Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

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Introduction

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is a new super-zoom camera that features a 50x, 24-1200mm zoom lens, 20.4 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, 1920×1080 50p Full HD video recording with stereo sound and HDMI output, and Sweep Panoramas and 3D Still Images. Other key features of the Sony HX300 include high-speed autofocusing, a tilting 3-inch LCD screen with 921,000-dots, 10fps burst shooting mode at full resolution, ISO range of 100-12,800, enhanced Optical SteadyShot with 3-way Active Mode, Intelligent Auto Plus, Superior Auto, Program and full Manual shooting modes, a range of Picture Effects and and support for both Memory Stick PRO Duo and Secure Digital cards. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is available in black for £419.00 / $449.99.

Ease of Use

Sony’s new Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is virtually identical to the HX200 model that it replaces, so a lot of the comments that we made in our review of that camera apply equally to the new HX300. The HX300 clearly takes its design cues from an entry-level DSLR camera. It’s one to be worn about the neck, slung over a shoulder – with the strap provided for both purposes – or tucked in a suitable camera bag. The HX300’s optical zoom is now a massive 50x, up from the 30x zoom of its forebear, and the effective resolution has been boosted from 18.2 million to 20.4 million pixels from a 1/2.3-inch Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor.

The HX300 has a very chunky handgrip that’s large enough to squeeze three fingers comfortably around, helping to provide a steadier hold when shooting towards the extreme telephoto end of the zoom. To further help prevent blurred shots in such circumstances and in low light, Sony has also provided optical ‘SteadyShot’ image stabilization, now further improved thanks to a second group of lens elements that shift rapidly to correct for tiny hand tremors, reducing the shake apparent on the LCD screen and making it easier to frame the shot.

The build and finish of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is of high quality, with the all-black matt finish to the body and various DSLR-like dials and controls – not to mention both angle-adjustable LCD and built-in electronic viewfinder – on initial inspection lending it an impression of being a ‘serious’ enthusiasts’ model. The compact size also means that locating the right control is never a stretch for forefinger or thumb. Most of the features you want to access are literally at your fingertip, which of course makes for speedier overall operation. Overall dimensions are 129.6×93.2×1.03.2mm and the HX300 weighs a starter DSLR-like 623g, making it both bigger and heavier than it predecessor and most of the super-zoom competition.

The front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is dominated by the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens, here boasting a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the widest-angle setting and a focal range the equivalent of a ultra-wide-angle 24mm to 1200mm in 35mm film terms – suggesting serious ‘poke’ at the telephoto end and real suitability for those paparazzi style candid portraits at full zoom, as well as of course landscapes and group portraits at the wider end.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Front Rear

We also get an AF assist/self time lamp porthole top left of the lens when viewing the camera front on. The barrel itself features a lens ring, which will hold real appeal for photographers who prefer to get hands on, as this not only controls the zoom – if you don’t want to use the compact camera-style lever that alternatively encircles the shutter release button – but can also be used to focus if flicking the switch at the side of the lens to ‘MF’ mode.

The top plate of the camera extends the HX300’s sophisticated look and feel, with a stereo microphone sitting just behind the otherwise hidden raised flash. To the right of this, when looking down at the camera as you grip it in both hands, is a small button for swapping between use of the EVF and LCD. Note that there’s no longer an eye sensor on the HX300, unlike its predecessor, something that we sorely missed in practice.

The next control along is the narrow lozenge shaped on/off button, with an embedded lamp that glows green when the camera is switched on, or orange if the battery is low and the unit is being recharged. Incidentally we don’t get a separate mains charger here. We get a mains lead, adapter and plug instead, meaning that the lithium ion pack is charged in-camera. When your battery is down, so is the camera therefore.

The Cyber-shot HX300 takes roughly two seconds to power up, lens extending a little beyond its protective housing to arrive at maximum wideangle setting while the image on the rear LCD pops into life. While slower than an actual DSLR, that’s respectable enough for this class of bridge camera.

The camera is commendably swift to determine focus and exposure, with the green AF point/s highlighted on-screen the very instant your finger presses down on the shutter release button and finds the half way point. Press down fully to take the shot and a full resolution 20 megapixel JPEG is committed to removable media card in just over two seconds – so respectably swift. Face detection/selection and tracking focus are also offered here as standard features, activated or de-activated via a press of the unmarked button at the centre of the Sony’s backplate command pad.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Top Side

Keep a forefinger on the zoom lever that encircles the shutter release button and the HX300 powers through its 50x optical zoom range from wide angle to telephoto in around 4 seconds. The alternative method is to use the manual zoom ring as already mentioned, though this is slower to respond than using the zoom lever. However the upshot is that it’s slightly easier to arrive at more precise framing.

