Why is there no love for the HX300..?

Started Jan 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Why is there no love for the HX300..?

PAUL TILL wrote:

Carole M wrote:

to be able to zoom x50 and pick up a good record shot at such a modest cost, works for me and my budget.

Weight and portability was highly considered before I made this purchase (over a big investment on top gear).

I do love it, sole purpose for this zoom was for record-bird-photography opportunities.

And what do those bird shots look like, resized to a minimum of say 1920 pixels on the long side?

I shoot with a large Sony A mount DSLR system, the camera the OVF Pentaprism DSLR a700. And also the HX300 for lighter duty shooting and also a poor man's very long telephoto.

You are welcome to look in my Flickr Photostream. Due to a fire this year I've been shooting mostly with my HX300 once I got it in the summer rather than my Sony A mount DSLR system, and earlier in the year the previous HX200 was mostly what I was using. (for half the year we were living with minimal stuff in a rented house while ours was rebuilt)  So there are a bunch of photos taken with those there, the text with each photo ID's the camera taking the photo, pretty boring photography this last year if you don't like fire recovery photography:


There is a tendency for folks to attack the new model if they are not upgrading and try to prove their older version is better.  This has happened through the HX series.  The HX200 was a piece of junk to the owners of the HX100 for the first year it was out.  Now the HX300 is out, so the owners of the HX200s have been very busy trying to prove how much better it is than the HX300.  Remember that the HX200 is the same camera that was being called junk a year before that.  Next year or whenever the next HX camera comes out the HX300 will suddenly transform from junk to perfection, a neat magic trick, but the HX300 will have always been the better than the HX200 and HX100.  Though any of them can take good photos.

The HX300 is in it's "it's terrible" phase but is starting to come out of that as more folks use it and find out how good it is.  It does hit a whole bunch of buttons for the non-users.  Like:  It's got a tiny sensor, tiny sensors cannot take good photos.  or Only single focal length prime lenses can take good photos, the HX300 uses a zoom, so it's no good.  Or only short range zooms can take good zoom photos, the HX300 has a extremely long zoom range so it's got to be no good.  Or it only shoots jpegs, jpegs are no good because the camera company experts interpret the raw data and we amateurs are far better at interpreting raw data than those experts, so the HX300 is no good.  The reality is closed minds miss out on a lot of good stuff.

However, the HX cameras as a group have extensive capability built in, they are not the easiest cameras to buy and instantly get the excellent shots they are capable of. (amazing how many folks will buy the camera, take a few minutes taking their first photos and if those are not prize winning expert photos then the camera must be defective and they return it.)   There is a learning period. And the capability only expands with each new model.  To get the best from them not only do you need to learn the camera and the techniques that work best with it, but it's important to learn how to process the photos after you take them.

Throughout the series Sony has over-compressed the jpegs from the cameras, the emphasis being on how many shots you can pack on the card, and the extra compression artifacts this puts in the images are generally interpreted as noise caused by the small sensor by far too many users.  There is software available that can help to cut down those artifacts a lot, more than enough to produce good images for online sharing.  I use Topaz DeJpeg plugin in Photoshop as the first step in new image processing from the camera.  It has to be the first step before other PP distorts the artifacts.  Then once that's done I can pretty much handle the images as I would out of my a700 DSLRs.

To me the other flaw for the camera which is in common with most P&S and Bridge cameras is lenses that will only do closeup at the short focal length wide angle end.  One can get good closeups but the wide angle end to my mind is not going to give as good closeup image perspective as being able to do it throughout the lens zoom range.  I do use a weak diopter closeup lens on the HX300 to enable somewhat longer distances being in focus to partially compensate.

The really long reach of the lens, out to an effective equivalent 1200mm works very well indeed, and to complement it Sony changed the in lens stabilization that they used with the HX200 to one that can handle the needs of the longer lens.  So it's possible to use even the 1200mm handheld with good results with a bit of practice.  (of course it's not long enough, there's always need of more tele sooner or later, but this does cover more territory than most.)

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