A not-exactly pocketable point-and-shoot with a huge zoom.
1 November 2013
Conclusion: Now that smartphones are starting to pull the rug out from under the low end of the point-and-shoot market, camera companies have to make a strong argument for spending hundreds of dollars more on their point and shoot cameras. To that end, Sony has debuted some interesting consumer options this year, and the HX50V belongs in that impressive lineup—it's a good camera. For all the camera's faults, it's almost unheard-of to find such a monster zoom on such a tiny camera.
Summary: There's Wi-Fi (so you can instantly send your photos or use your smartphone as a remote control), GPS tracking, 3D and 360 panorama, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Hand-Held Twilight, Anti-motion Blur and Backlight Correction HDR. Special effects like Miniature and Watercolor are present and accounted for, too.
Pros: 30x zoom -- biggest of any camera this size, Very good photos and video, Full manual controls and a hot shoe, Loaded with features, Solid, upscale build quality
Excerpt: Following the tradition of this category’s winner from the 2012-2013 EISA awards, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20, the HX50 is the world’s smallest compact camera with a 30x zoom lens - stretching the limits of the compact zoom segment even more. Equipped with a Sony G-class lens, the DSC-HX50 offers a great balance of worry-free point-and-shoot photography and high-level manual control and customisation.
Excerpt: At the time of launch the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX50V is the smallest compact camera with a 30x zoom lens. This Sony G lens has an equivalent focal length of 24-720mm, making it enormously versatile and ideal for sightseers and travelling photographers.
Summary: Although the Sony HX50 is an enjoyable camera to use and it produces images that look good at normal viewing sizes, they don’t stand up well to close scrutiny. Sony has achieved a lot with the Cyber-Shot HX50V, but many photographers are likely to be disappointed by the images under close scrutiny.
Pros: The 30x optical zoom range makes the Sony HX50 very versatile and particularly well suited to shooting distant details.
Cons: We found the AF system pretty sluggish in low light. Many photographers are likely to be put off by the lack of detail and texture visible at high magnifications even if they only use images at normal viewing sizes.
Excerpt: I’ve had lots of experience with these mega zoom cameras: some enjoyable, some not so much. If you’re new to the field, approach them with caution: the zoom range is appealing, impressive and somewhat frustrating. For one, you simply cannot use them handheld at the full tele end: at best, use a tripod; at worst, lean them on something substantial, like a fence or a wall. If you’re crazy enough to want to shoot video with the zoom working mid shot … practice, practice.
Summary: The Sony HX50V is the worlds smallest, lightest camera with a 30x optical zoom. It packs a lens with a 35mm equivalent range of 24 - 720mm into a compact camera that is just about pocketable. The main attraction of a compact super-zoom is it's zoom range and the HX50V gives you more
than any other camera without compromising on compactness and portability.
Pros: Huge 30x 24-720mm equivalent zoom range., Excellent image stabilisation., Hot shoe with accessory port for EVF., Excellent 400 shot battery life., Full PASM modes and Exposure compensation dial., Built-in wifi and GPS (GPS on HX50V only).
Cons: Wifi difficult to setup and limited in use., Screen hard to see in bright conditions., Limited customisation options., Miniature effect not available for movies.
Conclusion: There’s no denying how impressive the combination of a large 30x zoom and compact body is, but its photos are adequate rather than spectacular. It’s a decent camera, but only if you really need its long zoom.
Excerpt: Bigger zooms, smaller bodies: the compact camera market continues to evolve and Sony thinks it has the winning travel zoom formula in the shape of the Cyber-shot HX50. With a 30x optical zoom crammed into a relatively compact body, the HX50 is like a condensed superzoom camera. Does that make for the ideal compact - that dream camera that the masses will latch onto - or is its wide-ranging zoom lens and high-resolution 20.4-megapixel sensor combination simply trying to...
Pros: Massive zoom in relatively small body, decent optical image stabilisation, hotshoe means accessories can be added, Wi-Fi implementation fairly faff-free, great battery life
Cons: Image quality is trying to do too much - even low ISO shots suffer from excessive processing artefacts, no raw capture, a little chunky, no touchscreen, where's NFC?