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Sony HX9V - Image Quality and Verdict

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis



Our Score:


Overall, the Sony HX9V produces some of the best image quality we’ve seen in some while. Images are consistently crisp, sharp and punchy with pleasing colour and good levels of contrast.

sony HX9V

Using the camera in either Program or Manual mode there are plenty of ways in which you can adjust the final look of your images. This includes choosing a Colour Mode from the following: Standard, Vivid, Real, Sepia and B&W. We preferred sticking with the Standard and Real settings, as both produced pleasing results, however the Vivid setting can help out on dull days or when your subject would benefit from a bit of a colour boost. In addition to the Colour Mode, it’s also possible to tinker with the Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness levels while using the camera in Program or Manual mode.

Although there aren’t as many processing options when the HX9V is used in Intelligent Auto or Superior Auto we found that both modes are able to produce consistently good images, that often display greater contrast and more tonality than images shot using Program or Manual mode. The image-blending abilities of Superior Auto are definitely helpful in low-light and high-contrast situations too.

Befitting its designation as a Sony G lens, we found the HX9’s optics produced some of the sharpest edges we’ve seen from a compact in recent months. Viewed at 100% and above fine detail does display that ‘painted-on’ effect that is so common to small-sensor compact cameras, however this really isn’t a problem when images are viewed at regular screen and print sizes, with images instead looking perfectly sharp and richly detailed.


The HX9V is an outstanding travel compact, albeit one with a somewhat premium price tag. It’s easy to use, feels great in the hand and delivers fantastic image quality – especially when used in Sony’s proprietary Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto shooting modes. The omission of Aperture-priority and Shutter-priority shooting modes along with the inability to record lossless Raw files is all a bit of a let-down given the price, but otherwise there is very little to moan about and plenty to like. Sony’s Sweep Panorama technology is the best there is for in-camera ultra wideangle imaging, while the HX9V’s HD movie capabilities are also class leading. However, there’s still no getting away from that £300 price tag. It’s undoubtedly a lot of money for a compact camera, so be sure to shop around before parting with any money.

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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