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This review is from: Sony DSC-HX50V/B 20.4MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black) (Electronics)
Ever since the HX5V, the HX handheld series has seen improvement year after year. The HX50V is no exception. It now features 30X zoom, 400 battery shot life and retains the amazing video quality.
I am a gadget geek, so I like buying the new version when it gets released. This year I was waiting for the new HX series and usually Sony announces something in March at the latest. But this year they announced the HX50V in late April. By that time I had already purchased the new Panasonic ZS30 which is the Panasonic's version of a compact long zoom camera which competes with the HX series. After receiving the HX50V and doing some comparisons, the ZS30 is no where near the image quality of the HX50V (Or even my older HX20V for that matter). IQ on the ZS30 looked out of focus and fuzzy when you compare the image of the HX50V. The HX50V images were sharp and more detailed.
I am definitely what you call a pixel peeper (Pixel peeper is someone who opens up images in full and looks for every pixel detail). I was worried with the increased pixel count that IQ would suffer. I can happily say the IQ on the HX50V has improved slightly when compared to the HX20V. The images on the HX50V are more sharp and less noise to them. While the improvement isn't earth shattering, its a step up in the right direction.
- Image quality. Image quality is still sharp and crisp. IQ has improved from last years model (HX20/30V). When I compared both the HX50V and HX20V images, the HX50V had more detail and less noise. I also compared the images to the Panasonic ZS30 and the HX50V images look WAY MORE sharper. You can also see more image details in the HX50V. Outdoor images look sharp and colorful (I would describe it as life like and not overly saturated). Indoor images look good also. With the improved SteadyShot, I was able to take less shaky indoor low light images.
- 30X zoom (720mm). The extra zoom does make a difference. I was able to zoom further away. With the older HX20V I was able to zoom to the farthest mail box down the street. Now I am able to read the numbers on the mail box with the 30X zoom!
- Video quality. The video on the HX50V shoots in HD camcorder quality. I have compared video with my Sony CX560V camcorder and the HX50V video is better because my videos look smoother with less shake in them. When I shot a video with the HX50V and walked around, their was minimal shake in the video. When I did the same test with my CX560V camcorder, lots of shaking occurred in the video (As I expected). Sound capture remains crisp and Hi-Fi just like the HX20V. I am still blown away at how good the video is on the HX50V. The HX50V captures video at 28Mbps 1080P/60p just like my CX560V camcorder. I will now leave my camcorder home and only take this when I'm on vacation for video. The only time I will bring the camcorder is when I need the "NightShot" feature.
- 360 Panorama. I probably won't be using this feature much, but it was fun taking a 360 panorama.
- Build quality. Not only does the HX50V look like an expensive camera, but it also feels like one. It feels solid and the black metal body looks great. When I took some shots, I felt like I was holding a real camera and not a plastic toy.
- No touch screen! I absolutely hate touchscreens on cameras. I especially hate it when you can't turn it off. When I had the Panasonic ZS30, it was very annoying when I accidently touch the LCD screen with my thumb while taking a shot. Touching the LCD screen would "focus" on to the subject (Just like on a smartphone). Touch screens on most cameras are a gimmick in my opinion and only add frustration. It made me take some bad shots unknowingly. I am happy to report the HX50V does not have a touchscreen. Sony if you are reading this, please please please DON'T EVER implement this feature!
- Pop-up flash. The flash pops up mechanically when you press the flash button. It pops up very fast in a blink of an eye. On the previous model (HX20V) the pop up flash was powered up and down by a motor. On the HX50V you have to press it down to lock it back down. I prefer the non-motor because its one less thing to break on me. The flash fills the room nicely (Perfect for indoor shots).
- While the IQ has improved from the previous model(HX20/30V), Sony should have not increased the Mega Pixel count. Had Sony not increase the MP, I bet the images would look even better. I think most consumers who purchase this type of camera are informed enough to know more MP doesn't equal increased IQ.
