Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 Review


The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 is an undeniably fun camera to use. As you can see from our Sample Images we’ve used it to capture everything from fast-moving aeroplanes to quaint streets and quiet landscapes, fireworks to interiors and more. Having a long zoom on a snappy camera with almost all the controls you desire made for a very pleasant shooting experience – so much so that we were reluctant to give the camera back! Some of its unique features turned out to work really well, including the Sweep Panorama mode that made capturing panoramic images as effortless as it gets. We were a little disappointed at the resolution of these images though.

This does not apply to the ‘regular’ 9-megapixel photographs we took with the camera, which contain plenty of detail thanks to the lens that proudly bears the prestigious G designation. Surely enough, we would not have minded a little less noise in our images, but honestly, the image quality is more than adequate for most non-professional uses. As far as the HX1’s video capabilities are concerned, they are above average, with optical zooming, stabilisation and stereo audio all on board to help you make the movies you have envisioned. A wind filter would have come in handy though.

Performance was good too, with little to criticise about the speed of operation. About the only complaint we have here is that clearing the buffer after a 10-shot burst took way too much time. Shot-to-shot times in the ‘regular’ single-shot mode were quite good though, at barely more than a second. Autofocus was commendably fast for this class of camera, although prefocusing and anticipating the action worked better with really fast subjects. One thing we found rather incomprehensible was that the camera would retract the lens just 15 seconds after entering playback mode, which slowed down the operation of what is essentially a zippy little digicam. Two other points to criticise about the Sony HX1 are its lack of a RAW mode and a flash hot shoe.

It is rather hard to describe such a complex – yet fairly easy-to-use – camera in just a few paragraphs, and you are encouraged to read our detailed findings in the Ease of Use section of this review. To sum it up, the Sony HX1 is certainly not ‘the’ perfect camera, but it’s one of the best all-rounders we’ve seen, and as such, it comes Highly Recommended by us.


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