the image 2 seconds after the face of one person or two people are detected.

Focus Modes: You can select from three auto focusing methods:

  • Multi AF: The camera focuses in nine areas around the center of the frame. This method is helpful when your subject is not centered in the frame.
  • Center AF: The camera focuses on a subject in the center of the frame. By pressing the shutter release halfway, you can lock the focus on your subject and recompose your shot with the subject off center.
  • Spot AF: The camera focuses on a very small area in the center of the frame.

AF Illuminator: The AF (auto focus) Illuminator briefly provides fill light to focus more easily on a subject in dark surroundings. You can set the AF Illuminator to Auto or Off.

Face Detection: Face Detection technology detects up to eight individual faces and controls flash, focus, exposure, and white balance to deliver accurate, natural skin tones with reduced red-eye. It can also give priority to children or adults. You can also select and register an individual's face to be given priority.

Anti-Blink Function: The Anti-blink function works to help counter blinking and squinting. When the camera is set to Soft Snap, the Anti-blink function captures two images, recording only the photo with less squinting. If a blink is detected in other shooting modes, a warning will be displayed after you take the shot so you can determine whether or not you need to take another shot.

Smile Shutter Mode: The Smile Shutter technology automatically detects and captures a smiling face. Simply activate by pressing the Smile Shutter button and the camera will capture a smile the moment it happens. You can select the degree of Smile Detection Sensitivity to Slight smile, Normal smile or Big Smile.

Scene Recognition: Scene Recognition mode automatically detects eight different types of scenes and selects the appropriate camera settings: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Twilight using a Tripod, Backlight, Backlight Portrait, Landscape, Portrait, and Macro. You can select from the following Scene Recognition modes:

  • iSCN: Camera detects conditions such as backlight or a night scene and takes the shot using the optimal settings.
  • iSCN+: Camera shoots one image without using the scene recognition functions and another image using the scene recognition function.

Shooting Modes: Using the top-mounted Mode Dial, you can select from the following shooting modes:

  • Intelligent Auto Mode (iAuto): Allows you to shoot still images with the settings adjusted automatically.
  • Easy Shooting Mode: Allows you to shoot still images using the minimum necessary functions.
  • Program Auto: Allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and aperture value). You can also select various settings using the menu.
  • Manual: You can set the exposure manually. The shutter speed can be set between 1/1600 and 30 seconds. The aperture (F value) can be set between F3.5 and F8 (Wide Angle) or between F5.5 and F13 (Telephoto).
  • Sweep Panorama Mode: Simply press the shutter button and sweep the camera in the desired direction (horizontal or vertical), and the camera continuously shoots at a high speed and then seamlessly stitches the images together with automatic position adjustment to create one stunning panoramic image in the span of a second. Available in wide and ultra-wide options, the camera can take panoramic shots of up to 224-degrees, which is wider than a fish-eye lens.
  • Scene Selection Modes: You can choose from the following Scene Selection modes:
    • High Sensitivity: The camera shoots without flash in low light, reducing blur. Any size image available. Sensitivity increased up to ISO 3200.
    • Soft Snap: Allows you to shoot images with a softer atmosphere for portraits, flowers, etc.
    • Advanced Sports Shooting: Allows you to shoot fast movements such as in sports; while the shutter button is pressed halfway, subject motion is predicted and focus is adjusted automatically.
    • Landscape: This mode is used for shooting landscapes at a distance.
    • Twilight Portrait: This mode is used for shooting people in the foreground at night.
    • Twilight: This mode is used for shooting a distant subject at night.
    • Gourmet: Shoots food arrangements in delicious color.
    • Pet: Allows you to shoot images of your pet with the best settings.
    • Beach: This mode is for shooting at seaside or the lakeside.
    • Snow: This mode shoots whitish scenes brightly.
    • Fireworks: This mode allows you to record fireworks in all their splendor.
  • Movie Mode: Allows you to record MPEG-4 movies with stereo audio.

Exposure Compensation: Besides auto exposure, you can adjust the exposure from +2.0EV to -2.0EV in 1/3 stop increments.

Built-In Flash: The camera's built-in flash features a range of 2" to 13' 5-1/2" with the zoom set to wide and 3' 3-3/8" to 8' 6-3/8" with the zoom set to telephoto. The flash settings include:

  • Auto: the flash automatically strobes when the surroundings are dark
  • On: the flash strobes with every shot
  • Slow Synchro: the flash is used regardless of the amount of ambient light, but the shutter speed is slower under dark conditions, allowing you to clearly shoot a background that is out of the flash-lit area.
  • Off: the flash does not operate

Red-eye Reduction: The flash pre-strobes before shooting to reduce the red-eye phenomenon. You can set to Auto (when Face Detection is activated), On, or Off.

