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Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the Sony Cyber-shot HX50 - the World's smallest 30x optical zoom compact camera features manual controls and flash hot-shoe.

| Sony Cyber-shot HX50 in Compact Cameras
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Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Preview: Sony Cyber Shot HX50 Hands On (1)

The Sony Cyber-shot HX50 is Sony's latest travel zoom camera, and is the World's first pocket zoom with 30x optical zoom lens, and 20 megapixel sensor. The camera also offers a flash hot-shoe Ni accessory port, manual controls and exposure compensation dial. Due to be released in the 1st week of May with an RRP of £350.

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Features

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Preview: Sony Cyber Shot HX50 Hands On (15)

Sony say that recent investment in lens technology has lead to them developing the new 50x optical zoom lens in the Sony Cyber-shot HX300; the World's thinnest 20x optical zoom lens compact in the Sony Cyber-shot WX300, and the World's smallest camera with 30x optical zoom lens, the Sony Cyber-shot HX50. They showed previous lens units as a comparison to the new more compact units - which Sony say are designed to be compact but also deliver high image quality. 

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Preview: Sony Cyber Shot HX50 Hands On (5)

The HX50 has been designed by a Sony European designer, Mirko Goetzen, and has been developed in response to the growing market for high zoom and advanced compact cameras. The styling is designed to give the most compact camera available (minimized gaps), while also giving the look and feel of a real camera. The sensor is the same as used in the Sony Cyber-shot HX300. The Sony Cyber-shot HX50 replaces the Sony Cyber-shot HX20.

Key Features

  • 20.4 megapixel Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24-720mm (Sony G Lens)
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilisation
  • Hot shoe with Ni port
  • P/A/S/M, Custom button
  • Memory recall mode (3 different setups)
  • Wi-Fi, smart remote control, send to smartphones, PC Backup, TV viewing
  • Picture effects, partial colour available on panoramics and video
  • Full HD Video, 50p, Stereo sound
  • ISO80 - ISO12800, above ISO3200 uses multi-shot NR
  • 400 shot battery life

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Handling

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Preview: Sony Cyber Shot HX50 Hands On (6)

We had a hands-on look at the new HX50, and found that the video record button seemed rather easy to accidentally press. The camera has a large front grip and smaller textured area at the rear, and when used with the electronic viewfinder it was easy to get a good steady grip of the camera, which was useful when using the full 30x optical zoom lens. Focus seemed quick and on screen information provided shutter and aperture speeds, with a warning when the camera thought there was a risk of camera shake.

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Preview: Sony Cyber Shot HX50 Hands On (11)
Sony Cyber Shot HX50 - Full optical zoom.

Unfortunately the HX50 does not feature RAW, but does feature full manual controls, as well as a hot-shoe which gives a number of options, including access to the Sony NEX and Alpha range of accessories, which include a number of flash options, video light, microphone, electronic viewfinder (TruFinder OLED EVF), as well as a fitted leather case.

Additional hands-on photos can be seen below. We will be posting our full review when production versions of this camera are available. Please note: the model shown here is a pre-production model with GPS, however the release model does not feature GPS.

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Sony Cyber-shot HX50 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/6.3
35mm equivalent24mm - 720mm
Optical Zoom30x
Image Sensor
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
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • 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
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS50p
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
Battery Life (CIPA rating)400shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsRechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, AC AdaptorAC-UB10/UB10C/UB10D, Micro USB cable, Shoe Cap, Instruction Manual

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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot HX50

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