HX30V: Disappointing Image Quality

Started Jul 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
LSHorwitz1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,497
Re: HX30V: Disappointing Image Quality

Takenit2dmax wrote:

It's obvious when you zoom in on the HX30 image, that the detail is far less than my crappy iphone5 camera. Zoom in to each photo and you will clearly see the difference in terms of image smearing and compression. If I were to show you a crop from my older Canon PS, then it would be more obvious. I would include some more pics but I don't have access to my photo library at the moment.

This is not a low end PS camera, and as such should provide much better IQ. Perhaps some HX30V's perform better than mine. Maybe I got a dud? Some of the other images posted do seem to be better.

Anyway, for what it's worth I am really not trying to bash Sony or the camera for that matter. I would just like to get the most out of the camera. Shouldn't be too much to ask.



My experience has actually been quite the opposite. Although I have very few photos taken both with my iPhone5 and also with my HX20V, I have selected one example from a couple weeks ago which I took at Downtown Disney in Orlando.

Unfortunately the pictures are not composed the same and were taken roughly a half hour apart from somewhat different vantage points. They do illustrate my point however, which is that the HX20V contains and preserves more detail.This is apparent even though the items for comparison are actually filling a considerably larger portion of the iPhone 6 frame when compared to the same items in the HX20V frame, giving the iPhone 5 an immediate advantage in preserving more detail. Furthermore a single fixed prime lens on the phone is also likely to do way way better than a superzoom 20 to 1 lens, everything else being equal.

I don't put much stock in any of these type of comparisons since these are two entirely different flavors of cameras, and are hardly a good test case even if everything else were much closer to being exactly the same.

Even when I do play this "Apple versus orange" game ( pun intended), the orange (HX20V) shows much more detail in the gondola, balloon, riggings, and elsewhere in the picture.

The really noticeably superior results I have found when comparing the HX20V to my other cameras show up in direct comparisons with the NEX7/Zeiss 24 f/1.8 prime, the alpha a77 with 35mm prime Sony lens, or the a77 with the a77 with a Sony G 70-300 zoom, all of which are superior to the HX20V. This is as you would expect since each costs roughly seven times (7X) as much as the HX20V. Even given this huge disparity in price, the HX20V shows up extremely well unless:

1. You do very low light comparisons

2. You zoom in to pixel level and start nitpicking.

When you complain that the HX20 is not a low end p and s and thus should produce higher IQ, I will remind you that many other comparable point and shoot gain higher IQ at the expense of superzoom lenses with 25-500 mm reach, or they don't have HDR, fast burst shooting, excellent video quality, etc., etc. etc.

If RAW and high IQ are of paramount importance, there are many options out there including some for $299 which may better serve you or others.

The issue of "disappointment" continues to strike me as unrealistic expectations, lack of awareness of what trade offs are made when such cameras are designed and marketed.

As I stated to the original poster in this very same thread 7 months ago:

"This thread and several others on this Sony Talk forum expressed umhappiness with "disappointing image quality", "sluggish" response of the HX20, and a general attitude that this camera is somehow inferior.

I continue to be totally amazed that some users have no apparent understanding of what superzoom cameras are all about. Even those who own DSLRs somehow expect that a lens that goes from 25mm to 500mm combined with a pocket sized body and tiny sensor should somehow rival their DSLRs. And those who have never owned a superzoom are even more unrealistic.

I can only say..."Duh"............

The reality is that these cameras take remarkably good pictures for the vast majority of situations, and only reveal their limitations when compared to other types of cameras which gain image quality at the expense of size, weight, much greater cost, and other attributes. They often only reveal these limitations by cranking up the magnifications to unrealistically high levels.

A large number of "wishlist" and complaints and other comments ask for the ultimate supersoom with a bigger sensor, fewer pixels, RAW output, and DSLR-like quality. I too would gladly own such a fantasy camera, but it is clear that the manufacturers have a very well defined marketing agenda which serves their needs and expands their sales opportunities. And as others have correctly pointed out, the laws of physics dictate just how well the small superzoom lenses and their matching sensors can perform in a pocket-sized case.

My bottom line conclusion is that a pocket 24-500mm camera which can handle low light, 1920 by 1080p HD video, with extremely fast and accurate autofocus, high 10 fps frame rate, panoramic and 3D, HDR, GPS, WiFi access, Smile and Face detection, and so on is nearly a sci-fi dream. Sony has done the best superzoom ever, and it is a joy to use and own.  It works exrtemely well, and those who are "disappointed" with their superzooms have extremely unrealistic expectations, very little camera knowledge, or both."

HX20V sample

iPhone 5 sampleLarry

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