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Sony Cyber-shot HX100V review

Is Sony's 30x optical zoom HX100V the superzoom market leader?

Our Verdict

For

  • Clever dual zoom/focus ring
  • 30x zoom range equates to 27-810mm
  • GPS is forward-thinking tech

Against

  • No RAW files
  • Excess shutter speeds in auto modes
  • Images aren't going to replace a DSLR
  • Unfazed by 3D mode

Sony cyber-shot hx100v

Put the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V to use and it's an impressive photographic performer indeed.

Autofocus is quick throughout most of the zoom range, but slows down towards the longer end of the zoom.

Focusing modes are accessible via the Focus button behind the shutter and consist of three main options: Multi-AF, Center AF and Flexible Spot. Multi-AF provides 9-points of focus that are automatically assessed by the camera. Center AF uses the central point of the screen only and can also employ Subject Tracking so moving subjects can be targeted and followed for more accurate focus. Flexible Spot brings up a focus square that can be moved around anywhere on the screen except for the outermost edges, it's ideal for positioning the focus point just where you need it.

Sony cyber-shot hx100v

Close-up or 'Macro' is also a superstar mode when at the widest setting where the camera can focus on subjects as close as 1cm from the lens.

One of the biggest faults with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V is the shutter speeds that the digital camera opts for in Auto and Priority modes. At the full extent of the zoom where fast shutter speeds are required to counteract handshake the camera has a tendency to plump for exposures that are a little too long.

At the full zoom in good sunlight it wasn't uncommon for an 810mm equivalent zoom shot to opt for a 1/80 second exposure – which, ideally, should be anywhere up to ten times this value within given reason to other values.

Sony cyber-shot hx100v

A 1080p movie mode allows for zooming during recording, plus the HX100V is no slouch when it comes to snapping still pictures.

Due to its compact-sized sensor, this camera isn't going to replace a DSLR in terms of its final quality, but in respect to its competitors – namely the Fuji FinePix HS20, Nikon CoolPix P5000 and Canon SX30 IS – the HX100V stands up well.

ISO and dynamic range stands ahead of the competition from ISO 100-400 in our lab tests, although real-world shots lack the finer texture and edge detail to make for truly exceptional shots.

Images are accurately metered for good exposure, and white balance is consistent in delivery of rich, colourful shots.

The 16.1MP sensor is far more populated than the previous HX1's 9.1MP resolution, and it does beg the question that if Sony was a little more conservative and had opted for a 12MP sensor would image quality have been better yet?

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
USBYes
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyCyber-shot H
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom30x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesFace Detection, Aperture Priority, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMP4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)525 g
Minimum Focus Distance10 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-HG Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height86.6 mm
Width121.6 mm
Depth93.1 mm
Autofocus Points9
Product SeriesH
Focal Length4.80 mm to 144 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Slow Sync, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-HX100V
Product NameCyber-shot DSC-HX100V Bridge Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCHX100V
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Renew your passion for photography with Cyber-shot HX100V digital camera. A Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonar T lens with 30x optical zoom brings distant subjects closer and high speed auto focus achieves dramatically clearer images while "Exmor R" CMOS sensor delivers superior low-light performance.

Battery Life410 Shot/3.42 Hour Video
Package Contents
  • Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V Bridge Camera
  • NP-FH50 Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Neck Strap
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Cap Strap
  • USB Cable
  • Power Cord
  • Software Media
Display Resolution921000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year