Friday, May 20, 2011

Sony DSC-HX100V Cybershot Digital Camera Mini-Review

I just got a review sample of the Sony DSC-HX100V Cyber-shot 30X Optical Zoom 16 Megapixel Digital Camera. It is an actual production model and has been tested with a 16GB Lexar media SDHC Type 6 memory card. Herewith is the skinny on this new bridge camera from Sony.

I am pleased to report that image quality is excellent for this class of camera. It does not have the quality of a DSLR (still has a smaller Image Sensor) but the image quality is decent from ISO settings of 100 - 800. it definitely handles noise a lot better than the DSC-HX1. It is very fast and responsive and the Carl Zeiss 30X Optical Zoom is quite sharp. The equivalent zoom range is 27mm to a very impressive 810mm. It looks and handles a lot like the Sony DSC-HX1 (The preceding model introduced in 2009) but is a little heavier and feels chunkier as the right hand-grip is contoured to allow for a more secure handling. The 3 Inch LCD has 921,000 pixels of resolution, a big improvement over the DSC-HX1 which had 221,000 pixels.

The 16 MB SONY EXMOR CMOS image sensor is capable of greater detail and gives even better low-light performance....based on some of the existing light photos I shot and the manual focus controls are much easier to use. The video quality is superb with full 1080 HD movie quality. One touch/one button video mode makes it even easier to use the camera in video mode and the twin stereo microphone set-up is retained and is perched above the pop-up Flash Unit.The HDMI adapter dongle is gone so you can use a standard HDMI cable to output to any HD TV or notebook that has an HDMI input jack. I see this camera as replacing a Sony camcorder and as a travel camera that has extreme flexibility with the 24 MM to 600MM 35Mm equivalent Optical zoom capability built into a compact camera that is physically smaller and weighs much less than your average DSLR camera. Instead of packing 3 or four lenses the long zoom Carl Zeiss Zoom lens will allow you to use the camera in virtually any shooting environment in a super-zoom digital camera that weighs less a little more than a pound (21 ounces or 700 Grams). The useful sweep panorama feature is carried over along with in camera editing of captured images. It also has a built-in GPS Geotagging feature which was not tested in this review. Processing horsepower I suspect was increased to accommodate the 16 Megapixel imager and to maintain the 8 Frame Per Second High Speed Burst Mode at the highest resolution setting of 16 Megapixels. The only real knock I could give this camera is that fact that it does not support RAW files. It also accepts SD, SDHC and the new SDXC SD Memory Card formats in addition to the Sony MS DUO format. Figure on getting around 300 shots with the LCD on with the included proprietary Sony Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery. Now shipping from Sony and their Authorized dealers for an MSRP of $449.99. This camera is highly recommended and arguably the most advanced long lens bridge digital camera currently available for sale in the US. This should be on your short list of travel digital cameras that have a long zoom with decent resolution and image quality.

Here's a photo I took on 7/31/11 of Hideki Matsui swinging for the fences at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum - The Oakland A's played the Minnesota Twins this afternoon with Oakland winning 7-3.

At full extended telephoto zoom using the Sony DSC-HX100 - Auto Setting Superior Auto on Camera Shooting Mode Dial where the blur and noise is removed automatically for capturing sharp images.

"Oh, no, there goes Tokyo go go Godzilla" Hideki Matsui at bat against the Minnesota Twins

Report Card - Sony DSC-HX100V

Please note that image quality is graded on a curve for Point-and Shoot/Bridge Digital Cameras with smaller CMOS and CCD Image Sensors
Note: Printing images from this camera up to 11" x 14" Should be no problem.

Image Quality - Overall   B +
Image Quality (Low Light) A -
Zoom Capabilty               A -
Performance                    A -

Build Quality                      B +
Features                            B +
Price/Performance           B +

Video Quality                    A -
Video Performance         A -

Battery Life                        B
Ease of Use                      B +
Preview Capability           A -
Travel Camera                  A -
Soccer Mom/Dad             A -
Pro Replacement              C +
Wedding Camera             C  -

Sports/Action Camera      A -
Storage Media                   A -
Wide Angle                         B

Macro                                  B+
Manual Focus                     B+
Flash Capability                 C

June 7, 2011  User Review Update
I took about 30 candids today using the built-in flash and at 100 ISO and without the flash at 800 ISO and the results are outstanding. Noise is well controlled at 800 ISO, colors are natural and balanced and the camera was fast and almost felt as fast a a dslr. I also took a 720P AVCHD Video that came out crystal clear with perfect exposure and color rendering. The Zoom was used and the noise was not picked up by the stereo microphones. Color fidelity is excellent and I have to say the video quality easily matches a higher end Sony camcorder. Recording video was extremely easy as the dedicated video button allows you to switch to video recording with one press of a dedicated button.