Next to the power button is a raised, ridged-edged shooting mode button with an action that is stiff enough to prevent the user accidentally slipping from one setting to the next in the thick of it. There are 11 options on this dial. We get the creative quartet of program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual mode settings plus Sony’s now ubiquitous Sweep Panorama function, whereby the user pans through an arc as directed by the on-screen arrows – the resulting elongated shot automatically stitched together in camera. It’s both very effective and very easy to use.

Next to this setting we get a memory recall mode, which, as the camera describes recalls registered settings and resumes shooting. This feels slightly superfluous as we found the camera didn’t lose the previous settings when it was turned off and then switched back on again.

Also on the dial is a dedicated High Definition video mode for up to 1920×1080 pixels clips at 50 frames per second progressive capture, which complements the dedicated video record button top right of the backplate. While a press of the latter begins a recording despite the fact that you might have a stills shooting mode selected on the dial at the time, a press of the Menu button when in video mode and accesses a variety of options. Here we can not only adjust video resolution and vary the frame rate, but also switch from intelligent auto video recording to applying a specific scene mode, as we more usually can with stills photography. There’s the ability to filter out external wind noise too, while another bonus is that full use of the optical zoom is provided in movie mode, as is automatic focus adjustment if you alter framing or swap subjects mid sequence.

This being a Sony camera we also expectedly find a 3D mode on the camera – with the ability to capture 3D stills or Sweep Panoramas as MPO files only viewable in the stereoscopic glory on a suitably equipped TV, or alternatively there is Sony’s Sweep Multi Angle mode which provides a lenticular print type view on the camera’s LCD screen, so at least you can get a 3D type effect in situ.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Front Tilting LCD Screen

Scene modes are up next and there are 16 user selectable options on the HX300, covering everything from the usual portraits – including a separate DSLR-style ‘background defocus’ option – to shooting landscapes by night and even handheld; pet, beach, snow and fireworks mode round out the more usual suspects.

Rounding off the shooting mode options are both the scene and subject recognizing and thereby automatically adjusting Intelligent Auto mode, plus Superior Auto mode. The latter is, if you will, your in-camera version of Photoshop, adjusting images on the fly. This means that there is a little additional automatic processing happening in this mode, so it’s slower to get an image from capture to card than when shooting in, say, Program mode. But it is a welcome aid in trickier conditions such as low light and does allow the user to point and shoot rather than having to find and change the ISO setting manually.

Incidentally the sensitivity range is broad and stretches from ISO to ISO12,800 with many incremental points in between. Our only moan is that we could have really done with a dedicated ISO button marked as such. There is a ‘custom’ button provided alongside the one for ‘focus’ just behind the shutter release on the top plate, but there’s a choice of dedicating this to auto exposure lock (AEL), white balance, metering mode or switching on the smile shutter facility. With the shutter release button and the zoom lever that encircles it comfortably sloping forward at the top of the handgrip, that’s it for the HX300’s top plate.

The rear of the HX300 is dominated by the tilting 3-inch, 921k dot resolution LCD screen, which can be angled up or down, but not swung out through 180° so it sits alongside the body, like with a camcorder, or flips inward to face the body itself. This means that, whilst very useful in itself compared with a fixed monitor, it is best used for achieving those otherwise awkward low or high angle shots than anything more ambitious. The alternative as mentioned earlier is to use the EVF ranged directly above the LCD, though as this is both smaller and has a lower resolution (202k dots), we found it easy to overlook.

In terms of controls the back of the camera looks slightly sparse mainly due to the small dimensions of the actual buttons, though in fact most of the essentials are here. A dedicated movie button is located to the right of the viewfinder, while a DSLR-like jog dial sits alongside that, where it automatically falls under the thumb of the right hand as the camera is gripped. If you’re shooting in Program mode a press of this allows access to the likes of ISO, shooting speed and aperture value on screen, though we had to press quite hard and repeatedly to arrive on the settings required – each highlighted in turn – at which point a spin of the same dial is required to make alterations. It works, but requires a period of familiarization, and is more fiddly than simply selecting ISO speeds from an on-screen menu or toolbar.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Speaking of toolbars, beneath the movie record and playback buttons on the rear of the camera is one marked Menu, a press of which summons a toolbar. This appears ranged to the left hand side of the screen. It’s here that we have access to the camera’s set up folders and the in-camera help guide, even though a dedicated button marked with a question mark is additionally provided for such a purpose. Also on the toolbar is a means of saving chosen settings to the Memory Recall mode provided on the top plate shooting dial, choosing between two Steadyshot options when recording video (‘standard’ or the stronger ‘Active’), fixing movie quality, deploying noise reduction, individually controlling sharpness, contrast and colour saturation (with ‘standard’ being the default setting), plus switching between the default ‘standard’ colour mode and vivid, ‘real’, sepia or black and white toned options.