Metering Modes: You can select Spot, Center-weighted, or Multi-pattern Metering. Spot metering lets you adjust the exposure to the subject, even when the subject is a backlit or when there is strong contrast between the subject and the background. Center-weighted metering measures the center of the image and determines the exposure based on the brightness of the subject. When multi-pattern metering is used, the image is divided into multiple regions and metering is performed in each region. The camera judges the subject position and background brightness, and determines a well-balanced exposure.

White Balance: When the white balance is set to auto, the white balance is set automatically in response to the condition of the subject, and the overall color balance is adjusted. When shooting under special lighting conditions, you can select the settings manually. When using flash, you can select the flash white balance mode. The white balance can also be set to Incandescent, Fluorescent 1 (white fluorescent), Fluorescent 2 (natural white fluorescent), Fluorescent 3 (day white fluorescent), Daylight, Cloudy, One Push (adjust white balance depending on the light source) or One Push Set (memorizes the basic white color which will be used).

Grid Lines: The cameras on-screen grid lines make it easy to set a subject's horizontal and vertical position.

Histogram: A histogram is a graph showing the brightness of an image. The graph display indicates a bright image when skewed to the right side, and a dark image when skewed to the left side.

Function Guide: An on-screen function guide text/icon display makes it easy to learn the camera functions that give you greater creative freedom to adjust photo settings. The function guide can be turned on or off as desired.

Date and Time: Each time you take a picture, the camera records the date and time. The date and time are not superimposed on the picture, instead saved in a data file along with the image. Using the included PMB software, you can print or save images with the date.

View, Edit, And Print Images

View Modes: The Sony DCR-H55's View Mode allows you to select your recorded images and movies by date, folder (stills), or folder (movies).

Auto Orientation: When the camera is rotate to shoot a portrait (vertical) image, the camera records it position change and displays the image in the portrait position.

Index View: In addition to viewing images one-by-one in full screen, you can view multiple images at once in the index view mode. The index feature lets you to display a total of 16 (4 x 4) or 25 (5 x 5) images.

Slide Show: The Slide Show function lets you play back images one after the other. You can select from the following slide show effects (Simple, Nostalgic, Stylish, or Active). Each effect has a preset music soundtrack, or you can choose from the 4 selections. The interval between the pictures can be adjusted, allowing you to choose 1, 3, 5, and 10 seconds or automatic to suit the selected effect. You can select Folder play (all images in the selected folder), All play (all images on the memory card), or This Date (all images from selected date). When repeat is selected, the images are replayed in a continuous loop.

Playback Zoom: You can enlarge a recorded still image up to eight times the size of the original image. Once the image is zoomed, you can pan left to right and up or down through the image.

Rotating Images: Recorded images can be rotated 360-degrees in 90-degree increments on the camera's LCD screen.

Retouching Still Images: You can add effects or make corrections to a recorded images and then record it as a new file while the original image is retained. You can use the following features to edit your recorded images:

  • Trimming: playback zoom is performed on the image and part of the image is cropped
  • Red Eye Correction: corrects the red-eye phenomenon caused by flash
  • Unsharp Masking: sharpens the image within a chosen frame

Music Transfer: You can change the music files that are preset at the factory with your own music, using the Music Transfer program in the supplied CD-ROM.

Deleting/Protecting Images: You can delete a selected image, or you can delete all the unprotected images at once. In order to avoid accidentally deleting of an image, it can be protected.

Print Mark: You can place a print mark on still images recorded with this camera. This mark is convenient when you have images printed at a shop that conforms to the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) standard.

Exif Print (Exif 2.21): The DSC-H55 conforms to "Exif Print," a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as: exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it is captured. Printers compatible with "Exif Print" are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in photos that can be even better than the originals.

PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer. PictBridge is a new standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

Battery Information

Battery Information: The DSC-H55 is powered by the supplied NP-BG1 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, or the optional NP-FG1 Lithium-Ion battery. Using the supplied BC-CSGE battery charger, the battery reaches a normal charge in approximately 270 minutes and a full charge in 330 minutes. Under normal operating conditions, the battery has the following capacity:

Function Number of Images Battery Life (min)
Recording Approximately 310 Approximately 155
Playback Approximately 7400 Approximately 340

Auto Power-Off: You can choose from two options of Power Save to conserve battery power:

  • Stamina: darkens the LCD screen after about 30 seconds of no operation, and turns off the camera after another 30 seconds of no operation.
  • Standard: darkens the LCD screen after about 1 minute of no operation, and turns off the camera after another 1 minute of no operation.
  • Off: Turns off power save mode.

