Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Review

June 15, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Eyal Gurevitch

Good to hear that the HX9V is such a great performer.
Sony have come back to the game with many strong cards up their sleeves.

I imagine that 4000 shots per charge without the GPS is a typo, and should be 400.


2:03 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#2 Ricardo

Essential? I wouldn’t say this, in terms of image quality, see the picture of the guy with his Iphone, there’s no skin texture, due to strong noise reduction “smearing” fine details of the image, the same thing at the base ISO, but less intrusive.

2:22 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#3 Zak Ventis

You haven’t mentioned that the camera can be zoomed to x2.4 without affecting the minimum focus distance when shooting macro.

5:25 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#4 CHFels

Thanks for the review.  It confirms what a lot of others are saying.  What’s more, the HX9V is selling in many places for *above* list price, when it can even be found at all.

Ricardo, you won’t find many other compact cameras doing better at 800iso.  I think the Canon SX220/230 is the only direct rival to the Sony that has better image quality overall - IF you can ignore the purple fringing, which is worse than average for the price.

8:28 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#5 Jack

A very impressive review!

“it’s easy to recommend the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX9V above all of its travel-zoom rivals. Essential!”

10:39 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#6 Frank S.

Thanks for the review. I was impressed by the sharpness of zoom of the bridge where you can see details of the guy’s face. If that is zoomed all the way out, that is pretty sharp.

11:42 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#7 Daniel Manzur

Essential?? The images are full of noise.

1:04 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#8 Ricardo

I agree with you, CHFels, I prefer the most natural looking pictures of the Canon SX220/SX230 models (greatly reviewed here),their JPEG allow more latitude to post-processing, specially in terms of sharpness and noise reduction.
Yes, I know, digital cameras with tiny sensors don’t make miracles at moderate and high ISO, maybe my eyes are very critical these times…

1:22 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#9 Mary

Trying to decide between the HX9V and S9100.  Seems the reviews are comparable.  For still shots, which is the better camera?

2:28 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#10 maddox

I am wondering how HX9V is performing for night and indoor shots as well if has super slow motion movie function?

4:26 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#11 Itamar

What about the 3D - was it tested?
How does it preform?

4:52 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#12 M.Basic

I cannot decide between HX9V and S9100. Can anyone make recommendation and explain in short reason for that choice. Thx.

5:03 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#13 MH

M.Basic ,

If you’re a knit-picker about image quality, go with the S9100. Much better.

6:10 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#14 Tamas

I bought it yesterday afternoon, so I could try it only indoor, but it makes excellent shots in low light. I just started to learn the manual modes, but it has planty of different adjustments… nice :))

Vide: THIS IS THE BEST!!! I tried so many types and it beats all of them (beats TZ 20 with a lot). And surprisingly it beats some HD camcorders also!!! Very impressive.
I have currently only a CLASS 2 SD card, but the video is almost without vibrating. I’ll get my new class10 card tomorrow.

9:47 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#15 Jermaine

I am in the market for a camera and my options are HX9V and S9100. My primary object is to shoot stills, day and low light. Which would be the better performer all round?

11:15 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#16 Tamas

Dear Jermain,
I supoose, that S9100 makes slightly better images dayligh, but Sony is better in low light. Over all HX9V is the winner.

1:13 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#17 mAnOs

Indeed Sony HX9V is the winner.

3:10 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#18 Pierre Lehu

My problem with all these cameras is that in bright daylight, the screen washes out and you’re taking pictures by guesswork. Has anyone tried this camera in bright daylight and do the 900K dots help? Cameras like the G12 and Nikon 7000 have an IVF, but not much zoom. Even an articulating screen might help.

3:46 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#19 Christian

Just got the hx9v a week ago. Still a lot to learn, lots of controls for me as a point and shooter.

Handling can be a little difficult since some buttons are small. Coming from my 4 year old canon ixus 850IS which was easy operated compared to the hx9 but still only a week´s practice with the Sony.

Some (aggressive) noise reduction, too much for some but in real life use, using my ima27 screen or flatscreen 42inch pictures look crisp and very nice indeed. Ask yourself if you´re ever going to pixel peep?

Outstanding zoom, LOVE it already, makes me feel like a paparazzi, digital zoom also much better than my old Canon. Barrel distortion? Didn´t notice it.

Excellent video quality. (Now I just have to find some software or renaming files so I´ll be able to watch them on my flatscreen(s))

Cool panorama still shots, good quality and easy to use.

Burst of 10 full frames in 1,2 or 5 seconds.

To Jermaine, M.Basic & Mary.:
I did consider the Nikon S9100 first but when I was in the shop, trying to take pictures at full zoom (18X) it was near impossible to get a useful still shot. (It could have been me not having the IS on but I don´t think so.) Be aware of that, that was my main concern for choosing the hx9, clear shots EVERY time at full zoom. Made me feel like an old man;-)

If you´re looking for better picture quality, maybe the Canon SX220/230 is better in this respect. Anything better and it would have to be a mirrorless or dslr.

4:08 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#20 Eric

I bought the HX9V due to its spec on HD videos and I have not been disappointed. I previously owned a Lumix TZ7 which was also a great camera but the 1080p/1920x1080 at 50fps is a different class.

