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HolidayBuyer's Guide


Hand-held Twilight mode



Dynamic range

General quality



Sweep Panorama mode

The HX1's photos rarely start out terribly sharp, so the detail doesn't become overtly blurred until around ISO 800 (and, oddly, noise measures lower at ISO 200 than at ISO 125).
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
Sony's new Hand-held Twilight mode bursts three shots at a high ISO and combines them into a single, brighter, lower noise photo: it seems to work pretty well, both in comparison to full auto and manually selecting the same settings. (Top: HHT, ISO 3,200, 1/6 sec, f3.5; bottom: intelligent auto, ISO 800, 1/6 sec, f3.5)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This is one of the few instances where I was able to produce a truly sharp result with the HX1. Like most fixed-lens cameras, it performs best in macro mode.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
When the HX1's photos have some sharp details, they tend to look a bit oversharpened or "crunchy" when viewed at actual size.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
These aren't yellow and white tulips; they're yellow tulips with completely blown out highlights. The day was bright, but not this bright, and the exposure is otherwise correct (1/200 sec, ISO 125, f8, spot metering).
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This is the general quality of nonmacro shots; they look fine scaled down, but up close have the smeary, painted look associated with cheaper point and shoots. (ISO 125, 1/200 sec, f7.1)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The HX1 does produce nice, bright, appropriately saturated colors that are relatively accurate.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Though it's not perfect, the HX1's lens delivers impressively little distortion at its widest 28mm-equivalent, and results in practically no color fringing under normal circumstances.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The HX1's Sweep Panorama, which shoots continuously while you pan and then automatically combines the images into a panorama, is novel and fun. But the photos don't look very good, with lots of fringing and resolution artifacts.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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