Sony’s new super zoom, the HX200 combines a gaggle of features such as GPS, a smile shutter, face detection, anti-blink technology, background defocus, a panorama sweep mode and one-touch full HD video capture capability in a relatively small, DSLR-like package with a big zoom lens and a high resolution sensor, at least by point-and-shoot standards. The camera establishes autofocus fairly quickly in good conditions and shoots promptly when the shutter is depressed. Image quality, both still and video, is good. Image capture options run the gamut from typical compact digital automatic modes to full manual controls.
The camera’s printed user’s manual is short on information but there is a fairly extensive body of information on camera features and operation carried internally. Having to research camera operations and functions by using the camera itself uses precious battery life that’s not being devoted to image capture. Battery life itself is a fairly respectable 450 shots but the battery must be charged in the camera unless the user opts to purchase an external battery charger from Sony’s accessory bin.
ISO noise performance is average for a compact digital and the camera’s strength in this regard lies in the 100 to 400 ISO range, with 800 being the outside limit for decent large print image quality. If it were me calling the shots at Sony I’d have probably dialed down the resolution into the 14 megapixel range and tried to pick up a bit better ISO performance, but if you can shoot the HX200 near the bottom of its ISO range the camera will provide you with nice images.
- Quick AF acquisition time
- Good shutter lag
- Good still image and video quality
- GPS and a host of other features
- In-camera battery charging
- Inadequate printed user’s manual
- ISO performance average