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129 of 140 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Black?
Like many people,in recent times I've probably abandoned digital cameras in favour of grabbing my smart phone to capture special memories, all well and good, but often resulting in photos of variable quality and focus. This is the camera that has got me back in the habit of taking better photos; it's a little more than a point and click and has some very nice features...
Published 9 months ago by Angel

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great outdoor Pics...But...
I bought this Camera to take with me to Vegas as I wanted a compact camera that boasts High specs and is pocket-able. But, I came away from the trip wishing I bought the far more affordable (at time of purchase) Panasonic Lumix TZ40 which my girlfriend took and made me jealous with!

I have to say, I was very pleased with outdoor pictures in good lighting, They...
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Curtis


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129 of 140 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Black?, 23 Jun 2013
By 
Angel - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like many people,in recent times I've probably abandoned digital cameras in favour of grabbing my smart phone to capture special memories, all well and good, but often resulting in photos of variable quality and focus. This is the camera that has got me back in the habit of taking better photos; it's a little more than a point and click and has some very nice features. The camera is great for casual use and anyone who wants to work on their picture taking a little more will find plenty of features to keep them busy.

Out of the box set up is simple, to recharge you don't need to faff around with taking out batteries, a lead and charger just plugs straight into the body. My camera did not come with a memory card, it does take a range of formats of these( SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo0), to make the most of the ability to take full 1080p movies in AVCHD and MP4 formats.

The camera, in the main, is well built. It has a bit of a retro feel and, due to its impressive 30x zoom (24 - 720mm wide angle lens) is a little bigger than your average compact at H64.3 x W108.1 x D38.3mm. You get a good sized 3" screen to view your subject/s and scroll through the options, though disappointingly maybe, it's not touch screen and access is via a bewildering range of buttons and menus including a small wheel which does, I have to say, feel a little flimsy to the touch. Though, through extensive use of this camera I have got used to when to use the menu or "?" button I do still find myself having to refer to the incorporated camera guide for more advanced features. The guide is in A-Z form and is searchable and is really handy.

Talking of additional features one thing that surprised me about this camera was its failure to include GPS. It's all the more strange as the DSC HX50V, available elsewhere does have GPS. You can get round this in a way as the camera has wifi and so you can actually upload pictures to a smartphone on the go and put straight onto, eg facebook, however it's still disappointing. That said, I have found it relatively simple to get the camera to sync with my wifi at home and have even managed to use the camera > smartphone wifi whilst on the go via the free Playmemories app provided by the manufacturer for use with this phone. You can actually use your phone as a remote control to take photos and to see the view on your camera screen. This is a handy alternative to the self timer and useful also if you wish to place your camera down and keep it steady.

So, on then to the photos themselves; here the camera which is 20.4 megapixel, does not disappoint at all and I find that although there are more features than I, personally, could ever use I can and do obtain good results. There are features such as being able to take HDR photos - so for example take black and white picking out only red, blue or green, which I really like - I have uploaded some pictures taken like this onto this page. When taking pictures the screen is bright and apart from in the brightest of sunlight it's easy to see the different options. You can scroll through the different modes of picture taking from "Superior Auto" to "Intelligent Auto" - the latter being best for moving objects, to some of the modes I use most like the panorama sweep and video. Colour reproduction on this camera is good, and I like the fact that I can zoom in whilst taking video.

I have found through using the camera that over time I am using more and more of what the camera can offer. I made a bit of a rookie mistake at first by somehow managing to date stamp all my pictures (this can't be retrospectively removed) but now I find myself activating features such as the smile auto-detect and the on-screen plumb line with relative ease, and I have even worked out how to take photos whilst playing back video. You can use the picture effects (toy camera, watercolour etc) in video mode too and shutter speed (10fps for the technically minded) is good. I haven't really investigated the P/A/S/M modes, but for more advanced users who want to play with light and exposure these are a bound to be of interest, there is also an additional shoe on top of the camera and you can purchase an extra flash in addition to the inbuilt one or an electronic view finder or microphone can be installed on this should you wish. Not having such extras, I have found battery life for my use to be impressively long.

Overall, this camera is a relative joy to use, due to the quality of the photos it produces. If feels good in the hand and looks good too and so I can ignore some niggles, such as the lack of GPS and the fact that even having used the camera a fair bit the menu can leave me confused as to which button I should have pressed. Despite all this, this camera has got me back into taking better photos. It's great for holiday snaps and for getting a bit more arty about your photos too and although I think it's quite pricey compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers I would still recommend it as being fairly compact but taking pictures that are significantly better than those from a smart phone, having an impressive zoom and good range of features - it's a pleasure to own.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great outdoor Pics...But..., 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I bought this Camera to take with me to Vegas as I wanted a compact camera that boasts High specs and is pocket-able. But, I came away from the trip wishing I bought the far more affordable (at time of purchase) Panasonic Lumix TZ40 which my girlfriend took and made me jealous with!

