193 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant camera
As a Panasonic owner (TZ3) for several years now, I was thrilled to put my hands on the new TZ20 as it just hit the markets. Although this is a brilliant camera from many aspects there was one aspect that made me return it to Amazon - terrible image quality above ISO 100. This brought me back to the market in a search for a better camera. First I checked the Nikon S9100...
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by Zivos
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good camera, but not great
Had this camera for 3 months now, so here is my review.
+ Nice tones on the pictures
+ Has manual mode
+ Massive zoom for the size of camera (that works well)
+ Auto mode works well in most situations
+ Panoramic works reasonably well - it works, but if you are not using a tripod, you can get jagged edges where it joins the pictures
Published 23 months ago by Harvey Hanson
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193 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant camera,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX9VB Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera - Black (16.2MP, 16x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)As a Panasonic owner (TZ3) for several years now, I was thrilled to put my hands on the new TZ20 as it just hit the markets. Although this is a brilliant camera from many aspects there was one aspect that made me return it to Amazon - terrible image quality above ISO 100. This brought me back to the market in a search for a better camera. First I checked the Nikon S9100. that was not much better than the Panasonic in terms of Image quality and inferior in all other aspects - so this one went back as well.
Then I've put my hands on the Sony HX9 and never looked back ... Superior to the other two in all aspects but one - Macro photography that seems a bit fiddly and although both the Sony and the Panasonic are sharing the same minimal focal length of 24mm, the Panasonic was able to focus on objects a bit closer than the Sony - disappointing but not a showbreaker for me.
The Sony HD video is very impressive and better than the Panasonic. Image quality in very good in versatile scenarios - be it a cloudy day, evening or indoors the Sony produces impressive image quality comparing to its competitors. For example, I've took it to the Summer Solstice in Stonehenge this week and was able to take crisp image in first light without using a flash - hats off for Sony. I was also very impressed by the Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature - very useful when trying to capture landscape or big crowds in the landscape (Stonehenge again ...). The battery life is better than the other two cameras and I rarely need to use the spare battery although putting the camera into hard work (videos and still images).
Although a bit pricy comparing to the competition this camera worth the extra pounds as its quality is close to DSLR. I've fallen after this little gem over the last several weeks and would recommend it to everyone which is in the market - the extra pounds will save you the buckets of tears over image quality produced by current direct competitors.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite digital camera so far!,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX9VB Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera - Black (16.2MP, 16x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
The Sony DSCHX9VB is one camera not to be messed with, if you are looking for a solidly built camera that not only looks great, but also offers extreme comfort and grip when holding it, as well as being able to take wonderful pictures, zoom in up to 16x optical and even record Full 1080p video with the ability to zoom in and out whilst recording, then look no further!
This camera whilst being the average size of compact cameras these days, has a slightly bulky feel to it, but I don't mean this in a bad way, the slight bulk actually makes it really easy for me to hold it and with the addition of the side having grip for your fingers and a little grip tab on the back for your thumb really adds to the comfort in using this camera.
Before I go into any more detail I would like to suggest some accessories that you may want to get with this camera, an SDHC is pretty much a must, but the others are optional.
There are many different SDHC cards out their with different classes, quality and brands, from personal experience I would recommend one of the following:
If you're wanting quality over quantity, then I suggest getting the Panasonic 4GB Class 10 SDHC Card (up to 22MB/s - Gold Line), it is expensive, however it boasts a good
transfer speed as well as it's really well built, so far I haven't had any files being corrupted when using this card. With this card, you can store around 750+ photos on full 16MP settings.
For quantity over quality, then I would suggest getting Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card, for the same price as the previous card mentioned, you are getting four times the amount of memory, letting you take well over 2000 photos, that said I have had a few times when one or two photos have corrupted on previous cameras, it happens very rarely though and it's never ceased working.
Another thing not supplied with this camera is a specific HDMI cable which is needed IF you want to connect your camera to a TV, this can be bought: HDMI lead for Sony DSC-HX9V Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Gold Plated - High Definition Cable - AAA Products - 12 Month Warranty, if you don't think you will use it for this purpose, then don't worry about getting it.
If you plan on going to a big event or holiday where you may not have the chance to charge the battery at times, it may be a good choice to get an extra battery, unlike other brands, you can
actually buy a spare battery for this camera for a really decent price: Sony NP-FG1 Rechargeable Battery.
To protect your camera, you will need to get a case, now I must state that I have a camera case for this camera which isn't available for Amazon, so I apologise for not being able to recommend
that specific case, however after looking around it seems that SONY LCS-CSQ PHOTO BAG SW may be a good option.
