SONY DSC-HX300 LENS
The lens used in HX300 has 50x optical zoom which is massive. In 35mm terms, this camera covers 24-1200mm range. This is ideal for distant subjects like wild animals or amateur paparazzi wannabes… still, keep in mind this zoom is usable only with good light. Image stabilization helps a lot at maximum zoom, but as soon as the sun hides behind the clouds, you’re in trouble.
Here’s an example how much zoom this camera actually gives:
Optics are quite good. Besides minor loss of sharpens toward the corners and chromatic aberrations, there’s not much to complain about it. At maximum zoom, some light falloff will be seen, but it can easily be removed in post process. Ultimately, it’s the sensor which limits final image quality.
Still, keeping the ISO low and with some post process Sony DSC-HX300 is capable of really nice images like this moon shot below. I already published a post how to take an image like this, you can read it here.
SONY DSC-HX300 BATTERY
Li-Ion battery has enough juice for around 200 shots. That’s average in this class, but it’s a shame Sony didn’t use bigger battery since it could easily fit in HX300′s big grip. The battery is charged in camera via USB cable.
Video recording is what I liked best about Sony DSC-HX300 (besides large grip). It records in full HD (1920×1080) with native 60p frames per second. Videos are really smooth and very detailed so I dare to say this is the best video in any consumer grade digital camera (and I’ve used most of them). Videos at maximum zoom are a bit shaky but this at to be expected. You can view video samples at my Youtube channel.
Altogether, I’d say Sony made a step forward with the latest ultra zoom HX300. It feels like an improved HX200 with more optical zoom and even bigger body and grip. Image quality is decent, and video mode is superior to any compact or ultra zoom camera on the market.
Personally, I would still choose Canon SX50 but purely on its ability to shoot RAW format; I doubt many potential buyers of this type of camera will want it or know how to fully utilize it. Another worthy competitor is Nikon Coolpix P520 whose review I will publish this weekend. It also great camera and might be more appropriate if you need manual controls and a bit more advanced features. Sony HX300 is more of a camera which is best left on AUTO; you only to need push the shutter button and the results are here.
SONY DSC-HX300 PRO
- Design and grip size
- Superb video
- Good LCD with tilt-option
SONY DSC-HX300 CONS
- Occasional dulled colors
- No manually selectable macro mode
- Cannot turn image review off
- Slow playback zoom