EricoftheNorth: I find it quite interesting that the Nikon got good marks on video. I sell these cameras every day and there is one horrifying detail not mentioned about the Nikon: It *disables* optical stabilization during the video. This is compounded by the fact that this is a CMOS and therefor has a rolling shutter. At wide angle, it is not to big of a deal, but at telephoto (which is the point of these cameras after all), it is ABYSMAL. It looks like bad Flip video. The Nikon P500 suffers the same effect to an even greater degree as it hits ~800mm. The digital stabilizer has essentially no effect on the rolling shutter.
The Sony and Canon both are amazingly stable at long zoom.
I feel that this should seriously be reconsidered as many customers will forgo a video camera in favor of one of these, and at the soccer (football) game or graduation, this is simply unacceptable.
yes, this is noticeable in every sample of the Nikon I have seen online. The HX9V has outstanding video but awful still quality - terrible shame, it would have been an easy pick. It leaves the Canon which unfortunately only has a moderate wide at 28mm, which is frustrating for many uses of a compact. The Panasonic doesn't score it for me either way. It brings up the question - given the computing storage and editing power now available to deliver really first quality video, which is becoming more relevant for compact use - shooting stills or video? A renaissance in home videos on the horizon perhaps?
I found this to be an interesting of four cameras that all have great merits, but none perfect. If the test is about a balance between video and still quality I think I agree with the results. I recently had my Panasonic ZS7 stolen - which I loved - but have decided against the new Panasonic because of Stills IQ. The HX9V seems to have brilliant video - WAY above anyone else's - but smeared stills. The SX230 has good video and good still IQ. same with the S9100. The ability to take good, printable pictures is still fundamental. Its not that I want a compact to be as brilliant as a DSLR ( I shoot professionally with Nikon D700 and D7000), but I do want a portable, unobtrusive, instant and competent device for personal use. If the Canon had a wider lens, The Sony had better Still image IQ, the Nikon more manual control and better VR the choice would have been much harder, but I probably would have gone towards the Sony. As it is I am in agreement and limbo with the judges' verdict.