Sony’s latest high-end travel compact features technology designed to make it easier for you to produce great shots. We find out if the HX9V really does the job

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V

Product:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£310.00

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V at a glance:

  • 16.2-million-pixel, 1/2.3in Exmor R sensor
  • 16x zoom (24-384mm equivalent)
  • 3in, 921,600-dot LCD
  • Superior Auto
  • 3D shooting
  • Built-in GPS
  • Street price around £310

Travel compacts have become an important sector of the market for most manufacturers. Their size provides a portability that can’t be matched by compact system cameras, while still offering a degree of creative control. They also boast extensive zoom lenses, which make them suitable for a wide range of subjects from landscape to macro, or picking out distant details.

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V is Sony’s current flagship model to occupy this niche, taking over from last year’s HX5V, and sits within the company’s high-performance range of compacts. The camera includes a wealth of recent Sony technologies, including Intelligent Sweep Panorama, Superior Auto and 3D shooting, as well as GPS and HD movie capture. It is both higher resolution and features a longer zoom than its predecessor, but it is against its current rivals from Canon, Panasonic and Samsung that it will really be judged.

Image: By holding down the shutter and panning across the scene in Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode, the HX9V produces a seamless 270° panorama

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features and build
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Verdict
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  • m c craig

    nice body useful zoom would have liked 24mm eq.
    pity they let computer programmers loose on it instead of photographers just too clever but appreciate the eye level view finder great street pic camera.
    results are reasonable my om 4 is faster to use
    why no tripod screw on case
    overpriced flashes etc

  • bazz

    EXR is amazing……at 6mp.who needs more.
    Raw is a waste of a lifetime. Jpegs can be tweeked.Put the X10 into Exr Auto and let it do the job for you.
    Viewfinder is brilliant.
    Use the viewfinder….shoot jpegs ..reduce the m ega pixels to medium and let the camera think faster than you can…then get on with some real photography.

  • John Duder

    This is a first impressions review, on the basis of a few days’ ownership.

    I wanted a camera that I can keep in a jacket pocket or my briefcase, but which will give me enough “real camera” features to be satisfying to use.

    That means RAW files, a proper viewfinder, a decent level of control of the camera, and a lens that is designed for real use, rather than impossibly ambitious telephoto use.

    The X-10 fits the bill nicely, with a wide-aperture lens and a lovely feel to it.

    Results are decent – maybe time and experience will make them excellent, or perhaps using an Alpha 900 and continuing to use film spoil me!

    My standard way of shooting – aperture priority, central focus spot only – seems to suit the X-10 perfectly well. It’s not wasting my time and patience with trying to outthink me all the time, and seems generally biddable!

    As far as I can see, the comments others have made about the RAW conversion software are valid – though it may simply be that it operates differently, and none of us have figured out how to exploit it properly. It’s certainly not as straightforward as the Alpha’s conversion software – and Elements 9 won’t go near the files!

    I have yet to try it under studio conditions (not what I bought it for, but it should hack it there). It’s definitely a camera that says “Carry me. Use me!” – so it’s been a good investment. Even if I will continue to carry bigger and heavier cameras a lot of the time!

  • Mike Z

    “Of course, raw files allow the freedom to make these changes post-capture.” — Not entirely true. You shouldn’t get sloppy just because you shoot RAW.

    “Average metering measures the entire scene to provide an average value.” — Not true either. It measures just the small portion in the center.

    Despite the RAW capture, your sample has wrong exposure and awful colors.

  • andre Bacquet

    my verdict after 4 months:
    camera & photos are excellent, BUT…
    software provided (silkypix): totally inadequate;
    even the built-in conversion facility is better, but only jpeg (no tiff)

  • alfred le pingouin

    pity the RAF (raw) conversion software is so inadequate (silkypix)! Even the built-in conversion software is better, but offers only jpeg (no tiff).
    my verdict after 4 months:
    very good camera, very poor raw exploitation.

  • Keith Crossland

    Impossible to read, as adverts obscure
    most of text.

  • ray ashworth

    great camera and “Oh my goodness” -an optical viewfinder! but to create the allround piece of kit that I need and always have,Fuji have shot themslves in the foot.They already have a 24mm facility and when they fit it to the X10 I will buy one.