I have to say, I was very pleased with outdoor pictures in good lighting, They were crisp and fantastic! the zoom was also very good, amazing in fact with the stability control.

What let this camera down though was indoor shooting with low light. I am no amateur when it comes to Manual settings so I made all the correct changes to compensate for the low light, But to no avail. When on auto with the flash on, the pictures were still Poor.
These were indoor shots of dark casinos/restaurants with bright neon lights all around. Very upset with the indoor pictures.

Overall, I would highly recommended this little "beast" for outdoor use and well lit indoor use. Any dark indoor scenes, then you might struggle.
The camera felt nice to hold with the grip, and was heavy enough to feel robust, but not so much that your wrist cried after 2 minutes.

Andy
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79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The camera does not disappoint, 2 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Couldn't wait to get my hands on this camera and so far it has not disappointed. Previously I owned the DSC HX9V which I didn't think could be surpassed but I wanted this for the enhanced optical zoom. The camera is nicely weighted and still a good compact size considering the zoom lens it houses. The x30 optical zoom is truely astounding with clear optical zoom to a very impressive x60, going up to a x120 digital zoom at 20M is staggering (apparently at lower resolution the digital zoom is up to x324). It has some great picture effects - like the tilt-shift miniature effect and the iSweep panorama is great to name just two I have tried. The colours appear to be true and crisp and it handles low-light situations well. Couple of slight niggles in that the movie record button is quite sensitive and positioned in such a place that it can be accidentally depressed to start recording and it takes slightly longer than the HX9V to write the images to the SD card (but to be expected for 20M pixels) but these niggles cannot overshadow the absolute awesomeness of this little compact.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bar a major flaw, 29 Sep 2013
By 
Jeremy Shaw - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Let's get the flaw over with as that is doubtless what drew your attention.

No viewfinder. This is the first camera I've had without a viewfinder and I assumed that Sony would not release one unless the screen was bright enough for daylight viewing. Wrong. If you have any bright light behind you then you just can't see a thing. And the screen is not tiltable so you can't manipulate it into shade.

So why did I keep it? Because I love the rest and most of my shots are of buildings and in cities. If your main use is for sunny beaches I strongly advise you to look elsewhere.

I originally wanted a bridge camera. But having read all the reviews I came to the conclusion that with those you get the inconvenience of a bulky camera without the quality of an SLR. And all the reviews had too many negatives for me. I'd call myself a keen amateur. I've had SLRs in the past, I take a lot of photos in the course of a year and care quite a lot about them. But while I was happy to muck about with aperture and priority settings when I had to, I'd rather point and shoot if the result will be good enough. With this camera it can do a better job with the automatic settings than I can manually.

This camera (and others similar of course) is very compact so you can slip it in a trouser pocket, which means you are much more likely to take it with you.
I was attracted by the 50x zooms you see being released now. But I am sceptical about how even with electronic damping you'll get good results at that level of zoom. Even at 30x you can visibly see the effect of hand shake as you focus and the camera does a great job of taking that out. I post process all my shots so I'd rather have a good shot and crop it than go the extra zoom. 30x is pretty impressive anyway in my book!

I've put 500+ shots through this camera now and have been very impressed. For dealing with the viewfinder issue I've learnt to shade with my body or just shoot wide angle and hope I get it right.

Sometimes the focus seems to have trouble - particularly in macro. But I just pull out a little and it is fine. Particular things I like:

* Decent battery life - I bought a spare which was not expensive but have not had to change in a day's shooting.

* Good thumb grip. Others have commented that it's easy to press the video button in error. This is true but you soon learn to feel for the little thumb grip/depression next to it.

* Being able to delete all shots taken on a given date - handy once they are transferred elsewhere.

* There is a kind of enhanced exposure mode on the dial which I have found great in situations where there is a lot of different light levels. For example photographing a floodlit cathedral this gave a much more balanced exposure than the standard auto mode.

* I am normally sniffy about menu-based modes, but have found the Scene mode useful. Here you turn the dial to Scene and you get a dozen or so options such as landscape, people, food etc. which you can pick very quickly.

* It's quick to choose one of the burst modes such as continuous shooting, shoot for ten seconds etc. Handy for wildlife or wild children.

* While I did not buy it for video I've been very impressed at how easy it is to take videos and the quality.

* I'm impressed with the macro facility. There is no dedicated macro mode - it's automatic - and the focusing does not always work first time. I've found the Food Scene mode useful for flowers sometimes. Generally I'm very pleased with the results.

* The "beautiful skin" feature is remarkably effective at knocking a decade off anyone over 50 without your having to resort to photoshopping later.

* Automatic soft backgrounds are another useful choice in Scene mode.

