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Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £410
inc VAT

Packed with features and excels for video, but photo quality isn't in line with the price


1/2.3in 18.0-megapixel sensor, 30.0x zoom (27-810mm equivalent), 583g

The HX200V is a beast of a camera. It’s bristling with big numbers and impressive features, including an 18-megapixel sensor, 30x zoom, articulated 3in screen, electronic viewfinder and GPS. Even the cardboard box is a force to reckoned with, with serrated edges that can slice through human flesh.

Thankfully, the camera itself is much gentler on the hands. The substantial handgrip and contoured back plate are a snug fit, and the shutter button and command dial fall neatly under the thumb and forefinger. The sharp, bright screen tilts up and down rather than around to the side, but with it tilted up at 45 degrees and the left hand controlling the zoom with the lens ring, this camera is really satisfying to use.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V

The viewfinder is a let-down, though. Its 201,600-dot resolution is considerably courser than the LCD screen’s 921,600 dots, and the view is quite small. We’d have preferred for Sony to bump up the price to include the fantastic 2.4-million dot viewfinder that graces the Sony NEX-7, or do without one altogether. We’d also have liked an accessory shoe for flashguns and off-camera flash systems.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V

In-camera GPS functions can be undermined by the slow time it takes to get a lock after switching on. Sony gets around this with a log function, which keeps a constant record of the camera’s position, even when the camera is switched off. It’s sensibly limited to a 24-hour period to avoid draining the battery, and it has the added benefit of creating a log file to see the route you travelled. This generates a huge amount of data, recording its coordinates every few seconds whereas other cameras only do so every couple of minutes. However, accuracy was often out by around 100 feet, so the plotted route at looked like it was for a hyperactive dog. The same route as recorded by the Fujifilm Finepix F770EXR was less detailed but ultimately more accurate.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V

There’s no shortage of advanced photographic functions, with the camera capturing multiple exposures to reduce noise, create panoramas and capture scenes in 3D. Sony has provided these functions for years, and although its competitors are catching up, it still leads the way. Its Anti Motion Blur mode combines exposures to reduce noise but uses clever processing to avoid ghosting in moving subjects. It’s used automatically in low light when Superior Auto is selected on the mode dial.

Priority and manual exposure are available too, and cycling through the exposure-related controls is a simple matter of pushing and turning the command dial. It’s a good system once you’ve found it – we spent a while searching in vain for the ISO speed control in the menu. A dedicated Focus button makes it quick to reposition the autofocus point. There’s a custom button that’s set to AE lock by default, but can be reconfigured to one of four other functions. Autofocus is responsive, and 1.2 seconds on average between shots is a fine achievement. Continuous shooting is at 10fps or 2fps, but only lasts for 10 frames before taking a seven-second breather.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 18.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder electronic (201,600 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 921,600 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 30.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 27-810mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,896×3,672
File formats JPEG, MPO; AVCHD, MP4 (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC, Memory Stick Pro HG Duo
Mermory supplied 105MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 450 shots
Connectivity USB, mini HDMI, DC in
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 583g
Size 87x122x105mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £410

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture range f/2.8-8 (wide), f/5.6-8 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 7 presets with fine tuning, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, ND filter
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, flexible spot, centre, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, face detect, smile detect, 3D, panorama

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