Sony’s flagship bridge camera, the Cyber-shot HX300, features a 20.4-million-pixel sensor and 50x, 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3 Carl Zeiss super-zoom lens. So what does it mean for image quality? Read the Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review...

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Sony Cyber-shot HX300

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Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review


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Sony Cyber-shot HX300 at a glance:

  • 20.4-million-pixel, 1/2.3in (6.17×4.55mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 4.3-215mm (24-1200mm equivalent) f/2.8-6.3 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens
  • 10fps burst mode
  • 1.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 920,000-dot tilt LCD screen
  • Around £420

Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review – Introduction

In light of the danger to the compact camera market posed by the rise of smartphones, Sony is concentrating on two key areas where dedicated compact cameras still have the advantage: image quality and zoom range. In fact, 80% of Sony’s compact cameras in 2013 will be ‘high-zoom’ types. New models, the HX300 and WX300, both feature new sensors and improved optical zooms over their predecessors. The HX300, on test here, offers the widest zoom in Sony’s range.

The Sony Cyber-shot HX300 is Sony’s flagship bridge (super-zoom) camera, offering a mammoth 50x optical zoom. Its equivalent focal range is 24-1200mm, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8-6.3. This zoom range is matched only by Canon’s PowerShot SX50 HS and the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000, while Fuji’s FinePix HS50EXR and Nikon’s Coolpix P520 both have 42x zooms. The main question regarding Sony’s HX300 – or indeed any of these models – is how far a camera’s zoom lens can be pushed before image quality is compromised? In this test we go one further, and assess the impact that the HX300’s high pixel count has on its image quality.

  1. 1. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 at a glance:
  2. 2. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Features
  3. 3. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - LCD, viewfinder and video
  5. 5. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - White balance and colour
  6. 6. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Dynamic range
  7. 7. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Metering
  8. 8. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Autofocus
  9. 9. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  10. 10. Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review - Our verdict
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  • Ian Docwra

    Great camera BUT after nine months of moderate use, the function selector knob on the top right of the case fell off and I am thus stuck in one mode (manual shutter speed). I am hoping that Sony will honour their warranty but have doubts that they will as most companies these days manage to wriggle out of them.

  • prabhashankar.n

    good camera. manual focussing is not convenient.zoom shots are superior auto mode white balance cannot be adjusted.the colour output in superior auto mode in indoor and flashmode is not perfect. macro focusiing in superior auto mode is not possible. still a very good camera in its class and price range.

  • Babdi

    Did you try Cyberlink’s Power director.They have a 1 month trial download. You can see check this

  • James Paul Finch-Smiles

    A very nice camera – still learning how to use it but wish I had the camera stand. That would really help with keeping it steady during high zoom. I’m far to unsteady with it!


    am really confused….plz help me out…
    am confused whether i should go for nikon coolpix p520 or sony DSC HX300….d main thing dat sony attracts me is its superzoom wich is +8 times more to nikon bt its weight disappoints me…
    all i need is good quality pictures even in low light, if i hav 2 sacrifice for less zoom..
    so plz plz help me…
    Thank You.

  • Kenneth Hyam

    Thanks for your detailed review of this camera. I have been very impressed with it, and can confirm all the positive things you say about it.
    One more incredible feature worth mentioning is the “Intelligent Auto” setting. This allows the camera to take 5 photos in quick succession and combine them into one image. This has the effect of a very detailed image, and works brilliantly in low light. In fact the low light performance at this setting is stunning!

  • jos

    how does the hx 300 works in macro for example insects

    please send a link for images

  • Ian Catford

    I bought one , because I wanted a super zoom to go with my other cameras. it is versitile andt the 50x performance is stunning.
    but there is one major issue and not with the camera, that is the 240 page manual.
    you need to read this to get all the benefits from the cameras features.
    but sony have not released it as a pdf file so I can load it onto my I pod or computer nor do they supply it on a cd with the camera?
    I contacted sony UK and ask how I could get the pdf and all they said sorry its not available….how helpful is that !