Review Of The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300: Very Good Point

For many people, a zoom lens is the single feature that sets a point-and-shoot camera apart from a smartphone for capturing images, and for many of them, the greater the zoom range, the better. The Sony Cyber-shot HX300 and its 50x f2.8-6.3 24-1200mm lens are the result of this. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 both have the same zoom range, but the Sony’s apertures are wider at both ends (albeit only slightly more so than the SL1000’s), giving it a little advantage over the Canon in low light, at least at the wide end.

Characteristics and design

Despite the bigger lens, the HX300’s body is mostly identical from the HX200V’s, thus even though it has a plastic body, the camera is still quite big and heavy. It feels slightly out of proportion because the lens makes up the majority of the weight. Even so, there is enough lens and a good right-hand grip to aid in maintaining stability.
Although it may not appear to have many direct controls for settings, it actually does. A zoom control is located around the lens barrel and is useful for making minor zoom adjustments as well as for manually focusing the lens. On the top, directly behind the shutter release and zoom ring, there is a programmable Custom button that can be used for metering, Smile Shutter, white balance, exposure locking, and other functions.

There is a Focus button right there that you can use to switch between autofocus modes or, if you’re manually focusing, to perform a focus check to make sure your subject is indeed in focus. The last dial is a jog dial that can be used to adjust ISO, exposure compensation, shutter speed, and aperture. It is located to the right of the thumb rest. To move through the options until you find the one you wish to modify, you must press in on the dial. It can become tedious to constantly update these items.
You’re out of luck if you need a hot shoe for an external flash or an input for an external microphone. It’s frustrating that a premium megazoom lacks built-in GPS and Wi-Fi.

Image caliber

The 20.4 megapixel JPEG option, which results in an average image size of about 6Mb, was used to capture all of the sample images included in this study.
During the testing period, the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX300 delivered photographs of good quality. It managed noise reasonably well, with some noise showing up at the relatively slow ISO 400 and getting progressively worse at the faster ISO 800 and 1600 levels. We wouldn’t use any of the fastest ISO3200-12,8000 levels unless absolutely necessary because they all suffer from a loss of fine detail.

Chromatic aberrations were present but well-controlled, and in circumstances with strong contrast, a small amount of purple fringing effects appeared. The 20 megapixel photographs needed additional sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop or you could turn up the in-camera sharpness level because they were a little soft right out of the camera at the default sharpen setting.
Excellent macro performance enables you to focus as closely as 1 cm from the subject. With the very adaptable 50x zoom lens, barrel distortion is admirably well-controlled even at the 24mm wide-angle focal length. With no red-eye and a sufficient overall exposure, the built-in flash performed nicely indoors. The cameras can capture adequate light for the majority of nighttime conditions with a maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds.

Shooting abilities

The HX300 is a fairly quick camera in general. In line with its image quality, the performance of this class of camera falls short of an SLR, but that is to be expected. For instance, it takes 2.1 seconds from off to the first shot. That’s fairly quick considering how quickly the camera must turn on, push the lens out, focus, and shoot in that time. In our tests, the HX300’s shutter lag—the interval between pushing the shutter release and snapping a photo without prefocusing—is 0.2 seconds in well-lit areas and 0.4 seconds in dimly lit areas.
Depending on how much processing the camera needs to do, shot-to-shot times can vary, but overall they felt quick. In our lab tests, the camera fired each shot in less than 0.8 seconds. However, it can take a few seconds before you can start shooting again if you choose a mode or high-ISO level that needs more processing. The lag will increase if the flash is used, slowing it to 3.8 seconds between photos.

A similar punishment applies to burst shooting. Although the HX300 can shoot at a rate of 10 photos per second in full quality, you must wait for around one second every shot as the camera archives the photographs. Moreover, there is no option for continuous autofocus shooting, thus focus and exposure are determined by the first picture.
It’s also important to note that the zoom lens doesn’t move very quickly. That’s OK for films where you would prefer slower, more deliberate movement. But, it could appear a little slow if you’re trying to follow a moving object.


The main improvements to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 over the HX200V model from the previous year include a larger 50x zoom and a few extra megapixels. This doesn’t seem like enough of a step forward though, especially since the majority of our complaints about the HX300 haven’t been addressed, such as the absence of direct access to the ISO speed and other important settings, the absence of a second control wheel, the lack of support for the RAW format, the low-resolution electronic viewfinder, the LCD’s limited tilting capabilities, and the inability to attach an external flash. Even though switching to a 20 megapixel sensor initially appeared to be a good idea, the HX200’s image quality has been marginally degraded, and the GPS capability of that camera has been completely removed from the 2013 edition.

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