Others have commented on the `smeary' nature of the pixels when you zoom right in. This is true and I believe a function of the programming. But while this might annoy pixel purists, for most people it means that your shots will bear closer cropping without visible pixellation than would otherwise be the case.
All in all a very impressive bit of kit if you can live with the viewfinder snag.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much goodness..., 27 Jun 2013
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
...in a little package.

My previous Sony camera was a HX9 (60hz import) which has a 16x zoom. At the time I bought it (two years ago) it was probably the best compact zoom you could buy, with amazing video quality. The HX50 is two generations on from this, and is superior in every way. The zoom is now 30x, with very little increase in body size. Image quality is clearly superior to the HX9 (the only real flaw with that camera was the noisy photos at high ISO). The video is slightly better due to improved stabilization, and more importantly there is now no delay between pressing the red button and the start of recording. All the other great features are still present, including panoramas, frame-stacking (automatic in certain scene modes), filters etc.

In terms of upgrading from the HX9 or a similar superzoom from 2010/2011, I would say this is a significant improvement in terms of zoom and stills quality, everything else is pretty much as it was before. However, seeing as photo quality, video quality, and zoom are the three most important things in this sort of camera, it's still the best of the current crop. All-round excellent.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great spec in a little camera, 19 Jun 2013
By 
Miss "crazyminx" (Coventry) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A quick summary first: I'm really impressed with this camera. It's compact, easy to use, and it has a lot of options that allow you much more control over your photography than lower-end digital cameras, but the auto mode is still excellent for those who don't want to do anything complicated. It produces clear, sharp images with good true-to-life colour, and the 30x optical zoom is seriously impressive.

Now for the details! At first glance the camera looks a little plasticky - you wouldn't necessarily think it had cost too much from its appearance - but it feels solid rather than flimsy. It's a good deal heavier and larger than my normal cheap point-and-click camera, but it's much lighter and more compact than most higher end cameras or SLRs so it makes a fantastic compromise if you're looking for something which has a high spec but which is also really portable.

As far as memory goes, you only get 48MB of internal memory (7 images at 20 megapixels) so you'll want to have external memory ready to use. You can use memory sticks (XC-HG Duo, PRO Duo mark 2, PROD-HG Duo or MicroM2) or cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC, or the micro versions of any of those). You need at least a class 4 memory card for this camera, and you may want to consider a class 10. With regards to memory size, if you're shooting at 20mp then 2GB will hold 295 images, or 8 minutes of film at the highest resolution. A 16GB card like this SanDisk Ultra 16GB SDHC UHS-I Class 10 Card - Frustration Free Packaging will hold 2360 images.

The battery life is decent (200 minutes of shooting still images, 90 minutes of continuous filming).

The automatic mode allows the most inexperienced photographer (also known as `me') to produce great shots with no effort; simply hold the shutter button halfway down to focus, and a beep and an indicator light tell you when the image is in focus so that you can then press the button fully down. Zooming in and out is done by a small lever on the front of the shutter button. Shots even on the automatic mode for this camera come out way better than anything I've achieved on previous cameras.

If you want to have more control then you can set the camera to different modes such as Aperture Priority Shooting or Manual Exposure Shooting. There are lots of options in the menu area that you can choose, which help you to emphasise certain areas of the photo, defocus the background, set a colour hue, etc. You can adjust image contrast, sharpness etc. There's also a Soft Skin setting and an Anti Blink setting which makes taking photos of friends a lot more flattering! The options are easy to select and there are some really nice effects.

I don't have any major complaints about this camera, and just a few minor issues. The movie record button is in a place that makes it a little too easy to press accidentally. The control wheel used for viewing, selecting and deleting images feels a little flimsy to me and I'd rather press it than have to scroll it around. The zoom lever also feels a bit delicate and I'd prefer something sturdier. And there's no GPS, which is not an issue for me at all but should be pointed out for those who find it more necessary.

In general, this is a great camera.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible! very impressed, 8 Nov 2013
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I previously had a fairly chunky compact system camera and a small, cheap canon bought for about 50. The chunky compact tended to over-expose indoors but took great outdoor pics but I was not using it much as I could not fit it in my handbag and it was no different to carrying about a SLR. So I wanted something portable, that I can carry around all the time, a good zoom and takes decent photos. This is it! I was thinking of a Sony Nex, but after seeing it decided it was too large to be carrying around with me on a day-to-day basis with extra lens. The Lumix equivalent although lighter and smaller, I could not get it to focus on writing when zoomed in a little in the shop. Having read about the difficulties in getting this camera to focus, and seeing this myself it was immediately discounted.

My friend had lent me the predecessor DSCHX20 for a few months and I liked the photos taken with it plus the portability. The DSCHX50 appears to take even better photos plus it has added functionality (exposure levels on a dial)and the ability to add an extra flash if needed which I have not yet done. Definitely go for the 50 over the 20; it is worth the extra and myself and my friend think that it takes better photos.

