Expert Review of Sony Cybershot DSC HX7V
Sony has, time and again, produced cameras that have proved to be, if not the best in the world then certainly, the classiest around, one such example is Sony CyberShot DSC HX7V, which is a very advanced travel zoom camera packed with features and offers 10x, 25-350mm zoom lens, 16.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, built-in GPS tracking complete with a compass, full 1080i high-definition video recording with stereo sound and HDMI output, and 3D sweep panoramas and 3D still images. There are many other key features which define this device, these include a rightly intelligent sweep panorama mode, which now also includes a humongous 42.9MP high resolution mode, then there is a 3-inch LCD screen with tremendous 921,000 dot pixels, a 10fps burst shooting mode at full resolution, an ISO range measuring 100-3200, an Optical SteadyShot which is accompanied by Active Mode that rightly cuts in through all the shakes that disturb the camera while shooting the handheld HD video, then there is an intelligent auto plus, program and full manual shooting modes, also with it is a support, which lies for both memory stick pro duo and a secure digital card. That being said, we can say that we can easily earn this device in the color combinations of White, Red, Blue, and Silver. Now, in simple language it can be easily said that this camera is just a brilliant replacement for Sony CyberShot HX9V, one of the best travel zoom of all time, and features a really modest 10x zoom, slightly slow end AF, and a real high quality 1080i video quality, apart from that it still offers the same cutting edge features, a tremendously powerful image quality, and highly intuitive handling on the part of Sony CyberShot HX9V. Sony very well has been quite simply able to bring forward an excellent image quality, much better than the 10-megapixel Sony CyberShot HX5 offers, in spite of the move to a very resounding 16-megapixel sensor. This backlit sensor really provides highly amazing results from ISO 100-800, with the fastest of settings being from ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 suffering from too much noise and too much smearing of the rather fine detailed device. The chromatic aberrations of the device should be at the best, said to be controlled and the colors are very accurate, the 25-250mm lens commendably does not necessarily suffer from too much distortion and either end of the zoom range of this device. The manual mode on Sony CyberShot HX7V allows you to gain a shutter speed that lasts to a speed up to 30 seconds for a highly effective shooting in the night time, although there was the absence of Aperture and Shutter priority modes which were thoroughly missed, the rivals do offer them and hence, the only two aperture modes available in manual mode somehow limit you to quite an extent and provides a border to what you can really achieve. As was the case with its predecessor Sony CyberShot HX9V, we also missed the support for the RAW format, which would simply mean icing on the cake for these devices. Sony has a popular Sweep Panorama mode, which holds together a very decent 42.9-megapixel HR mode, and the Backlight Correction HDR feature only increases the detail in the shadow and highlight areas, very dramatically. Beginners should not at all fear Sony CyberShot HX7V either, as the Sony’s highly excellent hand-holding iAuto modes are more than effective, a bad news for the competitions.
Design and Build Quality
The design and build quality has to outclass all as obviously it is a Sony product, it is a very slender device and measures just under 3cm at the narrowest point and weighs a good 208gm, still much thanks to the 10x lens embedded in it and a large 3-inch 921,000 dot screen at the rear, totally covering it. The quality of the screen is much better than the traditional 230k screen. Providing the means of gripping the camera is textured quite substantially, rubberized protrusion on the front and a smooth thumb-shaped area on the rear, makes the DSC-HX7V easy to get to grips with, despite its mostly metal surface. Also located at the front of Sony CyberShot HX7V, is the centrally located lens, a porthole on the right for the self-timer/AF illuminator and a small and narrow window for the flash on the left.
