PROS / This camera automatically takes panoramic photos with the push of a button.
CONS / The Cyber-shot won’t let you shoot images in RAW format.
VERDICT / This camera has everything you need, both in the lens and in the body, for shooting any type of scenario.
The Sony Cyber-shot HX200V is one of the best bridge cameras both on and beneath the surface. The camera has an 18-megapixel sensor and image processor, and with the improved stabilization, movies and images come out clearer than ever. The Clear Image Zoom extends the zoom range to 60x without losing image quality. This camera works perfectly for shooting images or recording video of high-action sequences since all videos are 1080p. And with a handful of extra features, the HX200V handily earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
The first thing you will appreciate about this camera is the excellent photo and video quality. This camera, and all bridge cameras, won't match a DSLR camera for quality, but the HX200V is a large step up from a point-and-shoot camera. If you are looking to make large, quality prints of your shots, you will have no problem with this device if you adjust the settings accordingly.
This camera lets you adjust things like the ISO, shutter speed and exposure. The Sony cyber-shot has an ISO range of 100 to 12,800, which is one of the largest ranges on the market. This range makes the camera a solid choice if you enjoy shooting starry skies and want to create your own time lapse. This camera also has a focal length of 29 mm to 870 mm. This is well above the average of other cameras we looked at and comes in extremely useful for many types of photography. You're able to get a wide-angle shot of your environment, or you can use the camera lens as a macro lens and get close-ups of flowers, insects or animals.
The Sony Cyber-shot also works well when recording video; it's the best in its class, in fact. There are a few video settings to choose from such as 1920 x 1080, 1440 x 1080 and 640 x 480. The camera has a maximum HD setting of 1080p and shoots up to 60 frames per second. We love that a camera like this shoots up to 60 fps because it allows you to get smoother video if you are shooting fast sequences like a sporting event. The HX200V also lets you shoot at 24 and 30 fps as well.
This Sony Cyber-shot has plenty of tools to help you capture the best picture. There is a sweep panorama feature that lets you hold down the button and as you pan across your subject, it captures all that footage and creates a professional-looking panorama. The camera also shoots 3D panoramas as well as 3D single shots. Background defocus is another technology inside the Cyber-shot. This feature takes your subject and makes it the focal point of your picture by blurring the surrounding environment. This helps you skip a step without having to load up a photo-editing program.
There are other post-editing options available on this camera. You can edit the color, tones and contrast of all your images. A histogram assists in adjusting the brightness and the toy camera effect simulates a tilt-shift lens. This effect gives your images a miniature, toy-like effect. There is also an HDR effect you can apply to your images.
Burst mode lets you capture full resolution photos up to 10 frames per second for 10 photos. There is a waiting period while the camera saves all those photos, and once the focus and exposure are set on that first shot, all other photos share those same settings.
This bridge camera houses many of the same controls you will find on DSLR cameras. There is a zoom control around the lens barrel, which you can use to focus as well. The custom button behind the shutter release is useful for exposure lock, white balance and even metering. The electronic viewfinder is small but useful in bright conditions. The 3-inch LCD screen folds out so you can look at it from many positions. The screen is large enough to adjust the settings and even edit photos after shooting.
The camera sits at just over 20 ounces so it isn't too heavy, but it's definitely bigger than point-and-shoot cameras that fit right in your pocket. This is something you will notice with any bridge camera.
The camera has no internal memory but there is no limit to the size of memory card inserted. The battery is powerful enough to give you over 450 shots if you are using the LCD, or 490 if you are only using the viewfinder.
Help & Support
Sony offers live chat, email and telephone support options. In the way of device help, there are several videos and tutorials on the website. You can download manuals from Sony as well or head over to the camera community forums and see what the professionals are saying. There are no sections dedicated to photography tips and trick; however, the amount of people on the forums makes it easy to find nearly anything you need.
The Cyber-shot HX200V is a perfect answer if you want a high-end performance camera, a long, powerful compact lens and the ability to change all the settings between manual and automatic. There are plenty of post-editing options you can do straight from the camera so you can tailor your results. You will also find a panorama mode as well as a burst mode that lets you create amazing time-lapse photography. It doesn't matter if you are experienced or new to photography, you will find this camera fits all your needs.