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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera with 16x Optical Zoom G Lens, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1080/60p Video
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera with 16x Optical Zoom G Lens, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1080/60p Video
9 used & new from $139.95

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect, multi-talented, super-zoom, HD video, pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera!, August 28, 2011
I got the HX9v as soon as it came out this spring. It's pretty much the perfect, top-notch pocket point-and-shoot. In fact, I carry it with me in my right-hand pocket at literally all times. I have taken several thousand photos with it so far, and several hours of video. I am very happy with my purchase.

The video is amazing, with many options, zooming while shooting, stereo sound, great auto focus, fantastic in low light. Keep in mind that for the highest quality setting, 1080p/60 fps AVCHD, if you want to view it on a Mac, you'll need to have the latest version of iMovie '11, running on at least the latest version of Snow Leopard (OS 10.6.8). Of course, you can now upload these .MTS files directly to the various on-line sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Google+/Picasa, and you can view them on your HDTV through the mini-HDMI out (which is great). But for saving and viewing on the Mac, the AVCHD modes introduce a couple of extra steps and are not simple drag-drop-and-play. If you don't have a Mac running the above specs, there are still some good workaround options out there. After a lot of searching I found "ClipWrap" to be the best option for dealing with these files. But overall, I can't say enough about just how fantastic the video on this camera is. I've been hundreds of feet away at a concert in the dark, and taken footage that makes it look like I'm sitting right in front of the performer in a well-lit space. With nice-quality stereo sound. And all of this often on "only" the best 1080 MOV setting, not even dialing it up to the top-notch AVCHD. It's amazing, really.

The 16x zoom is fast and very good. Things get a little noisy when you crop and zoom in on a shot that you took at maximum zoom (basically blowing up a shot to the center 1/9th of the frame after shooting at max zoom). But that's to be expected. 16x is fantastic and I use this feature every single day for nature shots - particularly birds.

There's also a very nice feature one turn of the dial from auto mode that mimics the shallow depth-of-field in DSLRs. It takes two shots, blurs one, and then stitches the two together so that the subject is crystal-clear but the background is nicely blurred. I have gotten some very nice shots of flowers and animals close up with this, though the subject does have to be pretty still for it to work right.

Speaking of flowers, the macro capabilities of the auto modes on this camera are FANTASTIC. Reason in itself to buy the camera. I can be on a walk, with my very big dog pulling in one hand. I'll see a very pretty flower and tell him to "wait" and "sit", while using my other hand to slide the camera out of my pocket and turn it on. I just hold the camera up close, click, slide it back into my pocket, and we're off again. Whole process takes maybe 2 seconds (unless I choose to take a couple of angles, etc.). This has been the case for nearly every one of my "local flowers", "Yosemite wildflowers", and "super macro" shots in my Flickr account taken with this camera (basically everything shot in the past few months). My Flickr handle is RobertCross1 if you'd like to check out any of my shots to see for yourself.

I generally don't use the in-camera panorama features. While they are certainly very good for what they are, you can get much better panoramic shots by shooting consecutive, overlapping stills and stitching them together in a software application like Photoshop Elements.

I also don't use the in-camera HDR feature. It just isn't very well implemented and produces pretty strange looking shots, even for HDR. If you want HDR photos, you can exposure bracket with three shots in very quick succession (as this thing shoots at 10fps, a tripod is not even generally needed for this, as long as you have a fairly still hand), at -1, 0, and +1. Not quite the range you'll get from a DSLR, but I've gotten some nice results putting them together in Photomatix.

As for the battery charging in the camera situation, you can easily buy an external charger and a second and/or third battery. Then charging the battery in the camera becomes a nice second option. Do a quick search here on Amazon. The one I got was an external charger and TWO extra batteries for a total of $11.16, and free shipping with Amazon Prime. They're third-party, but work great. In fact, they're better than the battery that came with the camera, as they actually show the time remaining next to the icon on the screen. They say "Fits Son. NP-BG1" on them.

The GPS is a nice feature. When shooting at home and around town, I keep it turned off, to save battery power. But it's good for road trips and hiking especially, when you're often shooting from a place along a trail that might not be marked on a map or easy to see in satellite view. It does take a bit for the GPS to reconnect every time you turn the camera back on, so not great for quick pull-it-out-of-your-pocket-and-shoot situations. But a nice thing to have.

