Summary: With its in-camera GPS, digital compass, wireless image and video sharing via TransferJet, accelerometer-driven panorama mode, and 1080i high-definition video capture in AVCHD format, it's easy to overlook the fact that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V is, in fact, a camera.
Excerpt: The DSC-HX5 is Sony's first entry into the increasingly popular travel-zoom sector, which typically offers a 10x or bigger zoom lens in a compact camera that you can still fit inside a pocket. Panasonic started the trend a couple of years ago with the debut of the market-dominating TZ-series, but they've since been joined by offerings from Samsung, Nikon, Casio and now Sony, who have seemingly stuffed virtually all of their competitors' main features into the new HX5.
Conclusion: The Sony Cyber-shot HX5 is a competently constructed and thoughtfully featured compact at a keenly competitive price. For the amateur photographer wanting both portability and versatility in the one device - without actually trading up further and spending twice the outlay on a Micro Four Thirds type hybrid camera - the above combination ensures that the HX5 is well worth any expectant traveller seeking out.
Pros: Longer focal length lens affords a wider range of creative framing possibilities, lots of innovative features on board that you don't normally find in this price bracket, smooth to use (and review) Sweep Panorama function is a bonus
Cons: Sweep Panorama function produces lower resolution stills than supplied by (admittedly more expensive) NEX models - and it isn't 3D - plus the camera requires a period of familiarisation if the user wishes to move beyond pointing and shooting
Excerpt: With its in-camera GPS, digital compass, wireless image and video sharing via TransferJet, accelerometer-driven panorama mode, and 1080i high-definition video capture in AVCHD format, it's easy to overlook the fact that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V is, in fact, a camera.
Pros: Panorama, low-light, backlight correction modes; GPS receiver and compass for geotagging; excellent color accuracy and low-light performance
Cons: No aperture-priority or shutter-priority modes; geotagging requires software on a Windows PC; images aren't always sharp
Summary: The image quality is on a par with other compacts, but we expected it to be better. We compared the Sony with a conventional compact and could not see any reason to prefer one to the other. Sony may be onto something with the new backlit sensor but as things stand we’ll never know. When shopping look at the Panasonic TZ10 – it also has GPS and the NR is less destructive.
Pros: In ideal conditions and with ISO setting no higher than 200 the image results are good. The curious Twilight Handheld and Backlight Correction modes do improve pictures in some conditions.
Cons: The noise reduction is aggressive, smudging fine detail. It cannot be turned off and it is applied at all ISO speeds, so we were not able to test the claims made for the Exmor sensor. In fact the extreme NR produces much the same results from the HX5V as we get from a conventional compact sensor. The LCD is mediocre for this price.
Summary: Lets start with the controls (sorry for the poor shots, I was outside in 12 degree weather). On the top of the camera are buttons for the mode selector dial, zoom/shutter release and power. Right above the lens is the stereo microphone. On the back is a D-Pad for menu and feature selection, a quick movie mode button, large 3" LCD screen with an anti-reflective coating.