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Home > Cameras > Sony Cyber-shot HX99 evaluation | TechRadar

Sony Cyber-shot HX99 evaluation | TechRadar

The Very important Evaluation

That is TechRadar’s evaluation abstract that provides you with the entire key data you wish to have when you’re on the lookout for fast purchasing recommendation in 30 seconds – our same old complete, in-depth evaluation follows.

The Cyber-shot HX99 is Sony’s newest top-of-the-range shuttle zoom compact digital camera, changing the aging Cyber-shot HX90V

Whilst competitors just like the Panasonic Lumix ZS200 (referred to as the Lumix TZ200 outdoor the USA) have sacrificed zoom fluctuate for a bigger sensor that delivers progressed symbol high quality, the Cyber-shot HX99 is a extra conventional shuttle zoom design, that includes a 30x optical zoom lens that runs from 24mm the entire solution to 720mm. 

Paired with this can be a small 1/2.Three-inch sensor, which is standard for a point-and-shoot compact and a slightly better than the sensors present in most current smartphones. This implies expectancies will have to be saved in test so far as symbol high quality is worried – the 18.2MP sensor will seize better-looking footage than your smartphone can, however no longer via a lot. If you need greater symbol high quality you’ll be able to wish to search for fashions with 1.Zero-inch sensors, however you will not to find one with the similar spectacular 30x optical zoom. The addition of uncooked seize is welcome, supplying you with larger flexibility to tweak and alter pictures post-capture. 

At the rear of the HX99 is tilt-angle, Three.Zero-inch touchscreen, which may also be pulled out and clear of the frame, and flipped spherical for selfies. Having a look on the digital camera it’s good to be forgiven for lacking the truth that it additionally sports activities an digital viewfinder (EVF). It is housed throughout the digital camera, and there is a free up at the facet of the digital camera that pops it out of the highest panel. Whilst its solution is lovely modest and its magnification no longer nice, that means it may really feel somewhat claustrophobic to seem thru, it may be helpful for framing pictures in vibrant mild, when it may be tough to peer what is at the rear display. 

Whilst the HX99 gives shutter and aperture precedence modes, together with complete handbook, the HX99 lends itself extra to make use of as a point-and-shoot compact, with auto and scene modes, in addition to sweep landscape. 

It is no wonder to peer 4K video seize at the Cyber-shot HX99, with recording at as much as 30p, regardless that you’ll be able to want a UHS-I/II U3-compatible card. Talking of which, the HX99 makes use of the a lot smaller microSD layout playing cards, versus the extra in style (for cameras a minimum of) SD layout. It is not a deal-breaker, however it is one thing to bear in mind of. 

Whilst it is a excellent shuttle zoom compact, the Cyber-shot HX99 is not distinctive, with Panasonic’s Lumix ZS70 (or TZ90 if you are outdoor the USA) providing most of the identical options, together with a 30x optical zoom. There is no longer a lot to choose from them, and which one you pick out might merely come down to worth.

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Who’s it for and will have to I purchase it?

The Sony Cyber-shot HX99 is a cast possibility if you are out there for a simple to make use of shuttle zoom compact digital camera. Providing an enormous 30x optical zoom fluctuate, it is flexible sufficient to shoot the rest from expansive landscapes and structure to far flung topics. 

The 18.2MP sensor plays smartly given its small bodily dimensions, however do not be expecting exceptional symbol high quality. We would attempt to keep away from capturing at upper ISO sensitivities, as symbol noise will probably be a subject, with element struggling, whilst if you are desiring to shoot on the lengthy finish of the zoom lens bear in mind that it is not the sharpest at excessive focal lengths. 

The ones on the lookout for a noticeable step up in symbol high quality over their smartphone will wish to spend somewhat extra, on a digital camera reminiscent of Panasonic’s Lumix ZS100 / TZ100, despite the fact that you will have to sacrifice the zoom fluctuate presented via the HX99 for a a lot more conservative 10x zoom. 

Sony Cyber-shot HX99 value

  • Present value: £399 / $449 / AU$729

The Cyber-shot’s key promoting level is the 30x optical zoom lens

  • 30x optical zoom is amazingly flexible
  • Digital viewfinder is a pleasant addition
  • Turn-out rear touchscreen
Sony Cyber-shot HX99 specifications

Sensor: 1/2.Three-inch, 18.2MP
Lens: 24-720mm, f/Three.Five-6.four 
Display screen: Three.Zero-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921Ok dots 
Viewfinder: EVF 
Steady capturing: 10fps
Motion pictures: 4K
Battery lifestyles: 370 pictures
Consumer point: Novice/intermediate

The place a most often smartphone will characteristic a hard and fast, wide-angle lens, Sony has squeezed a 30x optical zoom into the Cyber-shot HX99. This covers a focal fluctuate of 24-720mm, whilst the utmost aperture to be had runs from f/Three.Five on the large finish of the zoom fluctuate to f/6.four on the lengthy finish. 

The zoom fluctuate is the same to that of the HX99’s closest rival, the Panasonic Lumix ZS70 (referred to as the TZ90 outdoor the USA) and can assist you zoom in on topics some distance off within the distance. This sort of zoom fluctuate is overkill for many topics, then again – you’ll be able to most probably be the use of the primary 3rd of the zoom fluctuate for many capturing eventualities. 

At excessive zoom levels the danger of digital camera shake ruining pictures is excessive (as you’ll be able to wish to use slower shutter speeds as the utmost to be had aperture narrows), so Sony has provided the HX99 with its Optical SteadyShot era to counteract undesirable motion for stills pictures.

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The Cyber-shot HX99's coverage at 24mm...