As with any point-and-shoot, there's a tendency in the auto modes to overexpose a bit in bright daylight settings. Just be aware of this and make good use of the various manual settings "P" and the three "M" modes on the dial. Also, the "custom" button on the top can be set for various things, but I've got it by default on exposure compensation. So, if shooting in auto, I can make a couple of quick clicks to darken the scene until the sky goes from white to blue. The changed setting resets when you turn the camera off, but it is really good for quick changes on the fly. In manual shooting mode, however, the changes you make stay that way when you turn the camera off and on, which is great when you're out shooting a bunch of shots in similar light conditions.

As for color, it's generally great, but the reds do tend to get overblown a bit. Watch for that. If shooting something predominantly red, you may want to shift to the R "Real Color" setting. The default is standard, but there are "Vivid", "Real", "Sepia", "BW", etc. settings as well.

My wife's camera, the Panasonic Lumix ZS3, which I was using before I got my Sony, is a wonderful point-and-shoot, and it may have a bit of a better lens, as it doesn't have the reds issue, and never introduced geometrical distortion around the edges of the shot. The HX9v does do this a bit, but this is pretty standard for point-and-shoots, and is easily fixed in software in the very few instances where it becomes noticeable.

But we're talking real fine-tuning stuff here. In every other way, the HX9v blows away the Panasonic ZS3 (and ZS7 and ZS10, for that matter). I'd say that the daytime image qualilty still is top-notch, and low-light shooting is on a completely different level. I never, ever use the flash. The two auto modes are both fantastic. For most of my daytime shooting, I actually tend to stick with the regular auto (as opposed to the Superior Auto+) setting, as it is much, much faster. This is because it doesn't use the various multi-shot-and-stitch-together-in-the-camera features that are only in Auto+. In fact, in daylight settings, I don't want the chance of Auto+ selecting the HDR function and giving me a weird-looking shot. And regular auto also gives you the option for continuous shooting with two clicks of the wheel, which is unavailable in Auto+. It can do 10fps or 2fps at full size, which is AMAZING for a point-and-shoot. But unlike a DSLR, the buffer is small, so after 10 shots, it has to process and save to the card. I have a class 10 superfast card in it which speeds this up, but 10 still seems to be the limit of continuous shots per click-and-hold. So I usually have it set at 2fps, which can give me up to 5 seconds of dog running or bird flight motion shots.

Overall, a truly remarkable camera that was one of the best technology purchases I have ever made. I would highly recommend it.

There's a Flickr group devoted to this camera that you should check out. My most recent ten or so shots on there are very near the top of the pool, and they give you a good idea of the range of the camera, from 16x zoom mountain shots to low-light concert stills, to very close-up macro. Here's the link:
[...]

But if that gets disabled on Amazon, just do a search on Flickr for "HX9v". It'll be right there at the top. And here's a direct link to my Flickr photostream, if you want to poke around through what I've done with the camera. Basically anything done since early May 2011 (and each shot tells you which camera it was shot with right above the map). Keep in mind that Flickr is not the place for video (very poor compression with all kinds of artifacts - not representative of the camera), so don't even click on any of those. Here's the link:

[...]

Again, if that gets disabled, just do a Flickr search for RobertCross1, and you'll see my photos.

Good luck with your choice, and happy shooting!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 7, 2013 2:21 PM PST


B. MAKOWSKY Roxbury Hobo
B. MAKOWSKY Roxbury Hobo

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful bag that even smells great!, February 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: B. MAKOWSKY Roxbury Hobo (Apparel)
This bag is a really beautiful color, and the leather is so soft and rich. I really like the contrast of gold and off-white. The bag is very roomy. A small laptop could fit along with a couple of other things - although that would be a tight squeeze. It could work as a work bag as well as a casual bag. The outer pockets are really useful, and they have magnetic closure. They close with a satisfying "snap" so you know they will not open easily. I'm really happy with this bag overall.


