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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £251
inc VAT

Packed with impressive features but image quality doesn't quite live up to the high price


1/2in 15.9-megapixel sensor, 16.0x zoom (24-384mm equivalent), 245g

Performance was excellent, with incredibly fast autofocus and just 1.3 seconds between shots. Continuous mode is limited to 10 frames and runs at either 10fps or 2fps. It’s a little odd that this choice of speeds is made is a completely different menu to where continuous mode is selected.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V sample 1
Details are sharp into the corners of frames, but the slightly blocky appearance suggests that digital processing is working hard, even at ISO 100 – click to enlarge

The lens was sharp across its 16x zoom range and right into the corners of frames. However, while bolder shapes such as buildings looked bitingly sharp, more complex textures such as grass looked a little unnatural on close inspection, with evidence of noise reduction and digital sharpening being hard at work. Skin tones looked like they’d been airbrushed, and in low light they exhibited a lot of noise. This is one of the better 16-megapixel compact cameras for noise levels but it can’t match the smooth, clean details of certain lower-resolution cameras such as the Canon SX230 HS.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V sample 2
Low-light photography is impressively smooth but subtle details are glossed over by noise reduction

The HX9V comes very close to greatness, and with a lower-resolution sensor it might have earned itself an award. However, at this price only the very best image quality will do.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 15.9 megapixels
CCD size 1/2in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 921,600 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 16.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 24-384mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,608×3,456
Maximum movie resolution 1920×1080
Movie frame rate at max quality 50fps
File formats JPEG; AVCHD, AVI (MP4)


Memory slot SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Mermory supplied 19MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 410 shots
Connectivity USB, mini HDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 245g
Size 61x105x33mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £251

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, manual
Shutter speed 30 to 1/1,600 seconds
Aperture range f/3.3-8 (wide), f/5.6-14 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 7 presets with fine tuning, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, flexible spot, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, smile detect

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