In addition, the intensity of the flash can be dialed up or dialed down, the sensitivity of the ‘smile shutter’ feature can likewise be altered to register a slight up-turn of the mouth or alternatively a big goofy grin, or the automatic feature turned off entirely. Furthermore we get three exposure and one white balance bracketing options, continuous burst shooting of either 10fps per second for up to 10 sequential shots or 2fps to the same number, plus selection of metering modes (multi segment, centre weighted or spot). Still image size can of course also be adjusted via this same left-of-screen toolbar, with 20 megapixels in 4:3 aspect ratio being the top setting.

Lastly at the end of this exhaustive list we find a smattering of fun picture effect options. Here these comprise a painterly High Dynamic Range option, a chrome like rich-tone monochrome, the ubiquitous toy camera and miniature effects, pop art, soft high key, watercolour, and a funky illustration effect emphasizing subject outlines but smoothing the detail therein.

The familiar four-way control pad at the bottom right of the HX300’s backplate features options for controlling the rear display, flash settings (with red eye reduction turned on or off via the menu screens), self timer (two or 10 seconds) plus, more unusually, bringing up some on-screen ‘photo creativity’ options if the user is shooting in one of the auto modes. Selecting this option on the pad, for example, allows users to darken or lighten the image by flicking the jog dial left or right. Colour can also be adjusted in the same manner and the picture effect options previously detailed can be flicked through via a virtual mode dial. It reminds us a lot of the Live Guide feature on Olympus Pen cameras; namely it allows newcomers to exert some personal control over the outcome of their shots without knowing anything about exposure values, aperture settings and so on, with adjustments shown on screen live and in real time before the shutter release button has even been pressed.

On either flank of the camera is a metal lug for attaching the provided shoulder strap, while on the left hand flank there is a flip-open door protecting the camera’s two ports. Here we get an HDMI output and the new Multi Terminal Interface port which allows the connection of a growing range of accessories. Incidentally battery life of the lithium ion cell inserted in the base of the handgrip is around 300 shots, quite a big reduction on its predecessor’s 450+ shot life. On the bottom of the HX300 is a metal screw thread located and a compartment housing the battery and a slot for either Memory Stick PRO Duo or Secure Digital cards.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20.4 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX300 produced images of good quality during the review period. It handled noise fairly well, with a little noise appearing at the relatively slow speed of ISO 400 and then becoming progressively worse at the faster settings of ISO 800 and 1600. The fastest settings of ISO3200-12,8000 all suffer from a loss of fine detail, so much so that we wouldn’t use any of them unless absolutely neccesary.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were well-controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The 20 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can increase the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is excellent, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject. Commendably barrel distortion is well controlled even at the 24mm wide-angle focal length of the incredibly versatile 50x zoom lens. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure. The maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allows the cameras to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

The Backlight Correction HDR feature dramatically increases the detail in the shadow and highlight areas, although we miss being able to choose just how much correction is applied. There’s a good range of Color Modes and Picture Effects on offer, while the Sweep Panorama mode makes it simple to take wide-vista shots.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300’s 50x zoom lens offers an incredibly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

24mm

1200mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web – Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 allows you to focus on a subject that is just 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro, No Flash, with a Red-eye Reduction option in the Main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash – Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced Flash – Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash – Telephoto (1200mm)

Forced Flash – Telephoto (1200mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, both the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused a tiny amount of red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300’s maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you’re seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Background Defocus

Background Defocus attempts to mimic the sharp subject and out-of-focus background effect that DSLR owners typically enjoy, shooting two frames in quick succession and varying the aperture between each one.

On

On (100% Crop)

Backlight Correction HDR

DRO is Sony’s solution for improving shadow and highlight detail in photos taken in contrasty light, significantly increasing the image’s dynamic range. The examples show the rather dramatic effect of turning this feature on.