As I film a lot of sailing videos I bought this Aquapac 420 Hard Lens Camera Case for Mini Digital Cameras with a zoom lens to protect my new Sony.
As an added advantage this case massively reduces wind noice while still recording the sound you want.

5:18 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#21 kurth

Looking at the samples, the photo of the bay with lots of water, the NR engine in this camera is bad. There´s blotches where the image completely falls apart due to processing. The 230hs canon is far superior in the stills compartment, and not far behind in video mode either except there´s less options. The one trick up it´s sleeve the sony has over the canons is the panoramic mode, and you didn´t have even one sample.

5:22 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#22 John

MH - So the IQ is superior on the S9100 compared to the HX9V when it comes to Still shots?  Seems the HX9V does too much smearing?  Curious how the two compare in Auto mode.

5:59 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#23 CHFels

@kurth & MH,

To really compare the HX9v with, for example, the Nikon S9100, you can use the image-comparison tool at imaging-resource dot com. I just checked these two cameras out in the New Indoor iso 800 photo (mannequin in green jacket).  Both cameras do pretty poorly (compared to a DSLR), and I’d call it a tie.  The Sony appears to smear more details out…  but then, the image is about 15% bigger, and if you display the Sony at the same screen-size as the Nikon, the smearing will be less noticeable.  In certain areas, the 9100 clearly captures details that the Sony smears away.  On the other hand, the Nikon image is noisier, with unsightly chroma noise e.g. in the red rose, which is detail-free but all nice and red on the HX9v image.  The Canon 230HS eats both their lunches at 400 and 800 iso - but it’s not clear how relevant that is unless pixel-peeping is your main hobby.

The amazing thing about the Sony is that they’ve kept the image quality quite good for a point and shoot, despite upping the pixels to 16M (which was pointless).  Imagine how good the camera would be if the techno wizardry of the new sensor had been implemented with 9 or 10 megapixels instead.  One can only hope… if the Canon 220/230 sells like hotcakes, maybe Sony and Panasonic will get the message.

8:28 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#24 Rod Hampton

Wish I knew which camera you were using to do your review. Certainly it was not the Sony HX9V. On the strength of your review, yesterday, I purchased the camera this morning hoping/believing that finally there was a compact on the market that combined useful features, long zoom range, good stabilization and high image quality. After doing some initial tests, I will have to say that there still is no such camera. At every ISO setting, every image is smeared by noise reduction and, as far as I’m concerned, usable only to make 4 x 6 prints to send to Grandma - so long as her eyesight is poor. In addition to laughable ‘image quality’, Sony has added a convoluted system of menus and modes that thwart anything but mindless point and shoot photography - not that there is anything wrong with that. From the look of your samples, the HX9V is a competent performer offering sharp, noise-free images. The reality, unfortunately, is completely different. The megapixel wars must stop, but so must the disingenuous reviews that cover up just how dreadful these small-sensor/high megapixel cameras are because the reviewers know that most people will never know the difference.

8:34 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#25 Ray

I have had the Sony DSC-HX9v to about a month now.
I initially compared it to the Canon 230HS and the Nikon S9100 at the store and the Sony consistantly took better shots. This is intended to be a Travel Zoom camera, not a tripod portrait camera. It takes great pictures and is the fastest on the market to focus. Others had a hard time to focus. Out of hundreds of pictures only a few were not perfectly focused. And the picture color and quality are very good. The video is exceptional. Hope this helps those who are looking for a great Travel camera.

11:33 pm - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#26 Alex Kwok

The images you posted don’t really substantiate a rating of 4.5 when you gave all the other traveling zoom market leaders a 4. In order to be credible, you need to shot the same set of images under the same lighting condition for all reviews, plus they must include challenging conditions, like high contrast, evening, skyline at night, and with integrated flash. You should be able to compare them in order to make a judgment. A perfect rating of 5 for design also puzzles me. Physically, it looks like a DMC-TZ10, but with a pop-up flash.

12:27 am - Friday, June 17, 2011

#27 Jimmy

I agree with Ricardo, the skin looks very unreal.

12:34 am - Friday, June 17, 2011

#28 kurth

...and I´ve also been looking at the canon elph 500hs which eats the sony´s lunch. It has an f2.0 lens,  and at 24mm as well, and is $50 cheaper. That said i think the video of the hx9v is excellent for a compact as well as the 41mp sweep panoramic mode. Shame it´s just not a good photographic tool. You should reevaluate your review, IMHO.The smearing caused by NR makes this camera unusable for photography. Even at iso 100 the detail is watercolor texture. Perhaps if you scale the image to 8mp it might be ok with some noise reduction. Well, we can hope the hx10v is better !

1:21 am - Friday, June 17, 2011

#29 John

Does anyone know whether you can take still photos WHILE the video is recording?  While recording video, does the video stop when you try to capture a photo?

Hoping it can multitask, that will be a deal clincher for me.

5:39 am - Friday, June 17, 2011

#30 Stefan


Yes, you can take still photos while you’re still recording video.

1:36 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#31 wyoming

to me it doesn’t look THAT essential, come on! look the sample pics, maybe not much noise but compare to the samsung wb2000.
and 4.5 in value? it costs 350$ nearly the same as a canon s95!
and the flash popping out where your finger is supposed to be.

