Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50 review – Build and handling

Made from polycarbonate, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50 offers the sort of sturdy build quality we have come to expect from a Sony camera. Weighing just 272g with battery and card, the camera is easy to carry, although due to its size it is best suited to a large pocket.

On the front of the camera body is a raised, textured, rubberised grip, the profile of which is roughly the width of a pencil. This makes the HX50 feel very secure in the hand, especially when shooting in portrait orientation. Another small textured thumb grip is located on the opposite side of the camera, just above the d-pad. Together, these grips give the camera a solid ergonomic feel.

On the back of the camera is a multi-functional scroll wheel that can be used to scroll through settings and pictures, which doubles as a directional control for navigating the menu controls. All but two of the buttons on the rear of the camera have a raised profile, making them easy to press and aiding general camera control. The two that do not have a raised profile are the playback button, which is sunk into the body slightly, and a designated movie-record button. Located just millimetres away from the thumb grip, the movie-record button is all too easy to accidentally press.

Manual shooting is easy thanks to the ability to tailor the HX50 to your needs. The memory-recall setting, located on the mode dial, allows the user to set three different custom settings that can be accessed quickly. I set up three settings – one for portraits, one for landscape and one for macro. While walking, I noticed some nice wild flowers and without any trouble I quickly recalled setting number three and my preference of macro settings to help me capture the shot I wanted.

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