Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 Review

August 31, 2009 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 lee

Why do you not mentioned the Canon SX1 and/or SX10 in the Rivals section?
And there are others too. People like to considers both higher and lower end alternatives.

10:25 am - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#2 zebarnabe

I agree with lee, SX1 and SX10 are really good examples for rivals section… specially considering the 20x optical zoom on both…

Even the old FZ28 with the 18x and a good image quality is a good rival specially for someone looking for a cheaper alternative…

12:03 pm - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#3 nitroxn

Will there be any updates to this firmware like support for continuous shooting, RAW format, better noise reduction etc. Otherwise this camera is perfect.

5:07 pm - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#4 FreeRadical09

Thats one awfully scratched lens…

You didnt do THAT, right?

2:30 am - Friday, September 4, 2009

#5 roy

This is really a fun camera, with lots of features to encourage shooting. But at the bottom line it produces more noise and gives less details than Canon SX10 IS (and may be there are some more in that line). That’s the only reason I couldn’t accept this one. Otherwise it has the best features among the megazoom compact cameras during its release time.

7:50 pm - Monday, September 7, 2009

#6 Phil

I bought this camera as an upgrade to a very old Canon point and shoot.
So far I have been very impressed, still working out the finer points but very easy to take good photo’s for my needs.
I agree the panorama resolution is a bit disappointing, but you can always use the traditional way and manually stitch a sequence of high resolution images in Photoshop if that is your thing.
At a UK price of £289 I think I got a bargain!

2:36 pm - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#7 Glenn Fernandes

Sony is one of the most trusted company. This model comes with great design and features. Image quality is outstanding. It is a light weight device. It is very easy and comfortable to use. The image quality is really good. Planning to buy one very soon.

6:42 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#8 joetag

I was torn between the Canon SX20 and the Sony HX-1. The Sony has 2 “cool” features that aren’t found on the Canon.

It can do 10fps in a burst and it has a great panorama feature.

Problem with the 10fps burst is that it takes forever after that burst to get your camera back (by forever I mean about 10-15 seconds). And it only does 10 - it stops at 10 - if you want to shoot something for the next 15 seconds you’re screwed. The Canon is really lacking here. It will only do 1.1fps but it’ll keep going until you run out of space.

The panorama is cool but the Canon has a stich function with supporting PC software. I have a A630 as well and it works great.

I also like the idea of AA’s over Sony’s battery. AA’s are a bit heavier (so?) but they’re available just about anywhere. Do you really want to wait on recharging the Sony battery if it dies in the field? Or buy a spare for $60? The Canon also uses SDHC (among other) memory cards. Again, available just about anywhere and much cheaper.

11:52 pm - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#9 Fernanda

Hello there! I am torn btw this HX1 and H20, both sony models. H20 was recommended by a fellow photographer, but it lacks a couple of stuff I want, like viewfinder…and seeing the samples on the image quality session of both reviews it seems that H20 has slightly better quality…so, I ask anyone who has tried these two: Is H20 better than HX1 on image quality or they’r just the same? I mean ANY difference at all?? the slightest one..? hehehe

12:32 pm - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#10 zebarnabe

Given the price i would go for an old SX10 IS that is a lot cheaper now, or a SX1 IS that is at same price (and can do FullHD videos and other tricks).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 would be a nice alternative as well… but if you prefer sony stuff i think H20 is better, specially in low light… a point is that they are diferent cameras, one is a compact one, the other a SLR baby… like the SX110/120 IS and the SX1/10/20 IS ...

Bottom line ... if you’re gonna use a camera for low light hi-iso conditions image quality is better on H20 ... if you gonna take landscape and nature shots HX1 is better given the composition options…

6:05 pm - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#11 john

i’m pretty unfamiliar with most photography/camera info. i’m looking for a camera that will let me take a decent picture of a bird 40 feet up in a tree. it doesn’t have to show the color of bird’s iris and i’m not trying to figure out birds that are .5 mile away, so i think this 20x lens would work.
my concern is the delayed shutter activation that you get with a point and shoot. does this camera fall into that category, or does it have the immediate shutter activation of a film or an SLR camera?

