Sony Cyber-shot HX99 Review

November 6, 2018 | Mark Goldstein |


The Sony Cyber-shot HX99 is one of the best travel-zoom cameras on the market, offering a compelling mix of great still and video image quality and an upgraded feature-set, in spite of a big jump in the asking price (in the UK at least ).

4K video is the most important addition to the HX99, and it's great quality too thanks to the full pixel readout and no pixel binning. For fans of slow-motion, the 100fps 1080p mode is another great addition.

On the stills side, the continued use of an 18.2MP Exmor R 1/2.3 type sensor means that the HX99 can't quite compete with the Panasonic TZ200, which uses a larger 1-inch sensor, but does allow the HX99 to offer twice the zoom range of the TZ200, which for many people will be more important than out-and-out image quality.

Sony have finally added touch-screen functionality to their travel-zoom range, a much requested feature, but while the ability to set the focus point and fire the shutter is very welcome, it's frustrating that you can't perform simpler functions like controlling the menu system or swiping through and zooming into your images.

The HX99 loses the built-in GPS functionality offered by its predecessor, but gains Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to quickly transfer images to your smartphone and use said smartphone to record the location data.

On the plus side again, and the HX99 finally has Raw file support, something that it's main rivals have offered for a while. Also very welcome is the Alpha-like Eye AF feature, although it only works with the AF-S focus mode, and not AF-C (as on Sony's mirrorless cameras), which would have made it much more useful.

10fps continuous shooting is the same fast rate as on the HX90V, but it's now for up to 155 frames, rather than 10, so much more useful in real-world shooting.

Despite the price increase, the HX99 is significantly cheaper than the Panasonic TZ200 and slightly more expensive than the Canon SX740 HS. All three are considered to be travel-zoom cameras, but all three have their own particular strengths and weaknesses, so have a good read through our reviews before you decide which one to plump for.

In summary, the Cyber-shot HX99 brings Sony's travel-zoom bang up to date for 2018. Highly Recommended!

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 3.5