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HolidayBuyer's Guide

It goes to 1,200mm

My, what a long lens you have

Few extras here

Nice, big grip

Tilting LCD

Ports

Ring around the lens

The new $500 Sony Cyber-shot HX300 features a 50x f2.8-6.3 24-1,200mm lens. Despite the digital SLR-like appearance, though, the camera packs a small 1/2.3-inch 20-megapixel Exmor R backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, so don't expect SLR-quality photos.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
To go with the HX300's mighty lens is some pretty powerful optical image stabilization that's been designed specifically to handle the extra shake when the lens is extended.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Though Sony packs in a whole lot of shooting modes and controls (you can turn on and off the neutral density filter, for example), it lacks some things that the competition has, such as a hot shoe or mic input.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The HX300's grip is very comfortable, and the size allows for a big mode dial and buttons for focus, switching between the LCD and electronic viewfinder, and a custom preset.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The 921K-dot-resolution 3-inch tilting LCD is very nice.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
On the left side you'll find Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB ports, with the latter being used for charging, transfers, and AV.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
There's a grippy ring around the lens, which is used to control the zoom lens. Flip the switch on the lens barrel from autofocus to manual and the ring handles focusing instead.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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