Sony DSC-HX1 Review
The optical image stabilization system used on the HX1 IS features two modes: On (IS on all the time), 'Shooting' (IS is activated at half press of the shutter) and of course OFF.
Whilst both options produce the same results, the 'shooting' option will presumably use a little less battery power.
The design of the HX1 aids steady hand-held shooting - especially when using the EVF - producing sharp results at 2 stops under the 1/focal length rule without IS. Turning the IS on gives you another one or two stops (though as usual the effectiveness will vary from user to user). The presence of an effective image stabilization system is essential for a camera with such a long lens, especially one with a less than stellar maximum aperture at the long end of the zoom, which will inevitably result in lower shutter speeds in anything other than perfect light.
The stabilization test
In this simplified version of our SLR IS test, four hand-held shots were taken of a static scene with the stabilization off and on. The shutter speed was decreased and repeated (from 1/125 sec to 1/2 sec). The zoom was set to a position roughly in the middle of the zoom range (200mm equiv.), the test target was 6 m away from the camera. The test was repeated three times and an average taken.
The resulting images were then inspected and given a blur score - 'Sharp' (no visible blurring at 100%), 'Mild Blur' (the kind of camera shake that is tolerable at small print sizes) and 'Heavy Blur' (virtually unusable due to camera shake) and 'Very Heavy Blur' (little discernible detail).
Hand-held, no stabilization (200mm equiv.)
You can see from the chart that the mini-SLR design of the HX1 allowed a majority of recorded images to be sharp at 1/30th (3 stops below what would normally be expected) with IS turned off. With a few safety shots, even 1/15 sec is usable.
Hand-held, IS On (200mm equiv.)
With IS turned on, we could produce a majority of sharp shots at 1/15th sec, and down to 1/4 should be usable if you take a few extra images.
Specific Image quality Issues
The image quality performance of the HX1 is pretty much on par with what you would expect from a small sensor compact camera; the switch to a CMOS sensor hasn't made any dramatic improvements here, and at a pixel level the output looks quite unpleasant, over-processed and over-sharpened. Even at ISO 200 it is possible to notice noise in the image, especially in shadow areas.
The metering does a good job of keeping images well exposed, but the limited dynamic range of the small sensor used in the HX1 means that there are going to be blown highlights in images in bright conditions. The big 20x zoom is a little soft towards the edge of the frame, and towards the edges you'll see more color fringing too. Nearer the center of the frame the HX1 has less problems with color fringing, and when it does it is only one pixel wide so you need to be looking for it to really notice.
Despite the mini-SLR styling and handling, images from the HX1 never look even remotely as good as those from the cheapest DSLRs and, since there is only JPEG file format available, there is not really a huge amount of latitude to improve image quality in post processing.
|The lens on the HX1 performs relatively well in most conditions considering the wide zoom range, but towards the edges of the frame it is quite soft and more prone to CA than in the center of the image.|
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Blue mood by darub|
from Fixed lens shootout.
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.