6:27 pm - Friday, June 17, 2011

#32 Jenny

So the HX9V is too much smearing on Still pics? S9100 is better IQ then for Still pics?

3:17 am - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#33 akhil prakash

ya.. Nw i need hx9v..

5:39 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#34 Daniel

Ia there an underwater case for this from Sony that fits?

Looking for something for Scuba Diving etc….

8:46 pm - Saturday, June 18, 2011

#35 espresso

OMG .. what’s up with you? 4.5 in image quality??? Look at yout sample pics again. Sorry to say, but these are just awful ....(especially the people’s skin).

8:42 am - Sunday, June 19, 2011

#36 Mario

Thanks for the good and fair review, Mark. 
I agree with image quality at 4.5 on the compact superzoom scale.

I dont know if these people are looking at a high end DSLR scale.

The dull cloudy day doesnt help matters, but there are enough photos samples given to show the very good photo quality.

9:53 am - Sunday, June 19, 2011

#37 Luke

I compared the sample pictures of this camera with the ones of the s9100 and of the FH100 (my actual camera), and the sony ones are much worse..
especially all the detail of the skin is blown away by the Noise Reduction: for such a price, they should AT LEAST give the user the choice of how much NR apply to the pictures..
it’s really a pity, cause I was waiting a camera with all these function, but my casio really takes better pics.
Ah: does someone of you have the FZ100? is it good (image quality i mean)?

8:18 pm - Sunday, June 19, 2011

#38 Christian

They have a review of GPS-Equipped Compact Ultra Zoom Cameras (sony hx9v vs. canon sx230 vs. panasonic lumix dmc - zs10) at

for another perspective of the sony hx9v :-)

11:33 pm - Sunday, June 19, 2011

#39 CHFels

@espresso & Luke,
If you’re comparing the sample photos from the S9100 review to those of the HX9v review, notice that the ISO of ALL the people/faces shots in the HX9v samples are 640 or 800 - and in fact many of the sample Sony pics are at relatively high ISO.  In the S9100 gallery, setting aside the ISO ladder pics, ALL the pictures but one are at ISO200 or lower. 
Once again, it’s important to compare photos under like conditions, which only Imaging-Resource really lets you do.  Compare the Nikon to the Sony there, and the winner depends on what type of noise artifacts bother you most.  Sony smears out more detail at 800, Nikon adds grainy noise and wrong details (blotchy chroma noise).  The Casio FH100 both smears out details and adds chroma noise (New Indoor 800), in my opinion. Yet at any reasonable screen or print size, all 3 look just great.  Have a look and decide for yourself. But don’t compare ISO 800 photos from the Sony to ISO 160 photos from Nikon and bash the Sony for smearing!


8:11 am - Monday, June 20, 2011

#40 Seb

I was ready to buy this one after reading that review until I saw the sample images.

Are You sure they are the images from the reviewed camera?
They leave many to wish for. Either out of focus or full of noise.
Even face of that lady holding Olympus camera ,despite being close and with low ISO setting looks as if the photo has been taken with equipment which performs well below the 4.5 mark. Any idea why is that ,Mark?


9:12 am - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#41 Monty Python

Comments under the IMAGE QUALITY section (very good images that need sharpening post camera) DO NOT MATCH the excellent images referred to in the conclusion section.  So what is the conclusion from the reviewer????  I have one of these cameras and I think it is one of the best yet in its class.

9:40 am - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#42 Ian

Thanks for the great review, which has helped persuade me to purchase the Sony camera. I hope it does live up to the “the best travel-zoom camera to date” statement. ordered at £280 from an online shop.

Another interesting website that helped me decide on the sony is the following:-

there, you can choose any 2 cameras and review different pictures taken by each side by side. Let your eyes be the judge :)

2:26 pm - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#43 isabelle

hey guys! ill accept donations if you junk your old cameras… can i have one please…LOL

11:29 pm - Thursday, June 23, 2011

#44 Robin

I do wish there where less smearing and edge enhancement but I am still going to buy this camera for it’s functions and easy travel companion size.

To bad Sony don’t provide different software for us who rather do enhancements afterwards of a RAW file.

Going to have some fun with the 3D, hopefully it will be more than a gimmick half implemented.

12:22 pm - Friday, June 24, 2011

#45 Anton

Picture quality 4.5 as per this cite. Also for Canon SX230.
Which one is better for point and shoot on full auto for novice?
All i’m after here is a better picture.

9:19 pm - Friday, June 24, 2011

#46 CHFels

From what I’ve read about both cameras, which is a lot, the Sony is probably better for full auto point and shoot. If you blow up photos to full size on screen, both will give you imperfect photos.  Sony, smearing due to aggressive noise reduction, Canon due to purple fringing. Both are great overall, so I would pick the one that feels more comfortable in the hand!

8:23 pm - Saturday, June 25, 2011

#47 Dan

Maybe I`m wrong, but the pictures are full of noise, they look like watercolor to me. I really think that the HX5v is superior and much cheaper

4:00 pm - Sunday, June 26, 2011

#48 ed

Does this camera have the Face detect mode during Video capture?

10:03 am - Monday, June 27, 2011

#49 man

which is the best :


7:16 pm - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#50 robd1

I just got my DSC-HX9V today and here are my initial impressions. Note that I’m just a regular Joe, not a professional photographer or even a photography enthusiast. I just wanted a good camera that produces great pictures and video in one package. I wanted a camera that can take good family/vacation pics as well as good real estate pics. My first impression is …WOW!

