Sony DSC-HX1 Review
Timing & Performance
One of the standout features in the HX1 is its continuous shooting speed (achieved by a combination of the CMOS sensor and a very fast shutter). It's able to shoot at up to 10 frames per second for up to 10 images (in fact the HX1 is limited to 10 continuous shots no matter what shooting speed is selected), and it takes advantage of this speed in the sweeping panorama, twilight, and anti-shake modes.
The downside to continuous shooting on the HX1 is that as soon as you let go of the shutter it has to write all the images it is holding in its buffer to the Memory Stick before you can shoot another burst. This can take up to 17 seconds for 10 images, making the camera feel frustratingly sluggish if you're desperate to take another shot. Other aspects of the HX1's performance, such as shot-to-shot speed, are about par for the current generation of superzooms which means that, while it may have improved from the last generation, anyone who is expecting SLR-like responsiveness to go along with the looks will be disappointed.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3456 x 2592 JPEG image (approx. 3,972 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 2.0GB Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo.
Power: Off to Record
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||1.4|
|Power: Record to Off||Lens retracted and all activity ceased||2.0-4.7*1|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty||0.5|
|Record Review||Image displayed||1.6|
|Mode: Record to Play||1.9|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (8x)||2.2|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||~ 0.3|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||28 to 560 mm (20 x) full speed||2.7|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||LCD, Wide angle||~ 0.3|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||LCD, Telephoto||0.6-1.0|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD||~ 0.1|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Electronic Viewfinder||~ 0.2|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD, wide angle||~ 0.5|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD||2.3|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||~ 1.5|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on *2||2.0|
|*1||The camera takes longer to turn off when the lens is extended further out, taking the full 4.7 seconds when the lens is zoomed to the 560mm setting.|
|*2||In this test the subject distance is only 3 feet (0.9 m) - the recycle time will increase at greater subject distances, and if the batteries are running low.|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frame and how long you would have to wait before you could take another shot. Media used for these tests was a 2.0GB Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
The HX1 has three continuous shooting speeds - 10fps, 5fps, and 2 fps. The camera has a maximum butter size of 10 frames no matter what speed you are shooting at. After the camera hits the limit of 10 frames, it has to save all the files to the Memory Stick before you can shoot any more images.
Frames in a burst
Time till next burst secs
|3456 x 2592 JPEG||Continuous||10 fps||10||17|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG||Continuous||10 fps||10||17|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG||Continuous||10 fps||10||17|
|640 x 480 JPEG||Continuous||10 fps||10||17|
While the 10 fps is very impressive for a camera of this class, the 17 seconds waiting for the camera to be ready to take another shot can be very frustrating. It is possible to cancel the saving of images by pressing the set button, but you also loose any unsaved images being processed.
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to complete the task. The media used for these tests was a 2.0GB Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo.
Time to store
File size *1
Images on a *2
|3456 x 2592 JPEG||1.2||1.6||3,972 KB||455|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG||0.9||1.6||2,998 KB||604|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG||0.9||1.6||1,438 KB||1,271|
|640 x 480 JPEG||0.9||1.6||139 KB||>9999|
|*1||All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).|
Interestingly the time it takes for the HX1 to display an image is 1.6 seconds no matter what file size you choose, which is consistent with the 17 seconds it takes for the camera to save 10 images. The time taken to save files is pretty average, but at least the camera does not lock you out while writing to the card, as it does with continuous shooting.
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more