Off

On

Picture Effects

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 offers a range of nine creative Picture Effects.

Off

HDR Painting

   

Rich-tone Monochrome

Miniature

   

Toy Camera

Pop Color

   

Partial Color (Red)

Soft High-key

   

Watercolor

Illustration

Picture Effects

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 offers a range of four color modes.

Off

Vivid

   

Real

Sepia

   

B&W

 
 

Intelligent Sweep Panorama

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by ‘sweeping’ with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects, with the new High Resolution mode successfully creating a 40+ megapixel image.

Standard
 
Wide
 
360
 
High Resolution

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 camera, which were all taken using the 20.4 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie

This is a sample video from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 camera at the highest quality setting of 1920×1080 pixels at 50 frames per second. Please note that this 22 second movie is 68.7Mb in size.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Product Images

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Turned On

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Pop-up Flash

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Tilting LCD Screen

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Image Displayed

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Turned On

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Main Menu

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Settings Menu

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / In-Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Guide

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Tilting LCD Screen
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Tilting LCD Screen
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Rear of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 / Tilting LCD Screen
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Top of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Bottom of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Side of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Memory Card Slot
 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Battery Compartment

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Specifications

Lens

Optical Zoom 50x (Optical Zoom during movie recording)
Clear Image Zoom 100x
Digital Zoom Still Image: 20M Approx. 200x / 10M Approx. 284x / 5M Approx. 400x / VGA Approx. 810x / 15M (16:9) Approx. 200x / 2M (16:9) Approx. 540x. Movie: Precision Digital Zoom Approx. 200x
F F2.8 (W) – 6.3 (T)
Focal Length (f= mm) 4.3-215
Focal Length (f=35mm conversion) 24-1200 (4:3), 26-1300 (16:9)
Macro (cm) iAuto: AF (W: Approx. 1cm (0.03 ft.) to Infinity, T: Approx. 240cm (7.87 ft.) to Infinity) / Program Auto: AF (W: Approx. 1cm (0.03 ft.) to Infinity, T: Approx.240cm (7.87 ft.) to Infinity)
Filter Diameter (mm) NO
Conversion Lens compatibility NO
Carl Zeiss® lens YES
Sony G NO

Image Sensory

Sensor Type Exmor R™ CMOS Sensor
Size (Inches) 1/2.3 type(7.76mm)

Camera

20%

SteadyShot

SteadyShot capability YES
Optical SteadyShot capability YES

Auto Focus System

AF Illuminator Auto / Off

Built-In-Flash

Flash Mode Auto / Flash On / Slow Synchro / Rear Slow Synchro / Flash Off / Advanced Flash
Red-Eye Correction Auto / On / Off
Auto Daylight Synchronized Flash NO
Distance limitations using Flash (m) ISO Auto: Approx.0.3m to 12.4m(11 7/8 inches to 40 feet 8 1/4 inches)(W) / Approx.2.0m to 5.9 m(6feet 6 3/4 inches to 19 feet 4 3/8 inches)(T), ISO3200: up to Approx.17.5 m(57 feet 5 1/8 inches)(W)

LCD/ Viewfinder

LCD Screen Size (inches) 7.5cm (3.0type)
LCD Total Dots Number 921.600
LCD Monitor Type TFT LCD
Auto Bright Monitoring YES
Optical Viewfinder YES
Electrical Viewfinder NO

