There’s currently an awful lot of excellent travel compacts out there, but one review site has just gone overboard on Sony’s CyberShot DSC-HX9V, declaring it to be the best travel-zoom camera it’s ever seen.
The review on Photography Blog sees the camera getting a hallowed five star rating, contemptuously tossing aside the the market-leading Panasonic DMC-TZ20.
Retailing for around £339.99 / $349.99, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V packs in a compelling set of features for perambulating types, with the stand out feature being the hefty 16x, 24-384mm zoom lens.
Covering a wider than average starting point, and providing plenty of zoom for capturing faraway objects, the lens was found to control chromatic aberrations well, with little distortion at either end of the zoom range. Not bad for a wee compact!
Lurking inside is a 16.2 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, which was found to provide “excellent results from ISO 100-800,” and reproduce accurate colours.
Along with the usual pile of scene modes, there’s a handy Manual mode onboard, although the Sony loses marks for inexplicably excluding Aperture and Shutter Priority modes. They almost make up for that omission by offering a super-speedy 10fps burst shooting mode at full resolution.
Sony have included their Intelligent Sweep Panorama, which now serves up a 42.9 megapixel high resolution mode, and the camera can record full 1080p high-definition video recording with stereo sound and HDMI output, backed by Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode.
Nifty built-in GPS tracking means you’ll always know where you took your photos, while around the back can be found a generous a 3 inch LCD screen with 921,000-dots.
Awarded the camera its highest rating, Photography Blog commented:
The HX9V offers a compelling mix of advanced features, excellent still image quality, and a class-leading video mode, all at a price that is competitive with its main rivals…
In addition to the excellent still images, the Sony HX9V is one of the very few digital compacts to offer full 1080p video recording, gaining the upper hand on its key rivals. You can use the 16x zoom during recording, sound is stereo rather than mono, and the AVCHD format ensures that file sizes don’t get out of control. The built-in GPS also works well, unobtrusively and reliably recording your every movement, although the camera takes a few minutes to sync with one or more satellites and the battery life is reduced by around 25% if you leave it constantly switched on.
Add in the 3D Sweep Panoramas and 3D Still Images, amazing 10fps burst shooting mode, 0.1 second auto-focusing and the much improved 921K dot LCD screen, and it’s easy to recommend the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX9V above all of its travel-zoom rivals. Essential!