This camera from Sony is definitely for those who are looking to graduate from Point and Shoot cameras and are still not ready to take on the DSLR challenge! Sony DSC HX100V packs in most of the functionality of a DSLR, manual focus, LCD adjustment along with a viewfinder and other features like 30x Ultra Optical Zoom, as well High Definition, 3D shooting and Sweep Panorama. So all that it misses out on for it to be a DSLR is the lack of interchangeable lenses and of course the other big differentiator is the price.
Design and Built:
The Sony DSC HX100V with its matte black finish, looks and feels very strong and robust. Yet it is very light which makes it easy to carry around. The entire body is made up of plastic. The rubberised hand grip and the textured thumb rest make it very good for steadiness and strong grip, even if you want to shoot with just one hand.
The shutter button surrounded by the zoom toggle (a very common feature in Sony Digital cameras) along with the Focus and the Custom button is placed on top of the hand grip.The top of the device has the Menu Dial with the On/Off button and the Finder/LCD button and also the in-built flash which pops up when used.
The rear houses the 3.0 inch LCD screen which can be tilted up/down with the Electronic Viewfinder just on top of the screen. To the right of the viewfinder, is the Display and the Record Button. To the right side of the LCD, is the Menu button, Navigation Dial, Delete button, and a Toggle Wheel to navigate through images.
On the left panel, lies the HDMI and USB Ports and also the charging ports concealed with flaps. The memory card and the battery slots are located at the base of the camera.
To start with, the Sony DSC HX100V features a 16.2 Mega Pixel 921,000-dot with Exmor R Backlit CMOS sensor which facilitates images to be clicked in low lit conditions and give good results. This makes it excellent for shooting in low light conditions. The device can shoot at 10 frames per second which makes it very fast.
The lens is a 27mm Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T with 30x optical zoom. The lens can zoom from 27mm wide angle to 810mm telephoto, making it good for shooting close-ups of small things like flowers as well as shooting distant objects like birds.
While, the camera does give you the advantage of both the LCD and the electronic viewfinder. There is a little lag when you switch from the viewfinder to the LCD. The flexibility of the LCD, in terms of tilting it up and down, makes it easy to compose frames in high and low angles.
The Sony DSC HX100V like any other Prosumer, gives you the dual option of Manual and Auto modes. In the Manual Mode, you can fix the aperture and shutter speed as per requirement and is a good way to learn for a beginner. The Manual mode also gives you the option of adjusting the White Balance, Neutral Density (ND), Noise Reduction, Colour Contrast, Face Detection, Smile Shutter and Metering Mode.
With the Neutral Density Filter, one can adjust the light when shooting in harsh light conditions like in afternoons with an over-head sun. It reduces the intensity of the light and prevents your image from looking burnt out.
Noise Redution helps reducing the grainy effect of images shot in low lit condition. With the help of Noise Reduction feature, you can boost the ISO to shoot in low light without compromising on the image quality.
Finally, the Metering Mode helps to enhance the colour of the subject by making the background a little dull.
The camera is capable of shooting images and videos in full 1080p High Definition resolution. It also has the option of shooting in 3D, though it is confined to only shooting images and not videos in 3D. The Sony DSC HX100V has an ISO ranging from 100 to 3200 but it gives you noise after ISO 800. It also has in-built image stabilisation and a GPS tracker which automatically tags the images with the location of the shoot, a useful feature to have.
The camera has 16 scene modes which includes:
Soft Skin (makes the skin look softer as it removes spots and blemishes), Background De-Focus(makes the background dull, leaving the subject to be in full focus), Soft Snap (gives the image a very soft subtle look even if shot in very harsh light condition), Anti-Motion Blur (reduces blur in low light without flash), Backlight Correction HDR (shadow correction), Twilight Portrait (low light with flash), Twilight (low light using tripod, Hand Held Twilight (noise reduction without tripod), High Sensitivity (low light without flash).
The other seven are the modes found in almost all cameras, Landscape, Gourmet, Pet, Snow, Firework and Sports.
It also includes iAuto or Intelligent Auto which automatically selects a scene without manual adjustments. Another feature called Superior Auto which captures sharp images and automatically reduces blur and noise. The Sony DSC HX100V has an upgrade from Sweep Panorama (typical feature in Sony Digital Cameras) to iSweep Panorama which shoots images in High Resolution. A Memory Recall Mode is also present which helps in recalling previous settings.
The Sony DSC HX100V definitely gives you a very DSLRish feel with the round grip and the thick lens barrel. As it includes both manual and automatic settings, it makes a great buy for learners. The Electronic Viewfinder is an added advantage but it would be better if the LCD was touchscreen. With great image quality and a good price, it's definitely worth the buy.
Price: Rs.22, 990
Lack of Touchscreen LCD
LCD cannot be rotated 180 degrees
In the Box:
Rechargeable Battery Pack
Lens Cap Strap