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Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300
Price: £399.99
Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Review - The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 has a 50x optical zoom lens and a 20.4 megapixel sensor. Daniel Bell reviews.

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Sony Cybershot Dsc Hx300 6

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.

Sony Cybershot Dsc Hx300 11

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Features

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.

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.

Sony Cybershot Dsc Hx300 12

Key Features

  • 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
Sony Cybershot Dsc Hx300 17

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Handling

The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 has a very similar look and feel to a DSLR. There is a substantial lens barrel and hand grip, with the latter rubberised. The lens barrel also has a manual focus ring with a button for switching between manual and auto focus. There is also an electronic viewfinder which is bright and clear.

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.

Sony Cybershot Dsc Hx300 18

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Sample Photos

Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 15.1 mm | ISO 80

Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 15.1 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Landscape | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80

Landscape | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Low Light | 0.8 sec | f/4.5 | 24.1 mm | ISO 100

Low Light | 0.8 sec | f/4.5 | 24.1 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Pet Portrait | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | 25.1 mm | ISO 80

Pet Portrait | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | 25.1 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Trees | 1/400 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80

Trees | 1/400 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Drive | 1/1000 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80

Drive | 1/1000 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res


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

Wide Angle | 1/800 sec | f/3.2 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Some Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.0 | 43.1 mm | ISO 80

Some Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.0 | 43.1 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Full Optical Zoom | 1/60 sec | f/6.3 | 214.8 mm | ISO 80

Full Optical Zoom | 1/60 sec | f/6.3 | 214.8 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Macro | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Macro | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Zoom Example | 1/250 sec | f/6.3 | 170.0 mm | ISO 320

Zoom Example | 1/250 sec | f/6.3 | 170.0 mm | ISO 320
High-Res

Zoom Macro | 1/400 sec | f/6.3 | 213.7 mm | ISO 80

Zoom Macro | 1/400 sec | f/6.3 | 213.7 mm | ISO 80
High-Res


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

1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 200

1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 200
High-Res

1/40 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 400

1/40 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 400
High-Res

1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 800

1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 1600

1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 3200

1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 3200
High-Res

1/640 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 6400

1/640 sec | f/5.6 | 12.2 mm | ISO 6400
High-Res

1/1000 sec | f/6.3 | 12.2 mm | ISO 12800

1/1000 sec | f/6.3 | 12.2 mm | ISO 12800
High-Res


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

AWB preset - incandescent lighiting | 1/13 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Incandescent 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
High-Res

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1 sec | f/5.6 | 6.4 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent preset 1 - 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
High-Res

Fluorescent preset 2 - 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
High-Res

Fluorescent preset 3 - 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
High-Res


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
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
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 - Off | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Picture Effect - HDR Painting | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Illustration | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Partial Colour | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Pop 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Rich Tone Monochrome | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Soft High Key | 0.5 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Toy Camera | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80

Picture Effect - Toy Camera | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Picture Effect - Watercolour | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80

Picture Effect - Watercolour | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Picture Effect - Miniature | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 10.3 mm | ISO 80

Picture Effect - Miniature | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 10.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Mode - Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80

Colour Mode - Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/4.0 | 22.3 mm | ISO 80
High-Res

Colour Mode - Retro | 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
High-Res

Colour Mode - Sepia | 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
High-Res

Colour Mode - Vivid | 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
High-Res


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 Money

The 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.

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Verdict

The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 is the most expensive 50x optical zoom camera on the market, you can save around £100 by purchasing the 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.

 
  The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 has quality in its features and image quality.

 

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Pros

50x optical zoom
Good image quality
Optical SteadyShot
Full 1080p HD video recording
DSLR style camera
10 fps continuous shooting
Decent battery life
Tilting screen

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Cons

No RAW shooting
Plastic body
Noise at ISO 3200, 6400 and 12800 is bad
We were unable to achieve the full 10 fps in continuous shooting

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Specifications

ManufacturerSony
Lens
Max Aperture f/2.8 - f/6.3
35mm equivalent 24mm - 1200mm
Optical Zoom 50x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 20.4Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 5184
Pixels (H) 3888
Sensor Type Exmor CMOS
Sensor Size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 921,000 dots
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 80 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 10fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 60
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
    Power Source
    Battery Type LITHIUM ION NP-BX1 3.6V
    CIPA Rating 310
    Box Contents
    Box Contents Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, Shoulder Strap, AC AdaptorAC-UB10, Lens Cap, Micro USB cable, Instruction Manual
    Dimensions
    Weight 650g
    Width 129.6mm
    Height 93.2mm
    Depth 103.2mm

    View Full Product Details



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    Comments

    adr44
    adr44  United States
    9 Oct 2013 - 1:59 AM

    I own the Sony HX300 and love it. The 50x and 100x clear zoom is amazing!Wink

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