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Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX9V review

Premium 16MP compact camera claims a DSLR-like performance

Our Verdict

For

  • Plenty of manual and auto options
  • Broad lens range
  • Built in GPS and 3D adds to future-proof feel

Against

  • Tiny backplate buttons
  • Large body
  • Need a 3D TV for 3D images
  • GPS struggles to find signal indoors

Looking for one compact 'travel zoom' camera that does it all? If you haven't had your head turned by the workmanlike reliability of Panasonic's TZ series, such as the Panasonic Lumix TZ20, nor sports car exterior and gimmicky triple-action sensor of the Fuji FinePix F600 EXR, then the chunkier Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX9V,at 34mm 'thick', is another to add to that checklist.

Part of Sony's high performance range of compact cameras, it shares or matches many of the core features of both rivals, while slipping readily into a pocket or bag.

For starters, there's a 16.2MP top stills resolution, this time from a 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor.

Sony cyber shot dsc hx9v review

Sony extends its desirability as a travel companion by offering both a built-in GPS unit and a 16x optical zoom, with a usefully broad focal range equivalent to 24-384mm in 35mm terms. This enables wide-angle close ups and the ability to pull the faraway a fair amount closer at the telephoto end.

In addition, as on the Panasonic TZ20, this Cyber-Shot boasts software-based 3D capture.

Sony cyber shot dsc hx9v review

Most effective is Sweep Panorama mode, which automatically generates a single elongated image as an MPO image file, viewable in its fullest tri-dimensional form only via a suitably equipped TV. The alternative is to shoot in Sweep Multi Angle mode, which offers a lenticular-like display when the user tilts the back LCD screen left or right, so aping a 3D effect.

Sony cyber shot dsc hx9v review

While an f/3.3 maximum aperture is so-so, ticking the right boxes for the latest must-haves are 1920 x 1080 pixels video capture in AVCHD or MPEG4 format, accompanied by stereo sound, courtesy of prominent left and right microphones located dead centre of the top plate.

If you're not bothered about a camera with a degree of expandability, nor the interchangeable lenses found on CSCs, the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V on paper at least would seem to fit the bill as a jack of all trades. But how does it do in practice?

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
Wide AngleNo
PictBridgeNo
Product FamilyCyber-shot
Image StabilizationElectronic, Optical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom16x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Smile Detection, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)215 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Minimum Focus Distance50 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate50 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution16.8 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height59 mm
Width104.8 mm
Depth33.9 mm
Autofocus Points9
Focal Length4.28 mm to 68.48 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsAAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-HX9V
Product NameCyber-shot DSC-HX9V Compact Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCHX9VB.CEH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Packed with easy-to-use features for better-looking images and HD videos, the Cyber-shot HX9V digital camera is an ideal travel partner with on-board GPS. Experience high-performance imaging for detail-packed stills, 3D and cinematic Full HD 50p video.

Battery Life410 Shot/3.42 Hour Video
Package Contents
  • Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BG1)
  • USB Charger (AC-UB10/10B)
  • USB Cable
  • Wrist Strap
  • CD-ROM
  • Instruction Manual
Display Resolution921600 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker