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Sony H400 review - Hands on with the 63x zoom bridge camera

Seth Barton
12 Feb 2014
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Sony claims biggest zoom in world on new bridge camera

Sony's latest bridge camera, unveiled today, has the largest zoom factor yet. The HX400 has an incredible 63x optical zoom range, spanning 24.5mm to 1550mm (in 35mm equivalent terms). That's a huge range, and although we'd rather have something a little wider at the bottom end, it certainly been designed to please those who like to snap things a very long way away.

Sony H400

We tried shooting with the camera handheld at the preview event, held at the Globe theatre on London's Southbank. As you can see from the pics below the camera is capable of shooting a fairly wide landscape, and then zooming in to pick out individuals walking across the Millenium Footbridge in the middle of the shot.

Sony H400
Sony H400

The zoom range is impressive, though it'll test your ability to steady the camera to the extreme, note that these pictures are from a pre-production model

It's worth noting that despite our best efforts, and the camera's optical stabilisation system, this was the 'best' of numerous attempts to get this shot handheld. Without something to steady the camera upon, or better still a tripod, you'll really struggle to take shots at the full extent of the zoom range. The camera's also rather sluggish to react to the shutter button, which doesn't help when you're trying to hold the subject in shot using the tiniest of adjustments.

Sony H400

Despite its huge zoom range the camera itself isn't hugely bloated measuring a slighter deeper than usual 130x95x122mm. There's an EVF and a fixed LCD screen on the back, but neither did much to impress us and you with no sensor you need to manually switch between them. You get a mode dial, but other controls are fairly minimal.

Sony H400

So, despite its headline-grabbing zoom range the H400 is a very cost-conscious device and should be available from around £250. We'll bring you a full review when we get our hands on a finalised model.

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