Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Introducing the Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300
At the end of February 2013, Sony introduced a camera that can be safely described with the words “all at once”. This Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 is a compact camera with 50x optical zoom. Today this handsome man came to our editorial office. He is waiting for a large field test in the format of “week with an expert.” For seven days I will describe my shooting experience with the HX300 and its functions, test the camera in different conditions and show the results of real shooting.
But we’ll start by exploring the Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300. The main advantage of this model is a 50x zoom lens. Its range of equivalent focal lengths is simply amazing: from 24 to 1200 mm at aperture f / 2.8-6.3. I recall how in ancient times I had a 1000 mm lens for a DSLR. At f / 10 aperture, it weighed 2.5 kg and did not fit into a standard photo backpack. For comparison, the Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 weighs only 630 grams with the battery.
The second advantage of the camera is its price. It is equal to the price of a modern entry-level or mirrorless mirror in a complete set without a lens. But only in the case of the HX300 you will have a lens, and one more! It is inseparable from the camera, although the design of the camera uses a shiny ring similar to a bayonet ring. And from the side of the Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 can not be distinguished from a DSLR.
Inside the camera is a 1 / 2.3-inch format matrix. To realize such a large zoom ratio on a larger matrix would be practically impossible. The resolution of the matrix is no less surprising than the zoom ratio: 20.4 megapixels. Isn’t it a bit much for a compact? This is exactly what we will try to find out during our test.
Those who shot on a powerful telephoto lens or on a compact with a large zoom know very well that there is no way to do without a stabilizer. The slightest wobble of the camera, and the picture on the screen or in the viewfinder starts to jump and twitch. Building a frame is simply not possible. The Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 stabilizer, of course, is. And he copes with his task very well. Moreover, the stabilizer has two operating modes: for normal shooting and for active when the object in the frame moves. Everything is like in a professional technique!
Well, it’s time to get to know the camera closer. While the battery is charging, it’s time to carefully consider the case. It is made of plastic, but there is a non-slip rubber pad on the handle. Everything is just like in amateur DSLRs. By the way, and in the hand the camera lies like a reflex camera. This is a merit of the powerful convenient handle.
By analogy with cameras with interchangeable optics, a massive ring made of metal is located on the lens. It is needed for controlling the zoom or for manual focus.
If you need to change some kind of shooting parameter, then this can be done using the control disk. And again, there is a complete analogy with the DSLR: the disk is located on the rear panel exactly under the thumb. To change its functions, you just need to click on it – very convenient!
The display of the Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 is inclined: it can be rotated upward at 90 degrees or lowered downward by 45. That is, shooting from the ground or vice versa, with outstretched arms, is no longer a problem for the photographer. You will have the opportunity to see this tomorrow.
Many photographers say that shooting with large zoom while holding the camera in front of you is difficult. I do not think so. But Sony engineers decided to consider both opinions and add an electronic viewfinder to the camera. If you want – bring the camera to the eye, firmly resting it in the eyebrow for greater stability. If you want, keep it in front of you with outstretched arms. When shooting in bright sunshine, the viewfinder can also be useful.
Video: we haven’t said anything yet. Naturally, the Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 can shoot video. But not just video, but Full HD at up to 50 frames / s for frame-by-frame scanning. And all this with stereo sound, autofocus and a working stabilizer. We will also pay attention to the topic of video shooting in our test. But looking ahead, I want to say that the HX-300 copes well with the functions of a video camera.
Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 also has enough shooting modes: from automatic to fully manual. There is a 3D-mode, and shooting panoramas, and a set of story programs. Tomorrow we will begin with acquaintance with the auto mode. And in the subsequent parts of our test we will tell you how to work with other modes and what manual settings are for.