The Sony Cybershot HX100v is the only ultra zoom camera with built in GPS, it features a large 30x optical zoom lens, a 3 inch tilting screen, and a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor capable of shooting at 10fps and recording full HD video.
Sony Cybershot HX100v Features
The Sony Cybershot HX100v features a 16.2 megapixel Exmor R Backlit CMOS sensor for high speed shooting at upto 10fps, and full HD video with stereo sound. The 30x opcial zoom lens zooms from 27mm wide angle all the way to 810mm telephoto, and features built in optical image stabilisation. Like the other Sony cameras, the HX7v and HX9v, the HX100v can shoot 3D photos, 3D panoramics, and large 42.9 megapixel panoramic shots.
On the back is a high resolution 3 inch screen that tilts up and down, as well as an electronic viewfinder with eye detection. To make the camera easy to use for beginners the camera features a mode called intelligent auto, as well as superior auto, both of these choosing the best settings for the best photos.
For the more advanced photographer the camera features full manual control, as well as a number of buttons and controls on the outside of the camera. Macro photography is possible with the the subject just 1cm away from the front of the camera. As well as all of the above, the camera also features built in GPS tagging which will automatically tag photos with the GPS location of where the photo is taken.
16.2 megapixel Exmor R Backlit CMOS sensor
Full HD AVCHD Video, Stereo sound
30x optical zoom lens
3D Stills and 3D Sweep Panoramas
High Resolution Sweep Panorama - shoot 42.9 megapixel panoramas
Electronic viewfinder with eye-detection and diopter adjustment
Memory Card Slot: MS Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC Compatible
Built in GPS
ISO100 - 3200
1cm Macro mode
Sony Cybershot HX100v Handling
With a large rubber grip and lens ring the camera is easy to keep a tight grip of, and the lens ring can be used for optical zoom or manual focus. On the back is a contoured thumb grip with raised bumps. Buttons on the top of the camera give quick and easy access to focus, zoom, finder/lcd, custom and the mode dial.
Menus - the menus are the same as other Sonys, and give very quick access to the most commonly used photographic controls, except with the ISO and options shown at the bottom of the screen controlled by the thumb wheel - unfortunately this isn't labelled or intuitive, and we had to look at the camera's built in help system to find out how to set the ISO. However, saying that, it's an extremely useful feature to have a guide built into the camera, and it sure beats having to resort to looking at it on the CD, in the box, in the cupboard.
Battery Life: The HX100v's battery life is rated at 330 shots according to Sony's website, we were able to take over 360 photos before the battery indicated less than 10 minutes left. Knowing how much battery life is left in so much detail is very useful, and it's a shame other manufacturers don't provide as reliable information.
Speed: We tested the Sony Cybershot HX100v, and tested the camera with the Sony Cybershot HX7v, and Olympus SZ30MR, both 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor cameras, taking 6 shots and using the average to ensure consistent results.
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
(full resolution, shots)
5fps (5), 20fps (70, 5mp)
Continuous Shooting (with flash)
Continuous Shooting (RAW)
Performance was very good, equal to smaller cameras from Sony, even with such a large zoom, the switch on time wasn't massively impacted. Focusing, shutter response, and continuous shooting are all excellent.
Sony Cybershot HX100v Performance
We've taken a number of sample photos in a variety of settings to show you the image quality produced by this camera, you can view them full size by clicking the "High-Res" link. Additional sample photos can be seen here in the equipment database, where you can add your own review.
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Sample Photos
Sample photos show good colour and detail. Portrait shots with flash came out well with very low red-eye, and good colour and detail, with the ISO setting kept low. The comment was that the flash is very bright.
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Lens test images
Some vignetting shows when using the full optical zoom but there is very little to no barrel or pincushion distortion even when specifically looking for it. Purple fringing is visible under extreme contrast, for example shooting trees with the sun or a very bright sky behind the subject. In other situations, and in more normal shooting conditions purple fringing doesn't seem to be a problem.
Macro - it's possible to get very close to the subject, using some zoom can get you even closer and being able to alter the focus manually can help, as well as the ability to shoot at 10fps.
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Scene modes
Scene modes: HDR shoots a number of images and combines them in camera. Under situations where there is a bright sky, the camera can ensure that detail is not lost or overexposed, and works really well, as you can see in the photos above.
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V ISO test images
ISO shots show low noise at ISO100 - 400 with grain appearing at ISO800. Noise is still quite low at ISO1600 however detail suffers. At ISO3200 noise dominates the image with detail lacking, and chroma noise is prominant, especially in greys and blacks. There are three options regarding noise reduction, Standard, Low and High.
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V White-balance test images
White Balance - Auto white balance in tungsten lighting is good but slightly warm, using the tungsten preset gives a cooler image. Auto white balance under fluorescent lighting is respectable, and using the preset is not necessarily needed, as this can give a magenta or yellow cast to the image. The camera has 3 fluorescent presets so that if auto white balance is struggling you can try the other ones. Manual white balance is also available.
Normal Panoramic - 1/1250 sec | f/2.8 | 4.8 mm | ISO 100
42.9 megapixel Panoramic - 1/500 sec | f/2.8 | 4.8 mm | ISO 100
There are a number of advanced panoramic modes available including an impressive 42.9 megapixel panoramic mode, producing a huge image. Using this mode can be tricky, and we struggled the most whilst trying to do this slowly and smoothly, and it seemed to work best when quickly panning the camera around.
Options include: AVC HD 28M (PS) 1920x1080 50p, AVC HD 24M (FX) 1920x1080 50i, AVC HD 17M (FH) 1920x1080 50i, AVC HD 9M (HQ) 1440x1080(50i), and in MP4 the following options are available: MP4 12M 1080 (1440x1080), MP4 6M 720 (1280x720), and MP4 3M VGA. Wind reduction is available as well as optical image stabilisation, and optical zoom. Video quality was very good, with good focus even when using full optical zoom.
The Sony Cybershot HX100v has a high price, yet justifies that with a camera packed with advanced and useful features, including 10fps continuous shooting, backlight HDR mode, 42.9 megapixel panoramic mode, manual controls, GPS, and full HD video with stereo sound. As well as this there is a high resolution tilting screen, electronic viewfinder with eye-detection and a well built body with rubber hand grip.
All of this would be mute if it wasn't backed up by images to match, and thankfully the Sony Cybershot HX100v produces the goods, with a brilliant 30x optical zoom lens. It's not only capable of producing great images from wide angle all the way to telephoto, but it also produces excellent macro photos with great detail and colour. With a back lit CMOS sensor noise is very low right up to ISO800/ISO1600 and video quality is equally excellent.
The electronic viewfinder is a little small, but of a high quality and useful in bright sunlight. Battery life is very good, offering over 330 shots, and the built in manual is extremely useful. The Sony Cybershot HX100v is without doubt the most feature packed ultra zoom available, and produces image quality to match. Highly Recommended!
The Sony Cybershot HX100v is without doubt the most feature packed ultra zoom available. Highly Recommended!
Sony Cybershot HX100v Pros
Excellent macro performance
Eye detection EVF
Build in guide / manual
High speed shooting - 10fps
Excellent 30x optical zoom lens
3inch tilting screen
Excellent video quality
42.9 megapixel panoramas
Sony Cybershot HX100v Cons
Difficult to set full zoom, skips between 23x - 26x for example