Focus and Face Detection
The camera focus is based on a 9-point autofocus and has an AF illuminator to go with it. The focus is sharp and quick, which helps the image quality and keeps it intact. Further, the join features of face recognition and smile shutter function enhance the camera’s snapshot simplicity. The face recognition detects human faces in the frame and automatically adjusts focus, exposure, and white balance for the recognized faces, more so, it can distinguish between children and adult faces. While Smile recognition depends upon photo being taken only after a smile is detected, in this option, there are three, pretty self-explanatory options: big, normal and slight. The features work promptly and produce some happy pictures, especially in contrasting lighting conditions. There is also a self-timer that takes a photo after two seconds when it detects a single person or two, even enter a frame perfectly thus granting the camera the ease appeal it so effortlessly advertises.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Now a days, it is sort of an eligibility criteria that a travel zoom simply has to offer 10x or more in a compact body so that it is very easy to carry and fit inside your pocket, with some of the more recent models also upping their ante to a highly efficient 16x lens. Sony CyberShot DSC HX7V holds a more moderate approach for the device with the 10x optical lens being extended with highly respectable maximum apertures of f/3.5 at 25mm wide-angled setting and f/5.5 at 250mm full telephoto setting. This lens, which is sported on Sony HX7V is a real joy to use, How? Well, having a wide angled lens in such a compact one makes the camera really adaptable to the situations. Everything from the big wide angled landscapes to candid normal long distance portraits is will inside the range. The 25mm focal length on our camera gives rise to a wide angle of view that increases your creativity many fold. You need not go back to your standard 35 mm lens after using the 25mm super efficient lens on DSC-HX7V, or even a 28mm one, it should be noted that 3mm at wide angle makes a lot of difference even for such a short measurement.
Screen and Menus
Gracing the rear end of Sony Cybershot HX7V is a prominent and large enough 3-inch LCD screen. It comprises of a new and much improved resolution of 921,000 dots, and in doing so, removing that one lack of feature that was in Sony’s previous HX5. It is a bright screen to view your images and compose on. To its right you will find the commodious one touch movie-recording button and even a playback button, small in size but aptly placed. The menu system has its perks, users have the freedom to dive in and out of created folder of images or the calendar view, select slideshows, view thumbnails and even pick from transitional effects and accompanying music , or delete shots. When you half press the shutter, it focuses and shifts to the capture mode. The menu is pretty accessible from all the buttons, take for example the menu playback button, you have inside it a couple of retouching effects, with the ability to crop , sharpen images and even correct red eye. So, you get the idea of the menu being well laid out, interactive and even importantly simpler.
The compartments of the battery and memory card is protected by a plastic cover. The battery used in the camera is a lithium ion rechargeable one, and incredible for travellers. The camera also has a battery life indicator. On the other hand, the camera is compatible with SD / SDHC format memory cards in addition to Sony’s own proprietary Pro Duo Memory stick. On top of that, there is a worth 11MB internal memory as a back on, which you can save up to 9 full resolution still photographs. The camera lasts 290 shots on a full charge or an equivalent of 145 minutes, this is the CIPA standard rating with LCD screen on.
Present and correct are the increasingly ubiquitous abilities to shoot High Definition video clips, but unlike its main competitors, the HX7V does so at 1080i HD rather 720p, and also with stereo sound rather than mono. In our reviewed device, Sony CyberShot HX7V present is the ever-amazing ability to shoot the HD video clips, it is mandatory now a days, but well, this is where the device stands out, for rather than shooting at 720p HD, the shooting of video is done at the highly advanced 1080i Full HD quality, and also with stereo sound rather than just a mono sound. The various options are 1920 x 1280 or 1440 x 1280 pixels at 50i in the AVCHD format, and 1440 x 1280, 1280 x 720 or 640 x 480 pixels at 25fps in the MPEG4 format.
Sony CyberShot HX7V runs on a 16.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, which is amazing to say the least.
· GPS provides useful information - quick lock
· Full HD video with stereo sound and optical zoom
· Good image quality - excellent colour
· Built in optical image stabilisation
· Excellent low noise up to ISO1600
· Images look great on the high quality screen
· Clever high resolution panoramic mode
· Limited telephoto zoom compared to alternatives
· Some purple fringing in extreme conditions