So far, with just a couple of hours use, I’ll say that I am totally impressed with this camera. I know the photo-elite out there have blasted the photo quality of this camera on forums but if you are in the 99% range of average people that just want to take REALLY GOOD family/vacation pictures, as well as wide-angle indoor shots, this camera is for you.

I took all kinds of pics with settings out of the box and they were excellent in my opinion. I tried video and was also blown away, the best I’ve seen in my limited views of HD video. I’m sure a dedicated HD vid cam is better but for now I have no reason to spend the extra money for one.

I’ll test it more in the coming days as I start playing with settings and post results. I’m really excited about the results I’ve initially gotten so we’ll see. If you want to take pics, then blow them up on computer and critique every pixel, just buy a more expensive camera. If you’re an average Joe like me that wants to take quality pics of your new grandchild, great vacation pics with a nice zoom, or awesome real estate photos, this cam rocks (so far…updates coming)

By the way, to get this cam I ordered online from Best Buy. I had them deliver it to the local store to avoid shipping cost. I also had to buy a SD card since the $350 camera doesn’t come with it. Good news is that I can just return it to my local Best Buy if this camera does not work out.


12:38 am - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

#51 Don Smith

I have the HX5V.

If I compare my photos with these sample photos on an iso-for-iso basis (compare 800 to 800; dark areas to dark areas, complex woodgrain to woodgrain), I would say the in-focus areas seem sharper on the HX9V samples whereas the out-of focus areas suffer more under that watercolor effect on the HX9V whilst my old HX5V gets more of a blotchy effect.

And if I compare size-for-size (remember: at full viewing size I am comparing 1 to 1.6), the 9 is a tad better.

imaging resource shows the HX5V losing resolution somewhere between 22 and 24, and the HC9V between 26 and 28. That about corresponds to what I am seeing here.

That said, I still find 16Meg ridiculous. The file sizes are as large as a DSLR without the quality, and not all apps open the files. I’d sooner sacrifice some resolution and get more natural sharpness and lowlight performance. 12Meg would have been fine.

1:09 pm - Thursday, June 30, 2011

#52 luke

i must correct what I said in my previous comment: i now have both the sony hx9 and the casio fh100, and made some test: the sony has much much more detail!! Just a thing: set sharpness to “-”, U will see that the post processing is much less and there is more detail, there are no smearing blotches and also at 100%, even if not perfect, the pics look more natural. Try and will see: U will be not disappointed!

7:03 am - Monday, July 4, 2011

#53 Jens

Just a thing: set sharpness to “-”. 
How do I do that. Where is that option??

12:44 am - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#54 robd1

Jens, I had the same question and just figured it out. To get to the “-” sharpness setting, turn the dial on top to “M” or manual. Then just click “menu” and scroll to “sharpness”. Hope this helps! Haven’t tried it yet.


9:17 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#55 marilyn

Just one drawback I always have my finger on the flash when it pops up.  Bad place for the flash.

10:50 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#56 Brian

I have recently purchased a Sony DSC-HX9V and own a Nikon S9100.

I have taken hundreds of comparative photos in Western Australia’s Kimberleys including Lake Argyle, Lake Kununurra and associated rugged ranges and wid life.

There is NO comparison between the two cameras.

The Sony DSC-HX9V is clearly the better camera.

I have had prints made to compare with test scenery and can’t better the DSC-HX9V’s “standard” settings - despite a wide range of manual control options.

HD video recordings have relegated my Canon HG10 to a second choice - which is only when I can carry both around at the same time - which I find is not necessary with the quality of the Sony DSC-HX9V

I have also a Canon SX1-IS camera - which produces better images than the Nikon S9100 - but not as good as the Sony DSC-HX9V.

I am not an armchair expert debating the results of the test images in this article - which is difficult without a reference monitor - my comments are subjective and from test results, can highly recommend this camera.

1:41 pm - Thursday, July 7, 2011

#57 zat

Sharpness can only be adjusted in Program mode, Full Manual mode and two of the three 3D modes.

Picture comparisons should explore Program mode settings, too. Unfortunately they often don’t. They use the point-and-shoot modes for beginners for making the photos, then they use demanding techniques to analyze the photos.

11:56 pm - Friday, July 8, 2011

#58 Brian

In reference to my comments above, I would like to clarify some of my comments in which I took my test photos - my reference to “Standard” settings was more related to the image effecting options of Saturation and Contrast.


Shooting Mode - Program
ISO - 100
Sharpness - + ie On
Color Mode - Vivid
Color Saturation - Standard
Contrast - Standard

Nikon S9011
ISO - 160
Scene Selector - Landscape

In general, the Nikon’s a fine white haze superimposed on the image - similar to ISO noise.

The Nikon also produced over exposed photos which I had to apply a correction of -.3EV to partially but not fully compensate.

The Sony has a far superior focusing system with much quicker focusing than the Nikon with nearly all shots being in focus - which I can’t say the same for the Nikon S9100 - which I regard as a disappointment

I purchased my Sony DSC-HX9V as a direct result of reading this review.

