Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review

March 16, 2013

Overall Rating:


Sony Cyber-shot HX300

  • Star rating:



Price as Reviewed:


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...

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.

  • Video: Full 1080p HD (50fps), 720p (30fps), H.264 MOV video with stereo sound
  • External mic: No
  • White Balance: Auto, 7 presets and 2 custom
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • Viewfinder Type: 1.44-million-dot EVF
  • Output Size: 5184 x 3888 pixels
  • LCD: Tilting, 3in, 921,600-dots
  • Sensor: 20.4-million-effective-pixel, 1/2.3in, back-illuminated CMOS (6.17 x 4.55mm)
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, Auto+, PASM, memory, panorama, 3D, video, 9 picture effects and 15 scenes
  • Weight: 650g (including battery and card)
  • Lens: Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 4.3-215mm (24-1,200mm equivalent) f2.8-6.3
  • Power: NP-BX1 rechargeable Li-Ion
  • File Format: JPEG
  • Shutter Speeds: Up to 30-1/4000sec
  • Drive Mode: Single, self-timer 2 or 10secs, bracketing, self-portrait (1 or 2 people), continuous up to 10fps
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Exposure Comp: ±2EV in 1/3 steps
  • RRP: £419
  • ISO: 80-12,800
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, tracking AF, manual
  • Dimensions: 129.6 x 93.2 x 103.2mm
  • Metering System: Multi, centreweighted, spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, digital/video out, remote

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