NAVIGATION & SETTINGS
Navigating through the camera was surprisingly easy, for those who really struggle at cameras you will be pleased to know that there is an "EASY" mode which can be located by pressing the "MENU" button which can be located on the back of the camera to the right-hand side of the screen, this mode increases the font size and simplifies the menu for basic use.
I would like to note that this camera doesn't actually have a manual macro mode, I would recommend being on one of the intelligent auto modes as it detects macro rather well and have had no
problems with close up shots.
The different modes available are:
1) Intelligent Auto: Camera will automatically find the best settings in which would suit the picture to it's best. You can adjust exposure settings manually.
2) Superior Auto: Sharper images with reduced blur and noise with automatic settings.
3) Program Auto: Auto exposure with adjustable settings.
4) Manual Exposure Shooting: Manually set shutter speed and aperture value.
5) Memory Recall Mode: Recalls registered settings and resumes shooting.
6) iSweep Panorama: Three settings to choose from; "Standard", "Wide", and "High-Resolution". Click the shutter and pan in the appropriate direction to get a panoramic image.
7) Movie Mode: Record mode with adjustable settings, you need to press the record button to start recording rather than using the shutter button.
8) 3D Shooting: Choose from three different settings; "3D Still Image", "3D Sweep Panorama" & "Sweep Multi Angle", these can all be viewed on a 3D TV.
9) Scene Selection: When should you feel like the intelligent auto may not get the best results for a certain scenario, you can use a scene setting to get the most out of your photos!
Scene modes are as followed: "Soft Skin", "Soft Snap", "Anti Motion blur", "Landscape", "Backlight Correction HDR", "Twilight Portrait", "Twilight", "Hand-held Twilight", "High Sensitivity", "Gourmet", "Pet", "Beach", "Snow", "Fireworks" & "Advanced Sports Shooting".
So far I have had great picture results and am very happy with the outcome, however there is one issue I would like to mention that I have had with this camera, and that is the screen seems like is only above normal in contrast, this can make SOME (not all) photos look a bit different to what they do by the eye, but be assured that when uploaded to the PC, they are displayed in the correct colour they should be.
I have two examples of this scenario:
1) I took a picture of my friend outside and inside, he has blonde hair, but the picture of him inside looked slightly ginger (on camera screen only), when I displayed them on my PC however, the picture was perfect in colour, the way it should have been.
2) I took a picture of a poster (indoors) that was orange, yet on the camera screen, the colours seemed more enhanced, this was also displayed with correct colour when I had them on my PC.
As stated this is a slight issue with the screen only and will not effect the actual colour of the picture file.
I can't find any option to adjust the screen colour balance, but that doesn't mean it may not be implemented in an update sometime in the future, this was the only niggle about the camera, but in most cases you don't notice it at all.
Overall I believe that this camera is well worth the extra money and to date is the best camera I've had, however that said I know some people may have different budgets.
In the recent year I have owned a few cameras, if you're on a strict budget, then I would suggest going for the Panasonic Lumix FS35 Digital Camera - Black (16.1MP, 8x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD, this camera is still one of my favourites, however it can't zoom whilst recording (720p) and has half the optical zoom, that said it delivers quality photo's for a bargain price.
If you can afford to go the extra mile, I would recommend getting Sony DSCHX9VB Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera - Black (16.2MP, 16x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD, it's more solidly built, the zoom and features are fantastic as well as the ability to zoom in and out whilst recording in Full 1080p really makes this camera worth the money.
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony hx9v,
This review is from: Sony DSCHX9VB Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera - Black (16.2MP, 16x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)I come from a professional background in photography. I purchased this camera after spending hours checking image quality etc. Ok my thoughts and findings. Its not the very best in image quality but so close the average person will not notice the difference. It will produce excellent quality prints up to approx 20inch by 16inch prints. the video recoerding part of the camera is second to none in its field, It is after all not a dedecated video camera. The Pan sweep is very clever and will give hours of pleasure and is excellent. I find the camera small but pleasent to handle. Im delighted with it. As I am now 70 years young and find it so easy to carry around, after spending many years carrying a 1/2 plate camera and tripod weighing in at approx 50lbs, from my early days. Its a great little camera I reccomend it.
134 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem,
A Canon G7 was my preferred camera for a couple of years and when I broke it, the G9 followed. I yearned for something smaller but something with as many options as the G series. They didn't exist (for me) and so, after trying a Panasonic LX3 (I realised I am a point-and-shoot photographer) opted for the Panasonic TZ7. One of the attributes I loved was the HD movie mode which, at 720p, was exceptional.