Recording

Recording Media Memory Stick™ Duo / Memory Stick PRO Duo™ / Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (high speed) / Memory Stick PRO HG Duo™ / Memory Stick Micro* / Memory Stick Micro / Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
Recording Media II SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card / SDXC Memory Card / microSD Memory Card* / microSDHC Memory Card*
Recording Format JPEG
DCF (Design rule for Camera File System) YES
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) YES
Burst Mode (shots) Approx.10 fps
Burst Interval (approximately sec) Approx.0.1 sec.(10 shots)
Still Image size (20M 5,184 x 3,888) YES
Still Image size (18 M 4896×3672) NO
Still Image size (14M 4320 x 3240) NO
Still Image size (13M 4224 x 3168) NO
Still Image size (12M 4000 x 3000) NO
Still Image size (10M 3648 x 2736) YES
Still Image size (9.0M, 3456 x 2592) NO
Still Image size (8.0M, 3264 x 2448) NO
Still Image size (7.2M 3072 x 2304) NO
Still Image size (5.0M, 2592 x 1944) YES
Still Image size (3.1M, 2048 x 1536) NO
Still Image size (VGA, 640 x 480) YES
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 1920 x 1080) YES
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 4896X2752) NO
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 4,608 x 2,592) NO
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 4,320 x 2,432) NO
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 4000 x 2248) NO
Still Image size (3:2 mode, 4000 x 2672) NO
Still Image size (3:2 mode 3648 x 2432) NO
Still Image size (3:2 mode 3456 x 2304) NO
2D Panorama 360° (11,520 x 1,080) / HR (10,480 x 4,096) / Wide (7,152 x 1,080/4,912 x 1,920) / Standard (4,912 x 1,080/3,424 x 1,920)
3D Panorama NO
Moving Image Size (1920×1080 50p Approx.28Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (1920×1080 50i Approx.24Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (1920×1080 50i Approx.17Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (1440×1080 25fps Fine Approx.12Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (1440×1080 50i Approx.9Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (1280×720 30fps Standard Approx.6Mbps) NO
Moving Image Size (640×480 30fps Approx.3Mbps) NO
Moving Image Size (640×480 25fps Approx.3Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (320×240 30fps) NO
Moving Image Size (AVCHD 1920 x 1080(50i, Interlace) Approx.24Mbps(Average bit-rate)) NO

Playback/ Edit

HD (High Definition) Playback YES (HDMI® out)
Slideshow (Playback/Music/Movie) YES
Trimming YES
Playback Zoom YES (8x)
Cue & Review (MPEG) YES
Index Playback 16 / 25 images
Image Rotation YES
Auto Image Rotation YES
Auto grouping and & Best Picture Recognition YES

General

Battery Remaining Indicator NO
Histogram Indicator YES
PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) NO
Print Image Matching YES
PictBridge NO
Shop Front Mode YES
Start up time (approximately sec) Approx. 2.0 sec.
Menu Language English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian , Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Croatian, Romanian

Jacks

Multi use Terminal with HD Multi/Micro USB Terminal, Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0), Micro HDMI
Multi use Terminal YES
AV Out NO
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed YES

Power/ Others

Battery System Lithium N
Supplied Battery NP-BX1
Stamina> (battery life) with the supplied battery(s) in normal shooting condition Approx. 310 / Approx. 155min (EVF:Approx. 400 / Approx. 200min)
Battery for Clock NO
Weight (g) Approx. 623g (1lb 6.0oz.)
Weight with Accessories (g) Approx. 650g (1lb 6.9oz.)
Supplied Software PlayMemories Home
Supplied Accessories Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, AC AdaptorAC-UB10/UB10B/UB10C/UB10D, Micro USB, Instruction Manual, Shoulder strap, Lens cap

Dimensions

Width (mm) 129.6
Height (mm) 93.2
Depth (mm) 103.2

Disclaimers

* Requires adaptor (not supplied)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

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Conclusion

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is a rather modest update of last year’s HX200V model, principally adding a bigger 50x zoom and slightly more megapixels. This doesn’t feel like enough of a step forward though, especially as most of our criticisms of the HX300 haven’t been addressed, namely a lack of direct access to the ISO speed and other key settings, a missing second control wheel, no RAW format support, a low-resolution electronic viewfinder, an LCD that can only be tilted up and down, and the inability to attach an external flashgun. The move to a 20 megapixel sensor, while looking good on paper, has resulted in slightly poorer image quality than the HX200 offered, and that camera’s GPS functionality has disappeared entirely from the 2013 model.

The inclusion of a 50x zoom lens means that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 offers the same 24-1200mm focal length as one of its main rivals, the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. Commendably we were able to achieve sharp results shooting handheld even at the far reaches of the zoom, although the camera somewhat inevitably increased the ISO speed to try and compensate, resulting in noisier images. Still, its heartening to discover that the 50x zoom is actually a lot more usable in real-life than you might first imagine. We are disappointed that the electronic viewfinder still only has a resolution of 202k dots, especially considering that it’s imperative to compose your photos through the viewfinder given the huge focal range, and there’s no longer any automatic switching between LCD and EVF either when you hold the camera up to your eye.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 ultimately suffers in comparison to the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 by not offering enough prosumer features, especially when you factor in its high price-tag. In a crowded marketplace with less well-specified models available at cheaper prices and better-specified alternatives for the same kind of money, it’s difficult to more whole-heartedly recommend the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300, even thought that 50x zoom lens is literally hard to ignore.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Review thumbnail