The Cyber-shot HX99’s protection at 24mm…

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...and zoomed in to 720mm

…and zoomed in to 720mm

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The Cyber-shot HX99 makes use of a 1/2.Three-inch sensor with a solution of 18.2MP. The bodily dimensions of the sensor are lovely small, and whilst it is larger than the sensors present in smartphones it is not a lot larger, so do not be expecting dramatically greater symbol high quality than you’ll be able to get out of your phone, particularly if it has a relatively succesful digital camera. 

We discovered focusing speeds to be lovely snappy thru lots of the zoom fluctuate, despite the fact that speeds did drop the nearer we were given to 720mm. The HX99 additionally struggles somewhat as soon as mild ranges drop, however that is standard for a shuttle zoom digital camera round this value level. A pleasing addition this is EyeAF, a characteristic that is trickled down from Sony’s high-end cameras, and which detects and makes a speciality of topics’ eyes. Whilst the HX99 can shoot at 10fps, it’s not in reality fitted to fast paced motion. 

At the rear of the HX99 is a three.Zero-inch touchscreen show, with a relatively reasonable solution of 921,000 dots. Moderately than sitting flush to the frame, the display may also be pulled outwards to 180 levels, which is to hand for each waist-level capturing and selfies. 

In addition to this, the HX99 includes a hid pop-up digital viewfinder (EVF), very similar to those noticed on Sony’s top class RX100 fluctuate of compact cameras. There is a latch on the facet to free up it from the frame, however you do then wish to manually prolong the entrance part ahead of you’ll be able to use it – and somewhat annoyingly, whilst you cave in the EVF again into the frame it routinely shuts down the digital camera.

The standard of the EVF isn’t as much as the usual of the ones at the pricer RX100 cameras, with a modest solution of 638,000 dots. It is usually considerably down at the Lumix ZS70 / TZ90’s 1,160,000-dot unit. In a nutshell then, it is to hand to have when capturing in vibrant mild, however its cramped view and occasional solution imply it is not one thing you might be more likely to need to use ceaselessly.

The battery within the Cyber-shot HX99 is rated for 370 pictures, or 300 when you use the EVF ceaselessly, which is set reasonable for a shuttle zoom compact, whilst there may be USB charging to stay issues easy. There are many connectivity choices, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC on faucet. 

A streamlined design that is additionally very compact

  • Each auto and handbook controls
  • Steel development
  • Weighs 242g

From a distance the Sony Cyber-shot HX99 seems like one in all Sony’s high-end RX100 compacts, with a graceful, understated end. It is in reality a little bit slimmer than an RX100 digital camera, in spite of its additional zoom fluctuate, so that you will have to have the ability to slip this simply into all however the tightest of wallet, and it is pleasant and light-weight too.

Not like the sleek entrance of an RX100 digital camera, the HX99 advantages from a textured handgrip, whilst there may be additionally a small thumb leisure at the again of the digital camera. All the HX99’s buttons are situated at the right-hand facet of the digital camera, which makes it simple to make use of one-handed.

The compromise of getting this type of compact frame is that the buttons are at the small facet, and situated fairly shut in combination. The mode dial on peak of the digital camera is inside simple achieve of your thumb, regardless that, so you’ll be able to temporarily scroll to another publicity mode; it is also no longer too unfastened, so it is not likely that you will trade modes unintentionally.

There is not any devoted publicity repayment regulate, then again; as an alternative you might be required to press down at the rear scroll wheel to get admission to this, ahead of the use of the wheel to regulate publicity. However, at the entrance of the HX99 is a regulate ring which can be utilized no longer best to function the zoom, but in addition custom designed to regulate publicity repayment, white stability, ISO sensitivity, shutter pace and aperture.  

Symbol high quality

  • Uncooked capturing to be had
  • Similar solution as HX90V
  • ISO80-3200 (expandable to 80-6400)

The Cyber-shot HX99 in reality suits the HX90V’s solution at 18.2MP, with Sony no longer tempted to spice up the pixel rely past this to keep away from the greater chance of symbol noise encroaching on footage at upper sensitivities. 

Symbol noise continues to be provide, however supplied you shoot at decrease sensitivities it is conceivable to provide some nice-looking pictures which are properly saturated. 

Pass above ISO400 and you’ll be able to begin to see some symbol smoothing and lack of element in JPEG recordsdata, however the inclusion of the facility to shoot in uncooked (one thing that was once lacking from the HX90V) signifies that at those upper sensitivities it’s conceivable to cut back the results of noise in post-processing. 

We would counsel preserving the ISO underneath 1600; this is not an excellent digital camera for low-light capturing, despite the fact that if you are the use of it as a common shuttle digital camera this is probably not a big factor.

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Now not satisfied? Take a look at those…

If the Cyber-shot HX99 isn’t for you, we’ve picked 3 very good possible choices so that you can believe. 

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Panasonic Lumix ZS100 / TZ100

If you are on the lookout for much better pictures than your smartphone can seize, and you might be ready to compromise on zoom fluctuate, the Lumix ZS100 (referred to as the TZ100 outdoor the USA) is a smart possibility. The 10x optical zoom is not fairly as extensive, however it nonetheless gives first rate achieve, whilst symbol high quality is superb.

Learn our in-depth Panasonic Lumix ZS100 / TZ100 evaluation

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Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90

The Lumix ZS70 (identified outdoor the USA on the TZ90) is the HX99’s closest competitor. With an identical 30x optical zoom, the ZS70 has the next solution EVF, however the display sits flush to the frame. Extra inexpensive the the HX99 at the present time.

Learn our in-depth Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 evaluation

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Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500

Like the speculation of an all-in-one digital camera, however need a better zoom lens and higher high quality pictures? The Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 (referred to as the FZ2500 in the USA) is a bridge compact, so it is somewhat chunkier proposition, and likewise makes use of a 1-inch sensor. 

Learn our in-depth Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500 evaluation