Then Sony brought out the HX9V!
For me, it is A Little Gem... you WILL be blown away by its HD movie (1080p/1920x1080 at 50fps!) with superb image stabilisation to cope with its 16x zoom and good stereo sound as well.
Superior Auto is also a delight - in difficult situations it will take multiple images and overlay them, even making 3200 ISO useable up to 10x8" prints. Then there is Background Defocus (the subject is sharp but all else is blurred), iPanorama where you opt which way you want to move the camera, press the shutter and swing and voila... HD panoramic pictures laced together in-camera!
You can review images simply by pressing the playback button (from camera off) after which a press of the shutter release immediately takes you to shoot mode.
The grip is good - rubber with tiny pimples which allow one-handedness with ease. In fact one-handed is almost an essential because when the camera decides it needs flash it pops up under your L index finger!
There are plenty of Scene modes but one of the most outstanding is Handheld Twighlight which again uses multiple overlaid images thus making high ISO acceptable.
OK, there must be some downsides... 16Mpx means there IS smearing of detail, but at normal viewing (on a 32" HD TV for me) you will not see it. There isn't much software capable of editing 1080p (yet). The pop up flash. Still image stabilisation needs the same Active mode that movies get. You WILL need a spare battery, especially if you use the GPS (which eats them) - I am getting less than 200 shots+reviews+movies per charge, and because it charges the battery in-camera, an external charger would be preferred. Movies are limited to 29 minutes but that is a European tax thing and not the camera's fault!
I have had it for just 5 days and so haven't yet finished learning about it but already I can say, a great camera - 5 out of 5 for me.
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improvement over the previous HX5,
The HX9V's 16x zoom is excellent and gives you more reach than the previous 10x. The video quality is the main reason I bought both cameras, and I can say video is certainly improved from the already excellent quality of the HX5. In the HX9V the bit-rate for 1080i has increased to 24Mbit/s and there is a new top quality setting of 50 frames per second progressive at 28Mbit/s (nice for slow motion editing!). The annoying barrel distortion has been fixed and straight vertical lines are no longer curved like a fish-eye lens. The low-light quality is vastly improved, with the HX9V outputing clearer less noisy video and is able to focus more easily in dark scenes.
The LCD screen is a much higher sharper resolution and the battery compartment cover feels like it now belongs on a premium price camera. The HX9V has a a centrally mounted tripod socket and built in mini-HDMI port so no more adaptors!
The zoom is even more quiet during video and I can't hear any motor noise in my recordings, whereas in the HX5 you could hear slight whirring in silent indoor footage. Although the zoom lever has 2 speeds, the difference isn't huge (very fast and not so fast), but still welcome all the same. One thing to note, when zooming quickly from one extreme to the other (e.g. full widescreen to telephoto or vice versa) the lens does bounce/jog at one or two points due to the extended zoom mechanism design.
The audio has improved a lot too and sound less tinny than the HX5. Sony have moved the mic to the centre away from the finger-prone edge and have added a 'wind filter' option in the video menu for shooting outdoors in turbulent conditions. This works well to cut-off the annoying wind sounds, but also slightly dampens other sounds too, but overall better than having your footage ruined by overwhelming wind static.
Sony has the best image stabilisation around, and it is unbelieveable how smooth the 'Active Mode' steadyshot makes your videos when walking around or zoomed out at 16x zoom. It's even better than before, which I didn't think would be possible to improve. The image stabilisation works great for still shots too especially when shooting in low-light or using the multiple-image stack modes such as handheld twilight, HDR, Auto bracket or background de-focus.
Sony has added nifty scenes modes in video mode this time, as well as focus tracking, face detection and auto-scene detection (which automatically adjusts for things like backlit scenes, action, walking, macro). This camera is even more like a camcorder than the last one.
Unfortunately you can't change the white balance in video mode, and sometimes it can look a bit cold occasionally, but the auto WB definitely works better than it does in photo mode, which just turns everthing orange and I constantly use custom WB for still pictures.
This brings me on to the photo capabilities: Due to 16 megapixels being squeezed on to the small sensor, the still images can be soft but are ok for screen output or small prints. The background de-focus has improved and works better than previous models and the higher resolution panoramic sweep is awesome. Manual focus is a welcome addition and allows for great shots through glass.
Negatives: The movie button is slow to respond. Sometimes up to 2 seconds. If you're in a another mode on the dial and you hit the movie record button you can be confused thinking it hasn't activated and you will press again (but actually you've now deactivated it!).
