Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review

We review the 16x pocket travel zoom from Sony, with built in GPS, high speed shooting and an 18.2 megapixel sensor.

| Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V in Compact Cameras

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: Sony Cybershot Hx10v Black

The Sony Cyber-shot HX10V is one of Sony's pocket travel zooms and features an 18.2 megapixel sensor, a 16x optical zoom lens, 3 inch screen and built in GPS. It updates the HX9v, and sits under the HX20v with its 20x optical zoom lens.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Features

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: Sony Cybershot Hx10v Black

The Sony Cybershot HX10V offers an 18.2 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, a sensor that is currently unique to Sony's cameras, with other manufacturers offering a more modest 16 megapixels. Available in Black, Red, Silver or White the camera features a high resolution 3 inch screen with 921k dots, as well as high speed continuous shooting, full HD video with stereo sound and quick AF.

The camera has a number of additional creative effects, as well as a background defocus mode designed to give the same appearance as photos taken on a Digital SLR. 3D and high resolution sweep panorama shooting are additional features.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: Sony Cybershot Hx10v Black

Key Features

  • 18.2 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
  • 16x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24mm - 384mm
  • Optical steadyshot image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 921k dot - High resolution view mode selectable or standard to save batter
  • GPS mode, with tracking, airplane mode
  • Full HD 1080i AVCHD / MP4 Video with stereo sound
  • ISO100 - 12800
  • 5cm macro mode
  • 10fps / 10shots continuous shooting
  • Blink warning
  • Built in guide
  • Black, Red, Silver, White

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Handling

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: Sony Cybershot Hx10v Black

Handling - The thickness of the camera makes it seem quite chunky compared to some of the more compact pocket zooms. However, the benefits of this are that the body feels very sturdy, and the larger than expected hand grip provides a good level of grip, especially when combined with the rubber thumb grip on the back of the camera. The rubber isn't as soft as some cameras, but it should be more durable as a result. The body is mostly metal, with a chrome effect surround on the top and left hand side, with a metal tripod mount. The battery and memory compartment is lockable with a latch, and although it is made out of plastic, the mechanism underneath is made out of a solid looking piece of metal. Another interesting feature of the camera is that it supports both Sony Memory Stick memory cards, as well as SD/SDHC/SDXC, although only one will fit in at a time.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: Sony Cybershot Hx10v Black

The buttons are slightly small, especially the smaller round buttons on the back of the camera, however they were generally easy to use once you familiarised yourself with the location. The screen outdoors works quite well and is still visible in bright sunlight. The flash pops out from the top when required and automatically retracts when the camera is switched off.

Menus – The Sony menus differ slightly from other cameras, instead of giving you quick access to a limited number of options, the menu button on the back of the camera gives you an overlay of options that can be quickly accessed, however it shows you all of the (photograph) settings available. To go deeper into the menu system, you need to access the setup menu. The setup menu options do have all the usual menus, such as shooting, main settings, memory card, and clock, however the idea is that you shouldn't need to enter these settings while taking photos.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: Sony Cybershot Hx10v Black

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 340 shots according to CIPA test results, we were able to take over 200 shots before the battery went flat with a lot of GPS use. As with other Sony digital cameras, it uses an infoLithium battery that tells you exactly how much battery life is.

Speed – We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced. The Sony website says the camera is capable of ultra fast focusing, even in dim lighting, with speeds as quick as 0.13s.

  Sony HX10v Panasonic TZ25
Shutter Response <0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.125 0.15
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.5 1.6
Shot to Shot (without flash) 1.0 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 4.5 1.2
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 10fps (10 shots) 10fps (4 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) N/A 2fps (5 shots, 3m)

Focus speed is very quick, as is shutter response. Focus at full optical zoom is also very quick which is good considering the camera has a 16x optical zoom lens. Shot to shot is reasonable although much slower with flash and the camera has 10fps high speed shooting mode at full resolution for 10 shots.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V 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 Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Detail can be good when the ISO settings are kept low, although the portrait shot above shows quite strong smoothing of detail, with some red-eye. The camera produces good images, with the lens providing a versatile zoom range.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Lens test images