10:33 pm - Saturday, October 31, 2009

#12 zebarnabe

I don’t own a HX1… ...but reading reviews on internet:
“The one thing that was clearly not a problem was shutter lag. The sensitive Shutter button responded quickly to my press and I got the shot I had framed. But the lightness of the camera body itself often meant the image wasn’t quite aligned the way I hoped. It can be hard to frame the subject in the middle of the frame at long focal lengths but pressing the Shutter button often caused the subject to jump to the top of the frame.”

I can tell the Canon cameras are quite responsive as well, and i didn’t hear any complain over panasonic ones they must be as well.
If possible test the camera before buying it, that way you know what you can count on.

Also note that compact cameras (even if not so compact) get quite some noise when you increase ISO to catch fast action, at ISO 800 most of the compacts are already screaming… ISO 1600 you don’t want to print those photos in big (or any) sizes…

2:48 pm - Sunday, November 1, 2009

#13 john

thanks for the response.

4:35 pm - Sunday, November 1, 2009

#14 Jasman

I’m in real estate and am looking to update my digital camera.  Because I take alot of pictures inside of homes, often in low light, I’m looking for a camera that works well in low light situations.  Another plus would be a camera that has a wider than “normal” wide angle lens, to allow me take pictures in tight quarters.
Any suggestions???

5:07 pm - Sunday, November 1, 2009

#15 zebarnabe

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (10.1 Megapixel resolution, full manual control, HD movie recording, a flash hotshoe, RAW recording and a 2.5x optical zoom with optical stabilisation starting at 24mm and a bright focal ratio) has some awesome wide angle lens, results are usable to print up to 400 ISO, at 800 ISO noise i tolerable for small prints, 1600 and 3200 are more for emergencies…

It does not compare to Sony DSC-HX1 in zoom range… so not very reliable to catch stuff far away…

Read some reviews around the web, see if you like what you see, there are other nice cameras, but with wider lens and that image quality in a compact body is quite hard to find

12:27 am - Monday, November 2, 2009

#16 zebarnabe

Sorry for double posting, i almost forgot the Panasonic TZ7 / ZS3 (name changes depending of your region)... a nice puppy with 12x zoom starting at 25mm (so it reaches 300mm if i’m not mistaken) ... worth checking as well… since it handles ISOs in a nice way as well… i think it is classified as a best buy in PhotographyBLOG… :3

12:34 am - Monday, November 2, 2009

#17 handytasche

DPreview has panned a couple of my fave cams, but they are consistent and fair. If they have any bias at all, it’s that they’ve become truly fed up and bored with digital compact cameras over the years and are almost exclusively interested in dSLRs now.

That the Sony review got published at all means that they thought it had some merit. Remember every review at the site is at least “above average”.

This is probably the last huzzah for superzooms. With dSLRs so cheap and so small now, this isn’t much to recommend them anymore. Once again, DPreview is fair.

1:21 pm - Monday, November 9, 2009

#18 zebarnabe

I think compact superzooms will still sell for the times that come, they cover a wide range of situations, DSLRs are better and when compared with superzooms, cheaper, that is…. if you have the lens.

Most lens are very expensive and don’t offer macro at 1cm and 500mm telephoto ... at the same time…

For a consumer that just wants something to take photos that requires low maintainance and/or no lens to change and carry a compact makes all the sense.

On other point, some compacts are now very, very small and offer some unexpected optical zoom and low light handling… also, with time they will get cheaper for the same spec range… of course same thing happens with DSLRs

This is, of course, my view point over the digital cameras market…

4:07 pm - Monday, November 9, 2009

#19 Andrew

I am looking at buying a good compact camera. I am not an expert but I like the idea of using good equipment.
I reason to replace my old Kodak is that I am travelling to New Zealand and will be experiencing lovely scenery and would like a decent camera to capture some memories. I have been advised to move away from CDD sensors to CMOS based ones.
I was planning on getting the Ricoh CX2 but I noticed it doesn’t have a panarama mode which I think would be perfect for the holiday. In all, the three models I am considering are the CX2, HX1 and SX1. I am open to suggests and comments or other models for consideration.

6:49 am - Thursday, November 12, 2009

#20 zebarnabe

There isn’t much diference between CDD and CMOS sensors, specially if you will use it for landscape mostly, usually the biggest diference is usually the speed at CMOS shoot (compare SX1 with SX10), other diference is banding (provoked by extreme light being captured, eg: the sun) that CMOS is (usually) immune.

