Today we have a look at one of Sony’s latest digital cameras from the Cyber-shot lineup. It is the model DSC-HX200V which is the successor of the HX100V. Both models have a lot of similarities, such as the ultrahigh resolution 3-inch tilting LCD, 30x zoom lens, as well as the same shooting options and controls. However, the HX200V comes with an all-new 18 megapixel sensor as well as a new image processor which means that it can provide a better image stabilization while you are taking a clip. In addition, while taking stills you’ll get to benefit from a high resolution and also take advantage of the company’s Clear Image Zoom that supports a 60x digital zoom.
Aside from these advantages, the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V offers a more creative control in Superior Auto and Intelligent modes, while the nine creative picture effects will be useful for many users. We would also like to mention that the GPS functionality has been improved in comparison to the model that it replaces, while the autofocus is considerably faster now so chances are much higher now to capture a sharp photo.
When it comes down to the quality of the photos, this is almost excellent most of the times, but it isn’t as impressive as those digital SLRs that have a high resolution. Once the ISO gets above 400 you will immediately notice that the subjects are getting softer, but you should know that the pictures are usable at small sizes up to ISO 1600. We would like to recommend using the company’s Handheld Twilight mode for getting a better low-light shot of a still subject. The highest resolution available for still shots is 4,896 x 3,672 pixels while for video recording is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at 60 fps.
The video recording is just about as good as the quality of the still photos as when there is plenty of light available the video is crispy smooth and the resolution can be at up to 1080p at 60 fps. When panning the camera there’s a minimal amount of trailing on the moving objects but this will be more noticeable when watching the video on a larger screen. When recording in low light conditions, the movies have more artifacts and noise but even so these still look quite good. You have the possibility of using the zoom lens which you will probably hear when you are in a quieter scene. The quality of the audio is nice, but the thing is that you’ll be limited to the stereo microphone sitting on top.
For the class in which it belongs, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V is one of the fastest camera available on the market right now, taking a shot in approximately one second when you are not using a flash. If you use the flash, the picture is taken in about three to four seconds. The good thing is that the shutter lag is almost inexistent and it remains almost just as good when shooting in dimmer conditions or when the lens are extended. However, you will do notice a bit of a slowdown as far as the autofocus speed when shooting in low light conditions with the lens extended, but it still remains faster than most of its competitors.
With the burst setting of this Sony digital camera you are able to grab up to ten frames per seconds for ten photos at full resolution. The drawback would have to be that this burst mode is going to set exposure and focus with the first shot so after you have hit the shutter button you will have to wait for the photos to be saved which takes approximately a second or two for each photo saved.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V is one of the biggest models in its segment but even so it manages to remain comfortable to use. Around the lens barrel you will notice that there is a zoom control which can prove to be more than useful whenever you want to make small zoom adjustments, plus you are also able to use it for focusing the lens manually. On top sitting behind the shutter release is the programmable Custom button which you can use for the smile-activated shutter release, Smile Shutter, metering, ND filter, white balance or for the exposure lock.
Next to it sits the Focus button which is able to modify the autofocus mode or it can give you a focus check when you are manually focusing so that you can find out if the subject is actually in focus. To the right of the thumb rest Sony has put the jog dial for modifying exposure compensation, ISO, aperture and the shutter speed.
Let’s move on with the review and talk about the LCD which is not only large but also quite bright as well so you will not have any problems understanding what’s on the screen when using the digital camera under bright conditions.
We have to warn you that if you’re not accustomed to advanced compact cameras, using the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V can be a little bit difficult but at least the menus are pretty easy to navigate, while whenever you want to find out more about the functions you can grab the full manual which explains all there is to it. It comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that has a CIPA rating of 450 shots or 490 shots with the viewfinder only. The battery can be charged via the AC wall adapter or through a USB connection. It comes bundled with Music Transfer for Windows and Mac, along with a Windows-only version of PlayMemories Home. The supported storage media includes the usual SD / SDHC / SDXC, as well as the company’s own Memory Stick Pro Duo.
All things considered, if you are in the market for a long-lens, high performance camera that offers a high quality in auto, but at the same time gives the user the possibility to fiddle with the settings, this Cyber-shot model from Sony can be a great choice. The price tag for this digital camera is $449.99.