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 review – Features
Sony says the HX300 produces better image quality and has a wider zoom than its predecessor, the HX200V, despite being physically smaller. This is achieved primarily by its lens, which has 15 elements in 10 groups, including three aspheric elements. These elements help keep the size down without introducing spherical and chromatic aberration. The lens also carries Sony’s super ED element, as found in the company’s Alpha cameras – which is a first for a non-RX-series Cyber-shot model – as well as two ED elements.
Lenses that offer extreme telephoto settings are only usable if their stabilisation is effective. In the HX300, the ‘shift’ group of lens elements that provides stabilisation has been moved to the front rather than the rear of the lens, where Sony claims they improve stabilisation when shooting at the telephoto end from 3.5EV to 4.5EV. As lens elements are larger and heavier at the front of a super-zoom lens, a more powerful actuator system is used in order to shift the extra weight effectively and neutralise camera shake.
Image: The class-leading, 50x optical zoom means distant subjects can fill the frame. Importantly, stabilisation is very effective for accurate composition
A new, class-leading 20.4-million-pixel sensor has been introduced in the HX300. However, as it remains a compact 1/2.3in (6.17×4.55mm) in size, this means that it is crowded with small pixels. The camera is also only able to record in JPEG format – raw capture seems an obvious and disappointing omission, given that it is available in cameras such as Canon’s PowerShot SX50 HS.
Drive modes include a continuous high 10fps mode, possible for a 10-frame burst, as well as various self-portrait options. More picture effects have been introduced too, and the scope for combining these effects into one image has been improved.