Transcend 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC6
Transcend 8 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC6
Offered by Photo4Less
Price: Click here to see our price
51 used & new from $2.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great in Panasonic Lumix ZS3 digital camera, August 14, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This 8GB card works great in our Panasonic Lumix ZS3 digital camera. Fast, large capacity for photos and videos. Works great in a USB card reader for SDHC cards -- super-fast transfer rates (as long as your card reader is fast as well, of course). You just have to make sure that when you insert the card, you don't inadvertently slide the little lever into the "lock" position. But that's easy if you're paying attention at all. A great card for a great price. Highly recommended.


Carson Red LED StarMap Light Flashlight For Low-Light Use (SL-11)
Carson Red LED StarMap Light Flashlight For Low-Light Use (SL-11)
Price: $4.69
5 used & new from $1.51

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a red light - works great, August 14, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's a red light, what else can I say? Works great for what it is. Lightweight and cheap.


Power2000 BC-G10 Replacement 3.7v, 1200mAh Lithium Ion Battery for Panasonic BC-G10 Digital Camera Battery
Power2000 BC-G10 Replacement 3.7v, 1200mAh Lithium Ion Battery for Panasonic BC-G10 Digital Camera Battery
Offered by NEXT GEN
Price: $9.40
6 used & new from $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great replacement/extra battery for Panasonic Lumix ZS3, August 14, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This thing works great. At least as well as the original battery that came with the camera. No problems whatsoever, and way cheaper than the Panasonic one.


Sunpak 620-020 Tripod
Sunpak 620-020 Tripod
Price: $22.64
37 used & new from $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing tripod for my point-and-shoot: stills and video, August 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am simply amazed at this tripod. Packs up into a small space (backpack-sized), lightweight, but still sturdy and quickly expands to full height. This is the kind of tripod you could take with you on hikes if you're serious about your photos, without feeling like you're really packing anything extra or letting things get out of hand. Feels well made for a medium-duty tripod, and I expect to get a lot of great use out of it.


Abacus24-7 Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable, 6 feet- NOT Compatible with HTC EVO 4G / Droid X
Abacus24-7 Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable, 6 feet- NOT Compatible with HTC EVO 4G / Droid X
Offered by Abacus24-7
Price: $6.99
2 used & new from $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great with Lumix ZS3, August 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This little cable works perfectly with my Panasonic Lumix ZS3 camera. Plug-and-play from camera HDMI-mini out to TV's HDMI in. Perfect image quality. And an incredible price. No complaints whatsoever.


Lowepro Ridge 30 Camera Case (Arctic Blue)
Lowepro Ridge 30 Camera Case (Arctic Blue)

4.0 out of 5 stars Fits Panasonic Lumix ZS3 perfectly, August 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have a Panasonic Lumix ZS3, and this case fits it perfectly. Not for putting in your pocket, but a good general case for packing your equipment on a trip, with a big external pocket to put spare batteries, and a small zippered external pocket for extra SDHC cards. Decently padded, belt clip, long strap for putting it around your neck. All for a great price.


Panasonic DMW-BCG10 Decoded Replacement Battery for Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZR1 / DMC-ZS1 / DMC-ZS3 / TZ6 / TZ7 Digital Camera
Panasonic DMW-BCG10 Decoded Replacement Battery for Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZR1 / DMC-ZS1 / DMC-ZS3 / TZ6 / TZ7 Digital Camera
Offered by ATC LLC
Price: $7.49
8 used & new from $4.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly with ZS3, August 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This replacement battery works perfectly with the Panasonic Lumix ZS3. No trouble whatsoever, seems to last at least as long as the original battery that came with the camera, and only costs about one-fifth as much as the oft-unavailable replacement batteries from Panasonic. Getting this as a second battery or replacement is a no-brainer.

I also got this one, which works just as well on the ZS3, for a similar price:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VJ1FDE/ref=oss_product


BoxWave Lumix DMC-ZS3 ClearTouch Anti-Glare Screen Protector (Single Pack)
BoxWave Lumix DMC-ZS3 ClearTouch Anti-Glare Screen Protector (Single Pack)

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, works great so far, August 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This anti-glare screen protector fits my Panasonic Lumix ZS3 perfectly. Seems to cut down on glare quite well, and obviously will protect the LCD from damage. No real problems with air bubbles, as long as you are careful in putting it on. And if a couple show up still, you can use the little card/applicator that comes in the package to push them to the edge to get rid of them.

Overall, a solid product for a good price.


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