Initial thoughts on the Sony HX90V pocketable superzoom

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
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.

HX90V size.JPG

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

So here's what you get.


HX90V experiments 023.JPG


HX90V experiments 024.JPG

2x "intelligent" zoom . . . 1440mm

HX90V experiments 025.JPG

3x digital zoom 2160mm

HX90V experiments 029.JPG

4x digital zoom 2880mm

HX90V experiments 030.JPG

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:

HX90V experiments 013.JPG

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

HX90V experiments 014.JPG

and using the tiny pop-up flash:

HX90V experiments 015.JPG

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


Hall of Famer
Real Name
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!


Hall of Famer
Real Name
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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