Quality-wise I do not think you can get better than this; the photos (inside, outside, running children, fireworks, macro, landscapes, people) are coming out extremely well; very sharp and great colours. It is like having a DSLR but without the bulk. I have not properly tested everything and would like to see how it fairs taking photos of a waterfall with slow shutter speed but from what I have seen, it is excellent. I have pleased with the auto function, the fireworks setting, the panoramic photos, the movement setting, twilight with no tripod, the flash does not over or under expose, the timer, the quality is sharp, the colours perfect, background defocus where subject is sharp and background blurred. The setting for bright conditions was tested in Spain and camera once again did not fail. Very, very good!
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78 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent point and click., 19 May 2013
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Never underestimate how great a compact camera can be. Sure, the quality of mobile 'phone cameras has, in my opinion at least, rendered the cheaper end of that market a little pointless, but a good quality point and click is well worth the investment if you want better results but not the hassle of a DSLR.

Until receiving this camera, I've been using a Canon PowerShot G7 Digital Camera - Black (10.0MP, 6x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD. Still a good camera, though I think we're up to G15 now. I recently started using a Canon 1100D as an introduction to SLRness, but still recommend keeping a point and click. You can do cool things with an SLR, but it's also easier to mess up. Anyway, whether you want this as your main camera or as an extra if you are a hobbyist, this is highly recommended.

First up, the build quality is nice. It's well made and feels reassuringly solid in your hands. That said, it's quite a small camera still. This is a good thing. I mentioned the G series of Canon cameras... this reminds me of them a little, style-wise. Out of the box you get your camera, battery, the charger and a USB cable. For anyone who has a lot of electronic devices, you'll understand why the relatively small size of the transformer for the mains charger is A Good Thing indeed.

So, to the actual functionality.

This camera has an impressive (very impressive) 30x optical zoom. If you're interested in that kind of thing, in 35mm equivalent terms, that's 24 - 720mm. In such a small body, too. I'd say that's probably the feature which most separates this camera from the competition, but it's not the only thing.

The quality of the pictures is good. It's maybe a bit slower to focus than better, more expensive lenses, sure, but it's more than adequate for some fun family pictures or a day out. The colours are vibrant but not IN YOUR FACE and it has all the usual options (such as selective colouring, sepia and so on). Though it has good auto settings, as you'd expect from a camera of this type, you can change plenty of things, like the ISO. Not really messed with that too much yet, but at lower ISO, seems good.

It appears to have a WiFi option, though it seems to be a bit of a faff. Probably better sticking to the USB. I might change my view on this.

For build quality, functionality and convenience, if you're looking for a high quality compact, you really cannot go wrong with this.

HIGHLY recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Zoom!, 1 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
This Camera is excellent! The most impressive thing about this camera is definitely the 30x zoom. The only downside with the camera is the amount of image noise at anything over about 400 ISO, due to the fact that they've crammed so many pixels on to such a tiny sensor (My main camera is a Canon 5D mk2, so I am a little spoilt!). The pop-up flash is very powerful for a little camera. The WiFi is a nice touch, it means you can upload the pics to your Phone or Tablet, or use said devices to control camera, such as zoom and shutter release. There are manual controls for people that are adventurous or just use auto, then point and shoot.
For the money its a great buy!
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84 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Much Better, 25 Jun 2013
This review is from: Sony DSCHX50 Compact Digital Camera - Black (20.4MP, 30x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Carried out some testing with this camera V's the Panasonic TZ40, Fuji F900 and Canon SX280.

I eliminated the Fuji F900, based on the Sensor Shift stabilization being pretty useless in
video mode for a 20x zoom lens.

I eliminated the Canon SX280 based on the abysmal battery life in video mode 15 mins on a
fresh charge, no good for me.

I really wanted to like the Sony HX50/HX50V, but unfortunately I found the control interface
to be next to useless, compared to the TZ40. In Av, Sv, or P modes the rear control dial is
used to change the appropriate setting. The control dial face is practically flush with the
rear panel of the camera, the force required to rotate it, without your thumb slipping, is
always just enough to register a press of the control dial at one of the four (top/bot
/left/right) locations. So instead of the Av/Sv/P functions value being changed, up pops the
menu associated with the function that is located at the (top/bot/left/right) position of the
control dial! This could have been completely avoided by disabling the four default functions
of the control dial, when you press the mode button to make the Av/Sv/P changes that you
wanted! Schoolboy Error Sony!!! This could be fixed with a firmware change quite easily.

Of course I suspect that 90% of people that buy this camera will just leave it in Auto and so
will never have to use the control dial.

This was enough for me to eliminate the HX50 and go for the TZ40, which really does have a
great control interface and touch screen, which is nice for changing focus in video mode.
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