Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Review

It is time for full review for this superzoom babe I had. I gotta admit I am having fun with compact sized camera and kinda started to abandon my Olympus E-P3. Alright my review will be divided into few parts, so let's start with something you all familiar with ;)

Key Specification

  • 20.4 megapixels
  • 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) BSI-CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ imaging processor
  • ISO 100 - 3200 (6400, 12800 with boost)
  • 24–720 mm with f 3.5-6.3
  • 3-axis SuperSteady Shot image stabilization
  • 3″ Fixed 921,000 dots XtraFine LCD Screen
  • 1920 x 1080 (60fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30fps), 640 x 480 (30fps) video recording
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Lithium-Ion NP-BX1 battery
  • 272 g
  • 108 x 64 x 38 mm
  • RM 1,499

Ease of Use

As a travel zoom camera, Sony willing to take a step to offer 30X optical zoom (24–720 mm) and yet retained the camera body in the smaller form with maximum apertures of f/3.5 at the 24mm wide-angle setting and f/6.3 at the 720mm full telephoto setting. It is such a joy using HX50V with everything from ultra-wide landscapes to candid long-distance portraits within easy reach. The 24mm just wide enough for my liking and I wouldn't wanna go back to 28mm. Yes the 4mm make a difference!

HX50V has simple layout on top and back facing of the body. Unfortunately it wasn't so suitable for manual setting (M,S,A,P MODE) shooter that shoot aggresively. The control button could be pain in ass. It is just good enough for casual shooter who want to shoot in manual setting. Sadly there's no support for the RAW file format, which would really have been the icing on the cake for serious photographers looking for a backup pocket camera to their DSLR.

There is also a hotshoe which Sony called it 'Multi Interface Shoe.' It can be used for attaching one of a range of accessories, including a more powerful flash, an electronic viewfinder (FDA-EV1MK), and even an optical viewfinder (FDA-V1K). I have tried with my both Nissin and Yong Nuo flash unfortunately it doesn't trigger. Guess it need a flash it can TTL with.

The HX50V also offers built-in wi-fi connectivity. You can wirelessly transfer your photos to a smartphone or tablet that's running the free PlayMemories Mobile app, or directly to a networked PC for easier backup. You can also view on a DLNA-compatible TV via a wireless router, or send them straight from the camera a TV that supports Wi-Fi Direct. Finally, you can take control of the camera using your smartphone (fire the shutter, set the self-timer and operate the zoom), handy for including yourself in the frame or even more remote shooting.

However the photos transfer via Wi-Fi to the phone or tablet wasn't in full resolution. Abit disappointing in this though. Other than that, it is a killer features for all social media lover to have. I did transfer the camera photo to my phone and allowed me to Instagram it instantly during my HK trip ;)

if you're curious on how far 720mm can zoom, check out my video below :)


Autofocus speed has been very important to me since I have adapted Olympus E-P3 as my main shooter gear. The HX50V no doubt, can focus very fast on day light even on wide angle or telephoto. However, it suffer alot during lowlight.

I brought it to the concert at Good Vibes Festival few weeks back and it is abit pain in ass to focus in telephoto. It often miss to focus or sometime just refuse to focus. Not to mention it is slow. I won't blame that since I know compact camera limitation still there. The lens also not a fast lens for low light. You'll need to sacrifices ISO to gain faster shutter speed when shoot in telephoto when you're shooting action. Well, after all it wasn't a camera for action/sport.

ISO and Noise

As the spec, Sony HX50V comes with ISO ranging from 100 - 3200 (6400, 12800 with boost). It is undeniable that the camera sensor and imaging processer play important roles in noise reduction. I got a habit turning off the noise reduction and also noise filter to all my camera. The HX50V won't be exceptional.

In this ISO and Noise sample, I divided it into 2 parts simply shoot with wide angle (24mm) and also telephoto (720mm).

24mm with 100% crops

ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 12800

720mm with 100% crops

ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 12800

Overall I will say it has produce a very good image quality. Well not until ISO 800 where image started to look soft. Not worth using ISO 6400 and 12800 as it will completely destroyed your images. Other than that, I am very satisfied with the HX50V.


The HX50V come with various format for video recording - 1920 x 1080 (60fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30fps), 640 x 480 (30fps). I often shoot in full HD and the 1080p allowed me to shoot in 60fps. This cause the action and movement in the video become silky smooth which some of our eye couldn't accept it. I did shoot alot video during my HK trips but I am still in progress editing it. Meanwhile, here 1 of the low light video I shoot during my visit to Disneyland :) Enjoy!

More Photos

I have a bunch of photos taken in HK using this camera. Be it daylight, lowlight or even on telephoto, I enjoy using it during my trip. Same goes to some casual event I attended.


What I like : -

  • Small and light. Easy to put in my jeans pocket.
  • The wide angle lens and telephoto.
  • Wi-Fi for easy transfer photos.
  • Hotshoe (though I have no chance to use it at all)

What I dislike : -

  • Slow autofocus on lowlight
  • low battery life

What I hope in future : -

  • Faster lens eventhough it sacrifice abit the camera size
  • Faster autofocus
  • Bigger sensor for the 20MP, either 1/1.7" or 1" like sibling, RX100mII. Don't mind sacrifice abit the camera size
  • Longer battery life
  • Mic jack so that I can use my Rode Mic :P

Ok I guess I am asking too much. Overall, I am very satisfied with the HX50V. It has become my everyday camera to bring out for casual usage but still nowhere near to replace my main shooter when come for jobs or events. For those who looking for superzoom travel compact, this is highly recommended to you :)