The Sony Cyber-shot HX60 is this year's 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
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
|Shot to Shot without Flash
|Shot to Shot with Flash
|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
- 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
- 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.
Panoramic | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
- 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.
- 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
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
|VALUE FOR MONEY
Sony Cyber-shot HX60 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.5 - f/6.3|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 720mm|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||921,600 dots|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1600sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
- Scene modes
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 12800|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1, AC AdaptorAC-UB10/UB10C/UB10D, Micro USB cable, Shoe Cap, Instruction Manual|
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