Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Review

June 5, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |


The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V offers the longest focal length of any travel-zoom camera on the market, with the 30x optic providing enough width and reach for virtually any photographic situation that you'll encounter. It does make the camera significantly bulkier and a little heavier than last year's HX30V/HX20V models, but can still be (just) squeezed into a trouser pocket.

The addition of wi-fi connectivity along with GPS tracking (although not in the UK), full PASM manual shooting modes, plus the new multi-interface shoe and EV dial, make this the best-specified Sony travel-zoom yet, although the image quality from the new 20 megapixel sensor isn't quite as good as last year's models, we'd have liked a touchscreen interface, there's still no RAW shooting and the wi-fi options are rather limited and not particularly easy to use.

The move to a 20 megapixel sensor, while looking good on paper, has resulted in slightly poorer image quality than the previous models offered, and the GPS functionality has inexplicably disappeared entirely from the UK model, making it less attractive. The 20 megapixel backlit sensor provides excellent results from ISO 100-400, but noise is already starting to appear at ISO 800 and the faster settings of 1600 and 3200 suffer from more noise and smearing of fine detail. You should ignore 6400 and 12800 completely unless there's really no alternative.

So while the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V's bigger zoom, built-in wi-fi and better controls represent a significant step forward, the image quality and wi-fi implementation leave something to be desired, with potential UK owners having to completely miss out on GPS.

4.5 stars

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