1:05 am - Saturday, July 9, 2011

#59 Debbie

I just returned from our family reunion and my brand new Nikkon Coolpix S9100 froze up on me after only 4 days!  Ruined my vacation!  After weeks of studying and reading reviews, I picked a lemon!  Only to find out that many, MANY other people had the same thing happen to them.  I had to release the battery to reset the camera to take one picture at a time!  I’m going for the Dsc HX9V by Sony this time!

3:42 am - Sunday, July 10, 2011

#60 Bryce

Question…why is it that when viewing images taken of people, at full size, their faces are so badly captured…
Looks like the ISO is sitting on 3200 or higher if u know what sortof effect im talking about.
i have the HX5V and actually sent it back to Sony for a service when i saw how badly the People pictures look at full size when viewing on a pc screen.

any advice on this, or is this just how the backlight capturing captures pics?

i think the people’s faces look terrible at full size…

and i really thought sony were the market leaders in compact camera’s cos ive owned so many before this…but now im two minded.

any input?

2:51 pm - Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#61 John

Just got home from my vacation and nearly everyone of my pictures taken with my new HX9V are poor IQ.  They all look smeared and are over processed.  Sony needs to address this problem.

Was going to go with the Nikon S9100, but per this review I made the mistake of going with the HX9V.

2:19 pm - Saturday, July 16, 2011

#62 Bryce

Just took tons of People pics this weekend…
The SOny HX9V is a dissappointment…

ALL pics look very grainy and like john said…smeared…
when viewed at a large size…

so cropping into a pic is def a no go with the HX9V as it just looks grainy and terrible…

gonna send mine back for a refund…and prob look and a diff P&S to carry around with me.

9:40 am - Monday, July 18, 2011

#63 Paul Edwards

This camera got an excellent rave review in Stuff magazine - just been reading it….

3:07 am - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#64 Mark

Can anyone help?
So far I have been unable to take a single successful panoramic picture,either with the cameras own memory or any of the 3 memory cards I have to hand.
It either tells me to go faster or slower when panning or it cuts off a section of the image as it fails to get to the end of the sweep.
There is obviously something simple I am missing.
The cards are a Samsung 16GB Class 6,a 4GB Sony Pro Duo Mark 2 and a 16GB Transcend Class 10.
I wouldnt have thought it would be the cards though as the cameras own memory fails to take the picture successfully as well.

6:04 pm - Saturday, July 23, 2011

#65 Beth

I’m sorry but some of these photos look terribly distorted. I have a H55 which is unusable, because of the same reason. I can’t even give it away to someone.

11:16 pm - Monday, July 25, 2011


I bought the HX-9V a few weeks ago and love it. I have no problem importing the photos into iPhoto and deleting from camera. However, I have to use iMovie to bring in the video and I can’t seem to delete video from camera. Any ideas?

11:15 pm - Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#67 Philipp

You need to take the panoramic shot outdoors with plenty of light, because indoors the exposure time is too long and it can’t keep up.

8:47 pm - Friday, July 29, 2011

#68 Mark

Yeah thanks for the tip with the panoramic.
Just after I posted my question I went outside and was successful in taking a picture.
Its still a bit tricky getting the speed of the panning but I am getting there.

11:24 pm - Saturday, July 30, 2011

#69 Stuart

Brought this camera after doing a lot of research online and I am not disappointed. It’s a shame that I can’t select RAW and it’s a shame the DPI is a little low but in all other respects this is an absolutely amazing camera for somebody who just wants to point and shoot.

3:28 pm - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#70 Laura

Thanks for all the comments it has really helped me decide which camera to buy. I went out today and bought the Sony Cybershot. I got a great deal from Comet, £299, plus a £40 cash back voucher from sony (so only really cost me £259) but offer only lasts till September so get in fast!!! he he

11:54 pm - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#71 Fabio

It’s really almost perfect, but I don’t know why there’s no flash output control. I have the HX100 and both are the same camera with just different lenses and different flashes, the one in the HX100 is really much better and the HX100 has the output control. If someone found a way to control that in the HX9 I appreciate any help.

3:41 pm - Monday, August 8, 2011

#72 Lou

Excellent, thorough review! I read this review and others here on a Nikon and Canon point-and-shoot camera. When looking at all three in the store yesterday, the Sony DSC-HX9V was clearly the winner in my eyes and I now own this magnificent camera! I have yet to explore and to use all the features, but my initial use of the camera was quite impressive, to say the least. Your reviews were extremely helpful and allowed me to make my decision with confidence! Thank you!

8:42 pm - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#73 Lou

Your review of the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V cinched it for me; I went out to look at a Nikon and a Canon, also reviewed here, and I happened to see the Sony. After exploring it a little at Best Buy, and comparing it to the Nikon and the Canon, it was looking real impressive. I was able to access your website on a computer on display at the store and when I read your review of the Sony, my decision was made. I am very impressed with this camera! Thank you!

8:51 pm - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#74 Bruce Dempsey

Does anyone know if there’s time or size limit in video mode
also be nice to know if it will record video whilst plugged in to the charger
thanks - merci

1:35 pm - Friday, August 19, 2011

#75 Bruce Dempsey

Found a manual online which answers both of my questions in the negative.
It will not shoot beyond the 29 minute mark without the record button being repushed and as to the issue of shooting while plugged in to the mains, a fairly expensive (more than 50 dollars at bandh) 2 part battery charger and cable(not in the box)would be needed

12:56 pm - Saturday, August 20, 2011

#76 Brian

As a follow up to my earlier comments about camera exposure settings, I have found that the VIVID mode overly saturates reds and blues - the optimal setting that I have used is “R” or REAL which produces images reasonably close to natural.

