Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V review

£430
Price when reviewed

The rather frightening price of Sony’s DSC-HX100V puts it firmly in DSLR territory. And from a distance, that’s exactly what it looks like.

It’s chunky, which means it’s comfortable to hold, and there’s a brilliant 3in articulated LCD with a 921kpixel resolution. A proximity sensor switches on the electronic viewfinder when you raise your eye to it, there’s a GPS receiver for geotagging photos, and a 1080p video mode that records at 50fps – these unusual features help explain the high price.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V

The screen has excellent viewing angles, and the resolution helps when focusing manually. Most superzoom cameras implement manual focusing poorly, but the HX100V has a ring on the lens barrel, also used for zooming.

Controls are equally well placed, and give quick access to the settings you need. A jog wheel lets you to adjust ISO, shutter and aperture, plus EV compensation, removing the need for dedicated buttons. There’s also a programmable Custom button, which can be set to a virtual graduated filter. This was ineffective, but the camera’s intelligent Sweep Panorama works well. Even handheld panoramas look good, but you’ll need a tripod for perfect joins. Panoramas can also be in stereoscopic 3D, and there’s an odd mode that shows the resulting 3D image on the LCD when you tilt the camera.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V

Photos look great and, despite the 16-megapixel sensor, noise was kept under control. The reason is back illumination, which moves the circuitry to the rear of the CCD, allowing more light to fall on the photo receptors. The HX100V picks out detail in textures that other cameras blur.

The Carl Zeiss lens was pin-sharp right through its 30x range. Optical stabilisation keeps shots sharp at full zoom, and works when shooting movies too.

The HX100V is great, but it’s significantly more expensive than a camera such as the Panasonic DMC-FZ100. The increase in quality, performance and features can’t be ignored, but doesn’t quite justify the price premium.

Details

Image quality 5

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 16.2mp
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range 30x
Camera maximum resolution 4,608 x 3,456

Weight and dimensions

Weight 577g
Dimensions 122 x 93 x 87mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included Lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 303 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range f2.8 - f5.6
Camera minimum focus distance 0.01m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent) 27
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent) 810
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/4,000
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed 30s
Bulb exposure mode? no
RAW recording mode? no
Exposure compensation range +/- 2EV
ISO range 100 - 3200
Selectable white balance settings? yes
Manual/user preset white balane? yes
Progam auto mode? yes
Shutter priority mode? yes
Aperture priority mode? yes
Fully auto mode? yes
Burst frame rate 10.0fps
Exposure bracketing? yes
White-balance bracketing? yes
Memory-card type SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
LCD resolution 921k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
Body construction Plastic
Data connector type Proprietary USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual? no
Software supplied Sony Picture Motion Browser 5.5
Accessories supplied USB cable

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