Sony Cyber-shot HX7V Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16.2 Megapixels
  • Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 10x optical zoom
  • 25mm wide-angle Sony G lens
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD (921k pixels)
  • 1080/60i HD video
  • 10 fps burst mode
  • Background defocus mode
  • 3D still images, 3D sweep panoramas
  • ISO up to 3200
  • GPS geo-tagging and compass
  • Face detection
  • Captures to Memory Stick Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2011-03-17
  • Final Grade: 88 4.4 Star Rating: Recommended

4.4 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony Cyber-shot HX7V
16.2 Megapixels; Exmor R CMOS sensor; 10x optical zoom; 25mm wide-angle Sony G lens; Optical image stabilization; 3-inch LCD (921k pixels); 1080/60i HD video; 10 fps burst mode; Background defocus mode; 3D still images, 3D sweep panoramas; ISO up to 3200; GPS geo-tagging and compass; Face detection; Captures to Memory Stick Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC; Lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

The HX7V is one of several Sony travel zooms for 2011. The chief draws are the versatile 10x lens and high-speed, low-light-friendly CMOS sensor. It's a modest update over last year's HX5V, which used a similar lens/sensor combination. Looking at test shots around the web, it seems, unfortunately, that the image quality has taken a hit compared to last year's model -- we suspect the bloated 16 megapixel resolution has something to do with the softness and loss of detail. 

Still, like most Cyber-shots, the HX7V has loads of cool features, most notably a 10fps burst mode, 1080i HD video, background defocus mode, and 3D sweep panoramas. It also features a built-in GPS unit for geo-tagging. The HX7V should appeal to casual users who want a cool camera with more versatility than a point-and-shoot, rather than pixel peepers who are obsessed with picture quality. It's decently affordable compared to most of the compact zoom class this year, too. Also check out the HX9V, a similar model with a longer zoom range.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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