Sony Cyber-shot HX9V Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16.2 megapixels
  • EXMOR R CMOS sensor
  • 16x optical zoom
  • 24mm wide-angle Sony G lens
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD, 921k dots
  • 1080p HD video, AVCHD format
  • 10fps burst mode
  • 3D image capture, 3D panorama
  • High-res sweep panorama (42.9 megapixels)
  • ISO up to 3200
  • Full manual control
  • Integrated GPS for geo-tagging
  • HDMI output
  • Captures to SD/SDHC/Memory Stick media cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2011-04-30
  • Final Grade: 89 4.45 Star Rating: Recommended

4.45 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony Cyber-shot HX9V
16.2 megapixels; EXMOR R CMOS sensor; 16x optical zoom; 24mm wide-angle Sony G lens; Optical image stabilization; 3-inch LCD, 921k dots; 1080p HD video, AVCHD format; 10fps burst mode; 3D image capture, 3D panorama; High-res sweep panorama (42.9 megapixels); ISO up to 3200; Full manual control; Integrated GPS for geo-tagging; HDMI output; Captures to SD/SDHC/Memory Stick media cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

The HX9V is Sony's top-of-the-line compact zoom for 2011, featuring a little bit "more" of all the features found on the mid-range HX7V -- almost too many to list. This camera is built around the same EXMOR R backlit CMOS sensor that's used in many 2011 Cyber-shots, which basically means that it's fast and performs pretty well in low light. Early image quality tests show a pervasive softness in photos taken with the HX9V; that won't be a deal-breaker for most folks, since at regular viewing distances, the pictures look great, but it's certainly not the right camera for pixel peepers. It's one more option for casual (and maybe some enthusiast) users who want a fun, feature-packed, easy-to-use camera with an incredibly versatile lens. It isn't our favorite of the flagship compact zooms this year, but it has a lot of redeeming qualities and certainly has many fans out there.

The 24mm, 16x zoom Sony G lens looks quite versatile, and the high-res sweep panorama feature has the potential to be awesome. It's capable of taking enormous 42.9 megapixel panoramas, which should preserve a lot more detail than the relatively small images that lesser sweep-panorama features found on other Sony cameras churn out. The press materials also refer to "dSLR-class high-speed autofocus," which could be some sort of phase-detection autofocus -- impressive and uncommon in a compact camera, but without an internal mirror, we're not really sure how this would actually work. 

We're hoping to have a full-length review of this camera in the near future. That's dependent upon Sony sending us the camera, so voice your enthusiasm for our review in the comments below.

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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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