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS super-zoom camera has an astonishing 50x lens with a massive focal range of 24-1200mm. The Canon SX50 HS also offers a 12 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 2.8 inch vari-angle LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, full manual controls, RAW format support, 10fps burst shooting and full 1080p HD movies. Read our detailed Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review complete with full-size JPEG, RAW and video samples to discover if it’s the only camera you’ll ever need…

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Review thumbnail

The Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR is a bridge compact camera with a massive 42x, 24-1000mm zoom lens. The HS50 also offers an autofocus lag of just 0.05 seconds, full 1080p movies at 60fps with stereo sound, a 3 inch vari-angle LCD screen, 11ps burst shooting and a 16 megapixel back-illuminated EXR sensor with RAW support. Is this the only camera you’ll ever need? Read our Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR review to find out…

Nikon Coolpix P520

Nikon Coolpix P520 Review thumbnail

The Nikon Coolpix P520 is a brand new super-zoom camera with an incredible 42x zoom lens. The 18 megapixel Nikon P520 has a back illuminated 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, 3.2-inch 921K-dot vari-angle LCD screen, full 1080p high-definition movies with stereo sound, built-in GPS, an electronic viewfinder and 7fps burst shooting. Priced at £399.99 / $449.95, read our Nikon Coolpix P520 review to find out if that zoom lens is too big for its own good…

Olympus SP-820UZ

Olympus SP-820UZ Review thumbnail

The Olympus SP-820UZ is a bridge compact camera that boasts a 40x zoom lens with an incredible focal range of 22.4-896mm. The 14 megapixel Olympus SP-820UZ also offers a 3 inch LCD screen, 1080p movie recording and a Backlight HDR mode. Read our in-depth Olympus SP-820UZ review to find out if this super-zoom is worth the £280 / $330 asking price…

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Review thumbnail

The Lumix DMC-FZ200 is Panasonic’s premium super-zoom compact camera. Stand-out features of the FZ200 include a 24x zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8 throughout the 25-600mm range, 1080p HD movies, a high-resolution LCD and EVF, fast auto-focusing, 12fps burst shooting and a 12 megapixel MOS image sensor. Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 review now…

Pentax Optio X90

Pentax Optio X90 Review thumbnail

The Pentax Optio X90 is a brand new super-zoom compact camera featuring a 26x image-stabilized zoom lens with a focal range of 26-676mm. Successor to the X70 model, the X90 has a 12 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch screen, full range of creative shooting modes and can record 720p HD movies. Retailing for £329.99 / $399.95, does the Pentax Optio X90 offer enough to match its super-zoom rivals? Gavin Stoker finds out in our Pentax Optio X90 review.

Samsung WB5000

Samsung WB5000 Review thumbnail

The WB5000 / HZ25W is Samsung’s first entry into the big boy world of all-in-one super-zoom cameras. Offering a 24x zoom lens with 26mm wide-angle setting, the WB5000 literally has most photographic subjects covered, for both 12 megapixel stills and 720p movies. Throw in a range of hand-holding smart modes for beginners and RAW format and Manual mode for advanced users, and Samsung could be onto a winner at their very first attempt. Read our expert Samsung WB5000 / HZ25W review to find out if Panasonic, Olympus et al have anything to fear…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 from around the web.

ephotozine.com »

The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 has a 20.4 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and 50x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-1200mm. To keep your images as sharp as possible there is Optical SteadyShot, ideal when shooting with a lot of zoom. The zoom can be extended to 100x with Clear Image Zoom and the HX300 can also shoot full resolution images at up to 10 fps.
Read the full review »

pocket-lint.com »

Superzoom cameras across various brands have been crafting out their own individual points of interest of late. Sony’s angle, it would seem, is all about resolution: the Cyber-shot HX300 pairs a brand new 50x optical zoom lens – capable of a 24-1200mm equivalent – with a new 20.4-megapixel CMOS sensor.
Read the full review »

amateurphotographer.co.uk »

In light of the danger to the compact camera market posed by the rise of smartphones, Sony is concentrating on two key areas where dedicated compact cameras still have the advantage: image quality and zoom range. In fact, 80% of Sony’s compact cameras in 2013 will be ‘high-zoom’ types. New models, the HX300 and WX300, both feature new sensors and improved optical zooms over their predecessors. The HX300, on test here, offers the widest zoom in Sony’s range.
Read the full review »

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

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SOURCE:http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/sony_cybershot_dsc_hx300_review