I also found that the rotating function wheel came in really handy when I was changing ISO speeds in the Program Still Picture mode. It also allowed me to change the plus minus settings of the exposure compensation without having to hunt through menu screens.

The more you use and explore this camera, the more you will like it as the controls and short-cuts are well thought out and help reduce the learning time. One you learn the controls, you will be able to make adjustments on the fly without having to access feature buried in menu selections.

UPDATE June 25, 2011
After recording about 100 digital photos and about 10 video clips, I have come to the conclusion that this is one of Sony's most balanced digital cameras with a heft and feel much like a Sony DSLR camera. The camera is easy to grip and really feels substantial after holding it for an extended period of time. It feels as if the entire camera was carved from block of titanium. This camera houses a lot of advanced circuitry and state-of -the art optics and it feels like the innards are very well protected from shock and outside elements with a rugged outer casing. This camera will stand up to a lot of abuse in the field. So far I feel this camera is worth every penny at an MSRP of $549.99.



  1. Wonderful post! I am thinking of getting a new camera and I can't decide if I should get a point and shoot camera or a bridge camera from one of the top rated camera models in the market like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and more. I'm looking around for opinions and advices from experts and I hope I'll get the answer that I am looking for. Will definitely consider your post and I hope I won't regret my purchase! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the review I purchased a NIKON and returned it the next day for the Sony instead based on the reviews I found on the web. I will be trying it out at the gocart track on fathers day. Hope a made the right choice. Sony has never failed me so far.

  3. The flagship DSC-HX100V is also a snap to carry and hold, boasting a design that echoes the appearance and ascendancy layout of beyond DSLR models, although it is appealing ablaze on its own.

    Camera Sony

  4. Thanks for the great review and detailed overview. Sony has come a long way and you've done a great job in capturing the good and bad of their DSC-HX100V Cyber-shot. Nice write-up

  5. does it have 24mm to 600mm zoom as mentioned in the review above ....or does it have 27 to 810mm zoom...confused..can some one who has it verify this??..thanks

  6. I was deciding between this camera (i.e. Sony DSC-HX100V Cybershot Digital Camera) and a canon with similar features. After trying both, I decided to go with this sony camera. The picture quality and video quality is a solid A. It's not as sensitive to small hand movements.

  7. Mike:
    I am in total agreement with your comments on this camera. I find that this camera is perfect for sports/action photography and I prefer this camera over a DSLR. Image quality is superb even though the imager is smaller than a DSLR. Performance is pretty close to a DSLR as it is snappy and has a large memory buffer. This is hard to beat and Canon is losing market share to Sony in the super-zoom bridge camera category.

  8. thanks for the info
    about last week I bought fujitsu Cyber​​-shot 120x optical zoom and has a quality 33-megapixel camera with a memory capacity of about 28Gb. coincidence in the offer price is not so expensive and I purchased the items from the prior user, so it probably was not good quality 100% yes but I think that's enough for people new to the world like me this photo
    thanks for share blog admin:)
    happy to visit your blog

  9. Hey guy's you need to check out this fantastic new HX100V ADAPTER RING! It allows you to attach 58mm filters, macro lenses and lens hoods. To buy one just visit They ship world wide. This is a fantastic camera and is stepped up to the next level using this adapter ring!

  10. I enjoyed using this product. As a beginner it was my 4 year old son who took some great pictures with it without any effort. That says it all for all beginner’s out there. The product is well balanced and worth the price tag. The optics is best quality as in any Canon camera and build quality is good. Thank you so much for sharing this blog :)

    If you have time you can also visit this site that I managed to surf in:
    Digital Camera Review

  11. nice and helpful Review i like it a lot have a look at this review that i made about Sony RX100 Digicam

  12. Thank you for sharing about cameras with us.
    Digital Camera Photography and Reviews Blog.

  13. Thank you For Sharing Information on Phtography and Camera with us.
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  14. hey! thanks for this post! I really interested with this gadget, I'd appreciate if you can elaborate more on the features and its current market price. Infographic Problems