Sony DSC HX1 Review

Digital Cameras with Extended Zoom Lenses

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


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

LCD Screen:

3 inches
114.5 x 82.8 x 91.8mm

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

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.


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.


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


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


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

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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

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