Sony Cyber-shot HX1 Review by DP Interface2009-06-20 06:04 | Source
Currently selling at around $435, the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX1 is the latest SuperZoom camera from Sony that incorporates several technologies from the Alpha DSLR products, including a 1/2.4-inch 10-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor (for 9-megapixel images) and 20X f2.8-5.2 28-560mm-equivalent optically stabilized lens based on the company's higher-quality G series optics. Here is the conclusion of the review by DP Interface:
"The Cyber-shot HX1 indeed lives up to part of its hype - the camera handles quite well and has good build quality, there's full manual controls and good battery life°K and it looks REALLY close to a digital SLR. There's even a large 3 inch screen which you can tilt upwards/downwards. Unfortunately, you won't find a lot of expandability on the HX1; the camera doesn't support external flashes (neither wirelessly nor via any hotshoe), there's only ONE conversion lens available for the camera (telephoto) and unlike the competition, the HX1 lacks a customizable menu section and mode dial spot(s). And no, I don't consider the so-called custom button (which is limited to just three basic functions) to offset what the camera is lacking.
One of the other spotlight features on the Cyber-shot HX1 is its movie mode, capable of recording videos at 1080p °•full HD' resolution (Complete with stereo sound recording). Well, that's only half the truth - what you'll find out by reading the small print or the press release is the fact the camera's °•full HD video' comes from the interpolation of not-so-real-1080p recording (1440 x 1080 isn't REAL HD). Video quality is not bad, but I'm sure many of us would've appreciated the real deal. Of course, there's a 720p setting if you're not a fan of upsampled video. Both optical zoom and optical image stabilization are available but there are no other movie options (Wind filter, anyone? How about the ability to take a still photo while recording?) or editing features to be found on the camera.
Moving on, the Sony Cyber-shot HX1 does indeed produce photos with acceptable image quality but nowhere near what you'd expect from a camera which uses a CMOS sensor (note: CMOS sensors are normally associated with good image quality, in addition to high speed capturing). The HX1's high price is supposedly justified by its CMOS sensor, but somehow, the camera's image quality is underwhelming; taking away its "CMOS advantage". The Sony HX1 produces muddy and quite un-natural looking photos thanks to over-sharpening and noise reduction. And to make things worse, there isn't much of a difference even if you turn down noise reduction or use a low ISO speed - the issue still exists.
To wrap up, the Sony Cyber-shot HX1 looks great on paper and indeed has some appealing features but has too many catches and limitations that put a stop to all that potential fun you could have with the camera. The only thing going for the Cyber-shot HX1 is the initial thrill of having a full-resolution 10 FPS burst mode without buying a $4000-$5000 high end digital SLR. Otherwise, look at the other CMOS super zoom (Canon PowerShot SX1), or if you want to save some money, check out the other, more conventional super zoom cameras in the market."
Sony DSC-HX1 Sample Photos on Flickr
Sony DSC-HX1 Camera Reviews Roundup
|DigitalCameraReview: "The Sony Cyber-shot HX1 proves to be a veritable Swiss Army Knife of a midsize camera. Need to grab some sports shots? It has the lens and the speed to do it. Headed to the zoo? Again, you're covered. Summer vacation at the Grand Canyon? The HX1 counters with perhaps the most useful panorama mode ever installed on a digicam. Plus, you can get video clips worthy of your 42-inch HDTV from the same device. It really is..." - Oct 16 2009 More »|
|Imaging Resource: "I had a ball with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1. Right out of the box you can get great results with the 20x optical zoom Sony G lens coupled to an Exmor CMOS sensor with sensitivity to ISO 3,200 using Programmed Auto, intelligent Auto, or Easy mode. But you can also get cute with Aperture and Shutter priority modes and Manual mode before you tap into some unique shooting capabilities. They aren't just unique, th..." - Oct 01 2009 More »|
|Digital Camera Info: "The Nikon has a slight edge if you look at the specs: it shoots higher resolution images (12 megapixels against the 9 of the Sony), has a longer lens (24X against the 20x of the Sony) and is cheaper. But the Sony has superior performance in pretty much every category of our tests: it has better color, resolution and much better stabilization. The only area where the Nikon was superior was noise; although the Sony..." - Sep 22 2009 More »|
|PhotographyBLOG: "Having a long zoom on a snappy camera with almost all the controls you desire made for a very pleasant shooting experience - so much so that we were reluctant to give the camera back! Some of its unique features turned out to work really well, including the Sweep Panorama mode that made capturing panoramic images as effortless as it gets. We were a little disappointed at the resolution of these images though. This d..." - Aug 31 2009 More »|