Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9VFeature junkies in search of a compact megazoom should get the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V.
Hi, I'm Josh Goldman, senior editor with CNET and this is a closer look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V, our top choice for camera for the Holidays! Now, there are a lot of compact megazooms in the market. Even Sony has 3 units current lineup and the HX9V is at the top. The basic specs include a 16-megapixel high speed sensor designed for improved low-light performance, a 16x24-mm ultra wide-angle zoom lens, and a 3-inch high-res LCD. Now, the camera can be a simple automatic point and shoot or you can set it to full manual with control over shutter speed, aperture, focus, and even white balance shift, and color, saturation, contrast, and sharpness can be adjusted. If you find a combo of settings you've used regularly, it could store up to 3 sets of custom settings and while you have to dive into the menus to make most setting changes, the menu system is easy to figure out, but should you need help a full manual is a button push away. It shoots full HD video at 60 frames per second at the push of a button. In fact, the video quality is some of the best I've seen from a compact camera making HX9V a good option for those looking for a model to do both photos and movie clips. It does a few other cool things like shoot high resolution panoramic just by sweeping the camera. It shoots burst up to 10 frames per second in full resolution, and if you've got a 3D TV, you can take decent 3D photos and panoramas with it too. It even has GPS for geotagging photos so always know where you were when you shot something. Of course all the features in the world don't matter if the photos aren't good, but for a compact megazoom, they're excellent, especially if you take full advantage of the HX9Vs tech. Colors aren't necessarily accurate, but they are pleasing and vibrant and if you don't like them, there's a real color mode for sure color. It does very well in low light too and shooting performance is faster enough to get clean shots of active kids and pets. Now all of this doesn't come cheaply. Its price tag is just more than $300. So if that's more than you were looking to spend, check out the rest of our holiday gift guide for other options, but basically if you're feature geek looking for a pocket camera, the HX9V is what you want. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V.