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Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Review

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Review - We review the travel zoom Sony Cyber-shot HX60, which features a 30x optical zoom lens and built in Wi-Fi.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Sony Cyber-shot HX60
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60 Black (2)

The Sony Cyber-shot HX60 is this years update to the HX50, and features a new BOINZ X image processor for improved image quality, as well as improved speed. The HX60 features the same 30x optical zoom lens in a compact and pocketable camera, with a built in pop up flash and hot-shoe accessory port. The Sony Cyber-shot HX60 is available in two flavours, as the HX60 without GPS, or the HX60V with GPS.

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Features

Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60 Black (3)

The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX60 has a 20.4 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and 30x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-720mm. The zoom can be doubled to 60x using Clear Image Zoom.

The newly developed BIONZ X processor is said to be three times faster than its predecessor, and also gives powerful detail reproduction technology and area-specific noise reduction.

Optical SteadyShot has been updated to include 5-axis Intelligent Active Mode for improved stills and video stabilisation. The camera will also give 4K still image output via HDMI to a compatible TV. NFC has been added, to make Wi-Fi connections easier to setup, and the camera now has a PlayMemories Camera Apps section so you can add additional features to the camera by downloading them over Wi-Fi.

The Multi Interface Shoe allows you to add a flash, electronic viewfinder or an external microphone. Shooting modes include Superior Auto and Intelligent Auto, this adjust the camera settings automatically for the detected scene, with Superior Auto ideal for moving subjects. There are a range of scene modes to choose from as well as full manual controls. Other modes include Intelligent Sweep Panorama and artistic effects which includes toy camera, partial colour and HDR painting.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60 Black (4)

Key Features

  • 20.4 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-720mm
  • Optical SteadyShot
  • 3inch, 921k dot screen
  • Manual controls
  • Exposure compensation dial
  • Wi-Fi and NFC built in
  • Full HD video recording with stereo sound
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • Intelligent sweep panorama
  • GPS built-in with the HX60V model

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Handling

Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60 Black (5)

The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX60 is a chunky and quite heavy compact camera, but it can be forgiven as it does have the large 30x optical zoom lens. You could carry it in your pocket, but a small bag may be better. It has a good rubber grip on the front with a rubberised patch on the rear for your thumb.

On the top of the camera is a mode dial, an exposure compensation dial, zoom rocker, shutter release and on / off button. On the rear are movie record, playback, menu, delete and function buttons. The function button brings up an on screen set of functions. Also on the rear is a rotating dial for cycling through the menus and changing the aperture / shutter speed. Just above the screen is a button which activates the pop-up flash.

The menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate. The 3.0 inch LCD has a good 921k dot resolution and is viewable in all lighting conditions, although in bright sunshine you will benefit from increasing the screen brightness. The screen is bright and colourful, excellent for viewing you pictures.

To use the Wi-Fi you need to install the free PlayMemories app onto your smartphone or tablet. Pairing the devices and using the app is easy. You can transfer images and videos, as well as use the app to capture them as well. You can control the zoom and set a self-timer with the app.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60 Black (1)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 380 shots according to Sony / CIPA test results, which is good for compact camera, although extended use of Wi-Fi (and GPS on the HX60V) is likely to reduce the number of shots possible. 

Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60 Black (6)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.6secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.9secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.3secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.2secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before stopping)
8fps (10 shots)

Focus and shutter response are both very quick, although the focus speed slows when using the full optical zoom lens. Switch on time is reasonable, as is shot to shot time. We were able to shoot at 8fps for 10 shots. 

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Photos are well exposed with very pleasing colour reproduction. Portraits have very good skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. 

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Images have a good amount of detail at both ends of the lens, particularly in the centre of the frame, but there are signs of some purple fringing and chromatic aberration. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, which allows for a detailed macro shot. Areas with a lot of detail, such as grass can look a little smudged at times. Distortion is very well controlled by the camera with very little barrel and pincushion distortion visible in images, even when photographing straight lines. 

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO80 to ISO200, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO400 to ISO800 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO1600 and ISO3200 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO6400 and above is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is very low.

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well with a slightly warm result under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a very similar result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta colour cast. For the most accurate results, custom white balance is recommended.

Sony Cyber Shot HX60 Panoramic DSC00435 | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Panoramic | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80

Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good, and well stitched together, although the high-resolution panoramic feature of the HX50 is no longer available.

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Outdoor images


Dynamic Range Optimisation (DRO) takes one photo and adjusts the levels to bring out more detail in shadow areas. High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode takes three photos at different exposures and automatically combines them in camera to produce images with extended dynamic range.  DRO can be set to auto or Level 1 to 5 depending on how strong you want the effect to be. Similarly HDR can be set to auto or EV1 to 6 giving you control over the effect.

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of picture effects available, as shown above, letting you be more creative with your shots. 

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD and the quality is good, with the camera recording stereo sound. The optical zoom is available during recording, and the optical image stabilisation does a good job keeping the image steady.


Value For Money

The Sony Cyber-shot HX60 is available for around £305 which makes it reasonable value for money, particularly up against the following cameras:

Nikon Coolpix S9700, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, GPS, £229
Panasonic Lumix TZ60, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, GPS, EVF, £339
Canon Powershot SX700 HS, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, no built in GPS, £269

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Verdict

The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX60 is an update to the HX50 and has the same 30x optical zoom. Despite being pocketable it is a little on the bulky side and fairly heavy. There are other features that make it ideal as a travel camera - built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and good battery life. You can also shoot full resolution images at 8fps. There's no Raw shooting, although there are full manual controls, as well as a flash hot-shoe and accessory port. Image quality is good, with excellent colour reproduction, although noise reduces image quality significantly from ISO 3200 upwards. We are happy to recommend the Sony Cybershot DSC-HX60.


 
 
  The Sony Cyber-shot HX60 gives a large 30x optical zoom lens, along with manual controls and flash hot-shoe making it a capable and expandable camera.
 

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Pros

30x optical zoom lens
Flash hot-shoe accessory port
8fps continuous shooting
Manual controls
Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
Good image colour
PlayMemories Apps adds features

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Cons

No raw shooting
Detail lost as ISO increased
Loses high resolution panoramic mode of HX50

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Specifications

ManufacturerSony
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/6.3
35mm equivalent24mm - 720mm
Optical Zoom30x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels20.4Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5184
Pixels (H)3888
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921,600 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
Video FPS50p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • Memory Stick
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
CIPA Rating400
Box Contents
Box ContentsRechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, AC AdaptorAC-UB10/UB10C/UB10D, Micro USB cable, Shoe Cap, Instruction Manual
Dimensions
Weight272g
Width108.1mm
Height63.6mm
Depth38.3mm

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Comments


Amazingly huge disappointment is the capacity of the Sony battery NP-BX1. Didn't even last 60 minutes of filming @ 50p. NO GPS n.b.
I sure hope the replacements out there are better! 1240 mAh isn't nearly enough. They need to above 1800 mAh, at least.
Or maybe the included just is a lemon? I'll try a replacement battery now (alas rated @ "only" 1250 mAh) and see.

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