DSC-HX100V... "OK" camera
Photo quality is very good. 30x zoom is very handy. And 10fps burst mode is great. However, there are some major drawbacks. No RAW. Poor quality in low-light situations. Inability to focus when using the zoom to capture a macro-like shot. And the operational performance is sluggish... switching between shooting modes, or between playback and shooting.
Overall I've learned to work with the shortcomings, and the photos I've taken come out great. I just feel that I'm being limited and am being held back by this camera. Next stop, a true DSLR.
Focusing when zooming into a macro-like shot.
Sluggish operational performance.
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= community average
I have used this camera for 2+ years. I experienced the same problems you did. Manual control of this camera is very difficult. Focus will drive you nuts. Other than that, it's a great bridge camera. I have upgraded to the RX-10. It uses the same lens but the 4x larger light sensor gives you the full capability of the lens. It can also be totally manual. The movie quality is excellent. I use it in movie mode for wildlife shots using a tripod. (mostly birds) Then edit the movie frame by frame for the shot I want. I can freeze the wings of a humming bird or show the blur depending on what I want. (just not with the same movie clip) Some may call that cheating but it sure beats setting with your finger on the shutter button for hours at a time. This camera will make you look like a professional. I love it and am not interested in a full body camera and all the glass. That's a lot of expense for an amateur like myself and I'm not convinced the additional expense and hardware would produce better results.