As for a camera whish list, 1. Urgently needs a better screen for outside photography - OLED ? 2. as noted by comments above, control over flash output is needed. 3. Custom button to provide option for manual flash control 4. Provision to manually mute the microphones in a windy environment - possibly by an external button near MOVIE button. 5. Zoom speed is a little too fast for movies - if possible, to have differing zoom speeds for still and movie photography.

In regards to the Nikon S9100 & Sony DSC-HX9V comparison, the Sony’s Tracking Focus produces most moving shots in focus whereas the Nikon produces most out of focus. I remain a very satisfied Sony DSC-HX9V user.

2:10 am - Monday, August 22, 2011

#77 keith

In my subjective opinion, this sony HX9v camera is an ebony beauty. I’ve been having so much fun with it. Took it camping! Low light, full zoom, frisbee action, panaramic, blurred background portrait shots, movies, etc. Took my Dslr along too but the sony HX9v auto shots were on the money everytime and look stunning on the camera screen and on my sony laptop and 42inch Plasma.I am awaiting some prints to be done. I love photos and do the odd hardcopy photobook, A4 print and albums. I have never had the need for anything larger A3,A2 etc. I haven’t had time to pixel peek much but there is a little less clarity at the pixel level than the canon.  This camera is a Pandoras box of delights. My dslr shots were not as exciting as my friends seemed more intimidated and less relaxed by a large camera and its auto didn’t do low light as clear or sharp without tripod and significant time setting up. Hooray for spontaneity, creativity and fun. This sony camera sizzles!

Had a sony hx9v for 2 weeks now. I also own a canon dslr.

9:00 pm - Thursday, August 25, 2011

#78 keith

In my subjective opinion, this sony HX9v camera is an ebony beauty. I’ve been having so much fun with it. Took it camping! Low light, full zoom, frisbee action, panaramic, blurred background portrait shots, movies, etc. Took my Dslr along too but the sony HX9v auto shots were on the money everytime and look stunning on the camera screen and on my sony laptop and 42inch Plasma.I am awaiting some prints to be done. I love photos and do the odd hardcopy photobook, A4 print and albums. I have never had the need for anything larger A3,A2 etc. I haven’t had time to pixel peek much but there is a little less clarity at the pixel level than the canon.  This camera is a Pandoras box of delights. My dslr shots were not as exciting as my friends seemed more intimidated and less relaxed by a large camera and its auto didn’t do low light as clear or sharp without tripod and significant time setting up. Hooray for spontaneity, creativity and fun. This sony camera sizzles!

9:02 pm - Thursday, August 25, 2011

#79 IanA

Just got this yesterday and been playing with it ever since. Has lots of options for such a small camera.

I had originally thought of buying one of the new ‘EVIL’ cameras but decided I’d probably use a pocketable camera rather more.

Not been disappointed with images so far, in fact the low-light features are great.

8:23 pm - Friday, August 26, 2011

#80 Levent Bey

The camera is nice with superb functions. BUT none of photos taken with this camera will look normal. You’ll see some strange faces of your friends, eclipse dishes, non geometrical subjects because of wide angle. It’s called lens distortion. You can to correct this with software or you need to zoom in to 1.5x. So pay the money and get the weird images! It’s not Sony’s fault it’s wide angle problem.

11:22 am - Saturday, August 27, 2011

#81 les wollam

Sounds like a good camera for a light-wight trip. I live in a tourist town, and dont feel like carrying my big cameras all the time, but end up missing some great shots! this would surely help!

5:38 pm - Saturday, August 27, 2011

#82 dino

I bought the Sony HX9V a week ago and I am not disappointed with its performance. This pocket camera shoots great pictures, as well as video. If you do not like bringing bulky Dslr, then this camera is for you. It can be easily slide in my pocket and can match up with entry level Dslr out in the market. Great job Sony!

9:16 pm - Saturday, August 27, 2011

#83 Chris

Very happy with this camera especially in interior low light conditions.

I agree with the previous comments about the default “VIVID” setting making the reds too oversaturated—reset to real.

There are many menu choices and it’s a good idea I think to spend some free time fooling around and experimenting with various settings combinations before you are in a situation where you are taking photos which are important to you. Advice—be patient and learn the camera…

ONE disappointment. Seemingly there is no way to tether this camera to a Mac computer and do remote capture—like for a timelapse series of shots. Does anyone know of a workaround?

5:25 pm - Monday, August 29, 2011

#84 Lily

Hi All,

This camera can produce a great video, no doubt about it. How about taking a quick snap shot of a moving object?

I’m thinking to buy this mainly so I can take photos of my baby boy (17 months old). He cannot stay still, always moving about.

Have anyone try to take a quick snap shot of a baby or toddler with this camera? I wonder how is the result? Are they great image quality? Or they all blur and smear?

