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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb all-round camera to challenge any D-SLR
Photography skills: Enthusiastic amateur, occasional freelance photo/video journalist, travel brochure photography...

* Review updated 24 June 2014 following more than 2 months of regular use.

I'd had my eye on this very camera since its launch so was very excited to be offered the opportunity to review it.

Since my husband bought his...
Published 10 months ago by KWren

versus
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well featured, but jpeg issues and no raw can't be overlooked
I spent a few days with the HX400, my conclusions are as follows
The HX400 is quite a nice superzoom camera, comfy in the hands and with good handling.
Unfortunately though, whilst the image quality is quite good at lower ISO levels, it takes a significant dive in less than ideal conditions

Sadly you are stuck with Sony's less than great jpeg engine,...
Published 11 months ago by Mr Baz


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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well featured, but jpeg issues and no raw can't be overlooked, 31 Mar. 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
I spent a few days with the HX400, my conclusions are as follows
The HX400 is quite a nice superzoom camera, comfy in the hands and with good handling.
Unfortunately though, whilst the image quality is quite good at lower ISO levels, it takes a significant dive in less than ideal conditions

Sadly you are stuck with Sony's less than great jpeg engine, and it can't be overlooked that Sony have decided to deny users the chance to use raw processing (in 2014 this is a serious omission and all their rivals now offer this, and have done for some time)

The HX400 isn't a bad camera by any means, but the price is fairly steep and it falls short on the image quality front

My good and bad points:

Pros:
+ Build is quite decent feels comfy in the hand with sensible and easy to learn controls
+ Useful 50x zoom (24-1200mm equivalent) starts at f2.8 dropping to f6.3 (ok speed wise for the range) it's quite good sharpness wise, not tack sharp at 24mm on the edges, but quite consistent across the range..it's still quite good at 1200mm too
+ Excellent 921k 3" rear LCD that is clear and sharp, not fully articulated (pull it out for overhead or low angle shooting) nice overall though
+ Mostly well featured, usual scene modes, manual mode, lots of filters, good macro ability, sweep panoramic mode: you can set the camera to remember your settings via 2 custom positions on the main mode dial.
+ Built in wifi, NFC and GPS, GPS locked on quite quickly too
+ EVF is quite good, clear and with a decent refresh rate, has eye sensor too. It's better than the Canon SX50 EVF, but not up to the FZ200 or HS50/XS-1
+ Metering and AF were both up to acceptable levels, exposures are mostly quite good (in lower light you might need to add some more exposure) AF was fairly fast across most of the range, drops off at the tele end (as they all do) It was on target more often that not, a bit above average performance here
+ Battery life is ok at about 330 shots, not class leading but not bad either
+ Video mode is quite good, full HD with stereo sound 25/50p supported too. Clarity was pretty good as was the sound; the AF did a decent job with holding focus even when zooming in and out quickly
+ Optical steadyshot works well around 3.5-4 stops, in line with other good IS systems

Cons:
- No raw, for this class of camera it loses a star based purely on that
- Jpegs are ok at lower ISO levels, but run into overprocessing/strong noise reduction levels at anything over base ISO. At ISO 400 and up details are melted away leaving a painterly effect in images. Sharpening artefacts are also present in images due to poor jpeg processing
- Memory card slot at the bottom of the camera in the batery compartment, bit of a pain for tripod users
- Zoom motor can be heard in video mode (in quiet environments)
- Burst mode of 10fps can only shoot for about a second (common problem on bridge models) a bigger buffer would help a lot here
- Camera strap, rarely do I mention this but for a camera this price it's too narrow and uncomfortable
- High price

The camera is quite nice to use and I find it fits the hand well (it's quite similar to Sony's SLT models layout wise), grip is comfy and secure. I prefer a mechanical zoom, but the zoom controls here (on the side or around the shutter button) are quite good the zoom responds well and fairly smoothly to the touch controls.

The HX400v isn't a bad camera at all, it's just a shame that the jpegs are not better. They are reasonably detailed at the lower ISO settings, and satisfactory, but when light levels drop and high ISO speeds are used they are really not as good as they should be. The 20mp sensor might be more capable, but without raw we will never know. If the jpeg processing were better, I might add a star, sadly though this is a camera that really does need raw to get the best out of it.

If you don't pixel peep you might be ok with the Sony. I would shoot at half resolution myself, you're not getting any image quality advantage v other makers 12mp sensors. Maybe 20mp is too much to cram onto a small 1/2.3 inch sensor. Either way I have to be honest I think the HX400 is up for some stiff competition from other makers.

The HS50 has slightly less range, but also sports a decent EVF and LCD and has very fast AF in good light. The SX50 feels inferior to the Sony in handling and with a poor EVF and average LCD, but it does have image quality that is in my view better. FZ200 is also a solid choice with less range but a faster lens. Not to mention the XS-1 deals flying around right now.

All these cameras are quite a bit cheaper than the Sony, and deliver better image quality overall.
Had Sony improved their jpegs and put raw in here, and priced it at more realistic levels it could have been a contender for the one of the best superzooms out there. You have a nice body, good lens, hot shoe, good LCD and handling. It's a far nicer body to use than the Canon SX50, what a shame they didn't take the concept to it's natural conclusion. It should also be noted that you cannot in any way compare the image quality from a much larger APS-C image sensor, to the much smaller sensor in most bridge cameras. Image quality wise it's not even remotely close to a DSLR. This doesn't matter as bridge models can still take some fine images, and offer a flexbile all in one package (lens range) Just match your expectations accordingly

At a lower price it might be worth a look (also consider the previous HX300 model which offers better value, this isn't a huge update), right now I think you are better served looking at alternatives, and there are plenty of choices in this segment.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb all-round camera to challenge any D-SLR, 21 April 2014
By 
KWren "KWren" (Wye Valley) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Photography skills: Enthusiastic amateur, occasional freelance photo/video journalist, travel brochure photography...

* Review updated 24 June 2014 following more than 2 months of regular use.

I'd had my eye on this very camera since its launch so was very excited to be offered the opportunity to review it.

Since my husband bought his Canon D-SLR I've been undecided which direction to take with my next camera - a D-SLR has the benefit of interchangeable lenses but at the expense of bulk and weight for carrying around, to say nothing of the cost. Although the photo quality can be higher, the bulk puts me off and I could foresee it being left behind. Instead, this Sony DSCHX400V bridges the gap between the two - 50x optical zoom (equating to 24mm-1200mm lens) plus the ability to use filters (55mm thread diameter) for creative effects.

It's bulkier than I expected but also a lot lighter in weight than anticipated. Build quality feels good despite it being wholly plastic and it's comfortable and easy to hold even with hot sweaty hands thanks to a rubberised-grip.

For the beginner there is the simple 'intelligent auto' point-and-shoot mode and no need to venture away from this. This selects the optimum exposure settings and in all of my tests on landscape, macro and people shots, it was accurate every time.

But, unlike beginner point and shoot models, this also offers the more experienced photographer some greater control with manual options. It doesn't offer quite the same flexibility and control as a D-SLR but it's not far off and a world apart from a fully-automatic point and shoot. For shooting waterfalls, I was able to switch to shutter-priority mode, select a slow shutter speed, reduce it further by adding a neutral density filter to gain that (near) perfect shot. For close-ups of flowers I tested the Program, Auto and Aperture priority modes and gained good results, with a suitably-blurred background, each time. As I gain experience of using the camera and its many features and settings for fine-tuning, my ability will improve.

Another bonus for me is that this camera uses the same battery as my other two Sony cameras - my HDR-AS30V action-cam and my waterproof GW66VE camcorder so batteries can be shared between them all and non-Sony branded batteries are readily available at a low price. Yes, I like Sony cameras and camcorders: I've used Sony photographic equipment for the last 30+ years, including while filming for the BBC (Sony video always excels), always found it to be amongst the best and Sony has never let me down.

Like all my Sony cameras, focusing is fast and accurate and colour reproduction is always accurate. Personally I prefer increased saturation but this can be achieved by manually boosting the colour balance then saving this setting to one of the camera's memory buttons for future use. Similarly, contrast and temperature can be adjusted for individual shots or stored to a 'favourite settings' memory button. In addition there are several effect modes such as the brightly coloured 'pop' mode, single colour filtering, high contrast mono, retro plus a function for panoramic shots (not found on D-SLRs!). With the exception of the panorama mode, all of the still camera settings can also be applied to the rather excellent video mode.

I'm a keen landscape and outdoors photographer so always look closely at images for any purple fringing in high-contrast areas such as trees and am pleased to say all my shots were free of this. The 50x optical zoom enables me to zoom in close to wildlife and the 50x can be doubled to 100x but this does lead to a noticeable loss of image quality. For ground level shots of flowers, animals and wildlife the viewing screen pulls out and tilts so it can be viewed from above with no need to sprawl out on wet or muddy ground. The macro facility is superb offering crisp, sharp close-ups at just 1cm.

Everything about the camera is fast - fast focusing and no shutter lag which is especially important when shooting a moving subject and the fast burst 'machine gun' mode is useful here too at a very impressive 10 frames per second.

I have always found Sony's sophisticated 'Steady Shot' image stabilisation to be nothing short of excellent in Sony cameras and the 400V is no exception. I'm lucky in that I have fairly steady hands but a 50x zoom lens will pick up even the slightest motion so a tripod or other support will be needed for most shots on full-zoom. That said, leaning on a fence I managed some 50x zoom shots of our neighbour's goats with no shake at all and yesterday photographed some waterfalls, hand-held, on a long 1-second exposure.

The focus magnifier is a most useful feature particularly for close-up shots eg of flowers. It enables the focus to be checked before actually shooting rather the slower and clumsier process of taking a pic, playing it back and zooming in to check - by which time the flower could have wilted.

In-built wifi is very useful. I can simply take a pic, connect to wifi to send it to my phone (using PlayMemories Mobile) and email/upload it within seconds - so much faster than transferring from the memory card (SDHC, SDCH-micro or Sony Memory Stick) to a laptop and uploading from there. This is especially useful for photo and video journalism where speed is important - ie the first pic/video received is often the one which receives the highest payment! The DSCHX400V also supports NFC but as I don't have any other NFC gadgets, I have been unable to test or benefit from this feature, so far...

Battery life is good - used over the Easter weekend I managed 360 shots, including 30 on 'burst' mode plus a few short 20-second video clips and very occasional use of flash. I'm disappointed Sony didn't include a battery charger because in-camera charging is inconvenient and puts the camera out of action until charging is complete. As a charger wasn't included with my other Sony cameras, I purchased one of these: Ex-Pro Uni-Charge Mains & Car Universal Lithium Ion Battery Charger for Digital Cameras... (see my review).

Video quality is outstanding in all filming formats with good colour, sound, stereo mic (with wind filter) and no searching on focusing. The camera can film in 1080 50i and 1080 60i modes, ie top quality but I am a little disappointed that video recording is limited to just 29 minutes. While this is adequate for most of my needs, I very occasionally need to leave a camera running eg while filming a performance. Filming can be in top quality AVCHD or MP4 - I prefer to use the latter for smaller and more manageable file sizes. Using this, footage was the usual Sony high quality with no focus hunting and superb stereo sound and, as a guide to file sizes: a 15 second clip uses 21mb. I couldn't fault anything and was very pleased to see the photo setting modes could also be applied to video which exceeded my expectations.

Strengths (it has many):
- Very fast performance in every way
- Wide angle 24mm lens
- Zeiss lens for crisp, sharp photos and video
- Full HD video - superb quality with stereo sound
- Good image quality (close to SLR quality)
- Image adjustments - colour, temperature, contrast plus a range of usable picture effects
- Well-designed for easy use with fingertip controls exactly where you'd hope to find them
- Stereo mic with wind-reduction feature
- Long battery life for a 50x zoom camera
- Minimal motor noise from the zoom during video recording
- Focus magnifier
- Viewfinder with dioptic correction (I prefer the LED screen)
- Very easy to hold still/steady - boosted by Sony's superb Steady Shot image stabilisation
- Full range of manual controls - aperture, shutter speed, focus...
- Lens threaded for filters for creativity
- Excellent macro at just 1cm
- Accessory shoe

Weaknesses (struggling to find any real weaknesses...):
- In-camera battery charging - no separate charger supplied
- Video recording limited to 29 minutes
- The viewfinder doesn't work when wearing glasses (but I always use the screen instead)
- Occasionally a subject on a distant landscape photo will be out of focus, eg a cow grazing in a meadow, and will require some manual focus correction

In summary, I'd say this camera is the next best thing to a D-SLR in terms of its specification and performance. In other ways, I'd venture to say it is possibly better than a D-SLR due to its overall usability and portability, lighter-weight, reduced bulk and admirable 24-1200mm range negating the D-SLR's requirement for interchangeable lenses for most conditions. It does (probably) everything an enthusiastic amateur will demand of it while encouraging a beginner to develop their photographic skills and interest further. It's not the cheapest 50x superzoom camera but I think here it's a case of you get what you pay for and from my experience of using several cameras, Sony proves itself again to be amongst the best in terms of picture and video quality and performance. It's perfect for me and for anyone else wanting to experiment with filters and effects while also enjoying a camera which isn't too big, bulky and hefty to carry around.

While some may consider a bridge camera is a compromise between a point and shoot vs a D-SLR, I prefer to think of it as combining the best features of both. Having been using my husband's new Canon D-SLR for the last month then both of us spending Easter together photographing the same subjects, the Sony proved itself easier and faster to use, focusing seemed faster and the results were comparable when viewed on the same 24" monitor. I'd taken my shots with the Sony DSCHX400V while my husband, standing beside me, was still focusing his SLR! Given a choice between the two - I'd opt for this Sony camera without hesitation and have now very happily deleted the D-SLR from my wishlist.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All the bells and whistles....yet fails where it counts most, 16 May 2014
By 
Antoine Camilleri - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
I had such high hopes for this little beauty and replaced it twice, as I thought that I was getting a faulty unit. I honestly wanted to like this camera as it does look simply stunning. The premium build quality and the Zeiss lens, combined with the new Bionz X processor offer so much promise.

Yet this camera fails where it counts most, and that is image quality. Out of the box, images are rather soft and get worse at the extremities, with purple fringing evident in mid to high contrast images. You can increase sharpness, yet the edges still look softer. Colours are vibrant, yet results still look over processed, resulting in loss of detail in darker areas.

(When evaluating bridge cameras I use my Panasonic FZ200 as a benchmark)

I would have happily traded NFC, GPS or WiFi for Raw capability and a better EVF, which at 201K pixels is considered way below par on cameras carrying such a hefty price tag. (FZ200 sports a 1,302K pixel EVF, over a million more!!)

So it is useless to go through the rich feature set this camera offers, ( which can be viewed all over the net ) as it does not translate into the quality photos I have come to expect from Sony.
At this price point I would expect a camera that would deliver great photos and not facebook quality.... sorry

Being an avid Sony fan, I feel that this camera just does not live to the reputation and expectations. Hopefully, firmware updates could address certain issues.

I do tend to be very critical when it comes to cameras, so please appreciate that I am not trying to bash the HX400V. Maybe I was expecting a bit too much. Many sites praise this camera, and that makes me wonder. I suggest you read other reviews and try to get a hands on test at a local store. Hopefully they might let you use an SD card to take some pictures for further analysis.

Unfortunately, based on my experience, I cannot recommend the HX400V for the demanding photographer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not dual rec, 24 Feb. 2015
By 
Jessica Meyer (Bristol) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
I have a Sony TX55 and for spontaneous photos inside it performs better than the HX400. The HX400 is good for artistic photos, but for everyday photos I liked my old TX55 better. I returned the HX400 even though I got it for a very good deal here on amazon, the killer factor was that it is not possible to take pictures while recording (something that most Sony cameras are able to do for years), really annoying, I was loosing moments because I couldn't snap a picture with it, so decided to return it and wait for a new model that hopefully will be able to dual rec.

Also the flash was usually too bright and would leave a shadow from the lens in the picture. Didn't seem as smart as the Sony TX55 that adjusts itself automatically very well to all situations, the HX400 may be good for some semi-professional, but if you want just to snap good pictures relying on the camera's auto set, didn't seem very good.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb features on the camera, just lacks photo quality, 8 May 2014
By 
MyKeyReviews (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
♦ Brief ♦

The HX400V is new to Sony's 2014 range of bridge cameras. For the size, it's extremely lightweight and very comfortable to hold. In addition, I personally found it fairly easy to navigate, both internally and externally.

This camera boasts about quite a lot of things; large mega-pixel photos, new Bionz-X processor, "premium" 50x optical zoom, Wi-Fi/NFC, GPS, viewfinder, tilt-screen, hotshoe and a whole load of different settings to get the most out of your photos. Sounds mouth-watering, doesn't it? But is it really all what it perceives?

