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Compared to... Canon Powershot SX1 IS, Panasonic Lumix FZ28

Here we compare the Sony DXC-HX1 to the FZ28 (which with the SX10 IS was joint-winner of the superzoom roundup we performed at the start of the year) as well as the Canon SX1 IS that we reviewed last month. Both the HX1 and SX1 IS have 20x zoom lenses that start at 28mm and end at 560mm, they both feature 1080p HD video (though the SX1 IS records in 16:9 ratio while the HX1 records in 4:3 aspect ratio and stretches it out to 16:9) and they both feature CMOS sensors. The Panasonic FZ28 can record video at 720p, features a 18x lens that starts at 27mm and uses a CCD sensor.

Of the three cameras compared here, the HX1 is the lowest resolution at 9MP (the other two are both 10MP), is the only one that can record images at ISO 3200 (but starts at the higher ISO of 125), and is the only one that does not feature RAW image recording.

Studio scene comparison (HX1 @ ISO 125, SX1 IS @ ISO 80, FZ28 @ ISO 100)

  • Sony DSC-HX1: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 125, Default Image Parameters,
    Auto white balance, +0.70 EV compensation
     
  • Canon PowerShot SX1 IS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation

  • Panasonic Lumix FZ28: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Sony DSC-HX1
Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
Panasonic Lumix FZ28

ISO 125, 1/125 sec, F4.0

ISO 80, 1/30 sec, F5.0

ISO 100, 1/60 sec, F5
3,982 KB JPEG
4,000 KB JPEG
4,567 KB JPEG

Slight white balance differences aside, there is not a lot of difference between these cameras at base ISO - certainly nothing you'd see at normal viewing magnifications. None of these images look that great up close, and if you look at the coin on the front of the Martini bottle you can see that none of these cameras can resolve high frequency fine detail.

Due to different approaches to sharpening, the HX1 looks slightly better than the other two cameras in terms of sharpness (though it is also less clean, with obvious artefacts), and noise levels are visibly the same despite the HX1 having a higher base ISO. At lower magnifications all three of these cameras will produce perfectly acceptable results that are indistinguishable from each other.

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