Previous page Next page

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V Review

April 2012 | By Jeff Keller

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V ($479) is a high-end superzoom camera that does just about everything imaginable. Whether you're talking about its built-in GPS, 360 degree panorama maker, 10 fps burst shooting, instant HDR photos, or 1080/60p videos, the HX200V has nearly every bell and whistle ever created. To top it off, it features the highest resolution sensor in a compact camera (18 Megapixel, which may or may not be a good thing) as well as one one of the most powerful zoom lenses (30X).

The HX200V has some tough competition, though, from the likes of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, and Panasonic. Is the Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V the best super zoom camera on the market? You're about to find out.

In some countries, a model without a GPS is also available. This camera is known as the DSC-HX200 (without the "V").

What's in the Box?

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V has a rather unremarkable bundle. Here's what you'll find when you crack open the box:

  • The 18.2 effective Megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V camera body
  • NP-FH50 lithium-ion battery
  • AC adapter
  • Lens cap w/retaining strap
  • Shoulder strap
  • Micro USB cable
  • 36 page basic manual

The Cyber-shot HX200V has a healthy amount of built-in memory -- 105MB to be exact. That holds seventeen photos at the highest quality setting, which isn't bad for emergencies. That said, you'll probably want to buy an actual memory card right away. The HX200V supports both SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards, and I'd suggest a 4GB card at the very minimum, and a larger card if you plan on taking a lot of Full HD video. Buying a high speed card (Class 6 or higher for SD cards) is a good idea. If you have a Sony laptop that supports their TransferJet wireless protocol, the camera supports that feature when a compatible MS Duo card is installed.

The camera uses the same NP-FH50 lithium-ion battery as many other Sony cameras. This battery holds 6.1 Wh of energy, which is pretty good for a compact camera. Here's what that looks like in terms of battery life:

Camera Battery life
(CIPA standard)
Battery used
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS 380 shots NB-10L
Fuji FinePix HS25EXR 400 shots AA (4)
Kodak EasyShare Max Z990 500 shots AA (4)
Nikon Coolpix P510 * 240 shots EN-EL5
Olympus SP-810UZ 190 shots LI-50B
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 410 shots DMW-BMB9
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V * 450 shots NP-FH50

* Built-in GPS
Battery life numbers are provided by the manufacturer

As you can see, the HX200V's battery life is second only to the Kodak. If you've got the GPS off, the HX200V should make it through a day of shooting with plenty of room to spare. If you are using the GPS, battery life will certainly drop, though Sony doesn't say by how much. Turning off GPS logging will keep battery drain to a relative minimum. If you want to pick up a spare battery, a Sony-branded one will cost around $38.

The DSC-HX200V's battery is charged internally, using the included AC adapter. Unlike on some Panasonic models I reviewed recently, charging is fast -- it takes just 100 minutes to fill up the NP-FH50. Still, if you want to charge a spare battery you'll need to buy the BC-TRV external charger (priced from $31).

Accessories

The HX200V is very light in the accessory department. Here's all you can buy for it:

Accessory Model # Price * Description
External battery charger BC-TRV From $31 For charging a battery outside of the camera
Leather case LCS-HG From $37 Protect your investment with this leather carrying case
* Prices were accurate at time of publication

No external flash for you!

Sony doesn't even include their software bundle on a CD-ROM disc anymore. The PlayMemories Home software is actually on the camera itself, and you can install it by plugging the HX200V into your Windows-based PC. PlayMemories Home is essentially a re-skinned version of Picture Motion Browser, which does it's job pretty well. In addition to importing photos from the camera, PlayMemories can also share them via e-mail, prints, and on photo/video sharing websites. Editing tools include redeye reduction, brightness/saturation/tone curve, and sharpness. There's also an Auto Correct function which attempts to fix things with a single click. You can view photos on a map (assuming that their location was tagged), and upload "assist data" to the camera, which is supposed to reduce satellite acquisition time.

Mac users are left out in the cold when it comes to photo editing. The only thing Sony provides is a link to a website that basically say 'use iPhoto instead', which isn't a bad suggestion, but unfortunately, iPhoto doesn't upload GPS assist data.

Long-time readers of my reviews know that I'm not a fan of how camera manufacturers have been skimping on printed manuals. While most have been putting the full manuals in PDF format on an included CD-ROM disc, Sony has gone even further -- they don't even provide a full manual. Instead, there's a link to their support website, where you'll find an HTML-based manual. This manual is difficult to navigate (though at least it's searchable) and lacking in both the detail and user-friendliness department. Documentation for the included software is installed onto your PC.

This review was first published at www.dcresource.com, and is presented here with minimal changes, notably the inclusion of a full set of product images, our usual studio comparisons and an expanded samples gallery, plus the addition of a standard dpreview score.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2012 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

Previous page Next page

Comments

Total comments: 3
BFADE4652CFC4F9E9B957EA7F27EACB1

Hello. I have this camera and after 3 months, used to the regular 60X-120X, I moved some setting and I got amazing 100X-200X. But for some reason the camera went back to usual and can't find the way to get that zooming. If someone knows the answer, I'll be appreciated. Thanks.

0 upvotes
sharmacameras
By sharmacameras (5 months ago)

Pick Apeture priority mode. Press and hold Jig dial and you will see the writing for apeture choice becoming slightly large on the view screen. Now turn Jog dial left or right and you will see reading changing on the screen. Pick the one you want and release the jog dial.

0 upvotes
angelina432
By angelina432 (6 months ago)

please can someone help I have a cybershot hx200v camera I am having trouble finding out how to change the aperture on this camera I have gone through the setting and the dial doesn't seem to do anything anyone help please

0 upvotes
Total comments: 3