The DSC-HX1 uses an inverted L-shaped menu composed of icons and text, and it’s very easy to navigate. If you want to switch between the LCD screen and EVF, you press a small button to the right of the pop-up flash.
The continuous shooting system is good, but limited to just ten frames a time
You get the usual multi, centre and spot focusing, plus semi-manual and manual focus. The semi-manual mode lets you select a predefined distance and leave the camera to focus on that area – Sony says this is handy for times when you are repeatedly shooting a subject at the same distance. Manual focusing worked well and making slow, smooth adjustments to the zoom was not a problem.
In terms of performance, the DSC-HX1 offered a mix of excellent and disappointing results. Let’s start with the good ones. Picture quality was impressive, although noise creeps in around ISO 400. The continuous shooting system was superb; the only snags being that you are limited to ten frames and have to wait around 18 seconds for the data to be written to the card. That said, we were knocked out by the feature.
Sweep Panorama is great for any fan of panoramic shooting. Instead of having to do the usual, and take the first shot, wait for the camera to process the image and then carefully line up the next shot, you simply press the shutter and pan the camera, either horizontally or vertically.
An on-screen guidance bar tells you how far you are into the panoramic sweep, and when the camera is processing the images. You can select two panoramic modes: standard, which has a resolution of 4912 x 1920 when the camera is panned horizontally, and ultra wide, whose resolution is 7152 x 1080. We actually preferred the standard mode, which produces less distortion.
It's hard to return to conventional panoramic systems once you've used Sweep Panorama
Sweep Panorama isn’t perfect. First, the moving camera means that picture clarity is lower in this mode. Second, if you pan too quickly or too slowly, the system doesn’t always work, and if don’t do a complete sweep, the DSC-HX1 fills in any gaps with a grey block. Third, moving subjects can produce some odd picture effects. But we have to say, once you’ve used Sweep Panorama, going back to the standard panoramic systems is not easy.
You bought a bridge camera for the wrong reason. These and the better compact cameras are for people who do have real cameras but also like to have a second camera to carry with them 24/7.
And before spouting forth about the quality of something you bought a few years back take a look at this site. You can make direct comparisons of a wide range of cameras.
Yes there are differences but nothing that would justify carrying a full backpack of gear on the off chance of finding a not to be missed shot, nor in most cases such a great difference that it would jump out at you if you weren't looking for it.
Have you ever used the HX1? Well I have and the image quality is brilliant for its price range.
Sweep panorama is brilliantly simple to use and produce ready to use panaromic images without the need of clunky stitching programs. Twilight is even more brilliant as it produces blur-less, flash-free and almost noise-free images in low-light situation comparable to my £700 DSLR.
Read the review by Steve Huff and you will see what the fuss is all about.
Get over it.
@ Anonymous Coward
Nope I have not used the HX1. I was going from the sample shots in the review - which on my 20D would require 3200 ISO to compare to.
@Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
I honestly do not believe that you have used a DSLR if think that there is no difference in image quality.
I brought a bridge camera to save money on lenses, and for ease of carrying a few years back. The image quality was on par with the shots in this review, and even a bridge camera is cluncky to carry around.
Within a year I was that fed up of the artifacts in the images, even on 100 ISO, that I swapped for a second hand mid range DSLR. Yes I have spent far more money on professional quality lenses etc - but even friends that have the standard lenses (and have spent not that much more than these cost, and have a nice upgrade path for the future) produce shots with quality way in excess of the sample shots here.
If you want snap shots of your holidays then fine (but if that's the case why not get a cheaper compact that produces similar image quality), if you want something to produce nice phtographs with get a real camera - you won't regret it in the long term.