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
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.