Sony DSC HX1 Review

Digital Cameras with Extended Zoom Lenses

Picture
Sony DSC HX1 Ease of Use 8
Features 9
Movie Mode 10
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 9
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 9
Value for Money 8
9 Megapixels
20x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
114.5 x 82.8 x 91.8mm
453g

Overview

The Sony Cybershot DSC HX1 is one of the most advanced digital cameras you will find. What helps to make the Cybershot DSC HX1 different is that Sony has used a different type of sensor. This speeds up processing and makes the camera capable of taking a rapid burst of photos. This is great for fast moving subjects such as sports and wildlife.

There are plenty of other advanced features including manual exposure controls, innovative options for wide photos with a sweep panorama mode (aspect ratios of 40:9 and 60:9), a 3 inch tilting LCD screen, a viewfinder and image stabilisation. It also has a 20x, wide angle lens and a 9 megapixel sensor.

For anyone who like to shoot movies with their digital camera the Cybershot DSC HX1 offers High Definition video recording.

Why Buy The Sony DSC HX1

As you can see this camera has a great range of features. These give you great flexibility and creative control when taking photos.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

9
20x
3 inches
114.5 x 82.8 x 91.8mm
453g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

1cm
Yes
Yes
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
Memory Stickā„¢ Duo

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): As I have come to expect from cameras with large lens units picture quality is a little better than you would expect from smaller, pocket cameras. Here there are no problems with sharpness. One issue that does show up is purple fringing. This is something I usually see with longer lenses, but there is no doubt it is more pronounced with the Cybershot DSC HX1 than normal. With smaller prints this should not be an issue, but you may have to clean up the problem for larger shots.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): With the zoom not being used focusing is softer. Again this is something I expect to see. There are cameras that can produce a sharper shot than this, but you will not notice a great deal of difference unless you are planning to make prints above A4 size.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): Here you can see the power of the zoom. It can get you in so much closer than more standard length lenses. Purple fringing is the price you pay. It is more noticeable again than I am used to seeing.

Outdoor 4 (Building): This shot provides confirmation of the points I have made so far. Sharpness is good without quite matching some of the more advanced Canon and Nikon digital cameras, but this would not put me off from buying the Cybershot DSC HX1.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: There should be no problems with taking this type of shot. The Cybershot DSC HX1 is capable of taking plenty of pleasing portraits in natural light.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: Light is evenly distributed. The camera also does well to control the power of the flash on the face with very little light being reflected back into the lens. The flash is more powerful than you find on smaller compacts. The fact it pops up away from the lens can also help to reduce the danger of red eye appearing in your portrait shots.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: This is a fair attempt, although the picture is a little darker than it could be. This suggests you will need to use flash to get the best out of the camera in almost all indoor situations, unless there is plenty of window light available.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: My macro test shot has a crisp feel. The Cybershot DSC HX1 should be able to handle most close up situations. It can focus from 1cm from the subject and is a good choice if you are looking for a camera that works well for macro photography.

Colours: Sony digital cameras produce well balanced colours. I like the way the colours look in my outdoor scenes. I also feel that my outdoor portrait has a natural look to it.

: ISO 400 and ISO 1600 There is not too much to report here. Noise levels do creep up as you move up through the various ISO levels. The good news is that the colours remain true apart from in the darkest areas of a shot.

Summary

The Cybershot DSC HX1 can handle most situations very well. Purple fringing can be an issue where light, such as from the sun, catches the edge of light coloured objects.

See sample images link arrow

Style

The Cybershot DSC HX1 is built like a smaller Digital SLR. It has a sturdy feel to it.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.23 seconds
9.63 seconds
0.55 seconds
10.12 seconds
2.5 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par With all these feature to get used to it will take time to fully understand all the options you have available to you. Sony has worked hard to make the camera as easy as possible to use and I like the inclusion of the various buttons and dials on the top and back of the camera.

Points I Like

High Definition movies, burst shooting speeds, manual exposure controls, layout of buttons and controls, flexibility of lens, wide shooting options

Where it Could Improve

Purple fringing an issue with larger prints

Verdict

If you are looking for a truly fully featured digital camera then the Sony Cybershot DSC HX1 ticks most boxes. I like the innovation in the area of shooting wide photos, plus all the other controls. The layout of the camera controls and buttons is good too. Throw in picture quality and you have a camera that is hard to beat.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 setup

menu-2 menu 3

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Panasonic DMC FZ48 Rating 87/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ48 is very hard to beat. It is up against some stiff competition, but the combination of features, image quality and pricing makes it the outstanding model in its category. When it comes to picture quality it has few weaknesses and its length of lens means it can cope with more or less any photo opportunity.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FZ48 Review

Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Rating 86/100

The Fuji Finepix HS30EXR does offer a number of differences to rival Super Zoom or Bridge digital cameras. The main difference is the twisting lens barrel, but there are other handling aspects that make it that bit closer to a Digital SLR experience. In terms of features Fuji have packed in just about everything they can think of. Picture quality compares well against rival cameras and shutter response times are also impressive. This makes this camera a very attractive proposition if you are looking for a fully featured camera with a great deal of zoom power.

Read Review: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Review

Nikon Coolpix L810 Rating 79/100

The Nikon Coolpix L810 offers something different as it gives you the power of an extra long lens, but with the simplicity of a point and shoot digital camera. This helps to make it somewhat cheaper than the more fully featured models with similar zoom power. Picture quality does not match up to the more expensive models in this category, but it is only if you are planning to make extra large prints that you are likely to see much difference between photos taken with this camera and those that give you that bit of extra quality. This camera is a good choice if you are looking for simple operation and a powerful lens.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC HX1 Review Sony DSC HX1 Specification Sony DSC HX1 Sample Images Sony DSC HX1 Features Canon Powershot SX1 IS vs Sony Cybershot DSC HX1 Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

June 2009

Best Deals



Read a Review



Photography Courses

photography courses

Search By Price

Digital Cameras Under £50
Digital Cameras £50 - £100
Digital Cameras £100 - £150
Digital Cameras £150 - £200
Digital Cameras £200 - £300
Digital Cameras £300 - £500
Digital Cameras £500 - £1000
Digital Cameras Over £1000

Search By Camera Type

Simple and Easy Digital Cameras
Pocket Sized Digital Cameras
Extra Zoom Digital Cameras
Super Zoom Digital Cameras
Advanced Digital Cameras
Waterproof Digital Cameras
Compact System Cameras
Digital SLRs

Search By Camera Brand

Canon Digital Cameras
Fuji Digital Cameras
Nikon Digital Cameras
Olympus Digital Cameras
Panasonic Digital Cameras
Sony Digital Cameras

Buyers Guides

Digital Cameras
Memory Cards
Digital SLRs
Major Features
Shutter Times
Batteries
Where to Buy

More Guides

Local Guides

All Local Guides
England
English Counties
London Locations
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales

News Feeds

XML RSS My MSN My Yahoo