Lens Performance - The camera produces well exposed images with bright pleasing colour reproduction. Very little barrel or pincushion distortion was noticed and the lens performs well at both wide or telephoto zoom. Dynamic range is reasonable, and can be extended by using one of the multi-shot HDR modes on the camera. Purple fringing is noticeable in areas of high contrast particularly in the shot of the trees above. Macro performance is good allowing you to take a photo with the subject just 5cm from the front of the lens - it's also possible to zoom in slightly to get closer.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The camera has ISO settings from 100 to 12800. At ISO6400 and above the camera takes 4 shots and combines them for a lower noise image. ISO100 images show the lowest amount of noise, with good colour. ISO200 shows a slight increase in noise. At ISO400 grain starts to appear in some of the darker colours. This grain increases at ISO800 and detail suffers. At ISO1600 detail suffers again but results should still be usable when resized or on the web. At ISO3200 detail is siginificantly reduced with the image appearing blurred. At ISO6400 and ISO12800 noise is controlled well, with good colour, but low detail, particularly at the highest setting. These settings could be used resized.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs quite well under tungsten lighting giving a warm result. The Tungsten preset gives a more neutral result. AWB performs much better under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta cast. Manual white balance is also available.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: London Panoramic | 1/100 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 125
London Panoramic | 1/100 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 125

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review: HR Panoramic | 1/320 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
HR Panoramic | 1/320 sec | f/3.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - The camera has three panoramic shooting modes, standard, wide and high-res panoramic. To take the photos you simply press the button and pan the camera around while the camera stitches it together instantly - stitching works well for landscapes, although struggles with moving subjects. To take high resolution panoramic images you hold the camera vertically and pan around to take a 10480 x 4096 image - this creates a large 42.9mp image, although completing the panoramic is more tricky than the normal panoramic modes, taking a few tries before getting a complete photo.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of picture effects: HDR Painting, Rich monochrome, Miniature, Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Part colour (Red/Green/Blue/Yellow), Soft High-Key, Watercolour, Illustration. Playback options / effects: Red-eye reduction, unsharp mask, watercolour, and illustration.

Video - The camera features full HD video with stereo sound and optical zoom. Sound options include wind filter and mic. ref. level (normal/low). There are also compression options including AVCHD 1080 50i / MP4 25p. The video quality is good with the camera featuring good optical image stabilisation and good focusing performance when using the zoom.

Value For Money

The Sony Cybershot HX10v is available for £250, pricing it close to some of the competitors, with the Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR available for £249 making it one of the cheapest GPS Travel Zooms available with 20x optical zoom lens, alternatives include the Canon Powershot SX260 HS (£269), Sony Cybershot HX20v (£299), Panasonic Lumix TZ30 (£275), and Nikon Coolpix S9300 (£199, 18x zoom). For less money there is also the Olympus SH-25MR (£189) with a 12.5x optical zoom lens. 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 DSC-HX10V Verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot HX10V is a compact 18 megapixel camera with full HD video, stereo sound, and built in GPS. If you don't mind that the camera has a 16x optical zoom lens, rather than the more common 18x or 20x zoom in this category, then this is a great camera, with an abundance of features. Image quality is good, with good colour and exposure. Handling is good with a solid metal body and rubber grip. The camera offers reasonable value for money with high speed shooting and quick focus speeds, with good video performance as well.

  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V GPS Travel Zoom Review:
  The Sony Cyber-shot HX10v has an abundance of features, and performs well.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Pros

Good build quality
Excellent panoramic modes
Reasonable noise performance 
10fps continuous shooting
High-res panoramic
Good macro mode
Very good video performance

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Cons

Occasional purple fringing
GPS use drains battery quickly
Detail suffers as ISO increases


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent24mm - 384mm
Optical Zoom16x
Image Sensor
Pixels18.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4896
Pixels (H)3672
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • Memory Stick (Sony)
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion NP-FG1
Battery Life (CIPA rating)340shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsAC Adapter, Lithium Ion Battery, Micro USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Camera

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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V

With your own handsTrailer queueYellow with red roseRed with yellow roseTravellersCreepers and the skyTransport action failedStairs and railingsScrap-ironComposition etudeCity treeWild rose flowersHeavy headSmokers' cornerCranes

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