Review – Sony HX200V Zoom Camera

Description of Item A ‘bridge’ camera, hybrid between a point and shoot compact and a digital SLR, the Sony HX200V is stuffed with features including:

  • 18.2 megapixels
  • Powerful 30x optical zoom 
  • Superior Auto mode makes great shots effortless, or you can take full control with DSLR-like manual functions
  • Exmor R CMOS sensor gives brilliant performance in low light conditions
  • Panorama sweep function and multiple pre-set modes to capture the best images – low light, motion blur reduction, soft skin, fireworks, snow, beach, food and pet!
  • GPS tracking of where images are taken
  • Full HD video and 3D image capability.

How We Use It We used to use a digital SLR camera (Nikon D40) with two lenses (24-55mm and 70-200mm) which served us really well, but we found it to be a lot of kit to carry, and inevitably we had the wrong lenswhen a lot of the time. When we returned to the UK for Dave’s MOT we sold the SLR and lens and started to investigate what would be a suitable replacement. The Sony HX200V came out top and we’ve used it ever since for all our photos and video. We’ve added some photos taken to the bottom of the page to show the various functions.
What Do We Love?
  • It’s much smaller and lighter than our previous camera, but not so small that it’s fiddly to use or feels flimsy. Nice solid controls and the option to use either the LCD screen or viewfinder (ideal for in bright light situations).
  • The zoom is unbelievable. I have stood and taken an image of a church and spire, then without moving zoomed right in to the head of the weather vane on the top of it.
  • The panorama sweep enables us to take beautiful wide-angle panorama images as the camera cleverly stitches it all together itself.
  • It can see much better than us in low light, even the darkest of scenes come out well, and there’s also a great mode for photographing landscapes – it takes three images in one go and merges them together so you get detail in the shadow foreground and sky.
  • It has quick reactions, you switch it on and by the time you have to your eye it’s ready.
  • Manual functions enable you to get creative, and the changes to the image are shown on the LCD – if you shorten the shutter speed the image on the LCD goes darker to show you the change.
And What’s Not so Great?
  • The lens cap is attached to the camera on a cord and can flap around in the way a bit, we could unhook it, but as we kept losing our old lens caps we’ll put up with it.
  • There isn’t an option to add physical filters onto the lens (such as a uv one for protection), so we have to be careful not to scratch it or the LCD screen.
  • When you switch the camera on the lens pops out (great for a quick image), when we’re only turning it on to view what we’ve taken we forget to remove the lens cap and it sometimes gets trapped by the lens – easily solved by turning the camera off.
Our Summary At around £300 it is expensive if you are looking for just a point and shoot camera, however if you’re looking for something with bags of features and the ability to control manually, then you’ll be impressed with this camera.
Where Can I Get It? We got ours from a local camera shop as we needed it before we hit the road again, but you can get one (cheaper – grrr) from Amazon. If use the links on our site you pay exactly the same as you would going direct to Amazon, but we get a small commission.

Testing the zoom function. This is using the lens at it’s widest setting
This is taken from the same spot, but is at maximum optical zoom (30x)
Still on the same spot, this is taking it to the maximum digital zoom (40x) the quality suffers when you get this far though, and it’s tricky to get what you want in the frame without a tripod.
This was taken on full zoom and the image is uncropped, so the moon filled the frame!
This is the brilliant back-light compensation mode, before we’d either see the sky and darkness at the bottom, or the trees and white sky – the camera takes three images at once and blends them for the best result – amazing!
We’re very impressed with it’s low light results
Here we were playing around with the manual settings, slowing down the shutter speed to blur the people walking around Ju
One of many, many modes you can play with – this one only shows the colour you want, in this case green!
Saved the best until last. This is us playing around with the panorama sweep function in the Mercesds Benz museum – yes Jay just made it into each end of the pic!


1 Comment

  1. I so need a new camera… must write my Father Christmas letter x Hope you guys well.. off to the Wheelers Sat for some nosh… baby girl turns 2 on Sunday!! Wowsers… love you lots xxxx

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