HX90V -- still more observations

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
The HX90V uses the same battery as the HX400V (a DSLR-styled superzoom which has more reach than the HX90V) which is really handy if you happen to own the 400 (I do). The battery is small enough to fit into the watch pocket of your jeans and ride there unnoticed all day. Take care not to run the battery through the washing machine!

The "control ring" -- the ring around the base of the lens -- automatically assumes different functions depending upon what mode you are in. If the camera is in aperture mode, the ring controls apertures. If in shutter mode, it controls shutter, and so forth. BUT . . . and here we get into the complexity of modern computer-controlled cameras . . . if you have activated DMF focusing mode, which allows you to autofocus and then override the autofocus with manual focus on the control ring (very handy for trying to focus on the deer behind the bushes, etc.), then the control ring remains locked on manual focus, and you will have to control aperture, shutter, or whathaveyou with the small rotating ring around the 4-way controlled on the back of the camera.

If you are in manual mode and have DMF focus mode engaged, you can switch between aperture and shutter on the ring around the 4-way controlled by clicking on the bottom of the ring.

The focus assist mode is non-adjustable for magnification. It works okay in good light, but in low light it looks like a rotten signal as seen on the worst TV you've ever seen in your life. The focus assist "sparklies" can be selected for choice of color, but they tend to drench the scene in sparklies even when the focus assist magnification is not engaged, and since lots of stuff tends to be in focus with a small sensor, I find the focus assist sparklies to be essentially useless.

When you pop up the electronic viewfinder, you have to pull the eyepiece toward the back of the camera. Make sure you pull it until it clicks to activate the EVF.

Because the PASM dial is so small, "picture effects" -- posterization, high contrast mono, etc. -- are hidden in one of the menus and can be accessed from there. "Scene" selection -- sports, handheld twilight, etc. -- is on the PASM dial on top of the camera.

There is a selection for shooting video on the PASM dial as well. It seems to work pretty well. You can zoom in or out and autofocus runs continuously so that if you are focusing on a flower on the window sill and then point the center of the frame on the scene outside the window, the camera will smoothly focus on that. You can't take stills while shooting video.

In all, so far I find this a very appealing camera that is no trouble at all to take with me all the time.

The HX90V comes with a very basic paper manual. A 200-plus page PDF file can be downloaded from the web and is worth reading through at least once to get a feel for all the things this diminutive camera can do.

Cheers, Jock

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