Looking at your choices you should check Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 (27mm with 18x zoom),
but be advised that HX1, SX1 and FZ38 aren’t exactly compact. SX1 is quite fast, but the cheaper SX10 and SX20 are almost identical in image quality having the disadvantage of taking fewer shots per second (quite fewer, not good for action shooting)...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 (25mm-300mm quite handy) might be a good choice (depending on how much are you willing to sacrifice for size)

Since i don’t want to look like a lumix fanboy (because i actually prefer Canon CMOS sensors and Nikon VR lens XD) the new Canon S90 looks promising…

If you want something that can handle lens change, but don’t want something big and bulky, Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are other candidates, since Lumix G1 and Lumix GH1 are bigger and more SLR like…

Sorry for the long post… this is just my own opinion, i hope it helps in some way…

4:26 pm - Thursday, November 12, 2009

#21 stumpy

Hi Zebarnabe
What do you mean by (depending on how much are you willing to sacrifice for size)
im looking for the same kind of camera as andrew going to newzealand only im going to south america :)
i was looking at the samsung wb 500 until but the panasonic looks smaller :)

5:37 pm - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

#22 Nikhil

Both Canon Sx1 and Sony Hx1 are good. But for good photography its better to swith to SLR, considering the prices of this superzoom cameras from canon / sony.

8:20 am - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#23 zebarnabe

I was merelly refering to lens reach on tele side when compared with the bigger super-zooms… ...but on the wide side is quite good for landscape… overall is an awesome compact camera.

I consider TZ7 a better camera than WB500 or WB550 ... but photographyBLOG is filled with camera reviews, and you can always check “Best Digital Cameras” section for some guidance…

Like Nikhil said, if you’re looking for better photography consider a DSLR… also check the lens colection on the brand you choose…

An DSLR might look very expensive, but a budget one costs (depending on brand and lens) around 600€ - or even less - with standard lens, or around 800€ with dual lens kit, best of all, you can use lens on a better camera body that you can buy later!

If you want something more compact than a DSLR but with good capabilities, Micro Four Thirds cameras might be the answer (Olympus EP-1 or EP-2 and Panasonic GF1)... ...but be advised that they don’t come cheap (twice the price of a compact superzoom).

6:05 pm - Thursday, December 10, 2009

#24 Sarah

hi, i’m a complete noob when it comes to taking photographs since i’ve had a compact camera all my life, and am looking to upgrade to to a semi-professional camera (that means no SLRs!) and im not too sure which i should go for. i liked the canon SX20, but the reviews said there was some noise at higher iso speeds and image quality wasnt that great. the sony HX1, however i am really digging. the panoramic function and 10 frame per sec things sound bloody awesome, but isnt the price tag wayyy higher?

any thoughts, anyone? would realllly appreciate it.

PS: noob question - what are focal ranges?

4:25 pm - Monday, December 14, 2009

#25 zebarnabe

SX20 has a little more noise and artifacts than SX10 and SX1, but since resolution is bigger you get similar quality when printing or resizing.

If i’m not mistaken SX10 is a bit faster than
SX20… but noting to brag about…

In my country i recently found the Lumix FZ38 at 220€ ... a bargain in my opinion…

If you want speed… all points to Casio Exilim cameras… FH25 (or the older FH20) are pretty much your choices…

On thing… when talking about big compacts (bridges) their sensor is usually at the same size as the other compacts… so .. high ISO shots will always have noise… The new Exmor R from Sony and Dynastron from Toshiba seem to improve the noise ratio and sensitivity… but i don’t you’ll be able to shot noise free at ISO 1600 (try an DSLR for that), but ISO 400 and even ISO 800 looks nice, not perfect, but nice given the size of the sensors

Focal range, focal lengh, f-number, hyperfocal distance… you can get all the info from wikipedia:

Photography 101:
you have…
- Aperture (f-number - how bigger is the hole that lets light enter in the sensor, smaller f-numbers equal bigger hole, bigger the hole equals more light and narrow focused area)
- focal lengh (the ‘zoom’ thingie)
- exposure time (longer means more light captured, but also allows to blur movement)
- ISO or ASA or sensitivity (basically how much light need to be captured to get the photo)

To take a photo with correct exposure there isn’t a single set of values that allows it… if you decrease f-number (increase the hole and light that enters) you can decrease exposure time or ISO… as side effect there will be a smaller area of focus (might be good or bad depending of what you want)

4:55 pm - Monday, December 14, 2009

#26 Edward

I just purchased the Sony Hx1. A primary reason—after exhaustive research of cameras in this line—was the multi burst 10fps feature. However, after trying it out—I can only get clear multi burst pictures if I am outside with a lot of light. Inside—even with a lot of light—I get blurry pictures—which defeats the purpose of this feature.
After all of my research I am surprised that no one else commented on this. Perhaps I am missing something. Anyone experience something similar?

