Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 Review

November 5, 2014 | Amy Davies |
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Image Quality

All of the images in this review (unless stated otherwise) were taken on the 20 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. This gives an average file size of around 6MB.

Directly from the camera, as we’ve come to expect of Sony cameras, images are bright and punchy displaying a good level of saturation and vibrance. There’s also a decent level of detail resolved by the 20 megapixel sensor.

Most of the time, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30's automatic white balance setting does a decent job to produce accurate colours, albeit erring slightly towards the wrong tone with faced with certain kinds of artificial lighting. You don’t have a choice but to use the multi-segment (general purpose) metering, but thankfully this performs well in the majority of cases.

Noise isn’t too problematic, but you will start to notice it appearing from around ISO 800. ISO 1600 is decent, but ISO 3200 isn’t really recommended unless you’re particularly desperate to grab the shot.

At the furthest reach of the telephoto optic, detail is retained well, while the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30’s optical image stabilisation system does a good job of preventing blur. Ideally, if you’re shooting at the full 30x optical zoom, you will use a tripod or other stand though for the crispest shots.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso100.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
iso3200.jpg  

Focal Range

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30's 30x zoom lens offers a very versatile focal range, as demonstrated by the examples below.

24mm

720mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

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 soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately you can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some modest purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 offers a Macro setting that 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

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg