on 25 April 2015
An astonishing little camera.
I usually use an SLR, but wanted a small camera to keep in my pocket. When it arrived I thought I had made a mistake as this is quite a chubby little fellow. I don't like viewing screens, preferring proper viewfinders. The image was hard to see on bright days. (You can buy a viewfinder for this camera but it costs more than the camera itself). The zoom is extreme and seemed to struggle to focus on distant objects. However, I thought I'd give it time and try to master its many facets. I turned up the brightness on the viewing screen, which helped a lot. I discovered that the zoom does focus, but it sometimes waits until you depress the shutter button. I took it away on holiday along with my SLR and ended up just using the Sony! It is amazing! The quality of image is stunning. The panorama mode is great for big sweeping views. The zoom is brilliant, and no quality is lost, even at X30 as it is optical, not digital. There's a setting for every possible type of photo you wish to take; it even spots a smile and frames it! (This even actually worked when it picked up a face on a poster on the street). In dark places where I couldn't use flash it processed the shots and still produced bright images with no blur. It also has all the usual manual settings for special effects etc. In short, now that I have found my way around it, this camera is technically amazing. And for those who just want to point and shoot, it does that perfectly, with bright colour and sharp 20mp clarity.
on 25 April 2014
I was looking for a pocketable zoom camera. My shortlist was the Nikon S9700, Sony HX60, Panasonic TZ60. I tried these out at the local JL store and the Sony won. First, it is easy to hold the Sony camera in one hand and shoot the photo. I'm 74 with average-sized hands. The other cameras were less easy to hold one-handed. Second, and this may not be the best test of the cameras, I took photos at both ends, wide and zoom, of the lens in the store. The test piece was a sign at the far end of the story, white lettering on a mid-blue background. The photos taken with the Panasonic and the Nikon on long zoom came out quite dull and looked nothing like what I could see in the distance with my eyes. The Sony rendered far better what I could see with the naked eye. This may have something to do with the quality of the Sony screen, but I don't think so. At the wide end of the lens, the Sony colours were truer to what I could see, although the Panasonic was not far behind. Third, I was attracted to the Panasonic by its having a viewfinder. Forget it. It's next to useless. Fourth, the Sony would make a good camera for those who require one for street photography. It is unobtrusive in the hand, it comes with a wrist-strap and it costs a lot less than the cameras, like the Ricoh GR 16MP and Nikon Coolpix A, which have been suggested as ideal for that purpose. I have a small Ricoh GX100, now a bit long in the tooth, a Nikon P7700, and a Nikon D90. I am an enthusiastic amateur with about 50 years experience of photography. Incidentally, I bought the Sony DSC-HX60 in the JL store, there being no real price difference between there and Amazon
on 22 January 2016
I normally use DSLR's but have wanted something just to carry around with me which is light and don't have to fiddle on getting the right lens for certain shots.
I searched around for a long time before buying the Sony. I was wanting something that had big zoom, manual mode, manual focus and at least 15secs for long exposures. I also wanted a hot shoe for flash triggers, this wouldn't be a deal breaker, but it has all of my boxes ticked. I would of preferred a viewfinder but it's not the end of the world.
So far I'm getting around 700-800 shots per charge which is a lot more than Sony have said, but I've got a Sony DSLR and I can get 900 out of that when Sony say 600 so the battery life is very good.
This camera has so much tech in, some of it I won't use, but it's got something for everyone I would say.
One other thing that I've been very impressed with is the 60x digital zoom, I've had other cameras where they are unusable when it goes digital, I've attached a moon shot at 60x and also a long exposure shot, I think it was 8secs.
After saying all the great things like every camera the HX60 does have some flaws and that although the camera looks very beautiful to me, it does have some build issues. I'm not sure whether it's just this camera I have but the battery/SD card door doesn't shut flush as good as it should and although this doesn't cause any issues of it working properly. The other is that the lens has a bit of rattle esp at telephoto.
All in all though thus far a great product that won't break the bank.
I've had quite a few compact superzoom camera's over the years, including bridge camera's and after returning the totally pants Canon sx270 got a HX60 in Sept 2014, Yes it's not as sturdy and well made as previous HX camera's (the HX9 was a work of art), however it is without doubt the best compact I have ever owned, it is by no means perfect and isn't the best that will ever be made, but if you want a small, pocketable superzoom camera that is a joy to use for around £200, you can do a lot worse.
I paid £249 for mine, from Jessops it came with a Sony camera case and hahnel battery which represents great value (the case & battery alone would cost you around fifty quid ;-).
Charging the camera is done via a power adaptor/usb cable, to transfer images remove the power adaptor bit. I bought a charger/battery bundle on Amazon for a tenner, as I do find "in camera" charging restrictive.
This does speed up the recharge process while enabling me to carry on shooting (with the spare battery).
The instructions for the camera are very poor, and even the one's online are very poor.
The camera is small and sturdy.
Great retro look.
