The camera’s optical SteadyShot system worked a treat and is just what you need when using a camera with such a long zoom. Smile Shutter has three sensitivity levels, including one that can detect a slight smile – it worked well in recognising smiles, but it’s not exactly fast-acting. The DRO system was more subtle than spectacular in its results.
Impressive picture quality, but the video performance could definitely be better
Not so impressive was Hand-Held Twilight mode, which is designed for shooting night scenes without a tripod. We compared it with the DSC-HX1 mounted on a tripod using the standard twilight setting. While Hand-Held Twilight produced a brighter image, the price paid was an increase in noise as the ISO speed is boosted to 3200 in this mode.
But the most disappointing aspect was the video performance. We expected some reduction in resolution, but that really wasn’t the problem. The bigger issue was judder, which made moving vehicles stutter along, as if the drivers were alternatively pressing the accelerator and brake pedals. We have seen better motion on cameras offering 24fps video, so this is puzzling, to say the least.
Apart from lacking a RAW image option and the less than Full HD video, the DSC-HX1 offers a pretty good spec. Features such as a powerful optical image stabilisation system, Sweep Panorama and a lightning fast continuous shooting mode are great to have. Video is fine if you’re taking shots of slow moving objects, but performance suffers if your subject is fast-moving. But overall, we liked the DSC-HX1 and if a super zoom compact is on your wish list, you might find that this camera offers the right set of features and performance for the price. ®
More Camera Reviews...
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
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Sony Cybershot DSC-HX1
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.