Choosing a super-zoom camera (part 9) - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V

3/26/2012 11:54:41 AM

Choosing a super-zoom camera (part 9)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V


4 stars

$396 inc VAT

HX9V camera is one of the most expensive pocket ultra-zoom cameras but also the most feature-packed. It is capable of recording in AVCHD video at 1080/50p, GPS tagging, manual exposure and focus control and a 3-inch, 921,000-dot screen. Battery life is outstanding for a compact camera with 410 photos. iSweep Panorama and 3D Shooting will take panoramic pictures, Anti Motion Blur will also capture, align and overlay 6 frames to reduce noise in low light.

Navigation Pad doubles as the dial to activate quick adjustment, but the manual exposure settings updated slowly as we turn the dial. The spot focus point is quicker to adjust, and Custom button can be assigned to the exposure compensation, ISO speed or white balance. However, the lack of aperture mode and shutter priority; camera uses ND filters to mimic the smaller aperture, since only two settings are available for the focal length. It is not a problem, but it prevents the testing of the depth of field effects.

Excellent performance, with fast autofocus and only 1.3 seconds between shots. Continuous mode is limited to 10 images and runs at 10fps or 2fps. Strangely, this rate selection must be done in a different menu.

Lens is sharp throughout its 16x zoom and in the photo corner. However, while the bolder shapes such as buildings look sharper, more complex compositions like plants look a bit unnatural to watch carefully, showing the noise reduction and digital sharpening have worked hard. Skin tones look like be painted, and in low light, they expose more noise. This is the best 16MP compact camera for noise level, but it can not be compared with smooth detail of the Canon SX230 HS.

HX9V comes close to the greatness and with lower resolution sensor, it might have won an award. However, at this price, just the best picture quality should do.


Verdict. Packed with impressive features, but image quality doesn’t live up to the high price.

Ultra zoom camera. 15.9MP (4.608x3.456), optical zoom 16x (28-384mm), 3-inch LCD (921.600 pixel), SDXC slot and Memory Stick Pro Duo (19MB internal), Li-ion battery, 61x105x33mm, 245g, 1 year RTB warranty.



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