It has a good handgrip
Image quality is excellent at iso 80-200, very good to 400, and pretty good if not cropping at 800.
Image colours are fantastic and very true to life.
The x30 lens is great but a bit slow when zooming for my liking (compared to other cameras).
It underexposes slightly, but this is easily fixed by dialling in +.3 or +.7 evf.
Focussing is not as fast as I'd heard about, it's no slouch but don't expect dslr focussing speeds and yes the af point drifts in an out, even when not in cont auto focus, which is annoying.
The camera's P.A.S.M Mode's are great for experienced photographers, but do obviously have limits, you won't able to select F22 for example.
The superior Auto is best used in low light, and auto in good light.
White Balance is a bit hit or miss, and presets aren't 100% accurate all the time.
The camera only shoots jpeg images, there is no RAW capability.
The HX60 does not have GPS, it's a gimmick anyway, My DSLR has it and I've used it once in over 2 years.
NFC - yes it has it, but it's another gimmick and needs a capable and compatible smart phone/tablet.
Wi-Fi is present and yes it works fairly well.
As per normal for a compact, Sports mode is pointless unless you use it in bright sunshine, as the AF system can't cope with fast moving subjects in poor light.
Overall I do find the Camera's AF to be frustrating when it comes to moving subjects, I had expected better, the hit rate is very disappointing, and that's despite having rave reviews and comments about focussing speed.
The flash has to be put up manually by pressing the flash button, it pops out quite a way and does look a bit fragile when fully extended, when finished you just press it down, to be honest I find the flash adequate; for macro and close subjects it's good but if feet away it's under powered, as you'd expect upping the iso does help and yes you can set the flash compensation, but this doesn't help much.
There is no direct access manual macro mode, however it can very easily be activated by switching to auto or superior auto and getting close to your subject. I also discovered that with a bit of experimentation in P mode you can get some pretty amazing close up shots for a compact.
Using "auto iso" does give you greater iso flexibility, for example in P mode you get iso 80,100,200,400,800, 1600 & 3200, however using auto provides additional settings e.g 250 and 640 etc, which can help with the noise issue (640 being less noisy than 800 ;-). However using auto iso can take it the other direction; higher than you'd like, so common sense/understanding has to be applied.
Long exposures are possible (using a very slow shutter speed, tripod and the timer) making light trails etc accessible.
Video quality is pretty much what you'd expect from any modern camera; hd with good sound, zoom action is slow though.
The biggest gripe I have so far is the battery compartment door, it is poor and opens by itself very frequently, because of where it is and how you hold the camera, putting some black lecky tape over it has cured the problem.
Below iso 800 the camera takes pleasing photo's most of the time, above iso 800 quality takes a dive, to get around this for static subjects you can use hand held twilight or multi frame noise reduction which really does make a difference to noisey images.
Images at both ends of the zoom are good with images at the max x30 setting being far better than you'd expect, clear zoom is ok but degrades the image, a lot, so use sparingly.
That 20.4mp sensor is both good and bad in equal measure; the detail in the photo's at low iso settings is fantastic, however up the iso to 800+ and it all turns to mush, even with low noise reduction enabled, as I've said you can get around that with MFNR or HHT, but only for static subjects.
The Multi interface shoe is imho a gimmick, if the camera had raw, and overall better anti noise ability then it would have merit, however noise and cost of the accessories (very expensive; e.g the flash is over £160) defy logic, especially when for an £100 extra you can get the Brilliant RX100.
If you desire a long lens in a small pocketable camera which is good to use and capable of producing great photo's below iso 800 then I can recommend the Sony HX60, I really enjoy using this camera and although not as good build wise as earlier Hx camera's it's like my Old Panasonic TZ3; a total pleasure to use, I often reach for this instead of my far superior DSLR. I did look at the Canon Sx700, Nikon S9700 and Panasonic Tz60, but in all honesty it ended up a two horse race (TZ60 vs HX60), because these are the best 2 (the Panasonic tz & Sony hx series have always been top dogs). The TZ60 is a lot more expensive and I hate the look and feel, it's viewfinder is a waste of space, and not very practical. The best advice I can give is that once you've shortlisted your favourites go into your local curry's etc and try for yourself, 5 minutes in store will settle the decision, very quickly.
A minority of reviewers have mentioned build quality, having a wealth of experience and actually playing with all the alternatives I am happy to say this; look at the mickey mouse alternative's, and then the many rave reviews from people who have actually turned it on and used the jog dial etc. The Canon SX700 for example looks like a toy, doesn't have a lot of the HX60's features and have you seen where the power button is ;-).
The Hx60 is not perfect, (what camera is ;-), but for the price and what it has and can do only one similar camera can touch it (TZ60) and that's not as pretty, and a lot more expensive.
Mine developed a minor fault and within a week Sony had provided free postage, repaired and returned it, it took Canon a month to finally agree to free postage and then several weeks to fix and return the sx270, and the video mode was still useless. Build quality is one thing, excellent service is another.