9:55 am - Tuesday, January 5, 2010

#27 buy dsi r4

I have long been a Sony Fan, I actually sold my Sony F717 to purchase the new HX1 – What a Mistake. The F717 (a 10 year old camera) blows the HX1 away when it comes to Picture Quality. The only draw back to the F717 was Huge Shutter Lag. The Sony HX1 is a Specification Sheet dream – unfortunatly that is where all of the “good” stops. In the end it is the Picture Quality that counts – this thing is exceedingly poor in that department.

10:29 am - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

#28 digger

Just bought the Sony HXI,..Nice camera but having problems on finding how to crop my photo’s,..I seem to be missing the plot somewhere,..Can somebody please help…......Cheers.

9:37 pm - Thursday, January 21, 2010

#29 Mike

I want to buy a new camera have spent hours looking on line, make up my mind then change it again. I now have a choice of two- Panasonic DMC-FZ38EB-K or Sony DSC-HX1 can anyone tell me what one they would go for.

Many thanks.

9:46 pm - Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#30 zebarnabe


I think it’s a bit of a personal choice… i would go for the FZ38, i love the ‘brains’ of panasonic cameras and usually for a given sensor size they behave quite well… ...some people might prefer sony ones, interface, image output… burst modes… or even price - when cameras are very similar is hard to tell which one is better :/

2:24 am - Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#31 kamar

I bought this camera early this year. Before that, I used Sony Dsc-p100, Nikon L14, Nikon L18, Sony dcr-Sx40.

I like almost 99% about this camera except the 10-second waiting time when taking 10fps shots.

It has the both aperture and shutter priority modes in which they are useful in taking portrait/landscape and car racing/cheerleading respectively. I also use the manual exposure mode (M)to take portrait shots with special effect such as dark background, not blur background as in aperture mode.

It also has 4 focus modes - multi, centre, flexible and manual. Flexible focus is very useful to focus only any area in the screen and blur the surrounding. Centre focus is needed at fashion shows when you only need to focus the object in the middle and ignore other things.

It also has the filter functions - red, blue, green, warm and cool - to add some special effects to your photos.

It also has many editing functions such as crop, unmasked filter, soft filter, gradial filter, star, partial color and many other….

Finally, you can zoom up to 20x when recording Full HD videos and use the low-light video function.

Conclusion: I love HX1.. I wish SONY would upgrade its FIRMWARE so that we can reduce the time to copy from buffer to memory card.. at least from 15 seconds to 5 seconds…

2:30 am - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#32 Jana

I’m satisfied with my Sony Hx1. It’s really the best :))

3:54 pm - Thursday, September 2, 2010

#33 anky

i m confused between these cameras….

PowerShot SX20 is, Nikon p100, fuji HS10, Sony DSC HX-1
someone please help…!!!


12:15 pm - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

#34 orkhan






3:44 pm - Friday, November 5, 2010

#35 T Henderson

Can anyone help me was advised by the camera shop to buy Sony HX1 but reading reviews I am not so sure.  I need the camera for boxing, so action shots at ringside, wide angle and lowlight but also for general use, kids, garden etc etc.

8:05 pm - Friday, December 10, 2010

#36 Reza

Hello there, I need you help. I can ot choose one between Sony HX1, Canon SX30 IS, Fuji HS10 and Panasonic FZ40,
in my opinion which I got from specification and Reviews, all of the are ok for me, for ma as an amator and not expert photographer that likes to use it as indoor camera for family photos and outdoor for landscapes and natures (and ofcourse animals, birds.)
would you please help me to choose the best in this cases? consider that it’s a liitle dificult for me to order another model unless there was a very good alternative. thanks

10:12 pm - Sunday, January 23, 2011

#37 Sony Cyber Shot DSC-HX1

I got the camera as soon as it was available. It has been great so far. It has tons of usable features. I take a lot of outdoor photos so I really like the 20X zoom which is available on still photos and video mode. The panaromic mode is great. I have used it numerous times and it take great pics. It is nice to be able to capture so much landscape in one picture. I have noticed you need to move the camera quick in that mode or the pic will stop taking. I could go on and on about the camera. I did a lot of research to find a camera that offered a lot in one package. I could not be happier and would highly recommend the camera.