Inputs and Outputs

USB/AV Output: The Sony DSC-H55 features a single proprietary jack (Type 2b Multi-use terminal) on the bottom of the camera for connecting the supplied USB/AV cable. This one output and cable allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB, or view your photos on a TV via composite video and stereo audio RCA. The USB interface is USB 2.0 High Speed compatible.

High Definition Playback: The Type 2b multi-use terminal can also output a high definition signal (1080i) when selected in the menu. To view on an HDTV, you will need an optional Type 2b-compliant HD Output Adapter cable (VMC-MHC2 or VMC-MHC3).

Supplied Software

Software: The DSC-H55 comes with a CD-ROM containing the following:

  • Picture Motion Browser (Ver.5.0): compatible with Windows operating systems only
    • save and print images with the date
    • display images stored on a computer by shooting date in a calendar display
    • correct still images and change the shooting date and time
    • create discs with CD or DVD disc-writing drive
    • upload images to media services
  • Music Transfer: compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems
    • replace the music files on the camera and replace them with your own selections; upload MP3s from your computer or music from CDs
  • PMB Portable:
    • upload images to a blog or other media service
    • upload images from a computer connected to the Internet when you're away from home or office
    • register the media services (such as blogs) you use frequently
  • Cyber-shot Handbook: a detailed instruction booklet (PDF)
  • Product Registration: register your camera online

System Requirements: You can copy images from the DSC-H55 to a Windows PC or a Macintosh computer. The supplied Picture Motion Browser software can only be used on a Windows PC; it cannot be used on a Macintosh. The minimum system requirements are:

  • Windows:
    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), or Windows 7
    • CPU: Intel Pentium III 800 MHz or faster (for playing/editing high definition movies: Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz or faster / Intel Core 2 Duo 1.20 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 512 MB or more (for playing/editing high definition movies: 1GB or more)
    • Hard Disk: Approximately 500MB required for installation
    • Display: 1024 x 768 dots or more
  • Macintosh:
    • USB Connection: Mac OS X (v10.3 to v10.6)
    • Music Transfer/PMB Portable: Mac OS X (v10.4 to v10.6)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-H55 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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good product

Written By james, washington on Thursday, January 17, 2013

The sony dsc-h55 is a compact camer with a a lot of zoom, a good lense and lots and lots of settings, options to use. This camera is easy to use and has good photoquality and sweep panorama . the body is thick but it needs to be to house the lens 14.1 mp is a good resolution and big enough to reporoduce to high formats

Pros: zoom, options, lense , easy of use

Cons: battery can be empty quick if used the flash a lot and set the brightness of the screen to maximum

great little camera

Written By Brian B, Hudson Valley, NY on Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this camera with one simple need: panoramic.

I am an avid hiker, and I wanted to capture some of the peaks and summits
and natural beauty that I encounter, and this little gem fits my needs perfectly.
The panoramic feature is fantastic and super-simple to use. The pics come
out great, and the camera is basically idiot-proof.

Unfortunately, for some reason, Crutchfield has discontinued it.

nice camera

Written By Rohit, NJ on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is nice camera and crutchfield service is good. Good optical zoom with such
small size. Comparable to those Sony point n shoot bulky ones with large size
lens. Yet to explore more.

Wow!

Written By Mary, Houston, TX on Thursday, February 03, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Received this Christmas and it came just in time as our other digital finally bellied up.
Much prefer this camera though I am still learning the features. It has a nice viewing
screen. The preview feature is wonderful. The zoom is great. I just haven't seen anything
I haven't liked. The quality of the photos are also great! It didn't come with a case, so we
had to purchase that separately. I had to purchase a memory card and once the battery
was charged, off we went. I would recommend this camera even to those who are not
technically advanced.

Date on Photo

Written By Phred, MN on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Extrememly disappointed that I can't get the date to appear on photographs. According
to Sony, it can't be done. Nothing like taking a step backwards...

Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-H55

Written By jimi, Erie, PA on Saturday, October 02, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love this camera and it has all the functions I can handle.Perfect camera that reaches
for perfection.