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The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 was announced in February 2013 and has a 50x optical zoom lens and 20.4 megapixel sensor. It is available for £399.99.
When shooting there are Superior Auto (ideal for moving subjects) and Intelligent Auto modes which automatically adjust the camera settings for the detected scene. There are also a range of scene modes and full manual controls. iSweep panorama mode allows you to easily shoot 180° and 360° panoramas. You can take more creative pictures using the artistic picture effects available.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with optical zoom and SteadyShot available to keep your videos smooth.
- 20.4 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor
- 50x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-1200mm)
- Optical SteadyShot
- 3 inch 921k dot LCD screen
- Full manual controls
- Electronic viewfinder
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 80 - 12800
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- 10 fps continuous shooting
- Artistic picture effects
- iSweep panorama mode
On the top you'll find a mode dial sitting alongside the shutter release, zoom rocker and on / off, focus, custom, and finder / LCD buttons. The custom button can be set to AEL, white balance, metering mode and smile shutter. On the rear are movie record, playback, menu and ? buttons as well as a d-pad for cycling through the menus. The d-pad also gives access to display, flash, self-timer and photo creativity. There is also a wheel for adjusting shutter speeds and apertures.
Also on the rear is the 3 inch tiltable LCD screen. This is ideal for shooting with the camera held high or low down. It has a good resolution at 921k dots. The menu system is well laid out, it may take a little getting used to but is generally easy to use.
Battery life is rated at a respectable 310 shots according to CIPA test results. 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||0.05 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.175 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.2 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.2 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.9 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||3.1 secs|
|Continuous Shooting - Hi||6.8 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - Lo||2 fps|
The continuous shooting modes both record in full 20.4 megapixel resolution.
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Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 15.1 mm | ISO 80
Landscape | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Low Light | 0.8 sec | f/4.5 | 24.1 mm | ISO 100
Pet Portrait | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | 25.1 mm | ISO 80
Trees | 1/400 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Drive | 1/1000 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Sample Photos - Images are impressive, with good colour reproduction and are well exposed. Portraits have excellent skin tones and are free of red-eye. Landscapes have impressive blues and greens.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/800 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Some Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.0 | 43.1 mm | ISO 80
Full Optical Zoom | 1/60 sec | f/6.3 | 214.8 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Zoom Example | 1/250 sec | f/6.3 | 170.0 mm | ISO 320
Zoom Macro | 1/400 sec | f/6.3 | 213.7 mm | ISO 80
Lens Performance - Detail is fairly impressive at both ends of the lens. There is a little purple fringing and chromatic aberration in contrasting areas, but it's not too bad. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, this allows for impressive macro shots to be taken.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 ISO test images
1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 100
1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 200
1/40 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 400
1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 800
1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 1600
1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 3200
1/640 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 6400
1/1000 sec | f/6.3 | 12.2 mm | ISO 12800
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and remains so at ISO 200 and 400. There is enough noise to cause a little softening at ISO 800, which increases slightly at ISO 1600. Quite a substantial amount of detail is lost at ISO 3200, with image quality quite poor. You can also shoot at ISO 6400 and 12800, but image quality is terrible and these two settings are best avoided.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighiting | 1/13 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighiting | 1/13 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 1 - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 2 - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 3 - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent studio lights the auto white balance (AWB) performs well, taking a very similar image when compared to the incandescent preset. The AWB setting also performs well under the fluorescent lights, with colour casts appearing in all the images taken using the three fluorescent presets.
Standard Panorama | 1/1250 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Wide Panorama | 1/640 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Panorama mode - Panorama shots have a decent amount of detail and are well stitched together. You can shoot left, right, up and down with standard, wide, 360 and high resolution options available.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Digital filters
Picture Effect - Off | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - HDR Painting | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Illustration | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Partial Colour | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Pop Colour | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Rich Tone Monochrome | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Soft High Key | 0.5 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Toy Camera | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Watercolour | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Picture Effect - Miniature | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 10.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Mode - Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Mode - Retro | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Mode - Sepia | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Mode - Vivid | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
Digital Filters - The HX300 has a range of picture modes to help take creative pictures. There are also different colour modes to select from.
Video - Videos are recording in full 1080p HD. Quality is good and the Optical SteadyShot does a great job of keeping videos still. You can use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For MoneyThe Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 is available for £399.99. Other cameras with a 50x optical zoom lens are the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS at £359.00 and the newly released Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 which costs £299.99. The Nikon Coolpix P520 has 42x optical zoom and is expected to set you back around £350.00 and the Olympus SP-820UZ has 40x, available for £199.99.
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.
Fujifilm FinePix SL1000, so is the extra price justifiable? They share many of the same features, but the body has a little more quality to it and so have the pictures. Sony have managed to pack the 50x zoom lens into a much smaller body. This camera is ideal if you want the features of a DSLR, without the bulk of carry many lenses to achieve a similar focal range.
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The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 has quality in its features and image quality.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Pros50x optical zoom
Good image quality
Full 1080p HD video recording
DSLR style camera
10 fps continuous shooting
Decent battery life
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 ConsNo RAW shooting
Noise at ISO 3200, 6400 and 12800 is bad
We were unable to achieve the full 10 fps in continuous shooting
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/6.3|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 1200mm|
|CCD pixels||20.4Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Exmor CMOS|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||921,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 12800|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||LITHIUM ION NP-BX1 3.6V|
|Box Contents||Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, Shoulder Strap, AC AdaptorAC-UB10, Lens Cap, Micro USB cable, Instruction Manual|