Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1: First Look
First Look: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX12:43 /
Trade-offs abound in Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 megazoom: though it's fast and has some really novel, useful features, it just doesn't deliver the photo quality expected for its class.
[ Background music ] >> Lori Grunin: Hi I'm Lori Grunin senior editor with CNET and this is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1. The HX1 is an interesting camera. It's a 20x megazoom that uses Sony's higher end G-series lenses and 9 megapixel CMOS sensor using its x more on ship noise reduction technology. It has a lovely large 3-inch tiltable LCD which makes it really easy to get overhead shots or to shoot from the hip. It's also relatively compact although as you can tell because the lens sticks out and the large grip it's not really pocketable. The HX1 has the distinction of being one of the fastest megazoom cameras we've ever tested. For instance one of those speed features is a 10 frame per second capture mode. Unfortunately it's limited to 10 frames and then takes 16 seconds to save that series of 10 frames. So if your timing is off you end up missing the shots that you were trying to take. Another novel feature is the sweep panorama. In that mode you press the shutter down and pan across the scene and it automatically stitches all the shots together to create a panorama. Unfortunately the quality of those panoramas isn't that great. They tend to be low resolution cause they're constrained to the 1080 pixel vertical height but they don't really print very well and they don't look really good if you look too closely. On the other hand hand-held Twighlight mode, which bursts several shots and combines them to produce a bright, relatively sharp but lower noise image than you get at the high ISO's, works really well for shooting in dim conditions. It really did produce some nice photos. Unfortunately overall the image quality in this camera is just not very good. It looks over processed and smeary and although I managed to get some sharp photos those tend to be in macromode rather than your standard shots. It does decent video, it's not quite full HD. It does 1440x1080. Overall the design is nice but there are some quirky aspects to it that can be kind of annoying. Most importantly the navigation switch has no travel and it just feels very difficult to operate and unless you read the manual you may not realize that the way to switch your ISO speed or shutter speed requires pressing in this jog dial and rotating it to switch options. You really have to make some tough decisions about whether to buy this camera. It's got some very nice features but the image quality is a big trade off to me. [Background music] I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Sony Cyber-shot DSDXHX.1