April 9, 2012
- Auto & manual modes
- Very good image quality
- Good 1080i video quality
- Small buttons on rear
- Slow in-camera image processing
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V is an 18-megapixel digital camera with excellent image and video quality in a compact size. It has a strong zoom lens, but is slow due to in-camera processing. With a competitive price, it's a strong contender for your next compact camera.
Using the DSC-HX10V is pretty straightforward and easy to use for most users who have previously used a digital camera. Our only gripe is the buttons on the backside of the camera, which are a little too tiny for our liking. Users with larger thumbs may have trouble being completely accurate with their button presses.
Overall the camera measures 4.1 x 1.3 x 2.4-inches (whd) and weighs 8.3-ounces, so it's definitely small and lightweight enough to put in a purse or even a larger pocket.
The backside has a four-way navigation pad with scroll wheel in addition to three buttons for menu, trash and playback. There is also a dedicated movie button to start recording video, but it's a little slow to start once pressed. The 3-inch LCD display on the back has excellent resolution and looks good, even in sunlight.
Sony includes plenty of shooting options in the Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V, including three auto modes. The Easy Auto mode allows the camera to take complete control of everything, but you'll get rather poor or sub par images in this setting. The Intelligent Auto mode lets you pick from ten different scene types and uses other features like image stabilization, face detection and dynamic range optimization. Superior Auto utilizes HDR imaging to get the best image possible.
For the more experienced shooters, there is a full manual option that allows you to control both the aperture and shutter speeds. There is no aperture- or shutter-priority modes, but at least you get full manual control over both settings.
Shooting speeds are about average, but at times it can be a tad slow. This is most likely due to in-camera processing. This might be evident if you have to quickly shoot a moving subject.
Some of the other specifications of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V include an 18-megapixel resolution, a 16x optical zoom lens with an aperture of f3.3-5.9 and focal length of 24-384mm, and both optical and digital image stabilization. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100-12800. Images are captured in JPEG format and video is shot in 1080i HD in MPEG-4 format. The storage media supported include SD/SDHC/SDXC and Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo.
In subjective image testing, we found most images to be rated as "very good". Even at full size, there was minimal to no detectable noise or image defects. Photos do look best, however, when they are sized smaller than 8.5 x 11-inches, so that includes most of the casual, home usage. If you are unhappy with a particular image, you can use sliders to adjust the image's brightness, hue and saturation.
Movies are captured in 1080i HD maximum at 60 frames per second. Video quality was also quite good, but some noticeable ghosting was visible for fast-moving subjects. The quality definitely isn't as good as a dedicated HD camcorder, but for casual use, it does the job.
Battery life is quite good at a CIPA-rated 340 shots. Battery charging is available through USB in-camera or in the included wall power adapter.