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Initial thoughts on the Sony HX90V pocketable superzoom

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
124
Troy, NY
Not long after I first joined SeriousCompacts (now Cameraderie) some 5 years ago, someone there said "Take a camera everywhere and see what happens." That sounded like good advice to me, and since then I have been on the hunt for the "perfect" every day carry camera. I think I may have found it.

The HX90V combines a highly pocketable package with a ton of reach . . . 24-720mm (e).

The HX90V is small, really small. The body is roughly the size of the GM5, but lens is much smaller than the 12-42 EZ. The total body/lens package is even smaller than the Sony RX100 IV.


The HX90V also offers digital zoom in additional to its optical zoom.

So here's what you get.

24MM

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720mm:

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2x "intelligent" zoom . . . 1440mm

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3x digital zoom 2160mm

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4x digital zoom 2880mm

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The HX90V boots up quickly, deploying the 3-section lens, when you press a small button on the top deck or when you slide a switch on the left side that deploys the pop-up electronic viewfinder. Once it has popped up, you have to pull the eyepiece toward the back of the camera. Using the back screen works pretty well for short focal lengths, but pressing the EVF to your face is pretty much a necessity at long focal lengths.

Here are some shots taken indoors early this am.

P mode:

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Handheld low light mode (four shots taken automatically and combined):

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and using the tiny pop-up flash:

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So far, I like the HX90V pretty well. It travels easily in almost any pocket and does pretty much what I need it to do. Updates to follow.

Cheers, Jock
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
I used one of its predecessors, that only went out to 380mm or thereabouts, to fairly good effect in Africa. I wasn't thrilled about the image quality at long zoom ranges, it didn't have a viewfinder, and the colors in high dynamic range mode would often be cartoonish. I also missed raw. Still, having that kind of range in a pocketable shape was great for a backpacker.

Looks like Sony made big, big strides in the past couple of years. Handheld low light mode looks impressive, and the digital zoom appears to hold up quite well, despite the optical zoom already being twice as long as what I used to have!
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
Just looked it up; that old camera of mine was the 2011 era Sony HX9V. I ended up giving it to my sister after she found her capable superzoom to be too large. A while ago she took over my dad's Panasonic FZ200 though, which is a larger superzoom again, so make of that what you will ;-)
 

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