6:33 am - Friday, January 28, 2011


i am confused whether i should buy the sony hx1 or the nikon p500 any help? thank you

12:50 pm - Saturday, May 7, 2011

#39 zebarnabe

Mario Harika,

I think Sony launched or will launch a new camera soon.

I would check Kodak Z990, Canon SX30 IS and Fujifilm HS10/20 as well…

Check the samples (try to check them on more than on place), check the features, if you want video, try to check sample video footage, check the gimmicks (panorama, high speed - and how well they work).

After pick a more restricted number of cameras, know more about them, go to foruns, check opinions, read their manuals online, know their limitations and issues.

In the store check the ergonomics, if it fits your hand, if the buttons are easy to press, if possible test the software interface of the camera.

Good luck!

1:35 pm - Saturday, May 7, 2011

#40 neeraj

i want to buy a good point shoot camera with higher optical zoom which includes almost all features. please guide me. sony dschx1,nikon p500,s9100,l120 panasonic lumix fz100,fujifilm hs10,hs20,s3300,canon sx20,sx30 or kodak z990? i am too much confused. can anybody guide me?

8:49 pm - Sunday, May 15, 2011

#41 Rick

I am looking to buy a camera to capture wave surfing with. The quality of the shots is less important than actually capturing the shot (in other words, being able to track and document a moving subject has priority over factors such as noise and pixels). A limited budgets means my choice is limited to compact cameras only. Canon SX 30 with its 35x optical zoom is defintely one to consider but I understand it’s less fast than the Sony DSX-HX1? Would be great to get some advice, regards, Rick

9:48 am - Monday, July 11, 2011

#42 Shravan Minocha

I am planning to buy Fujifilm S3300
Can anyone tell me how is this camera ?
Someone told me it produces noise when shooting above 400K ISO ? Is that true ?
Guys ur feedback would b really valuable for my decison.

10:59 am - Sunday, October 2, 2011

#43 Ravi

Never buy Sony Exmor G lens cameras as there is the problem with lens alignment and if it happens then need to replace the whole lens and cost will be same or 50% as for new camera. I had WX1 and has same issue after 1-year and not got good response from Customer support in Singapore.

4:27 pm - Sunday, October 2, 2011

#44 Taffys Mom

I pretty much wanted a great superzoom I could throw in my purse and also be able to learn about aperture, focus etc. I think this is a great camera for my purposes. However, I now have “lens envy.” I want to get even closer shots of the wildlife in my Southwest Florida town. So, I know Sony makes a teleconverter and it costs as much as the camera! I also found some lens adapter kits - one is on e-bay made by kiwi. I am such a novice - does this mean I can attach the adapter and THEN use other lenses? I appreciate any answer I can get.

12:11 am - Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#45 mario

i already bought the nikon p500 i highly recommend it :)

I added cool smileys to this message… if you don’t see them go to:

1:23 am - Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#46 Hentch

I just developed pictures from my DSC-HX1. I am very dissapointed, many are really bad with lots of noise. Any idea on which setting to use to help reduce that? Thanks

2:57 am - Friday, March 2, 2012

#47 fm

i’m looking to buy a dslr camera for our business ie real estate photography, shooting both interior and exterior photos.
it is very important for our business to have nice eye catching photos which can help renting our properties.
Which camera is the most suitable for this purpose?
many thanks,

4:56 pm - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#48 Caoimhe

I own this camera and have only been shooting with it for about a year. I was wondering is it possible to shoot long exposure pictures with this camera, if so how?

9:52 pm - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

#49 Paul Edwards

Heads up UK! Just saw this camera new in Sainsbury store for £99.99!!

What a bargain;!(UK only)

1:28 pm - Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Entry Tags

3 inch LCD, compact, sony, super-zoom, cybershot, 9 megapixel, hx1, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 Review

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