Review Price £430.00
Sony Cyber-shot HX200V - Hands On
The Sony Cyber-shot HX200V is the company's latest superzoom model. However, camera fanatics will notice it's very similar to the HX100V, last year's model. Ahead of our full review we took a closer look to see what this camera is all about.
A superzoom bridges the gap between compact cameras and DSLRs - hence why it's also known as a bridge camera. It's smaller than a DSLR, but offers the zoom flexibility you can get from the larger type of camera with a big ole lens. The Sony HX200V's 30x focal length goes from wide-angle 27mm to 810mm at the telephoto end.
Image quality is, however, going to be closer to that of an advanced compact than an SLR or micro Four Thirds snapper like the Sony NEX-5n. It uses a high-power 18.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, but at just 1/2.3in in size, it can't promise the low light performance of something packing a full APS-C sensor - although Sony claims the sensor is much more sensitive than the previous model.
The pay-offs in build and feel are arguably less significant. At £429, that its body is plastic rather than metal is no surprise, but a large rubberised handgrip lets you get a reassuring hold on the camera.
Around the front by the lens is the manual zoom ring. As it is software driven, there's a slight lag to its operation and it doesn't allow the accuracy of a proper hardware solution. But it's not bad, and its rotation is extremely smooth.
The EVF (electronic viewfinder) is another SLR-apeing tool, and is operated using a button up top that switches between the 3in 921k dot rear LCD and the EVF. While it's not the worst we've seen, image quality in the viewfinder is not great. It's a little small at 0.2in, the 201k-dot resolution provides much less detail than the rear LCD and a lack of contrast turns blacks into dark greys.
The LCD display is articulated, but only flips out rather than offering full articulation. It doesn't use a touchscreen, instead relying upon the navigational D-pad to the right of the display.
Plenty of ancillary features are also present. There's inbuilt GPS, letting you tag photos with location information, 1080p video capture, 3D video capabilities, stereo audio recording and the reams of both frivolous and useful modes common to Sony's new Cyber-shot cameras.
These include 360-degree panorama, colour isolation, toy mode and a hipstamatic mode, among others. We haven't yet had a proper chance to test these and the Sony HX200V's image quality, but we'll be back soon with a full review. Our first impressions are positive, although we don't think too many current Sony HX100V owners will have to reach for their wallets any time soon.
The Sony Cyber-shot HX200V superzoom bridge camera is an update to last year's HX100V, offering improved ergonomics, increased sensitivity and a better additional modes selection. A must-have update? Perhaps not, but the HX200V appears a competitive new snapper.
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