Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V Review
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:
|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
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).
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.
Lomography is crowdfunding its latest film camera, the Diana Instant Square. According to the company, this is the first Instax-compatible camera with a hot-shoe mount and support for interchangeable lenses.
Bing Visual Search is a direct competitor to Google Lens, enabling web search and online shopping through images.
The US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has ruled online retailers such as Amazon, B&H Photo, and eBay can be forced to collect sales tax in states, even where they don't have a physical presence, overturning a 1992 Supreme Court ruling.
A popular Instagram user based in Singapore has been caught passing stock images off as his own work. Daryl Aiden Yow, who has worked with many recognizable brands, has apologized for his actions, and has deleted some images from his Instagram account while adding credits to others.
Instagram is the fourth Facebook-owned social media app to reach the coveted 1 billion users mark.
Chinese smartphone brand Oppo has employed a clever solution to the dreaded display 'notch' – a sliding mechanism that houses the device's front and rear-facing cameras.
The Kamlan 28mm F1.4 is an all-manual prime lens for APS-C (and Micro Four Thirds) mirrorless cameras. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, it'll go on sale to the public for just $200 – see what it can do on Sony and Fujifilm bodies.
Instagram TV — IGTV for short — is a new app and service from Instagram that puts the focus on video content. You can now follow content creators and watch up to hour-long vertical videos inside the new dedicated IGTV app, as well as directly within Instagram.
Researchers at NVIDIA have used artificial intelligence to train a system that's capable of turning standard 30fps video into 240fps slow-mo video with minimal loss in quality.
Loupedeck has updated its popular Lightroom editing console with a new '+' version featuring improved build quality, more customization and support for some non-Adobe software.
Apple released a new batch of mobile photography tutorial videos this week, each briefly demonstrating how to perform various camera actions using the flagship iPhone X.
Adobe has announced development of Project Rush, a cross-device video editing application that consolidates the entire video creation workflow, from shooting to social media sharing, in a single application.
Adobe's quarterly financial report was just published, and the news is good. Q2 2018 saw a new quarterly revenue record of $2.20 billion, and 22% growth to $1.55 billion in its Digital Media segment.
Just months after launching its QuartzLine filters for DSLR and mirrorless lenses, PolarPro has launched a buyback program that will give you credit towards a PolarPro filter for trading in an old one - even if it isn't theirs.
Sigma has announced that five of its Sony E-Mount Art-series primes, announced earlier this year, are now shipping.
Adobe has announced a raft of updates across its suite of Creative Cloud apps, including Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC.
The FUJINON GF 45mm F2.8 R WR is a 36mm equivalent fast prime for Fujifilm's GFX 50S. We've been shooting with one for a few days, and we're impressed. Check out our sample gallery to judge for yourself.
Video editing software package Video Pro X has received what is described as its biggest update yet to mark ten years since Magix Video Pro was launched.
Back in 2010, Canon announced that it was developing the world's largest CMOS sensor, measuring about 40 times larger than full frame. The company has just updated its website with more details.
Samyang has launched its latest lens, the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 EF. This telephoto prime is a direct competitor to Canon's $1,600 alternative—and considering it's expected to retail for half the price, it looks like quite the bargain.
Scanning film takes forever and photographing negatives is a pain. The Pixl-latr aims to provide a simple solution.
Google has published an 18-page study fully detailing its synthetic depth-of-field technology that makes its single-camera Portrait Mode possible. The in-depth paper shows a degree of openness and academic mindset unusual for the industry.
Rugged, waterproof compact cameras are tough enough to survive even the most action-packed vacation, but they're not the only choice for capturing those great memories. Photographer Josh Root takes us through the options.
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.
Leica Camera has announced a new compact camera that features a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 zoom lens and a 20MP 1” MOS sensor. Essentially a re-badged Panasonic Lumix ZS/TZ200, the Leica C-Lux will save Raw and JPEG files, will offer 4K video and has a viewfinder with a 2.33 million-dot resolution.
Leica has launched a limited edition M10 with a contoured handgrip designed by luxury car manufacturer Zagato. And, to celebrate the opening of a new part of the company's Wetzlar factory, a pair of Leica-made watches are due this autumn.