If this is not the best one to take baby’s photo, can people please recommend which other compact camera I should consider buying. (My budget is up to £350)

Thanks in advance

3:08 am - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#85 Fabio

To Lily
  This is a fantastic camera and it can replace a DSLR with a 18 55 mm ( the kit lens) in most situations, even in low light shooting, but NOT for moving kids indoor, if this is your main use do not buy this camera, you won’t be happy. The only solution (and a very good one) is a DSLR. I always carry in my camera bag the HX9V and the new Canon T3, the only time the Sony can’t produce quality photos like the DSLR is precisely when I’m with my grandchildren. It’s such a special time in life that I’m sure that you will want to capture every possible detail of their eyes, their perfect smooth skin and all the funny expressions and movements, I can take perfect shots of then running at night because a DSLR is fast and the flash is much superior, and it’s much easier than wih a small sensor camera even the best like the HX9. This new Canon is probably the cheapest DSLR and you will be very happy with it, there are other brands but I just bought it because it was the cheapest new model DSLR I could find . I also recommend the HX9 for anything else than low light moving objects.

3:18 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#86 Lily

Hi Fabio, thanks for the prompt reply.

I already have Canon DSLR (I cant remember what series). Yes, you absolutely right, I never failed to take a pic of my baby, the image quality is always outstanding :)

I’m only an amateur who has bit interest of DSLR, don’t really understand all the functions, so I usually just use Auto mode or Sport action mode, but that’s already enough for me coz the image result is just breathtaking.

At the moment, I’m looking for a compact digital camera, so I can keep it in my handbag, and whenever I go out, I can do a quick snap shot of my baby with his buddy. (mostly will be indoor)

So I’m wondering which compact camera should I go for, the image quality (im hoping) would be similar or as close as my DSLR, and also can take a quick snap shot of a moving object without blur or smear result.

Is this Sony camera capable to do that? Is there any Auto mode setting or Sport setting for a moving object snap shot?

I’m considering buying this Sony HX9 only because it’s on the top list and have the best video quality.

Other camera is Canon Powershot SX230.

Or maybe there is other better compact camera I should consider?

I’m really confuse, please share your thought.

Anyone please don’t hesitate to share your opinions.

Thanks in advance.

4:26 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#87 Fabio

Hi again Lily
I work with photography and I have the chance to try a lot of cameras, what I like I keep. I didn`t like the Canon SX230 widescreen LCD, too small for regular size photos. I had the Canon S95 for a month and it`s the closest thing in compact for what you want, good flash, good ISO performance but it`s slow compared to a DSLR, I prefer it over the HX9 for low light moving objects but you won`t have the amazing zoom , speed and precision in focus, not to mention the movie and almost perfect stabilization, you can also take 10 pictures at 10 fps and the night mode without tripod makes better night shots than the S95. I don`t know what to say because it all depends of how much quality you want, I kept the S95 only for those child low light shots that the HX9 couldn`t handle with the quality I wanted, but even for those moments I wasn`t completely happy, so I went back to a DSLR and the HX9, it`s a terrific combination and one complements the other.  I have also the HX100 wich is the same camera as the HX9 with more zoom and a much better flash but it`s as big as a DSLR.

4:56 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#88 Lily

Hi Fabio,

Thanks for your prompt reply and a very helpful thoughts, Sony HX9 seems almost perfect.

If it’s not too much, would you mind posting a few sample images, of a moving subject indoor with a low light, using Sony HX9?

Maybe posting in the gallery section on this website? Or any other website that is more convenient for you.

Thanks in advance

8:53 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#89 Brian

Hi Lilly,
As you baby is 17 months, I feel the DSC-HX9V will be OK as he is old enough for outdoor still photography - and the DSC-HX9V delivers unbelievable high definition (1920 x 1080)movie results. Fabio is correct about the poor flash on the DSC-HX9V - if the larger size of the DSC-HX100V is no problem, this would produce better indoor results - however you would need to increase exposure compensation manually - probably by +1 to +2EV. You will not find any one camera that is perfect, however, the DSC-HX9 is a very good camera.

12:39 pm - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#90 Lily

Hi Brian,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

I finally made up my mind. I bought the HX9V camera yesterday, manage to find the lowest price on the market :)

Thanks for the +1 and +2EV advise, really appreciate that :))  I will need to study and find out how to set the exposure manually.

By the way, I’m wondering is there any tutorial or more details about how to use all the functions of this Sony HX9V camera. Probably there is a website for it? or maybe there’s a good book for it?


11:51 pm - Thursday, September 1, 2011

#91 Brian

Hi Lilly,
Good to hear of your purchase - you are no doubt realising what a good camera you have purchased. I just wish to clarify my comments relating to exposure compensation - these remarks were made for flash compensation on the DSC-HX100V - if you where to buy. The DSC-HX9V does not have manual flash compensation. The exposure compensation on the DSC-HX9V is for regular daylight metering which is in most cases OK. Most settings are set OK out of the box - I do not use the Auto settings but prefer the P or Program setting where I can set the ISO to 100, Color Mode to R (Real) and Sharpness to + or max.- in this mode, the camera automatically sets shutter speed and aperture to suit. Movie quality is something that you will need to consider - if you wish to burn to DVD or Blu Ray, use FH, if you wish to burn to Blu Ray only at the highest resolution, select FX. If you wish to compile the captured movie data into a continuous presentation, I can recommend Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum Ver 11 - and that you purchase thro a Sony Shop store (approx $120) as the software agent (New Magic) can provide you with operational assistance. Otherwise, movie captions can be viewed directly from your PC if it can read AVCHD - which can be done using Windows 7. A further comment - leave the GPS turned off unless you specifically need it as this function is hard on battery life.

