Sony takes on the superzoom market with the fully specified Cyber-Shot HX1 camera boasting ground-breaking features. The What Digital Camera Sony CyberShot HX1 review...
Design & Performance
Sony CyberShot HX1 review – Design
The bulk of the HX1ʼs body comprises the LCD and lens. The wideangle G lens means much of the front of the camera houses a lot of glass. Meanwhile, the 3in LCD screen occupies most of the rear of the camera. The HX1 does feature an oversized handgrip, however, to complement the rest of the modelʼs fulsome features, making the camera comfortable to use when shooting.
Layout of the controls is intelligent, with buttons on the rear kept to a minimum – mostly due to lack of real estate, one suspects – and the majority of buttons and dials located on the cameraʼs top-plate and hand grip.
Sony CyberShot HX1 review – Performance
The HX1 is a real pleasure to use. The mechanical shutter and BIONZ processer combine to ensure that there is very little shutter lag, while Sonyʼs interpretation of ʻintellegent autoʼ generally performs well, selecting the right scene mode, and therefore right settings, to suit the scene. However, intelligent auto does like to select a ʻbacklitʼ mode fairly often, and in doing so produces a rather warm white balance, so Iʼd recommend overriding that setting if the HX1 sees fit to pick it.
Backlit mode aside, in general both white balance and metering are very reliable, with almost all exposures appearing as one would want at capture. This is a relief, because one omission from the HX1 that youʼd like on a camera of this standard is the ability to capture Raw files, thus being able to have greater control over post-capture adjustment.
The LCD screen of the HX1 is ample and visually pleasing, though itʼs a disappointment that it only pivots around a horizontal axis. If youʼve ever used Olympusʼs free-angle LCD screen, which pivots vertically and horizontally, then you canʼt help but feel like youʼre missing something with solely horizontal control.
The 10fps capture claimed by Sony is excellent, though itʼs a shame that it only extends for one second. However, if there is a single instant in time youʼre looking to capture, then the HX1 is more than up to the job.