The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V is replaced in 2013 by the DSC-HX300V in the range of Sony bridge cameras. The HX300 will be upscale, and the flagship of the range unless Sony have reserved a surprise for the rest of the year like a bridge camera with the 1″ sensor of the Cyber-shot RX100 for example … It offers a focal length range of 50x and gets the Exmor R CMOS (back-lit) of 20.4 million pixels.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 offers a a 50x optical zoom, always impressive and highly versatile, and can range between the 24mm wide-angle and super telephoto at 1200mm. The Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens has a minimum focusing distance of only 1cm at wide angle. Fortunately, the image is stabilized by an optical system which operates on three axes. The image capture is left to the the 1/2.3 “CMOS Exmor R CMOS, backlit, 20.4-megapixel resolution. I already tested that Sony sensor on the HX200/HX20 last year and loved it although I am not keen on high density sensors… Sony highlights the new high-speed AF both at wide-angle and telephoto without giving, however, quantitative data on the focusing time. The sensitivity range of the HX300 ranges from ISO 200 to 6,400 and till ISO 12,800 thanks to the multi-image function.
UPDATE 1 : Ahead of the full Sony HX300 review, here is a photo gallery that illustrates the experience of a 24mm AND 1200mm zoom in the same camera complimented by a video fo the incredible 24-120mm zoom lens of the Sony HX300.
UPDATE 2 : if you like powerful zooms but don’t want to get a bulky bridge camera… then, Sony has something for you as they unveiled the Cyber-shot DSC-HX50 today, a pocket camera featuring an impressive 30x zoom (24-720mm !)
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 offers PSAM modes, 16 different scene modes, the automatic scene detection “iAuto” mode “Superior Auto” that takes advantage of the multiimage system, creative effects, a 3D mode mode and digital bokeh does not hurt at all. Among the creative effects I have spotted : HDR paint, toy camera, or pop colors.
In video mode the Sony HX300 records movies in Full HD / 50i. At this level of quality, the bitrate is 28 Mbs. Encoding format is AVCHD. To access the MP4 format, much more flexible, you’ll have to lower the definition to 1440 x 1080 pixels at 25 fps. Full HD recording allows to shoot 15-megapixel stills, and that is neat. Audio is recorded in stereo via the built-in microphone.
In addition to the electronic viewfinder which Sony does not specify the technical specs, the Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is equipped with a 3″display with adjustable angle, Xtra Fine TFT LCD, that offers a resolution of 921,600 dots. The plus of the HX300 UI : a manual zoom ring to control the 50x zoom lens. I like it!
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 weighs 650 g with battery. It offers a battery life of 310 shots per charge.
Price and availability of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
The Sony HX300 will be available in the next few days at the sale price of 500 euros. At that price, it is part of the upper segment of the bridge cameras market. It will therefore come rub a competitor of choice: the Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR.