Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range

Started Jun 18, 2013 | User reviews
Ali
Ali
Senior MemberPosts: 1,179Gear list
Like?
Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range
Jun 18, 2013

I am primarily a DSLR user. The Sony HX50V is the compact alternative to my DSLR. But beyond just being an alternative, the HX50V provides an amazing zoom range of 24-720mm in a compact body that is pretty hard to match on a DSLR and in fact most other cameras.

I occasionally go to rock concerts, and I like shooting photos there. Since DSLRs are almost never allowed, I usually take a compact camera with me. And since I almost always end up far from the stage, I go for a camera with a reach. I moved from the Canon TX1 with 10x zoom to the Panasonic ZS7 with 12x zoom. Both were hit-and-miss. Then I moved to a Sony HX30V with its 20x zoom, which served me much better. And now I exchanged that for the HX50V.

Although I haven't yet had a chance to use the HX50V in a concert situation, the 30x looks real good in my tests so far. In addition, don't discount that dedicated exposure dial!  It's great for concert settings where compensation is often needed to avoid blown out highlights.

The image quality is pretty good unless you're looking at the photos at 100%. There the camera is no match for a DSLR, but, the results are no worse than what I had with other compacts such as the ZS7 or the HX30V.  Going up from ISO100 to ISO800 Sony seems to avoid ugly noise artifacts thru increased smearing.  ISO800 is acceptable in most cases.

I do wish the HX50V had RAW file support. Sometimes one may choose noise over smearing during post-processing.

The HX50V is a bit larger than its predecessors HX20V and HX30V, not much but enough that I couldn't fit it into the same admittedly tight pouch. It fits in most of my pockets though and should not be a problem at most concerts.

The camera has GPS. So did my HX30V, but frankly I never used it. It also has WiFi.  That works reasonably well for sending photos to a phone (I tried with iPhone), but it's a cumbersome process: First get the phone to hook up to the camera acting as a hot-spot; then run the PlayMemories app on the phone; and send the photo from the camera. It seems like Sony could have streamlined the process a bit.

Movie mode is pretty nice, although iMovie on the Mac can't import movies in the highest quality mode, AVCHD 1080/60p. The AVCHD 1080/60i mode does import into iMovie just fine and movies look great.

Some of the other features (panorama for instance) work well, while others are a bit gimmicky (3D).

The overall response time of the camera (turning on, zoom response, shutter lag) seems average.

As someone looking for a long zoom (and actually big range) in a compact body and a rich feature set, I am definitely happy with the HX50V.

 Ali's gear list:Ali's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Ali's score
4.0
Average community score
4.1
bad for good for
Kids / pets
good
Action / sports
good
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
okay
Flash photography (social)
good
Studio / still life
great
= community average
BillSprague
Regular MemberPosts: 391Gear list
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range
In reply to Ali, Jun 18, 2013

Panasonic ZS30 has 20x optical zoom with a Leica lens and shoots RAW.

-- hide signature --

Bill Sprague

 BillSprague's gear list:BillSprague's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
LSHorwitz1
Senior MemberPosts: 2,123Gear list
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range
In reply to BillSprague, Jun 18, 2013

BillSprague wrote:

Panasonic ZS30 has 20x optical zoom with a Leica lens and shoots RAW.

-- hide signature --

Bill Sprague

RAW??  Nope - I don't think so.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Marti58
Marti58 MOD
Forum ProPosts: 18,856Gear list
Like?
the ZS30
In reply to BillSprague, Jun 18, 2013

BillSprague wrote:

Panasonic ZS30 has 20x optical zoom with a Leica lens and shoots RAW.

has no RAW option.

-- hide signature --

*All my Post Processing is done with Capture NX2*
Flickr Photo's
Galleries on DPR

 Marti58's gear list:Marti58's gear list
Nikon 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Samsung HZ35W Canon PowerShot S95 Nikon Coolpix P500 +27 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ali
Ali
Senior MemberPosts: 1,179Gear list
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range
In reply to BillSprague, Jun 18, 2013

BillSprague wrote:

Panasonic ZS30 has 20x optical zoom with a Leica lens and shoots RAW

Either way my high order bit was the 30x zoom.

Ali

 Ali's gear list:Ali's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John McCormack
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,224Gear list
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact... RAW shooters
In reply to Ali, Jun 18, 2013

Thanks for the nice review.

Speaking of small RAW shooters with 20x zoom, I have the Fujifilm F900EXR and it does shoot RAW. I'm quite pleased with it - see my F900EXR review for those interested. The HX50v and its 30x looks attractive.

PS. The HX50v got a good review on cameralabs.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ali
Ali
Senior MemberPosts: 1,179Gear list
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact... RAW shooters
In reply to John McCormack, Jun 18, 2013

Thanks John. The Fuji zoom compacts do look good. I had considered the 770EXR (also with 20x + RAW) when I was looking at the HX30V last year . But the 800EXR was announced right before that but not yet available, so I decided to go for the Sony instead.

Ali

 Ali's gear list:Ali's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
karlviehe
Regular MemberPosts: 135
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact... RAW shooters
In reply to Ali, Aug 14, 2013

The Sony HX 30 is the first of the genre ( compact super zooms ) that I have kept for over a year .... leaving comparable Canon and Panasonics behind. Form factor is by far better, comfortable to hold. A viewfinder ( ELV ) would be great ... and it could be done, but none have it. I shoot basketball indoors w/o flash at  500 to 640 at ISO 3200 ... and the results are surprisingly good to 8 x 10.
  I am considering the HX 50 ( not for extra zoom ) ....  but need comparables on low-light results.

-- hide signature --

kwv

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Greynerd
Senior MemberPosts: 3,508
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range
In reply to Ali, Aug 14, 2013

It is interesting that none of these silly pixel small sensor cameras have RAW. I expect it is because the mush coming off the sensors would really show up with RAW. I expect they do these these cameras Jpeg only so they can blame the smearing and orange peel on the compression.

I doubt if you will ever see RAW off a 1/2.3" sensor greater than 12 MP which really is the limit for these sensors at the moment. RAW would just make it apparent what nonsense these sort of pixel counts are on these tiny sensors with a massive zoom collapsing lens shining on them. This is not an anti Sony thing as my 18 Mp Panasonic TZ40 is the same. I just run it at 12 Mp as it does not make any difference to resolution and gives me more pictures on the card.

If anyone knows of a 1/2.3" sensor camera greater than 12 Mp with RAW I would be interested to know. The manufacturers seem reluctant to go over 12 Mp with even the larger 1/1.7" sensors with their top compacts.

Ali wrote:

I do wish the HX50V had RAW file support. Sometimes one may choose noise over smearing during post-processing.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
navydad
Regular MemberPosts: 155
Like?
Re: Reasonably compact with amazing zoom range
In reply to Greynerd, Aug 14, 2013

Thanks for the review Ali. I love being able to carry it in my pocket & grab it at a moment's notice. I do wish it had a dedicated macro mode, but oh well.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads