Sony DSC-HX1 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Decent resolution for such an ambitious lens
- Good color, generally accurate focus gives a high 'hit rate' even in auto mode
- Huge photographic versatility with 28-560mm lens and auto macro mode
- Image stabilization works well (and can be used in movie mode)
- Ultra fast 10 fps continuous shooting mode (limited to 10 frames)
- Fast focus for a camera of this type
- HD video capture with high quality stereo sound
- Unique sweeping panorama mode
- In-camera image stacking for reduced noise (Twilight mode)
- Many user selectable image parameters including noise reduction
- Wide ISO range from 125 to 3200
- Long life lithium ion battery
- Solid construction and good handling
- Impressively little distortion for such a large lens
- Enjoyable and easy to use
- Good screen, bright and clear with tilting up and down up to 90 degrees
- Customizable shortcut button
- Pretty good macro performance
Conclusion - Cons
- Pixel level quality not great; visible sharpening and NR artefacts
- ISO 800 - 3200 noisy and of limited use
- Noise reduction destroys fine detail at anything over ISO 400, effects visible at base ISO
- Electronic view finder is low resolution and small
- Focus hunts in low light situations
- Lens zooming action quite slow
- Takes a long time to turn on and off
- Continuous shooting locking you out for up to 17 seconds can be quite frustrating
- Quite expensive
- Uses Memory Stick
The HX1 presents a very attractive package to the potential buyer. The large and versatile zoom range that extends from moderate wide angle to extreme telephoto, the HD video recording, very fast continuous shooting speeds, and unique shooting modes all contained in a well built, mini-SLR style body all go some way to tugging at your purse strings. While the CMOS sensor used in the HX1 doesn't produce better or less noisy images than any of the HX1's CCD-based competitors, it certainly doesn't make it any worse, and it does enable some pretty cool features. The lack of user control over noise vs detail that would be offered by RAW file mode is somewhat overcome by manual control over noise reduction applied in camera.
If you read our Canon SX1 IS review in your research for a new superzoom camera and you have a sense of déjà vu when reading this review, then you are not mistaken. The HX1 has much in common with the SX1 IS, from the use of CMOS technology to fast shooting speeds (though the HX1 is much faster in this regard), to the HD video recording, to the two cameras having the exact same zoom range. Both cameras are versatile, and both offer a compelling package to the potential buyer.
While the HX1 does not offer the RAW file mode recording of the SX1 IS, nor is the HD video resolution quite as high as the SX1 IS, the HX1 utilizes its CMOS technology in some other, considerably more interesting ways. The 10 fps continuous shooting speed (and fast shutter) of the HX1 allows it to offer its innovative sweeping panorama mode, which lets you to shoot a wide panorama in a single sweep. You also get twilight and anti-shake modes which, though slightly less impressive in use, do offer some advantage in challenging low-light situations. All this combined with the many scene modes help you to get out from behind your computer and spend more time having fun shooting photos.
Due to its mini-SLR styling and design, the HX1 is a little on the bulky side, certainly not pocket-sized, rendering any size benefits over the most compact of DSLR cameras nonexistent. This brings us to the problem of price. Like the SX1 IS, the HX1 is approaching the price of a compact, entry-level, DSLR. While it is true that none of the DSLR cameras will come close to to the HX1 (in price) if paired with lenses that cover the same zoom range, in anything other than perfect lighting any DSLR would be in a completely different league in terms of image quality. This is a compromise that you have to weigh up yourself when looking at at camera like this.
Because of course a camera like the HX1 does indeed have an audience. For some people the versatility of the wide zoom range, the ultra-fast continuous shooting speeds, the unique shooting modes and the convenience of having a HD video camera and stills camera in one package will be extremely attractive. If you can live with its shortcomings or if they don't affect you in your usage, the HX1 might just represent the right combination of price and features for you. At this price point, if you want to be able to shoot 10 fps, your options are very limited.
Looking at the market as a whole, with an emphasis on image quality, we just cannot give the Sony DSC-HX1 our highest recommendation, but it's certainly worth consideration if you're looking for a superzoom compact and can live with the inevitable image quality compromises.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
|Montréal Dépaneur Out of Business DP by MarioSS|
from Your City - Out of Business
|Wish You Were Here by Dutch Newchurch|
from Street musician playing
|Flight of a Puffin by cjf2|
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.