Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V Review

4.5
August 10, 2011 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V produced images of very good quality during the review period. This camera handled noise very well, not becoming obvious until the relatively slow speed of ISO 800 and then becoming progressively worse at the fastest settings of ISO 1600 and 3200, good for such a small image sensor.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were well-controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The 16 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can increase the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is quite good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cms away from the subject. Commendably barrel distortion is well controlled even at the 25mm wide-angle focal length of the versatile 10x zoom lens. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure. The maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allows the cameras to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

The Backlight Correction HDR feature dramatically increases the detail in the shadow and highlight areas, although we miss being able to choose just how much correction is applied. Both the Hand-held Twilight mode and Sweep Panorama modes work as advertised, making it simple to take hand-held low-light and wide-vista shots.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V's 10x zoom lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

25mm

250mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro, No Flash, with a Red-eye Reduction option in the Main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (250mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (250mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, both the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused a tiny amount of red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Sony CyberShot DSC-HX7V's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 10 seconds at ISO 125. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Background Defocus

Background Defocus attempts to mimic the sharp subject and out-of-focus background effect that DSLR owners typically enjoy, shooting two frames in quick succession and varying the aperture between each one.

Off

On

Backlight Correction HDR

DRO is Sony's solution for improving shadow and highlight detail in photos taken in contrasty light, significantly increasing the image's dynamic range. The examples show the rather dramatic effect of turning this feature on.

Off

On

Hand-held Twilight

In the Hand-held Twilight mode the DSC-HX7V takes six high-ISO photos in rapid succession and combines them into a single image.

Manual Mode (ISO 125, 5 seconds) Hand-held Twilight Mode (1/13th second)
   
Manual Mode (100% Crop) Hand-held Twilight Mode (100% Crop)

Intelligent Sweep Panorama

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects, with the new High Resolution mode successfully creating a 40+ megapixel image.

Standard
 
Wide
 
High Resolution

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hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, review, wide-angle, 16 megapixel, test, sony, travel-zoom, travel, 1080i, 10fps, travel zoom, 10x zoom, GPS, 25mm, cybershot, panorama, 3D, dsc hx7v, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V Review, hx7, hx7v, dsc-hx7v

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