♦ Box Contents & Recommended Extras ♦

- Box Contents: HX400V Bridge Camera | Battery | USB Cable | AC Adaptor | Power Cable | Shoulder Strap | Instruction Manual.

- Recommended Extras: SDHC Memory Card* | Spare Battery.

* There's no flash memory(well, enough to take 4 photos), so getting one of these are a must! (You can go for any brand you want, however I would recommend a memory card with no less than 8GB memory capacity & of class 10).

♦ Ease of Use & Navigation ♦

I honestly really like the cameras layout, both software and external, I personally found the camera to be very easy to use.

In the menu, you have everything set out in their appropriate tabs, so once you've had a good look around, it's pretty easy to remember where everything is located.

One much liked aspect about this camera is its 'Fn' (Function) button; this gives you access to 12 settings (11 of which are customisable to your own liking), so changing settings have never been so quick.

NFC has always been a feature I adore, this allows you to control the camera with your smartphone using the Playmemories mobile app (though does lack in setting adjustments), plus you can also use this to send over photos over to your phone with one tap (providing your phone supports NFC).

There are also a ton of different modes to choose from such as auto, aperture, shutter, manual, scene, sweep panoramic and much more.

And if you think that was enough, you can download certain apps from the playmemories camera apps store, some are free and others have a price to pay, normally between £4-£8 per app. These range from time lapse, motion shots, bracketing and more.

The best way to get these apps onto the camera in my opinion is by connecting the camera directly to you computer via the included cable.

That all said, there are a couple of things about the camera I didn't quite get on well with:

1) Viewfinder: Not user friendly for people who wear glasses!

2) Battery compartment: My tripod has a mid-sized camera plate, where the memory card is stored in the same compartment, I have to take the camera off if I want to gain access to it.

So when it comes down to the cameras external and software features, this camera has a lot to be proud of.

♦ Photo & Video Quality ♦

If you're not the type of person who likes to dig deep into the photos quality when viewed at its actual size, then I don't think you'd be that disappointed. Most photos taken with this camera look good when viewed on a computer, HDTV, or when posted on social networking sites such as Facebook, but when you really get close to the photo by viewing it at its actual size, you start to see quite a few discrepancies in quality.

I found that mainly when shooting in cloudy and lower lighting conditions, you start to lose quality in the photos. They start to lack in sharpness, edges can seem jagged and some posterization can be seen when viewing the photo in its actual size. These issues get increasingly noticeable when more zoom is used, and that's just with optical zoom, not digital.

The problem by having advanced photo settings such as "Aperture Priority", "Shutter Priority" & "Manual Exposure" available, is that it will be more enticing for people who want to get the most out of their photos, but those who want to to do just that are more likely to be picky with quality.

Video quality on the other hand I found to be rather good, but for goodness sake, if you're planning on using the 50x zoom, do so with a tripod. At the max focal length any slight movement in your positioning will be much noticed in the footage.

♦ Final Opinion ♦

✔ Pros:
✓ 1080p video.
✓ Comfortable to hold with great grip.
✓ Decent tilt-screen.
✓ Easy to use & navigate around.
✓ NFC & Wi-Fi Capability.
✓ Sweep panoramic mode makes panoramic photos easy to do.
✓ Variety of modes to choose from.

✖ Cons:
✘ Increasing the zoom really degrades image quality.
✘ Memory card slot could have been better placed.
✘ Noticeable noise and posterization in photos taken within cloudy and darker scenes.
✘ Photos not so good when viewed in actual size resolutions (100%).
✘ Viewfinder isn't so good for people who wear glasses.

The camera itself is really nice and I love all the features it has to offer, however I just get the feeling you're paying out more for all these extra features than the photo quality.

If the camera ever drops below the £300 mark, then I'd say go for it providing you're not planning to produce large prints or viewing them at their actual size, but for £400... a bit too much for the quality produced.

Out of 5, I personally would rate this camera with 3.5/5 stars.

If all these extra features aren't your cup of tea, maybe look into getting the HX300, it has that desirable 50x zoom, a fairly good customer feedback ratio and it's available for a pretty reasonable price.

