Sony Cyber-shot HX99 Review - Performance

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Sony Cyber-shot HX99 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 DSC-HX99 Sample Photos

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 Lens test images

Camera Performance - In good light, the camera produces images with good levels of detail, and colour reproduction is good, with bright saturated colours. However, if you view images at 100% actual pixel size, then you will easily spot noise in darker areas, even when the camera is using the lowest ISO speed of ISO80. Images are softer at the telephoto end of the lens, and macro performance is reasonable, with the camera able to focus on subject 5cm away.

Portrait photos (indoors) taken with flash, tend to use a higher ISO speed, which results in softer images, so you may want to choose a lower ISO speed when shooting with flash. 

In low-light the camera increases the ISO speed to compensate, allowing a quicker shutter speed, however, noise reduces detail, and often you end up with a photo that looks smudged, with low levels of detail. Optical image stabilisation works well and helps to give sharp images, free from camera shake, even when using slower shutter speeds. 

Dynamic range recorded by the camera is better than many other cameras, thanks to DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) options, as well as Auto HDR options. Dynamic range - options include Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level 1-5), Auto High Dynamic Range: Off, Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1.0-6.0EV, 1.0EV step). Vignetting is well controlled, and chromatic aberrations were fairly rare unless shooting with trees or other dark objects against a bright sky. The camera is also quite resistant to flare. 

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Updated image processing has resulted in images with slightly higher noise levels than the previous camera, the HX90, and images also show slightly less sharpening. Noise becomes more noticeable at ISO800, and we'd recommend trying to use an ISO speed below this if possible. Detail drops at ISO1600, and more noticeably at ISO3200, so these ISO speeds are best avoided. Beyond ISO6400, you can use multi-frame noise reduction which combines a number of shots for reduced noise. 

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance gives a warm result under tungsten and mixed lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a similar result. If you want to capture whiter whites, then you'll need to use manual white balance. Under fluorescent lighting, the results show a slightly warm result, and there are a number of presets available that can help, although many of these give a strong colour cast. 

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a large number of digital filters available, some you may like, some you may not. Care needs to be taken to ensure you remember to switch the effect off when you've finished with it, otherwise you can accidentally end up with all of your photos looking like water paintings. 

Panorama mode - The automatic panoramic mode works reasonably well, producing a 15mp+ image, however, if you get the panning speed wrong, you can end up with a grey bar at the end of the image. 

 

Video - 4K UHD video is recorded at 25fps at 100mbps, and there's the option to record FullHD video at 100fps (again at 100mbps), for high frame rate video recording, or you can select more normal speeds. Optical image stabilisation helps to keep video stable, but for best results, a tripod is recommended. There are auto / manual audio options, with settings for wind filter and attenuator. Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel

 


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Comments


26 Mar 2019 12:25AM
The camera works well in low light at low ISO's. Of course that would require supporting the camera in some fashion. Carrying a tripod defeats the purpose, of course, for carrying a small camera. Creativity (or in my case, sometimes a beanbag) let's me figure out a way to stabilize the camera under less than optimal conditions.

When I do travel with my full-frame equipment, I often have a tripod with me. If I don't want to carry a huge telephoto lens, then I don't mind bringing along my own HX90v for times when I want a super-zoom lens.

The largest prints - metal prints - I've made with the HX90v are 8x12 inches. They look fine to me. Most of my photos, though, go online.

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