1:54 am - Friday, September 2, 2011

#92 Mik

I ordered the DSC HX 9 today.
I watched lots of reviews, my first choice was the canon sx 220, but then I found this review:

Here you can see image details of the DSC HX 9, SX 230 and TZ 20 next to eachother. It seems the image quality of the canon is equal in daylight and even better at higher ISO. But, the sweep panorama, and more important, 24mm wide angle makes the difference for me to choose the Sony…

10:00 am - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#93 Graham

The DSC HX9 its absolutely great. I wont go into the anorak stuff noise etc, it counts for little when all magazines fiddle with your work for printing.. I am an accredited photographer mainly doing motor sport. I have plenty of pro gear by Canon and Nikon. 3 front covers this year 2 were taken with the HX9 mainly because you can position the camera very fast because its small, enough said, its brilliant piece of engineering.

10:12 pm - Monday, September 12, 2011

#94 Leon

Hi Graham & all.
Fascinating comments Graham. I am interested to hear the HX9 is good enough for the high end professional work as you described, as there is such a vast gulf between this and a pro Dslr.
If this is so, what is all this talk of “noise smearing” everybody else seems to criticize so much? Would this be present on all other travel zoom compacts at this level? And is it anything I need to worry about if blowing my pictures up to a maximum of A3 in size?
Would basic software such as Photoshop elements be able to remove any in-camera processing, or is it a non reversible process?
And as a thought, can you set the 16 megapixel sensor to 10 or 12 MP, so it effectively “enlarges” each pixel, turning it into a 10/12 MP sensor, thus eliminating noise?
Many thanks for all comments, I too am on a quest for the best travel zoom camera on the market, it seems to be an elusive pot of gold!
Cheers again all,

6:53 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#95 Leon

Hi Graham & all.
Fascinating comments Graham. I am interested to hear the HX9 is good enough for the high end professional work as you described, as there is such a vast gulf between this and a pro Dslr.
If this is so, what is all this talk of “noise smearing” everybody else seems to criticize so much? Would this be present on all other travel zoom compacts at this level? And is it anything I need to worry about if blowing my pictures up to a maximum of A3 in size?
Would basic software such as Photoshop elements be able to remove any in-camera processing, or is it a non reversible process?
And as a thought, can you set the 16 megapixel sensor to 10 or 12 MP, so it effectively “enlarges” each pixel, turning it into a 10/12 MP sensor, thus eliminating noise?
Many thanks for all comments, I too am on a quest for the best travel zoom camera on the market, it seems to be an elusive pot of gold!
Cheers again all,

6:58 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#96 Leon

Ooops, Posted that twice… impatient!... sorry folks!


7:52 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#97 Fabio

To Graham

Is it possible to visit a website with those 2 covers that you made?

The more I use the camera the more I love it. It beats my Canon T3 in low light shooting due to the mult burst technology and superb stabilization. Shooting inside poorly lit churchs results in clear and bright pictures because higher speeds are possible. Even with a 50mm 1.8 lens the Canon can’t win, because it is really a 80mm lens due to the crop factor, so it’s useless indoors except for portraits, the only time the HX9 is no match.
  Note that if you use the flash it’s necessary to set white balance to flash if not in auto. That is   weird, should happen automatically but solves the redish look.
  I’m really impressed by the black and white pictures, deep blacks and nice contrast, I’m sure they could be used professionaly.
  People say you can’t compare small sensor cameras with DSLR, but I disagree. If you don’t do much croping, this Sony is much more versatile in most situations. I’m tired of loosing photos because I don’t have time to switch lens and the great Sony lens makes it possible to fill the frame with the object, “drawing” it with more pixels, reducing the need to crop.
Auto macro is very important too, I can take the picture of a bee and in a second shoot an airplane without adjustments. Videos are absolutely the best and stabilization resembles that of a steady cam. Trying to shoot movies in a DSLR demands posing and rehearsal, if you can do it it’s great, if you’re shooting kids playing, forget it. DSLR makers are fooling people when they say they can shoot movies with them. But for portraits and fast action , the cheapest DSLR are still better.
  Very happy to know that professionals are using this jewel from Sony.

5:10 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2011

#98 dawing

i noticed no observation about image quality for sports ans landscapes, nor about slow access to viewer. I find each of these disappointing

2:41 pm - Saturday, September 17, 2011

#99 Glenn

What software if any do I need if I am using a Mac to transfer video or photos to my computer?

8:19 pm - Saturday, September 17, 2011

#100 JayDee

Does the DSCHX9V have the date printed on the picture when developed?  I used to have a Sony that does print the date but my husband dropped my camera and it broke.

1:32 am - Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Entry Tags

hd video, review, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, test, wide-angle, 16 megapixel, sony, travel-zoom, travel, 24mm, 10fps, travel zoom, GPS, cybershot, panorama, 3D, 16x zoom, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Review, hx9, hx9v, dsc-hx9v, dsc hx9v

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