Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sony DSC H5 V/S Yashica Electro 35 GTN

Warning: Post is long and geek content ahead!

Film cameras have more or less given up their share of the camera market for their new cousin – the digital camera. Be it the ultra compact, compact, high zoom prosumer compacts or the digital SLR’s the digital revolution has taken the camera market by storm and got down photography to common man...With digital cameras you are not forced to restrict the number of photos and having to spend enormous amount of money on processing it before you even have a look at it.

Before I got the digital camera I used 2 film cameras...

The first was a small Olympus PhD (Press here dummy) camera...no frills camera...just point and shoot.

The second camera I used was the Yashica Electro 35 GTN. It’s quite a marvel for a camera manufactured in 1976. Its exposure settings and focusing options were (are) regarded superior to many SLR’s which were produced much later in the 80’s. The Electro 35 is a rangefinder camera.

Have a look at my previous post: http://confusedrantings.blogspot.com/2007/01/yashica-electro35.html

More info on rangefinder cameras: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangefinder_camera

Of course, it is needless to say, the features of this camera were vastly under utilized by yours truly...and the photos which came from this camera made everyone’s jaw droooop!

I never got to use this camera much and I never learnt much about photography eventually. Of course the enormous costs of developing and printing were another considerable constraint.

I finally graduated to a digital camera recently. The DSC H5 is among Sony’s Prosumer range of cameras. It has more features than a compact but lesser than a SLR. But, essentially it remains a point and shoot camera.

Read my previous post on this camera: http://confusedrantings.blogspot.com/2007/03/new-camerayipeeee.html

I’ve compared both cameras below...read on...

Of course this comparison means nothing, as each camera is from a different league altogether. This is only out of interest.

Yashica Electro 35 GTN

Sony DSC H5


35mm full frame rangefinder

Prosumer Compact SLR like


Film 24x36mm

Digital 7.2MP

ISO rating

ISO 25 (DIN 15) to ISO 1000 (DIN 31)

Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000


Color-Yashinon DX 45mm f/1,7 (6 elements, 4 groups)

36mm – 432mm (6-72mm)

Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar f/2.8-3.7

Focusing range

0.8 m to infinity

Normal focus range: 50cm

Macro focus range: 2cm


1.7 to 16

F2.8 - 8.0 (wide), F3.7 - 8.0 (tele)


30s ~ 1/500 sec., B*

1/4 - 1/2000 sec. (Auto), 1 - 1/2000 sec. (Program Auto), 46-step 30 sec – 1/1000 sec. (Shutter Priority, Manual)

Shutter speeds of 1/2000th are only available at apertures of F5.6 and higher.

Exposure meter

Single CdS cell, programs shutter selection

Multi-pattern (49 zone), Center weighted, Spot metering

Exposure compensation

EV -3.4 (f/1.7 @ 30 sec.) to EV 17 (f/16 @ 1/500 sec.)

+/-2EV, 1/3 EV steps


Bright frame line, Overexposure and underexposure warning arrows

Electronic with same display as the back LCD

Focusing System

Superimposed rangefinder type focusing with automatic parallax compensation

Manual (with focus aids and magnification), Single, Monitor, Continuous. AF area modes: 3 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF (selectable), Flexible spot AF,
Contrast detect


Built-in "X" synchronization Hot Shoe

Pop up flash- Auto, On, Off, Slow synch, Red-eye reduction
• Range (ISO Auto): 1’ to 29’ 3" (0.3-9.0m) (Wide)
• Range (ISO Auto): 35.5 ’ to 22 ’ 4 " (0.9-6.8m) (Tele)
• Range (ISO 1000): 2’ 11" to 52’ (0.9 -16m) (Wide)

Storage Media

Film easy loading- Single-stroke, Built-in double exposure prevention

Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo compatible, 32MB internal memory

Self Timer

~ 8sec

2sec, 10sec


One 6 volts battery PX32, with Battery check**

2 AA NiMH batteries


55mm ring, Hot shoe flash with sync, macro lens, tele and wide angle converters available, separate viewfinder for converter lens

Filter Diameter: 58mm (with supplied Adapter Ring)
Optional Slave Flash units, wide tele and macro converter lenses, filters


180 x 84x 73,5 mm

113.2 x 83 x 94 mm




Continuous Shooting


Yes: 7 Shots at 1.1fps (7.2MP JPEG fine), 100 Shots at 1.4 fps (640x480 JPEG std)

  • *In B mode shutter remains open as long as the shutter released button is pressed. Ideal for long exposure time shots and needs a cable shutter release (separate accessory).
  • **The original 6V PX32 battery is no more available because it’s a mercury battery and is banned to prevent pollution. However the Yashica camera’s electronics are capable of working well between 4-6volts.This allows us to use an alkaline battery which can be easily adapted by using a small spring.

There you have it. The Yashica takes wonderful pictures. Once I make my way up the photography learning curve I’ll surely have another go at the Yashica. Till then....shoot!

Adios Amigos

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