I don't like the annoying pop-up flash and its postion on the camera edge. If you've left the flash in Auto or On mode it can pop up unexpectantly in low-light but be blocked halfway up it's path by your finger. I prefer natural light photography anyway so to prevent the flash coming up I tend to set the flash to 'off' (also available in full auto intelligent mode) - the camera will remember this setting even after you've switched it off or changed modes - and only switch on when required.
The manual says you can manually push the flash down if it does activate and pop up so the gear mechanism shouldn't be affected should you happen to occasionally block the flash coming up.
Compared to the HX5, this camera is heavy. And thick. I had to buy a new case because the one I used on the HX5 won't fit. Fortunately it uses the same batteries as the HX5 so I was able to use my extras from before.
Also be aware that Sony expect you to charge the battery in-camera by attaching a mains lead to the base of the camera. It does not include a wall-charger!! Fortunately I can use the charger from the HX5 but this is poor after you've spent so much on this camera to find they can't be bothered to include a separate external charger.
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good camera, highly recomended!,
+ wide 16x optical zoom (35 mm equivalent: 24 - 384 mm)
+ good optical image stabilisation even for handheld shooting
+ nice images even by 16.2 mega pixels resolution
+ good in poor lighting conditions (thanks to CMOS sensor probably)
+ good in backlight
+ nice automatic and manual functions
+ just fantastic full HD video (better than on my previous camcorder)
+ very good build quality (metal body)
Only few minuses (but all are important for professional photographers only):
- no support of RAW
- missing "postcard" 3:2 aspect ratio (but all my previous cameras had this feature and I never used it)
- no manual setting of aperture and shutter
- the sensitivity of GPS
Just perfect camera for family use or travelling. Good also as a everyday backup camera for the profi photographers.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant little camera.,
I tried out the camera in France last week and I am amazed at the results: Sharpness is brilliant, auto focus is better and faster than my 400D and the panarama facility is - well breathtaking. A4 printing shows little or no noise (on the best setting). Fast cards though, are essential as the files are quite large. The automatic setting with its intelligent facility does everything I could do manually with a brilliance I find extraordinary.
It is really useful to have the camera guide built into the menu for quick reference. There is much I have to learn with this instrument but from first impressions it will be a real pleasure.
It is heavy on batteries and I would suggest a couple of spares (I used Expro power plus @ approx £6 with no problems rather than OE batteries)
The lens is very good for its size and I took a couple or so night shots without a tripod (moonlight on water, that sort of thing) with excellent reults.
I have not used the movie facility and honestly can't see the need to, but time will tell.
All in all a wonderful bit of kit.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera that's lot's of fun,
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed,
After reading many reviews between the Sony DSCHX9BB and the Lunix TZ20 I opted for the Sony.
I must say im very impressed with the image quality and the videos are amazing. I always though the Lumix TZ7 video was good, but this Sony blew it away. Also, the images in low light are very impressive.
I think I know what the previous reviews saying about the colours mean. When you take a picture and look on the LCD display they do look weird, BUT when you actually view them on your PC or TV they are perfect.
78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Still and Video Camera you need,
a) The HD moviea are better than most dedicated HD video cameras - ignore any still camera that claims HD movies and delivers them as either 720p or 30 fps. They will be rubbish. You need 1080p or 1080i at 50 frames ( this camera does both ) otherwise the video will look like it is stuttering when you film and move the camera at the same time.
b) A small camera shakes so you need excellent image stabilisation, this has the best. You can even walk and video without it looking like those awful home vids of the 80's.
c) Nero 10 HD will create wonderful HD videos on either DVD ( if less than 25 minutes ) or Bluray discs. Very simple and stunning. MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 17 HD will also do an amazing job - I have both and they cost under GBP 79.
d) Stills - It has one of the widest angle and one of the longest telephoto lens. A complete set of lens in just one lens. Add to that the ability to sweep your camera around and capture a stunning panoramic shot and you have a camera that can take almost any photo you want to take. The quality is excellent - not SLR quality because unless you have a chip as large as an SLR chip you will always get less quality regardless of what the camera reviews say.
e) Low light - who needs flash, capture what you see not that cold washed out flash photo of old. Stunning in low light.
f) GPS - mad you may think but when you travel you often go to places that you might either forget the location of or never really know the location - if on a coach trip for example. With this feature looking at photos can show you a map on your PC of the exact location if done using something like Google's free Picasa photo software.
I have professional stills and video cameras but this camera is very hard to ignore because it does so much so well in such a small size.
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