► Note: I have uploaded various photo examples onto the product page, these can be found via the link just under the product picture. Only adjustments made were resizing them down to 1920x1080p resolution after a 100% crop had been taken from the original resolution.

Please note that Amazon downscales the resolution further, making it harder to see any imperfections if the photo had them originally.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing camera, 20 Dec. 2014
By 
Dominic Cross (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
Brilliant camera! Lots of great features, but most importantly easy to use for an amateur. Quality of pictures is atonishing
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable super zoom, 27 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
I was after a versatile camera with good zoom reach and had looked at different options before settling on this new Sony model. It's quite a beast - bigger than i expected - but the zoom range is excellent and the camera delivers sharp shots along the full extent of that range. Functionality seems very good and close to a DSLR approach. So far, I've been delighted with the quality of results - the 20.4 mega pixel sensor captures enough detail for me to crop into many an image to recompose shots yet still delivers fine results. For a fraction of the price compared with the DSLR route, I find this camera a great compromise between image quality and zoom reach enabling me to capture shot that, until now, I've been unable to get. It doesn't quite get the quality of capture of a decent DSLR, but unless blown up poster size, I'm more than happy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love at first sight, 27 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
This is my first 'big' camera and I fell in love with it on the first day. Easy to use and takes astonishing pictures. All the buttons are at hand, alterations shown on screen too - you don't need to take your eyes off the pic. It will take me quite a time to learn all the numerous settings and options but the're so straightforward I didn't need to read the manual yet.
Only one thing annoys me a bit when taking pictures in awkward position the screen switches off and viewfinder turns on. First time I thought it's broken now I know I should not lean too close to it and I need to hold my scarf away from it too (not helpful when you are already halfway laying on the ground).
I could imagine a camera working faster but all in all as a beginner amateur I am very happy with it, it deserves five stars. See my first pictures taken without a tripod!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value and excellent all round superzoom., 31 Dec. 2014
By 
Vincent Collins (scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
Great superzoom / bridge camera even if you have a Dslr or two, the zoom and manual focus with magnify function is really good to have in a camera at this price level and works well, for the money i cant really fault it, it is very fast as well for a non dslr and has plenty of features that will keep you experimenting and enjoying its many capabilities, a definite great value camera that i got at a crazy good price on Amazon boxing day offer and well worth the normal rrp, very happy indeed and great to have a camera to just grab on the way out instead of taking my bulky dslr with its extras.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit below par, 3 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Sony DSCHX400V Compact Digital Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC - Black (20.4MP, 50x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
I bought this camera to supplement my Sony A57 DSLR as I am tired of carting a whole load of lenses around all the time and with such a magnificent zoom I was hoping it would solve this issue. Whilst I am reasonably pleased with the camera, it is no match for the DSLR at virtually the same price (now the A58) if you don't need such a big zoom. It's definitely much lighter, easy to handle and the dials and features are easily accessed, the menu is also easy to follow. Focusing is quick and accurate at long distance but when it comes to a specific subject being closer it's almost impossible for it to latch on and when it does, it seems to just miss the target leaving you with an image that's is focus everywhere except the main point. Manual focus is far better. Images are also too soft for my liking so some Photoshop work is needed afterwards. The panorama mode is an improvement on my A57 as it not only goes clockwise but anti clockwise and up and down too. The eye viewfinder is of poor quality, it's hard to actually see if anything is in focus and adjusting the dioptre adjustment dial makes little difference and is so fiddly to operate.

You will need more than a steady hand to get a decent shot at full zoom so a tripod is really necessary, even then images suffer deterioration and the lack of a cable release facility is a real shame as is shooting in RAW. Wi-Fi/GPS/Movie Mode is unimportant to me so no comment on these.

The one BIG negative is the battery life, it only lasted for 3 hours shooting so on a full day you will need at least 3 batteries. It's a pity the battery still has to be charged in camera, a separate charger is surely a must, especially with such a short battery life. My A57 battery lasts for days.

All in all this camera is expensive for what it is. I will use it for out and about photography when I know I'll need the huge zoom, which is basically why I bought it, but for landscapes and specialist work I will continue to use my A57.

UPDATE 2nd August 2014
BEWARE!!! I purchased this camera under the £40 cash back offer but 2 months later I still haven't had my refund and absolutely no response from Sony whatsoever. They have ignored my every request of asking when my refund will be arriving.
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