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


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V review


Price as reviewed:


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Images are bright and punchy straight from the camera, especially in the reds and greens. Levels of detail are impressive at ISO 100, scoring over 24 on our standard test chart. Detail is maintained as the ISO is increased and noise only starts to become noticeable at ISO 1600 and 3200.

In real-world scenes, however, noise reduction is present from ISO 400 when viewed at 100% and can cause a slight watercolour effect in some areas. In areas of high contrast, there are signs of purple fringing in the corners but not to any worrying degree. The overall picture quality remains high, and even shots taken at ISO 3200 are very pleasant to look at. The Superior Auto mode is adept at handling low-light scenes and maintains impressive amounts of detail.

White balance remains neutral under natural and tungsten light and, despite the options available, presents no need to stray from the auto setting. Metering delivers in a range of conditions and, while it can lose highlights in extreme conditions, it generally gives a fairly even range of tones. Intelligent Sweep Panorama is a smart and surprisingly useful feature but the 3D modes, though clever, seem unnecessary at present.

Resolution, noise & dynamic range:  These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a
resolution chart, captured with the lens set to its 100mm point. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.

  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.