- The HX50V can not display battery life left in minutes. With the previous HX20/30V model you were able to view how much battery life you had left in minutes displayed on the screen (As long as you used the FG1 "InfoLITHIUM" batteries). The HX50V uses the BX1 batteries which do not have the "InfoLITHIUM" feature. All you get on the HX50V are 4 bar battery meters. I will miss that feature on my HX20V because I could always prepare to preserve battery life right down to the exact minute!
- It's a little on the pricey side but keep in mind it does include wi-fi picture transfer.
- Size. The HX50V is slightly bigger and heavier. I can definitely feel a difference when I use a camera neck strap. My HX20V felt lighter (As it should since it weighs slightly less than the HX50V).
- LCD screen is almost useless in bright sunlight. When I compare the LCD screen from the HX20V, they are identical.
- Battery door is still flimsy and cheap. If you don't handle the battery door like The Hulk, it should be fine though.
****Wishlist for next years HX series upgrade****
- NightShot for video. I wish Sony would add the NightShot feature on this camera. I know it probably won't happen since Sony has been removing the NightShot feature from its camcorder line up (Unless you fork over $$$$ to buy the top of the line model).
- Produce a "InfoLITHIUM" battery for the HX50V so that battery life can be viewed in minutes.
- Lower cost model. Sony could add a lower model and remove the wi-fi feature for those who don't need or want it and knock off $50-$100 bucks.
Overall this camera is a great improvement from last year's HX20/30V and a great upgrade for anyone who is a fan of the HX handheld series. Improved image quality, 30X zoom and longer battery life is what sold me and I'm glad I upgraded. This camera makes me feel confident I won't miss a shot and able to take a good shot no matter how far the subject is. A wonderful vacation camera. I have purchased the HX5V, HX9V and HX20V each year they came out. This is the best handheld zoom camera to buy. It takes sharp pictures and amazing video. I have since sold my Panasonic ZS30 and kept the HX50V as my main camera. The HX50V is the clear winner and takes the crown of best handheld zoom camera to date.
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Showing 1-10 of 55 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 22, 2013 6:31:21 AM PDT
The biggest con for me is NO Electronic Viewfinder like the Panasonic Lumix LF1 have (For the same price camera's).
Posted on May 22, 2013 6:51:35 AM PDT
J. Polan says:
Very nice review. I noticed that you posted the review same day that the camera was offered for sale by Amazon. Was the camera available for sale earlier from another retailer?
In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2013 6:59:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2013 8:36:46 AM PDT
Beach Camera had this for sale on Sunday night and I did overnight shipping. It was shipped out on Monday and received it on Tuesday.
Posted on May 22, 2013 8:22:05 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 22, 2013 9:07:49 AM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2013 8:38:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2013 8:39:23 AM PDT
That is correct. The HX20V does have slightly better light sensitivity in low light situations. That means your pics will look brighter in low light situations when compared to the HX50V. However, the HX20V images are more blurry due to camera shake. While the HX50V images will be slightly darker, they will not be blurry. Again, this is only in certain low light situations.
In bright sunlight and well lit areas, I did not notice a difference in my images between the HX20V and HX50V.
Posted on May 22, 2013 9:15:21 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 22, 2013 9:15:35 AM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2013 1:27:31 PM PDT
David Twersky says:
Sony DSC-HX50V/B 20.4MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black)
Which one would be better for filming rock concerts?
In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2013 1:53:57 PM PDT
Hands down the HX50V. With 30X zoom you will be able to see farther even if you are in the back row of a concert. Also the HX50V has improved Steady Shot which means when all those people bumping into you at the concert while you film, the video won't suffer too much from camera shake.
In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2013 2:08:47 PM PDT
This camera has a hot-shoe where you can attach accessories such as an EVF or external mic. But yes, it will be an additional cost. It seems like these days more and more shooters are relying less on the EVF, so that may have factored into their decision.
Posted on May 22, 2013 2:51:52 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Anon: I'm probably going to get this for my daughter who is in to the miniature [Tilt and Shift]. Question, can the [or have you tried] 50V capture miniature video? Thank you