Sony HX9V - Features

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis



Our Score:


Befitting its status as an advanced compact the HX9V offers fully manual shooting modes alongside a semi-automatic Program mode. Both offer a good degree of control, with Manual mode allowing you to select your own ISO, aperture and shutter settings using the D-pad wheel. For some reason both Aperture-priority and Shutter-priority options have been left out on the HX9V though, which is a shame as they’re both extremely useful.

sony HX9V 2

If you’d prefer to let the camera do everything for you then the HX9V offers Sony’s Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto shooting modes, both of which provide easy-to-use point-and-shoot options. In addition, there are also 17 individual Scene modes that can be called upon.

Looking at the camera’s more advanced (and Sony-exclusive) shooting modes, the HX9V offers the excellent Sweep Panorama mode that allows you to make extreme wideangle images by simply panning the camera in a predetermined direction with the shutter button pressed. There’s even an option to record these panoramas in high resolution should you want to make physical prints for your wall at a later date.

Another shooting mode of note that’s also exclusive to Sony cameras is Background Defocus mode. This lends itself especially well to portraits as it enables you to throw the background out of focus, as if using a large aperture. The technology works by taking two pictures in quick succession and then blending them together. While it doesn’t always work, the results when it does are surprisingly good.

sony HX9V 3

On top of its panoramic and depth-of-field abilities, the HX9V also has the ability to record 3D still images and panoramas, although you’ll need a compatible screen to view the results as the HX9V’s otherwise excellent 3-inch, 921k-dot rear LCD is strictly two-dimensional.

While the HX9V offers a good range of features, image capture is limited to JPEG with no option to record lossless Raw files, which is a bit of a shame. Movies, however, can be recorded up to a maximum quality of 1920 x 1080 Full HD at 50p, with options to record at lower HD and non-HD resolutions too.

Focus is maintained automatically while recording movies and it remains possible to use the zoom too. In addition, you can also take still images. Audio is recorded in stereo via two microphones on top of the camera. Depending on the level of movie quality selected movie files are either stored in the space-efficient AVCHD format or as less space-friendly MP4 files.

Lyndon Gray

July 12, 2011, 5:32 pm

Audley, I bought this camera last week to take on my holidays rather than take my Nikon D200. it is a fantastic camera, but your point about price isn't justified. I managed to knock £30 off the price at a Sony Store and Sony are currently running a promotion where you can get £40 cash back on this particular model, dropping the price to £259. For this price and the quality photos and videos it produces and the fact that it is a very well made product, I believe it warrants a higher value for money score compared to comparable cameras that have been reviewed.


July 12, 2011, 7:03 pm

I took advantage of the £40 cash back offer as well, which Sony are running until September 25th.

I've been seriously impressed with the power of this little camera thus far, though I've only had it a few days.


July 12, 2011, 7:12 pm

Totally agree with the first comment. With Sony's current cashback offer (until 25/09/2011) the price is now not so much of a premium compared to similarly specced cameras like the Panasonic TZ20. I actually bagged one from Amazon for £281, and with the cashback it effectively drops to £241. For the features of this camera a bargain.

As for the camera itself, I've not been disappointed with the results so far. Obviously it's not going to achieve the results of a top end DSLR, but for a compact the image stills are very good providing you're not obsessed with pixel peeping. The auto modes really do their job and will handhold the average user through most types of shots. And the video mode quite frankly blows away the competition, you won't miss your camcorder if you forget it. It's THAT good.

A top travel camera, one I'm more than happy to take on my upcoming holidays.


July 12, 2011, 7:15 pm

@Lyndon Gray. I really liked the HX9V and hope that comes across in my review - it's a very well made camera that takes great images, and that is why it gets a 'TrustedReviews Recommended' award. My point about the price is based on the fact that the HX9V currently retails for approximately £80 more than the Nikon S9100 or Fuji F550 EXR, and for around £50 more than the Canon SX230 HS or Lumix TZ20 - all of which are comparable travel compact rivals. If the HX9V was widely available for around £230-250 as opposed to £300-330, then I wouldn't hesitate to bump its Value score up to 8 and its Overall score to a 9. We are only really talking small margins here.

That said, £259 still sounds like a pretty good price. I would urge anyone reading this who is interested in buying one to follow your lead and negotiate themselves a similarly good deal.


July 12, 2011, 8:36 pm

I hope the noise reduction in this newer model is not as extreme as it is on my HX5.


July 13, 2011, 12:45 am

Thanks for the review - but why does it say Sony TX10 at the top of the 'General Images' page :)


July 15, 2011, 1:13 am

Since you've changed your website, sample photo's cannot be viewed at 100% anymore. That's a pity.


July 15, 2011, 12:59 pm

Yes, sadly at the moment we can only upload images of a maximum 2MB. It's something we're pestering over developers to sort out.


August 3, 2011, 11:09 pm

Jessops have joined the Tesco Clubcard scheme giving 2x points value so this camera can be had for £130 net (x2 = £260 + £40 Sony cash back offer)

Tazo Todua at yahoo

January 9, 2013, 6:06 pm

hx9v has a good resolution.


February 10, 2013, 1:36 pm

Excellent in every way.Easy and delightful to use.If you feel lazy just put in Intelligent mode and it does it all for you.Thought I would upgrade to Sony RX100.
Disappointed.Thought zoom range would be too small and it was.
Shall stay with HX9V.

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