Customer Review

223 of 224 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but definitely worth 5 stars, June 11, 2011
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This review is from: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX100V 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 30x Optical Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080 Video (Camera)
I just spent 2.5 weeks traveling Ireland with this camera so I've had plenty of time to get my hands dirty. I can honestly say this camera is amazing! It's small and lightweight but still packs a 30x zoom and takes great photo and excellent video. I see tons of reviews already with lots of detail so let me try to convey quickly my impressions of this camera after some hands on time.

Ergonomics:
Camera is just about perfectly sized and shaped in my book. A nice big hand grip on the right with a rubberized feel gives it a professional, well made feel and makes it easy to handle. The rest of the camera is kind of a brushed matte black which also gives it a very professional look. Handling for photos is great as well as it's large enough to make it easy to take two handed photos with the left hand balancing the front of the camera and lens ring and the right on the hand grip. This gives great control over the camera while snapping shots. The focus ring on the lens is a great for fine tuning your zoom to perfectly compose that distant subject. I was surprised how much I used the lens ring instead of the zoom in/out toggle next to the shutter.

Display/Screen:
Brilliant high resolution display so images, menus and video are all clear and crisp on screen. The screen itself seems pretty fragile so I'm considering adding a little protective cover to the screen. I have a hx9v as well and the screen is similar if not the same and my hx9v got a deep scratch in it from just a day of carrying in my pocket. The articulating feature is surprisingly useful. I didn't think I'd need or want this but the ability to hold the camera up high or down low and tilt the display so you can still view the camera is a handy feature.

Video:
top notch video, 1080p video with something like 60 frames per second, how can you beat it! Video is very clear and smooth with little to no artifacting or blurring. You can even snap still images (i think they're 3-5 MP) while taking your video. I don't think another camera in it's class can compete with this camera from a video standpoint. The AVCHD format is something I'm still learning to work with though and I find it's not the easiest to work with on a Mac. There don't seem to be many readily available video players for AVCHD and the way the movies are stored isn't the most straight forward way to facilitate browsing through your movies. Basically, things get stored in a not so simple folder structure and you have to know what you're looking for to find your movies. And like I said, then getting them to play, at least on a Mac, isn't so straight forward either. This could very well be a "newbie" thing from my standpoint and it's this format that allows the camera to take such brilliant high resolution video in the first place so I'm willing to deal with some learning curve/hassle here until AVCHD is more widely used.

Photos:
Photo quality is excellent when viewed at Large size or smaller and still very good at larger sizes. This is the only area where I wasn't floored by the performance of the camera. If you are looking for dSLR quality photos and/or are a big "pixel peeper" than this camera is not for you. Sony employs some pretty heavy noise reduction which results in noticeable artifacting when viewing images at full size. The hx100v allows from adjusting the level of noise reduction to "-" in the menus but even set to minus I found the NR heavier than I'd like. One of the downfalls to the megapixel race, unfortunately. Who needs 16 MPs crammed onto a tiny sensor like this? But that's a whole other discussion. The photo quality is still very good and more than satisfactory for me, especially with everything else the camera provides. Another feature of the Sony is the sweep panorama. This allows you to click the shutter and pan the camera across a landscape and the camera intelligently creates a panoramic photo in-camera. This is pretty remarkable and I used this a LOT on my trip! You have a few different size options from STD to WIDE to High Resolution. It's a lot of fun and provides for some very scenic photos that can range from a beautiful landscape to a "fisheye" still view of a crowd or a town. What's most incredible is how good the processing is at handling moving objects. I took panoramic photos of scenes with cars and people moving through the scene as I panned and it almost allows resolved them perfectly without any blurring or defects. I have noticed sometimes moving objects will be incorrectly "spliced" or solid lines such as lines on a basketball court or a fence or railing will be "spliced" a bit but this doesn't happen often and from research I've done this is more often the users inability to pan the camera smoothly than the camera processing something incorrectly.

Conclusion: The bottom line for me with this camera is it is just plain fun to use. Great video, sweep panorama, a 30x zoom and good photo quality makes for a wonderful package. I am incredibly happy with this camera and have zero regrets about not having my dSLR with me on my trip. The 30x zoom gives you incredible range for capturing the perfect photo, the photo quality is good, if not very good, and only pixel peepers and those printing poster size prints will be unhappy with the results. The video and sound are best in class and the camera now handles SDHC cards so you're not bound to Sony memory sticks any more, although it can use those too. Anyone looking for a "do it all" camera that packs a huge zoom in a small body and takes great photo and video will love this camera.

Surprise likes:
Articulating screen is great
Zoom/Focus ring on the lens is great for fine tuning your composition when zooming and also provides manual focus
Sweep panorama. I knew I'd like this feature but didn't realize how much.

Annoyances/Gripes:
AVCHD format for movies isn't the easiest to work with
Camera not widely available yet (I had to have family pick it up from a best buy in South Carolina and bring it with them on the trip to get it)
Screen seems very vulnerable to scratching

About me:
This may help people understand my wants/needs in a camera. I'm an avid enthusiast/hobbyist. I love taking photos and I'm very tech savvy and very discerning about my tech purchases. I want a camera that provides as close to a "do it all" package as I can find. That means I need a large zoom range, good video and photos and it has to be portable if not pocketable. I share 99% of my photos over the web so crystal clear photos and super size prints aren't much of a need for me. I do like an occasional large print to hang on the wall but that's rare. I bought and returned a nikon s9100, a canon sx230, a sony hx9v all in the process of picking out my new camera for this trip. The hx100v blows them all away, although the hx9v is close.

Hope this was a helpful review! Go get this camera and start having fun with it!
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 16, 2011 1:16:24 PM PDT
I. Hafeez says:
Since you looked at HX9v as well, what were the main differences in terms of quality of photos. Would HX9v perform equal to HX100v in low light indoor pictures ?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2011 2:35:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 20, 2011 2:35:25 PM PDT
Billy says:
I didn't do a heavy comparison between the two in low light but I expect the two to perform comparably in low light. The sensor is the same so the only difference would come from the Carl Zeiss lens on the hx100v which might provide a little better image quality but I doubt it would be very noticeable

Posted on Jul 9, 2011 7:53:24 AM PDT
julie s says:
Just trying to get some info:
What kind of batery does this camera use? Do you need a charger? Do you need to buy one seperately?
Do you have to use a por stick or can you also use an SD memory card?
I'd hate to get this home and not be able to use it right away. Thanks.

Posted on Jul 19, 2011 11:37:25 AM PDT
Peter Gordon says:
Kindly let me know if there are other items that are included with the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX100 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera, such as memory card, batteries, battery charger, etc. The product description on Amazon.com did not include any associated items.

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 7:11:01 AM PDT
With into my Panasonic DMC-FZ40 I can go into Menu and choose Motion JPEG instead of AVCHD. Is it possible to do that on this Sony? Thanks

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 4:44:15 AM PST
Michael says:
Sad sad . . I was hoping to upgrade from my Sony H50. The image quality of this new HX100V doesn't come close to my 4 yr old Sony. Your review cites the "Megapixel race" as a possible culprit and I think you may be right. Who needs more than 12MP stuffed into these censors indeed? Now I may be forever screwed. The H50 just may have been that amazing sweet spot in the "bridge" camera series where everything came together to create crisp images. Do you think 30X zooms combined with 16+MP is a bridge too far? I'm addicted to the quality of the H50 but I wonder if its possible to find anymore under $500?
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