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Sony HX200V review

Sony's 18.2MP bridge camera offers a 30x optical zoom, Full HD movies and GPS

Our Verdict

For

  • Broad focal range
  • Solid build
  • GPS and 3D capture
  • Manual control options

Against

  • Fiddly rear jog dial
  • Some loss of focus
  • Subtle barrel distortion
  • Purple pixel fringing

The chunky yet compact flagship model in Sony's High Performance Cyber-Shot series, the new HX200V superzoom succeeds the HX100V, in the process boosting the headline resolution from 16.2 megapixels to 18.2 effective megapixels from an Exmor R CMOS sensor.

Remaining a constant is its most obvious selling point: a whopping 30x optical zoom. Great in theory for photographing wildlife and sports, and not bad at all in practice, this in part dictates its 'DSLR lite' dimensions.

This also helps set it apart from the equally new 20x HX20V model.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V at a glance
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch (7.76mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor
Lens: 30x (27-810mm in 35mm terms)
LCD Screen: 3-inch, 921,600 dots
ISO range: ISO 100-12800
Dimensions: 121.6 x 86.6 x 93.3mm, 531g

Should users want to digitally extend the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V's lens reach it can be pushed to the equivalent of 60x. Sony claims that the fantastically christened Pixel Super Resolution technology enhances imagery to avoid the usual blocky appearance of conventional digital zooms.

While this is the case, on close inspection results can look a little painterly.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V review

Naturally the lens, offering an equivalent focal range of a generous 27mm to 810mm in 35mm terms, is supported by an optical image stabiliser, which Sony says now features a refined gyro sensor.

This too delivers the goods, and enabled us to achieve sharp results shooting handheld at the telephoto end of the zoom - in daylight at least.

For those looking to shoot in low light, the HX200V's maximum light sensitivity now stands at ISO 12800, similar to a mid-range DSLR, while auto focus in dimmer conditions is claimed to be significantly quicker at 0.2 seconds at 3EV.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V review

Otherwise AF speed is 0.13 seconds in the daylight conditions we were generally using it in.

At the other end of the scale, the Sony HX200V offers the ability to achieve macro close ups just 1cm from a subject, while the maximum lens aperture is a reasonably bright f/2.8.

Automatically stitched panoramas, 3D shooting and Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels video with 50 frames per second progressive capture (and with stereo sound) also feature, alongside built-in GPS - making this an option for amateur travel photographers.

Add the above together and the Sony Cyber-Shot HX200V appears to have a lot going for it.

Yet there is stiff competition out there from the Nikon Coolpix P510, Fuji FinePix HS30, Fuji X-S1, and Canon Powershot SX40 HS to name a mere handful.

Can the Sony HX200V really claim to be the superzoom that has it all and justify a price tag of £480 in the UK and $480 in the US?

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution18.2 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeNo
Product FamilyCyber-shot H
Image StabilizationOptical, Electronic
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom30x
Digital Zoom120x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, 3D Panorama
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)531 g
Flash Memory Capacity105 MB
Minimum Focus Distance10 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeExmor R CMOS
Total Camera Resolution18.9 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-FH50
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro (M2), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), microSD Card, microSDHC Card, Eye-Fi Card
Height86.6 mm
Width121.6 mm
Depth93.3 mm
Product SeriesH
Focal Length4.80 mm to 144 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction, Rear Slow Sync
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-HX200V
Product NameHX200V Digital Compact Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCHX200VB.CEH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing InformationThe ultimate Cyber-shot experience

The flagship of the Cyber-shot range delivers extraordinary image quality with DSLR-like creative features, Extra High Sensitivity Technology and manual controls. Explore new shooting possibilities with ultra-powerful zoom range, Full HD 50p video, GPS and 3D shooting.

Battery Life490 Shot/4.08 Hour Video
Package Contents
  • HX200V Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-FH50
  • AC Adapter AC-L200C/L200D
  • Micro USB
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Lens Cap
  • AC Cable
  • Instruction Manual
  • Lens Cap
  • Strap
Display Resolution921600 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker